The East Kent Branch of the Masonic Fishing Charity has completed another successful year. With more than eighty volunteers to support their community activities, the East Kent branch continues to provide an interactive countryside fishing experience to young people with learning or physical disabilities as well as those from disadvantaged backgrounds. This also applies to those adults who need support and recreation after a serious illness.
The final event of 2016 was held at the Longshaw Fisheries, a coarse fishing venue which is situated between Herne Bay and Canterbury and is abundant with carp, bream, chub and roach. On Thursday 22nd September a party of young students from the St Nicholas School, Canterbury, the Learning Opportunities Centre, Deal and patients from the Stroke Association in Margate were guests of the charity. Both schools cater for pupils with severe, profound and complex learning needs while the Stroke Foundation assists stroke sufferers to achieve life after a stroke, communication support and education.
On their arrival the pupils, patients and their supervisors were welcomed by John Baker, the School Liaison Officer, and briefed on the safety instructions. Each visitor was then assigned a caster and they proceeded to the lake to start fishing and compete in the various categories.
Later in the morning Deputy Provincial Grand Master Peter Williams was welcomed to the lakeside and given a thorough tour of the lake by the caster manager, Len Hopson, where he met the casters and their charges. Peter has a keen in interest in the workings of the charity and the excellent result it achieves.
Lunchtime eventually arrived and, despite their evident enjoyment of the fishing, everyone returned to tuck in to a barbeque lunch. Following lunch, a short session of fishing continued after which all participants attended an award ceremony. Peter Williams presented each pupil and patient with a certificate of achievement as well as a special award.
Once again another spectacular day was organised by the East Kent branch of the Masonic Fishing Charity helping young people and stroke patients to gain confidence and meet new challenges.
The success of the event was summarised by Anna Nicholls, Coordinator for the Communication Support Group Stroke Association, Margate who said: “A big thank you from us all for such a wonderful day. The patients really enjoyed it. It was such a friendly and well run event. An amazing day all round. Catch up again soon and thank you once again.”