With four events effectively organised and completed, the West Lancashire branch of the Masonic Trout and Salmon Fishing Charity, had a very successful 2018.
Three of the meetings were held at Whitmore Fishery, Greenhalgh, Kirkham, whilst a fourth was at Charity Farm, Wrightington, near Wigan. 47 individual young adults across the four events, together with their attendant carers and volunteer castors and helpers, enjoyed the experience immensely. The majority of the young anglers were able to catch at least one fish and in many cases, this could be multiplied several times.
Both venues are ideally suited for creating a safe environment in which the special needs youngsters could enjoy their fishing experience. Fishing commenced around 10:00am at each of the venues, with each young adult being allocated a castor, who was able to guide and assist them throughout the day.
Lunch was provided on each occasion around midday to all the contributors, with everybody getting back to the water around 1.00pm. Fishing finished at 2.00pm and certificates of achievement, acknowledging their participation, together with a medal, were presented to each excited young participant.
The charity has been fortunate in having the support of grand and Provincial grand officers from the Province of West Lancashire, who not only presented the certificates to the youngsters, but also gave up their time to be present throughout the time the meetings were being held. The Deputy Provincial Grand Master Philip Gunning and Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master Harry Cox were present on a number of occasions, as was the Provincial Grand Secretary Peter Taylor. APGM David Ogden and Martin Lockyer, Chairman of the Community Grants Executive at WLFC, attended the meeting at Charity Farm. At the last meeting of the year, held at Whitmore Fishery, Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison and APGM David Winder were in attendance.
The West Lancashire branch of the charity has only been in existence for a short while, but in that time, they have, through generous donations from the WLFC and from individual lodges and chapters, been able to purchase, during 2018, a trailer and a marquee, which will assist them in holding these events in the coming years.
Behind the scenes there is a committee of 10 people, as well a team of castors, all of whom are dedicated in providing an enriching experience for the young people who attend these fishing events. Further events are planned for 2019, so if anyone would like to get involved with the charity please contact one of the names below.
Secretary; Bob Malcolm – firstname.lastname@example.org
West Lancs Co-ordinator and Treasurer; Dan Mitchell – email@example.com
Fundraising Officer; Richard Dennison – firstname.lastname@example.org
Article and photographs by Paul Thompson.