ANDY Walker of Birmingham’s successful Get Hooked on Fishing project is appealing for help to replace some £5,000 of stolen fishing tackle.

The scheme, which has been receiving plaudits of late for focusing the minds and energies of disadvantaged and problem youngsters, currently can’t operate after having virtually all its gear stolen from its Kings Norton lockup last week. The stolen equipment includes around 60 reels, over 50 poles, 83 rods plus nets and other accessories. Unfortunately tackle stored in lockups can’t be insured.

“The tackle has been built up over the last four years and the project simply does not have the funds to replace it, as most of our funds are channelled into taking the youngsters fishing for free,” said Andy.

“We have had an offer to buy some tackle at trade price, but we are really hoping some kind-hearted people or companies will come forward with an offer of some free fishing tackle.”

Andy’s project, which is backed by Bourneville Village Trust and funded through local council grants, was recently featured on BBC news. The report highlighted the startling fact that of the young offenders GHOF Birmingham has introduced to angling, over 95% have not re-offended.

“As result of this theft we are going to store things in future in a more secure unit and we will in future etch tackle so that it can be traced,” he added.

Anyone who would like to donate some tackle can call Andy on 0121 415 6487.