Getting involved

Fishing as an intervention tool for working with young people appears to have been used for many years but there is little evidence or research on what such work may comprise, and the effects it can have remains anecdotal.  One of the aims therefore of the research into the 'Social and Community Benefits of Angling' is to identify and evidence how fishing is being used  to engage young people, particularly those who may be socially marginalized either due to poverty, their location, disability, or anti-social behaviour. But statistical information, of how many young people fish, or how many young people pass through fishing schemes can tells us little about why fishing may have an impact on young people's lives. Instead through qualitative research this project aims to understand the processes involved, to generate a greater understanding of why and how fishing intervention has an effect, and indeed what that effect may be.

Over the course of the research I will be intensively following the work of Get Hooked On Fishing (GHOF) a nationwide charity with nine years of experience working with vulnerable/excluded young people. I will also be visiting other projects, schools and angling clubs to build up a greater picture of the variety of approaches that exist. I cannot however visit every project so I'm hoping that anyone using angling in their work with young people will get involved in the research themselves.

The best way to do this is to contact me with details of what you do, and any 'evidence' you can supply.

  • This could be data such as how many young people you have worked with in a particular scheme or over how many years projects have been running;
  • the postcode of the project, organisation, school, club so that a comprehensive picture of the spread of activities across the UK can be mapped;
  • anonymised 'case studies' of success stories (of young people or events);
  • situations where things may have not worked so well and the lessons that have been learnt from them;
  • and generally share your reflections on your own experience of using angling to engage young people.

Email me at

A bit about me...

I received my doctorate in Social Anthropology at the University of Sussex and specialised in young people and marginalisation in the context of human rights. I joined substance this April to specifically work on the angling project.

I have been a keen, if still amateur, sea fisher for the last 5 years, finding it a much needed escape from the books during my PhD. I therefore jumped at the chance to study the benefit angling could have for young people. Four months on, having met enthusiastic, committed people and heard stories of how angling has affected young lives, I’m keen to start sharing some of what I’ve seen.

I will be updating this research blog so that you can follow my thoughts and where my visits have taken me.  Any comments, feedback and debates will be greatly appreciated.


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