Because when you join MTSFC you will be able to see all aspects of the fishing day experience and it means you can apply your personal skills in so many areas; you will just end up feeling "Why didn't I think of that before?"
MTSFC is openly encouraging adults of any age, sex and faith to join in.
There are many ways you can help: behind the scenes (admin), angling with the participants, dealing with registration, catering, liaising with the schools and institutions, getting physical (putting the marquee up) …
Like many good causes it is more than just giving a donation it is about dedicating some time and energy to organise the fishing day experience to make it really a successful event for all the participants.
If you have read this blog that far it is probably because you are the kind of person often solicited by many organisations as your time and dedication are priceless, so why a fishing charity?
After all it doesn’t sound very trendy, or attractive even with so many stereotypes attached to it and the average British person has his or her fair share of preconceptions about fishing: "it's boring it is always raining & only old blokes go fishing".
Let me stop you right there because there is far more to fishing than meet the eyes and we will shamelessly promote 7 reasons/benefits about volunteering for a fishing day experience, your journey of discovery starts now:
1.- SOFT DETOX
If you ask most MTSFC’s members, why they enjoy the fishing day experience they are likely to answer something containing the word "freedom".
Spending a day outdoors casting for trout or else helps to release us from our highly stressful, everyday environment. Not many activities can bring on the sense of being alive and help to rebuild our personal reserves like a day spent interacting with nature.
There's more to fishing than catching fish (although it helps of course), but if you only go fishing to catch fish, then you're missing the point: going to a fishing event is to get closer to nature, to blend in with your surroundings.
Whatever the result of your fishing day, it still beats a day in the office or tending to house chores.
2.- SOCIAL INTERACTION
Sharing a fishing experience helps strengthening relationships with families, carers, friends, as well as other children and adults outside the educational or institutional environment. It just enhances that bonding.
Fishing offers the participants the chance to improve their self-esteem through respect for the environment, to master outdoor skills and achieving personal goals; the casters will guide the participants not only by providing the relevant instructions for holding the rod, catching a fish, using the net but also on explaining about the fish habitat, relate stories, pass on positive fishing experience etc. Just ask a youngster who reeled in their first fish how much fun fishing can be!
3.- FEELING ACTIVE
There is no doubt that being outside and being active helps to make you feel better and encourages a healthier way of life. During a fishing event you will have lots of opportunities to help out physically: installing the infrastructure, preparing lunch, do a spot of cleaning etc.
You will also be able to benefit from the fishery’s beautiful surroundings, by walking around (respecting the Health & Safety guidelines), taking some pictures, filling your lungs with fresh air! Being curious, aware and actively participating will help to get a healthy mind in a healthy body.
You could argue that shopping in London during the January Sales could also be some sort of sport, and yes it is in a way but with stress (see Reason 1) as you cannot guarantee to come out of your ordeal with a smile across your face and/or a sense of achievement (see Reason 2)!
4.- THE THRILL
It is in human nature to fulfil an ancient need of pursuing and catching. The thrill lies in the challenge, such as stalking a trout: keeping
focused, be silent, learning patience and then get rewarded when you win the battle with the fish.
Most of the fish caught are for keeping but some fisheries operate a “catch & release” policy, for more explanation about what it involves please visit the Angling Trust.
If you feel uneasy about that aspect of the fishing experience, ask your local MTSFC branch to explain to you which fishery has which policy prior to volunteer for an event.
The smile on the participants face when they catch a fish is just speaking for itself, it is one of the challenges that is overcome effectively by people with special needs and the sense of pride when they get their certificate is also quite emotional.
5.- THE WEATHER
Some are singing in the rain and many are fishing in the rain because the insects love to fly near the surface of the water during or immediately following a light rain, which will bring fish closer to the surface and make them more susceptible to being caught…
MTSFC has many talents but not the one of accurate weather forecast: events are organised ahead and will happen on the scheduled day. The fishing days’ experience are organised between April and November, so there is plenty of scope to volunteer for several venues increasing your chances to see how the day unfolds under a cloudy, sunny sky or under the rain. Our photos on Facebook or MTSFC's gallery demonstrate that the weather is not an issue: people have fun regardless! However, it is always a good idea to dress appropriately during the event to feel comfortable though: casual wear with some extra layers and raincoat and footwear fit for a muddy riverbank (just in case!)
6.- PEOPLE WITH DIFFERENT NEEDS
Along with other Health & Safety matters, MTSFC ensures a safe environment for all the participants and volunteers. It allows you to thrive within that frame & do what you are best at: catching many smiles and making the difference!
The adults and children with special needs come from various backgrounds and have various disadvantages, traumas etc. and just like most people they love the outdoors, they enjoy the social aspect of it, they welcome a different experience, they find fishing exhilarating, they laugh, they feel proud....and I can guarantee you will just enjoy their company as well!
What is more gratifying than being rewarded with a beaming smile?
I would advise you to watch the video on this page it will give you the necessary guidelines about the correct behaviour to adopt during the fishing day events when dealing with people with different needs.
7.- THE REWARD(S)
At the end of the fishing day each participant will get a Certificate of Achievement for Fishing Ability, and a surprise to take home with them. Sometimes they can even get a medal!
The fresh fish caught by the participants is theirs to keep when allowed: fish are low in fat and cholesterol and high in protein and Omega 3. All fishermen and fisherwomen have their own favourite recipes when it comes to cooking and many favour simplicity: poached, grilled or baked in order to retain most nutrients and especially the taste!
It is equally educational for all to have a good insight into the food chain and reflect on our eating habits. Let’s not forget that good fishing in a lake or river is also an indication about the quality of our waters.
If you are still hesitant to join in, do not worry it is not the end of the world and maybe you need some more time or more information, the best way would be to contact your local MTSFC branch and ask them to clarify things for you: www.mtsfc.org.uk ... go on we don't bite!
On the other hand, if you cannot wait to join in, go to this page and fill in the MTSFC registration form on line.
You will not regret the experience: the time, energy & commitment you can provide will make the difference, so welcome aboard!