We Fish as One
Harnessing the power of angling so that people from all backgrounds can experience its life-changing benefits
We Fish as One
We Fish as One is the Angling Trust’s long-term community inclusion campaign that aims to actively develop, and to profile local outreach programmes and activities. This will harness the power of fishing as a community building activity, so that people from all backgrounds can experience the life-changing benefits of the sport of angling.
A recent 2021 survey we conducted with OnePoll revealed that one in ten people (10%) said that fishing has become more appealing to them since the pandemic, for reasons including; learning a new skill (31%), the ability to reconnect with nature (40%) and the opportunity to relax, meditate and practice mindfulness. Nonetheless, existing barriers to giving fishing a try were noted among respondents. These included:
- One in twenty respondents (6%) said they don’t feel represented in fishing (e.g. their gender, sexual identity, ethnic diversity or culture)
- 15% of respondents said they don’t have anybody to go with (e.g. partner, family member, friends)
- One in ten (10%) respondents said they do not feel safe going fishing on their own
- Nearly one in five (19%) respondents said cost is a barrier (e.g. buying equipment and a fishing license)
So while our sport is accessible to anyone in practical terms, there is considerable untapped potential for reaching new audiences who would otherwise benefit from going fishing.
If we can work to remove these barriers and proactively tackle inequalities, we can make fishing a truly inclusive and often community-based activity that boosts physical and mental health/wellbeing and is enjoyable for all.
What is the We Fish as One campaign?
We Fish as One is a platform for change, where we highlight the very best of existing and pioneering initiatives that are using local knowledge, demographics, geography and community support to build bridges between existing and future anglers.
The beauty of our sport is that anyone can do it – fishing is for everyone. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do or where you live, you can take part and enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits. However, we face both a national and regional challenge to ensure our angling community reflects our society as a whole and this has made it more important than ever to share the joy of fishing with as many people as possible. In fact, we think every angler has a responsibility to do just that.
Recruiting Campaign Champions and providing a toolkit to undertake community outreach are two of the first steps in the We Fish as One journey. Initially the community outreach will take place at seven selected pilot sites around the country, where fishing is within ease of access to a residential community area, and this will incorporate coarse, game and sea fishing. We are also exploring additonal opportunities for new We Fish as One Regional Hubs.
With support of clubs, partners and individuals within the existing angling community, we have been targeting local authorities, charities and groups to create community offerings that address some of the barriers to fishing. This includes working to establish more links with women, ethnically diverse people, LGBQT+ people, disabled people, young people, older people, parents and carers, refugees and migrants, and those with long term health conditions.
Three ways YOU can support We Fish as One:
By joining in with the #WeFishAsOne campaign, you or your organisation can help promote fishing within your local community as a social and community building activity that benefits health and wellbeing.
1. Please read and share our manifesto pledge
Our manifesto sets out our vision to create a bright, truly inclusive and accessible future for angling that has fishing experiences for everyone in our communities.
We Fish as One Manifesto Pledge
Fishing is for everyone. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do or where you live, anyone can take part and enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits of angling.
The beauty of fishing is that anyone can do it. However, we face both a national and regional challenge to ensure our angling community reflects our society as a whole and this has made it more important than ever to share the joy of fishing with as many people as possible. In fact, we think every angler has a responsibility to do just that.
As anglers, we know there’s more to fishing than catching a fish. Our sport is already being celebrated for its renowned benefits to our mental health and we must all play our part in its powerful potential to bring together communities and support those in need.
We know our sport is accessible, but there’s much more we can do collectively and individually to tackle inequalities within the sport to ensure that fishing is a truly inclusive experience for all.
Our strength lies in our unity, and the communities we create, regardless of a person’s ethniic diversity, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, neurodiversity, disability, socio-economic background, age, whether they have caring or parenting responsibilites or long term health conditions.
Together, we pledge to be part of change and share our passion with our local community, whether it’s friends, family, neighbours and colleagues, schools, older people, local groups and organisations.
2. Start the conversation
You may enjoy fishing due to the solitary nature of the sport, however why not enlighten others and help them gain an insight into your passion for fishing so that they consider giving it a try themselves. To start with that might be at a beginner participation event near to where they live – the aim being to start a lifelong journey allowing them to benefit from going fishing.
Think about the people you interact with on a daily basis; at home, work, at the school gates or through other local clubs and activities. Simply sharing your personal angling story with others who you may least expect to try fishing themselves could inspire them to do their own research or just spend more time outdoors.
3. Become a campaign champion and download the toolkit
Our campaign toolkit offers ideas and suggestions to take a more active role at grassroots level. From sharing your own story, helping organise a community event, to further advice and training, you will be part of a network of supporters including clubs, coaches and each other to help develop inclusive community angling opportunities.
High-resolution versions of these images are available on request.
Thanks to https://ghof.org.uk for these images. Get Hooked on Fishing is an angling charity which helps provide positive opportunities for young people and communities. Please credit Get Hooked on Fishing whenever these images are used.