Ten lucky children from Bournemouth enjoyed a morning of angling at Orchard Lakes Fishing Lake near New Milton in Hampshire, all thanks to Variety. This is the sixteenth year that these events have taken place. According to organiser John Stein, from the Variety Wessex committee, more than 700 youngsters have benefitted from the scheme so far.
John, himself a keen freshwater fisherman, along with professional angling coach Bob McMahon from Fun2Fish, give the participants tuition and tips on how to fish so that they get the most from these introductory sessions. The lake is designed to be a perfect place for learning. It contains thousands of fish that include carp, chub, roach and rudd and it is hoped that, during the session, every child will land a fish. Of course all the fish that are caught are quickly returned to the water.
Despite it being a little chilly, the young anglers were completely absorbed in the pastime, as were their parents. They learned how to bate their lines, how to hold their rods and what to do when a fish bites. There was much excitement when the first fish, a roach, was landed.
Event organiser John Stein said: “This was a great day for children from our area. Many had never caught a fish before. It marks 16 years that we have been arranging days out like this for less abled and disadvantaged children. Variety Wessex is staffed by volunteers, and we rely very much on local support and funding to deliver these days out.”
Frances Cornelius, chair of Variety Wessex, said: “Thank you so much John for supporting these deserving children for so many years with this wonderful scheme. It has brought so much enjoyment as well as introducing an absorbing hobby and new skills to so many children”.