Support and Patrons
Fishing For Heroes is a Registered Charity (1198987) of many years standing. The founding Trustees wanted to help those Armed Forces personnel who suffer from emotional issues stemming from their experiences during Active Service. This principle still continues and we registered as a Charity in April 2010 to provide funded fishing as therapy for both Service Veterans and serving soldiers, sailors and Air Force personnel of the British and Commonwealth Armed Forces who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), or other emotional problems, resulting from their service to our Country. We have no restriction with regards to the theatre of war the veterans took part in; hence we include service in amongst other places such as Korea, Malaysia, Northern Ireland, Falklands and Kosovo as well as more recent conflicts.
In 2021 as part of our planning for the future, the Trustees made the decision to convert from an unincorporated charity to a CIO and in 2022 we became Fishing for Heroes CIO (1198987) continuing our charitable work. We are also members of the Confederation of Service Charities (COBSEO), signatories of the Armed Forces Covenant and holders of the Armed Forces Covenant Bronze Award.
In the last 13 years we have supported over 400 individuals.
Sufferers from mental health issues are often ostracised by other members of society and can carry a stigma from which the worry can exacerbate existing problems.We deliver a fully funded four-day course which dependent on the individual’s circumstances will be either close to their home or involve a residential stay, four days together or spread over a longer period i.e. one day per week for 4 weeks.
Beneficiaries are provided with a full set of fishing tackle which is theirs to keep.
We then introduce the individual to our Regional Get Together program. This involves the introduction to other veterans or serving personnel who are facing the same issues. These fishing days are also fully funded which includes travel costs, catering, fishing and instruction. These events are currently held at seven venues across mainland UK from Devon to Northumberland every six weeks. Resulting in more than forty Regional Get Togethers per year. The benefits of being able to attend an event with support not only from Fishing for Heroes but also from others in the same position, are substantial.
What we aim to achieve
We aim to:
The effectiveness of what we deliver is monitored constantly during the mentoring program through observation, verbally and the Warwick Edinburgh Mental Health Scale (WEMWBS).
Benefits of being involved with Fishing For Heroes
The Cost of Helping
The costs incurred will include:
Many of the veterans we support have been in receipt of benefits and/or been homeless for a number of years. We pay their transportation expenses for them to attend the residential elements of the programme up to a maximum of the equivalent of a second class rail ticket.
If accommodation is needed, we are always mindful of the individuals’ requirements, sourcing small bed and breakfast establishments rather than large and imposing venues.
4 day Fly fishing course
Each veteran receives a 1:1 tuition from a fully qualified instructor/assessor all of whom are very experienced in dealing with people who have behavioral challenges. The cost of which is at a discounted rate.
Regional Get Togethers
Groups of up to 20 beneficiaries fishing together across England and Wales at up to 75 events throughout the year.
Week long fishing breaks
We would like to extent the fishing breaks for Wales, Devon, Derbyshire in addition to existing breaks in Aberdeenshire and Hampshire.
Continued support and mentoring
This element is very difficult to quantify as it will vary in response to the needs of the individual veteran.
The cost of supporting our beneficiaries can vary and the help and support which we offer depends very much on each individual, however we have found over the last 13 years that the cost to the charity is in the region of between £500 and £700 per annum, per individual. Year one being in the region of £1050 and following years £400.
Since and during the Covid 19 pandemic we have been substantially affected with regards to our fundraising. Fortunately, we had reserves in place which has cushioned the effects but demand has increased significantly since, which has in turn placed more ongoing financial pressures on the charity. We currently raise funds through personal donations, raffles, diners, shows and sponsored events.