Get Fishing News

Get Fishing Fund improves mental health, low self-esteem and hundreds of kids outdoors get into fishing

A special fund for fishing run by angling’s NGB and the Environment Agency has helped thousands of people of all ages and from diverse communities enjoy the positive health and wellbeing effects that come from simply casting a line and spending time by water.

When the Environment Agency and Angling Trust launched its latest ‘Get Fishing Fund’ in late 2022 the response was incredible – over 250 applications were made for a share of the £200,000 funding pot. With money provided from the licence bought by anyone who goes freshwater fishing in England, this is an ingenious way for a sport that ranks alongside football and swimming for having the most active participants, to reinvest in its own future.

The Get Fishing Fund saw applications not only from its own community of angling clubs and venues, many charities and schools came forward too and helped swell the numbers proposing to create more opportunities to go fishing. These were eventually whittled down to 113 successful applicants and included some exciting ways for people to discover why fishing is good for you.

Successful projects included school’s establishing their own fishing clubs to get more kids active in the great outdoors, charities organising health and wellbeing projects and new coaching programmes to encourage people to excel in the sport.

Head of Participation at the Angling Trust Clive Copeland commented: “The Get Fishing Fund has seen thousands of people discover the magic of fishing. This latest round of funding with applications from a diverse array of organisations, reflects the fact that fishing has a broad spectrum of appeal – partly because it’s so simple to get into, is inexpensive and it doesn’t take long to create smiles all-round when people spend time together outdoors enjoying the fun and challenges that fishing offers to allcomers”

Heidi Stone, Fisheries Manager from the Environment Agency said: “Angling is a much-loved sport that appeals to people of all ages and through the Get Fishing Fund, we’ve seen some fantastic, creative projects that encourage individuals to get involved and reap the health and wellbeing benefits that fishing can bring.

“By investing the income from the sale of rod licences, we’re able to support numerous clubs, fisheries and other organisations, increasing angling opportunities that are available to the public.”

After this year’s round of Get Fishing Fund awards over 300 projects have now been able to access fishing licence income to help get more people fishing!

Luke Rose from the Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health Trust told us: “We’ve been able to deliver weekly fishing sessions to people from our area who are experiencing their first episode of mental illness, specifically psychosis. Going fishing together helps peers and parents to build relationships by taking part in an activity that brings family members closer together. Seeing people who would have otherwise not left the house get out fishing has been amazing.”

Paul Slater from Donington Angling Club in Lincolnshire was similarly enthusiastic when he let us know that: “As a result of the Get Fishing Fund we have increased the club’s Junior Membership by an incredible 300%! This has really helped raise the profile of the club within the community”.

A spokesperson for Living Sober CIC, a community organisation that provides support to men and women in the North East, said; “We are charitable organisation set up as a peer led recovery community. Each of the 12 have-a-go fishing events was eagerly anticipated by the group of 6 to 10 mostly newcomer participants, and helped with confidence issues and low self-esteem. The events were truly wonderful, spirits were always high, and we even managed to catch a few fish! One of the many benefits of the Angling Trust and Environment Agency fund, has been affording us the opportunity to spend very special time together as a group in the great outdoors.“

For more information and details on events and activities that have been created as part of the Get Fishing Fund visit

 Notes for Editors:

  • The contact for this Press Release is: [email protected]
  • Get Fishing is the Angling Trust’s campaign to grow participation in angling. Annually, the Get Fishing campaign introduces over 30,000 people to angling at hundreds of fun, safe and friendly events funded by the Environment Agency from fishing licence income.

Images used in this post are all from Get Fishing Fund Projects

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