Free fishing taster sessions to boost wellbeing – spaces available this week

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Free fishing taster sessions are taking place in Northampton this week – all part of a wellbeing programme designed to improve the health of up to 3,000 local people.

Delapré-Be Angling Active free taster sessions, organised by Delapré Lake Angling and supported by Northamptonshire Sport and Delapré Abbey as part of the county’s Thriving Communities funded programme, are set to take place this Thursday (28 October) at Delapré Lake, with five 50min slots starting on the hour from 10am to 2pm. 

Each of the five sessions are for complete beginners, with a maximum of three people per session. 

Jamie Cooper, Fishery Manager at Delapré Lake Angling, said: “Fishing is a great activity for relaxation and stress relief and at these taster sessions we will be introducing people, many for the first time, to angling. Being at peace with nature, with no phones or interruptions, gives you time to take stock of things and unwind. “

Sue Gallaway, one of the angling coaches, added: “Fishing is good for mental health. When you are by the water it is calming, therapeutic, and you can forget about all your worries. I’ve seen fishing transform lives, so come and join us and give it a go yourself. “

It was earlier this year that £50,000 from the Thriving Communities Fund, made possible thanks to Arts Council England, the National Academy for Social Prescribing and partners, was awarded to the Northamptonshire nature-based wellbeing programme – with the funding focused firmly on helping communities cope with the impact of COVID-19. 

These free fishing sessions are set to take place at Delapré Lake, which you access via Eagle Drive, off the A45. Book a free angling taster session here:

Following these free angling sessions, a new fishing programme is set to be developed in March 2022.

This is all part of the wider wellbeing programme, led by Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust and supported by partners General Practice Alliance Federation, Northampton Leisure Trust, Northamptonshire Sport, University of Northampton, Action for Happiness Northamptonshire, and Warts and All Theatre.

Dr David Smart, Clinical Director of General Practice Alliance and Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust trustee, explained: “This funding has enabled us to bring partners together with our local social prescribing services to develop a wellbeing programme, with a range of new activities building on those already taking place in the beautiful grounds of the Abbey. 

“The term we use is ‘green social prescribing’, which simply means supporting people to improve their health and wellbeing by engaging in nature-based activities such as walking, cycling, photography, art, community gardening and food-growing projects. Being outside in green space helps our wellbeing especially if we stop and notice what is around us.”

This programme is set to reach and improve the health of up to 3,000 people through arts, culture, and physical activities, connecting more people with nature and heritage, post-lockdown and for years to come.

In addition to the fishing taster sessions pilot activities include:

• Mindful walking events, due to take place in November (booking will be open soon).

• A programme of wellbeing workshops.

• A new signposted 3km walking route through the grounds of Delapré Abbey, designed to increase walking and improve the physical activity and wellbeing of people in the community.  

A 10-week ‘Couch to 5k’ programme, led by Northamptonshire Sport.  Coaching sessions take place every Monday at 2pm and will finish on December 6th. The aim is that participants will then be able to join the Northampton Park Run as a group the following Saturday