Shoreline threw a line to young people in North East Lincolnshire at the launch of a new youth diversionary project.
Get Hooked on Fishing is a sustainable angling project for young people aged between 8 and 19, funded by Shoreline Housing Partnership and managed by the Integrated Young People’s Support Service.
The project, based at Homestead Park, Immingham uses angling as an engagement tool to combat social exclusion and divert young people away from anti-social behaviour, truancy and youth crime.
The project programme incorporates intensive angling workshops and sessions that improve young people’s literacy and numeracy skills, teach environmental issues and lead to personal and social development.
The project has been awarded around £180,000 of funding over the next three years thanks to a Shoreline Investment Grant.
Representatives from Shoreline and North East Lincolnshire Council joined Mayor of Immingham, Councillor Morris Prior in officially opening the project on Thursday 31 May, 2007.
Get Hooked on Fishing has a strong emphasis on mentoring and licensed qualified coaches and project staff will deliver practical and theory instruction to the young people taking part, as well as act as mentors and positive role models.
Young people who complete the programme will have access to support and the opportunity to provide public angling sessions or become peer mentors to other young people engaged in the project.
Partnership agencies within the community and voluntary sector will identify and refer young people who are socially excluded, potentially involved in anti-social behaviour or at risk of offending, to the project.
The Get Hooked on Fishing project will manage referrals in close consultation with Shoreline Housing Partnership’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team and Shoreline Neighbourhood Officers.
Partnerships have also been established with Foresight and Cromwell House to ensure that people with visual impairments or disabilities have access to the facility.
Those taking part and adult volunteers will have the opportunity to gain nationally recognised qualifications.
As well as providing activities for targeted participants the project will also offer opportunities for the wider community. The project will improve facilities at Homestead Park and engage the wider community in angling and environmental projects with the availability of public membership and day ticket use of the facility.
The Environment Agency is a key partner in the project and Environmental Agency Technical Officer Rueben Page has provided the project with educational material and expert advice about the lake.
Shoreline Regeneration Officer Phil Thames has supported the project from the beginning, he said: “Shoreline is proud to support this project. We are investing a large sum of money over a three-year period, which reflects the importance we place on tackling anti-social behaviour in an imaginative way and in partnership with other agencies, such as those involved in the Get Hooked on Fishing project.
“Disaffected young people taking part in this project will learn new skills and knowledge about fishing, sustainability and the environment. This project will engage young people at risk of becoming involved in anti-social behaviour or who are at risk of being socially excluded.”
Get Hooked on Fishing Co-ordinator Mark Fenty said: “The project will offer young people the chance to study a variety of fish and appreciate the natural wildlife around the lake as well as take part in practical sessions.
“Because of the calm nature of angling as an activity, it offers a much wider and life long opportunity to participants than some other “hi octane” projects. Young people are able to develop new skills through a structured and tailored manner using accredited angling coaches who will teach the individual. The skills and knowledge that they learn help them to gain confidence and build their self esteem.”
The management team are already planning for the expansion of the programme to other lakes in the area and there is also potential to develop a brand new purpose built complex complete with conservation area.
The Integrated Young People’s Support Service are also planning to incorporate PC based fishing stimulators into brand new state of the art mobile vehicles so they can provide taster sessions during adverse weather conditions and at remote locations including schools and youth clubs.
Get Hooked on Fishing is a national charity which acts as an umbrella organisation for 10 Get Hooked on Fishing regional projects across the country. The trust has a successful track record in using angling as an engagement tool to carry out positive and meaningful work with young people. The trust aims to have a total of 30 projects in place by 2010 throughout the UK.
Mark added: “It is really great to be part of a national network which is really making a difference in local communities.”
If anyone requires more information or wishes to assist with the project, please contact Get Hooked on Fishing Co-ordinator Mark Fenty.
Get Hooked on Fishing Co-ordinator
(North East Lincolnshire Region)
Integrated Young People’s Support Service
39 Heneage Road
North East Lincolnshire