Casting for Recovery UK & Ireland, the unique outdoor-based programme specifically designed for women who have, or have had, breast cancer, has revealed its 2008 programme of retreats and is inviting patients to apply for a place.

Casting For Recovery provides fly fishing programmes at idyllic retreats around the UK and Ireland. The first retreat of its kind in the UK took place at the Duncton Mill Retreat, West Sussex in September 2007 and was a resounding success.  Any woman who has experienced breast cancer is eligible to apply to attend a retreat (with medical clearance from their doctor).  Retreats are provided at no cost to the participants due to the financial backing of the Countryside Alliance, and include accommodation, meals, counselling, and professional instruction.  Trained medical staff and fly fishing instructors are on hand at all times and the fishing tackle is provided by Orvis.

So far, the retreat schedule for 2008 (with an Irish retreat yet to be announced) is:

• 28-30 March – Arundell Arms, Lifton, Devon. Applications in by 4th January

• 11-13 April – Caer Beris Hotel, Builth Wells, Powys. Applications in by 15th January

• 28-30 September – Duncton Mill Retreat, Petworth, West Sussex. Applications in by 23rd June

Fly fishing offers proven benefits for recovering breast cancer patients.  The casting action provides the gentle exercise recommended by physiotherapists for joint and soft tissue mobility.   Fly fishing also offers participants a chance to reflect and escape in tranquil surroundings.  Casting for Recovery was founded in the United States in 1996 and has since helped more than 2,000 breast cancer survivors. 

The UK Programme Co-ordinator is Sue Hunter, who recovered from breast cancer to become an international gold medallist and captain of Team England 2007.   Sue said:  “The first retreat was a huge success and we are all looking forward to welcoming many other brave ladies in 2008. The courses are open to ladies of all ages who have, or have had, breast cancer and are absolutely free to participants thanks to the Countryside Alliance’s generous backing. We are also delighted that Anne Voss-Bark of the Arundell Arms has donated a retreat to the project – the positive impact of Casting for Recovery is already apparent and we are really only getting started!”