Casting for Recovery UK & Ireland, a unique outdoor-based programme specifically designed for women who have, or have had, breast cancer, has celebrated its first full year of retreats by holding the final one of 2008 at Duncton Mill near Petworth in West Sussex from 28-30 September.

Casting for Recovery provides fly fishing programmes at idyllic retreats around the UK and Ireland. Any woman who has experienced breast cancer is eligible to apply to attend a retreat (with medical clearance from their doctor).   Retreats take place over two-and-a-half days and all accommodation, meals, counselling, and professional instruction are provided at no cost to participants due to the financial backing of the Countryside Alliance.  Trained female medical staff and fly fishing instructors are on hand at all times and the fishing tackle and appropriate clothing is provided by Orvis UK.   Twelve ladies from across England attended the Duncton retreat.

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 over 3,000 breast cancer survivors. 

The UK and Ireland Programme Co-ordinator is Sue Hunter, who recovered from breast cancer to become an international gold medallist fly fisher. Sue said: “We began our journey at Duncton a year ago so it’s great to bring the curtain down on our 2008 programme at the same place. The twelve ladies who attended this retreat got a huge amount from it, and didn’t even notice the rain as they concentrated on their fishing. We are incredibly grateful to the team at Duncton Mill retreat and fishery for their warm reception and support for the programme.”