parents

Councillor Mrs Jean O’Donnell on the tranquillity of angling

There’s a certain discipline with regard to fishing. It’s not one of your wild activities. There's something really rather pleasant and calming about it which I think has an effect on the psyche. Water is particularly good for people, even just looking at water or listening to it. I think it appeals to something deep inside us, the tranquillity and the oneness with nature that you don’t always get. You can stop and think about things. You can unwind. You can unwind at the riverside. Not that youngsters have much to unwind. But I like this idea, it calms their mind.

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Family intervention worker, on GHOF and the importance of role models

I think angling intervention programs like GHOF work because young people are getting appropriate role models. Sometimes a lot of these kids haven’t got a father figure that may be appropriate. Parents often themselves have lots of complex issues and they try to deal with their own problems, they’re not always available for he kids. The young people coming along here to GHOF, they get one to one and I think that is key for them, that they’ve got somebody that’s appropriate, and they get attention.

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Female angler on learning to fish and art

My father stared me fishing, and every year we used to holiday on the Norfolk Broads. It was everyday, fish, fish, from first chink of light to no light at all. He started me as a young girl, and now my whole families fishes...But I think I would have started fishing on own because I’m an artist as well, not a professional just amateur, and I sit and don’t just fish, I take everything in and it’s up here [in my head]. I love wildlife for sketching, painting, all sorts of mediums.

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Local Mum, on the benefits of fishing spaces like Charlton’s Pond, Billingham.

Fishing spaces like Charlton’s Pond are absolutely brilliant. It's even good for the parents to have a spare half hour to chill out. Every time there’s a junior match on we come down. Sometimes it’s a bit difficult to stay the full time, but we try and stay as much as we can. But I think most of the time the kids like to see you there. I’ve never fancied angling myself, but it’s nice sometimes just to sit and watch them fish, it's relaxing. The only problem here is for the girls, there’s nowhere to go to the loo.

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Local Mum, on the positive atmosphere at Charlton’s Pond, Billingham.

Charlton's Pond is ideal for the kids that are local, because a lot of them can come on their bikes or walk. We’re just so chuffed that it’s something for the kids to do and it’s inexpensive. The good thing about it is everybody’s interested, even if they haven’t caught anything. Everyone’s interested in walking around and seeing what everyone else has done. It’s a nice atmosphere. There were two twins that used to fish quite often, and obviously they get to a certain age, and with this being junior, they don’t fish the matches anymore, but it was nice to watch. You could see them growing up.

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