Get Fishing Blog

Get Fishing for Wellbeing – how fishing hooked up with Social Prescribing – angling healthcare on prescription

Last year (2021) the Angling Trust launched its Get Fishing for Wellbeing project to provide info for health workers on how fishing can be beneficial for conditions that can benefit from a ‘Social Prescribing’ approach to healthcare. Here’s an update from Dean Asplin, Regional Angling Development Manager for the Angling Trust…

In 2021 our Get Fishing for Wellbeing project started distributing information on the benefits that angling can bring for those societal disorders such as loneliness and inactivity, as well as the negative effects of illnesses such as anxiety and depression. By providing a connection between health workers, individual patients and quality assured Get Fishing for Wellbeing Approved Partners, the project is putting fishing into a toolkit of less-conventional ways to relieve long-term health and wellbeing conditions.

Get Fishing | Get Fishing for Wellbeing

Your organisation could be a Get Fishing for Wellbeing Approved Partner – apply  now – email me: [email protected]


Fishing really can make a huge difference to those in need of support, and we identified a network of very active and professional angling organisations such as Tackling Minds, Help for Heroes, iCARP and Get Hooked on Fishing that already work in this sector. What was missing was a centralised resource hub to bring all of this to within reach of the health, community, and social prescribing networks.

My colleague Richard Hadley, the Angling Trust’s Lead Safeguarding Officer told me that:

“In June I initiated a standard approval process where potential new providers were able to self-assess and then access any training, safeguarding and protocols needed. This provides a level of reassurance at which point the Angling Trust are happy to champion them to the link-working and NHS sector, as a Get Fishing for Wellbeing Approved Partner”

The system is simple and builds on existing competencies. It’s proved incredibly popular, and the Angling Trust already has 30 partners registered with the aim being to double this by 2023. Get Fishing for Wellbeing success milestones in 2021 included:

  • Get Fishing for Wellbeing webpage launched – info for potential patients and the Social Prescribing networks to understand what angling can offer at
  • Get Fishing for Wellbeing Promotional PDF sent to all Social Prescribing networks to direct them and their patients to the website – download it here
  • 10,000 ‘Get Fishing for Wellbeing’ leaflets distributed to Social Prescribing networks and GP surgeries
  • Number of Get Fishing for Wellbeing Approved Partners reaches 30
  • Angling Trust and iCARP appear on ‘Podcast on Prescription’ as part of the National Academy for Social Prescribing – listen at

Angling has played a major part in my life and has substantially helped my mental health, especially in recent years. I’m excited to be steering this project and coordinating my colleagues to help support as many people as possible with access to the amazing benefits of angling. I want as many people as possible to be able to enjoy all the natural benefits of spending time in nature next to water …and even catching the odd fish along the way!

Please give fishing a go – it can be a brilliant way to get relief from even the most persistent conditions, and the difference to health and wellbeing is often noticeable after even the first session. If you would like more information about Get Fishing for Wellbeing drop me a line!

Dean – [email protected]

Dean Asplin, Regional Angling Development Manager (South of England), Angling Trust

About Get Fishing for Wellbeing:
Anyone who has been fishing will know how beneficial angling is at boosting mental health and wellbeing. A new section of the Angling Trust website offers advice and resources on how to start fishing and find mental health support – it’s not only for the angling community though – we want to help any organisation working with people who would benefit from bringing angling into its offer so that the positive effects of going fishing spread further among caregiving networks. See: #GetFishingforWellbeing

Listen now – Podcast on Prescription:

The Get Fishing campaign to get more people fishing more often is funded by the Environment Agency from fishing licence income as part of the National Angling Strategic Services contract with the Angling Trust, and Sport England. Children under 13 do not need a licence, and licences for children aged between 13 and 16 are free but you still need to register and receive a licence in order to go fishing. You can get a licence for the full year, for 8 days (ideal for holidays!) or just a day’s fishing.

NOTE: Although young children who are under 13 year old do not need a licence to fish, the person supervising them needs the proper fishing licence to take hold of the rod or to help the child fish with it.

The Angling Trust’s ‘Get Fishing’ campaign is proudly supported by
Shakespeare, Exclusive Tackle Partner and Angling Direct, Exclusive Retail Partner
as we all work towards getting more people fishing, more often.

Sport England recognise the Angling Trust as the national governing body in England.
It funds the work we do to promote active lifestyles and to maintain a regular participation habit through the sport of angling
and in partnership with other organisations to deliver the National Angling Strategy.

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