The Countryside Alliance Foundation, the charity that runs projects which use the countryside as a place of education and therapy, is to launch a new project aimed at supporting young people moving on from cancer. Castaway will hold its inaugural event at the Sportfish Game Fishing Centre near Reading on Friday 13th October and is supported by leading fishing and country clothing retailer, Farlows.

The project is the brainchild of Charlotte Weston, an oncology nurse who, having volunteered for TCAF’s Casting for Recovery project for ladies with breast cancer, was impressed by fishing’s healing powers. When she moved from breast nursing to working with teens and young adults with cancer, she approached The Countryside Alliance Foundation’s Charles Jardine and Jill Grieve with a view to running a similar therapeutic project for youngsters.

The project will take around 20 young adults with cancer and offer them a day at the Sportfish Game Fishing Centre, where they can learn fly fishing, make new friends and enjoy a day at the water’s edge – an impossible thought when they were in treatment.

Charlotte Weston said: “Having witnessed first-hand the way fishing can give people their sparkle back, and maybe even introduce them to a new interest for life, it made sense to me that fishing therapy can work across many different age groups in offering some peace, calm and a way back from illness. It is particularly hard for young people coming to the end of their treatment and not knowing where to turn. We hope that coming to the water and learning a new skill will help them move forward.

Charles Jardine commented: “The Countryside Alliance Foundation has had huge success with its Fishing 4 Schools and Casting for Recovery projects on many levels, and we agree wholeheartedly with Charlotte that fishing is a great healer, as well as being an accessible and enjoyable sport for everyone. If I can give to these youngsters just a fraction of what fishing has given me over my lifetime then it will be a very worthwhile and positive project. The team is really looking forward to welcoming some deserving youngsters to Sportfish for a wonderful day.

Robin Philpott, Farlows Group MD, commented: “We are firm believers in the therapeutic benefits of fishing and are delighted to support this wonderful initiative at the Sportfish Game Fishing Centre. We look forward to working with Charlotte, Jill and Charles to deliver a truly memorable day to the participants.”

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