The Masonic Fishing Charity’s aim is to bring an interactive fishing and countryside experience to people with special needs.
It achieves this by running fishing events, both coarse and fly, at various fisheries and inviting participants from special needs schools and centres and people who have suffered trauma to come and join in.
This is far more than just a day’s fishing though! It enables mentally disabled people to gain in confidence, meet new challenges and achieve tangible results to take away; it helps disadvantaged people and those from harsh backgrounds to renew their confidence in meeting people and interacting with adults from outside their spheres; it helps physically disabled people (including war heroes and stroke victims) to participate and experience something that may otherwise be unavailable to them and it enables our volunteers to give back to the community and hopefully……. ‘Catch a Smile’ along the way.
The charity is completely run by volunteers and is a non-profit making enterprise. Whilst we are the Masonic Fishing Charity you do not have to be a freemason to help us or take part in our activities.
The Masonic Fishing Charity in our Province
The Durham Branch, since our formation in 2017 has held sixteen events at Aldin Grange fishing Lakes, Bear Park in Durham. the venue is very Kindly supplied by Brian Hodgeson from Agricola Lodge. Although not administered or controlled by the Province,we operate with the kind permission and support of PGM John Thompson and our past PGM Norman Eric Heaviside .
How can you help
Any of our sponsoring lodges come and spend the day with us as well. Our charity provides a focus for those who care to support us, and they can see a positive and tangible result for the money that they donate. They are also safe in the knowledge that the entire donated amount is spent on providing events for the participants. The charity has no paid employees, no buildings to support or other overheads other than normal printing, stationery, specialist, and insurance requirements that any similar organisation needs to operate efficiently.
Fishermen (Ladies are especially welcome!) You do not need to be a Freemason to become a volunteer for us, as we provide a one-to-one fishing guide and participant relationship, we always need men and women fishermen who are willing to give up their day and act as casters.
Organisation is the key point of our activities, and all the events rely heavily on several people to help organise them. Some of the roles include Event Organiser, Schools Liaison Officer, Caster Registration Officer, Catering, Photography, Publicity and PR and general help on the day.
We always welcome new participants. Most of our participants are drawn from Special Educational Needs Schools, or units and adult centres.
The charity does not provide transport to and from the event. Participants must be over eleven years old and sufficient carers, teachers or helpers must accompany the group to cater for their personal needs. Likewise, any special dietary needs would need to be brought with them for the day although the charity does provide a barbecue lunch with a vegetarian option and tea, coffee, soft drinks and water throughout the day.