Brokering relationships between young people and the community: the GHOF Flintshire launch.

July saw the launch of the first Get Hooked On Fishing (GHOF) project in Wales. The GHOF Flintshire project is being delivered by Allan Ellis as part of the Flintshire Neighbourhood Watch Association (FNWA) ‘Y Factor’ Youth Engagement Scheme. This community foundation is further complemented by the support received form the Arson Reduction Team, Redrow Homes (providing the use of their waters), and an Environment Agency (EA) grant. On my visit to their launch day, it was encouraging to see neighbouring project GHOF Liverpool down for the day to give assistance and young people and local residents voicing an interest in volunteering.

Youth engagement schemes tend to perform best when they are developed within local communities in response to local needs. The more links built locally, the more people working to ensure a project succeeds. But motivating the local community to volunteer at events, offer work experience opportunities, shop discounts and/or prises, is important not just for spreading cost, but because it develops an associated community network that can be utilised to draw-in once socially marginalised young people.

GHOF Flintshire LaunchGHOF Flintshire Launch

In areas of high youth unemployment, deprivation and/or anti-social behaviour, community relationships with young people are put under strain. Participating in angling schemes such as those run by GHOF, is therefore as much about building young people’s own resilience, confidence and ability to deal with their personal issues, as it is about re-establishing positive, and mutually benefiting, relationships with the local community. In this respect, GHOF projects often play a role as brokers, mediating young people-community relationships.

Young people are already being referred to the GHOF Flintshire scheme from local agencies and they will be organising future sessions to introduce young people more generally to the benefits of angling engagement. The future of the project will depend however on how well supported they are by the local community, schools, policing and youth agencies that stand to benefit from GHOF's particular brand of angling engagement.

One young person is already hooked. Having shrugged “If it’s good I’ll come again” at the launch day’s fishing session, he went on to catch the first fish of the day and many more, winning him a rod and reel supplied by the EA. The excitement of fishing had certainly exceeded all his expectations and he was adamant he’d be back for more.


big thankyou

I would like to say a very big thank you to Alan and his team for showing such willingness to help my two boys learn about fishing. Travis and Bradley attend every week and are having a " brill time" as put by themselves. this scheme has gone above and beyond to help the kids enjoy themselves everytime, So again an extra big thankyou and a pat on the back for all you do, may the scheme grow in the coming years and help many more youngsters, myself and my partner are always here to give a helping hand xxxxxx

big thank you

it looks like the 2 people mentioned above are having a whale of a time but i can say its not these young people have put in many hours learning how to fish what bait to use learning about the fauna and flora/environmental issues that can effect a fishing pond and local communities the get hooked on fishing scheme is not just about angling it is about group work speaking to others passing on what they have picked up .
Out of the 23 young people who turn up come rain or shine we have all learned a lot , we have a dedicated team of peer mentors who give loads of time to help me out with coaching ect
Parents who turn up are encouraged to help out in any way possible ie surveying the participants capturing some of the most important comments that are talked about on the bank side before any person wets a line


no need for the thank yous this is a project that i enjoy doing and as for your two lads it is a pleaseure passing on to 2 young lads that are willing to learn see them soon allan

Superintendents visit to get hooked on fishing flintshire

On Friday evening I visited the 'Get Hooked on Fishing' project run by Allan Ellis of Flintshire Neighbourhood Watch Association along with a great bunch of volunteers and officers who all give up their free time for the project. A total of 25 youngsters were there on Friday, some with parents but in the main on their own and all really enthusiastic about the job in hand - fishing! Some of the youngsters there are well known to the police for causing anti -social behaviour in and around the towns they live. I went to see them at about 4:30pm, by which time they were just about ready to hit the water. They told me that they would be fishing until about 7.30pm and by the time they packed up and got home it would be nearer 8.30pm. This is just the time that problems with youngsters and anti-social behaviour peak and so the project is an excellent way to divert them from causing problems whilst at the same time it gives them a new skill and hobby that they can continue to enjoy long after they leave the scheme. I am very grateful to the hard work of the team delivering 'Get Hooked on Fishing' and hope it continues for many years.

Rob Kirman B.Sc. (Hons)
Uwcharolygydd Superintendent
Rhanbarth Dwyreiniol Eastern Division



the boys and girls that we

the boys and girls that we try to teach are all in all a great bunch. if there was somthing like this when i was growing up i would have jummped at it . I have to take my hat off to Alan for the idea and running of the programe.and to north wales police force for there commitment to helping the scheme run so well, without whom it would not be the same the children see them there hands on.and through that thay gain a lot of respect for the police ,and begin to realise that they are dads brothers sisters (big brothers)like any one els, i have whitnesed boys and girls catch fish with us and you would swear it was christmas all over again the smile on there faces is just amazing from the novice to the pro the thrill is the same