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Stone youngsters get hooked on fishing

YOUNGSTERS in Stone are getting hooked on fishing and helping older people keep their gardens tidy during the summer holidays.

Free fishing sessions are being organised by PCSO Duncan Rollo and run by Mark Wilton, from Coarse Angling Skills Training Staffordshire (CASTS), with support from Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH).

“Angling is a really fun way for young people to engage in sport and also do something exciting and cost-effective during the summer break,” said Mark Wilton.

Tuesday 2 August saw the launch of the project and further sessions will be held over the next six weeks.

As part of the activities youngsters have also agreed to give something back to the local community by gardening for customers living at SARH’s Sycamore Road Independent Living Scheme.

“In the past we have done litter picking with youngsters after fishing sessions but this time we were keen to get them involved in something new,” said Duncan Rollo.

“I asked customers at Sycamore Road if they would be interested in having their gardens weeded, hedges clipped and other light gardening done and I got a really positive response.”

CASTS was set up in early 2007 by Mark and his wife Erica to provide angling tuition for individuals, private groups and organisations such as youth groups and schools in and around Staffordshire.

They have since coached over 200 young people, many of them on schemes run in conjunction with police initiatives.

Karen Batchelor, SARH Independent Living Coordinator at Sycamore Road, said: “Our customers have really enjoyed working with the group on their gardens. I hope this scheme will lead to more  community projects with young people in the future.”

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