The Not Forgotten, a British Armed Forces charity for serving and ex-military personnel, recently hosted a carp fishing respite holiday for five former servicemen at Woodlay Fishing Lakes in Herdodsfoot, Liskeard.
The peaceful and picturesque lakes provided the perfect backdrop for the three-day fishing event and an opportunity for the veterans, many of whom are suffering from PTSD to relax, share their experiences, form new friendships and bond over some healthy competitive fishing in a safe environment.
The Not Forgotten is based on the principles of providing entertainment and recreation including social activities and challenge holidays, to those injured in the service of their country and the carp fishing event in Cornwall is just one of the popular events the charity organises throughout the year.
Veterans from the Army and the Royal Marines who served in conflicts including the Falklands and Afghanistan spent the days fishing and the evenings socialising, with some healthy competitive banter and a story or two about the days catch.
The St Austell Brewery kindly donated some cases of their Tribute Ale to help with the socialising!
Rosie Thompson Head of Events, The Not Forgotten accompanied the men and gave up her position as reigning carp fishing champion to Falklands veteran Tom Richardson who won the trophy – catching the heaviest fish of the competition which weighed-in at 10lbs 2oz.
Rosie tells us:
“These therapeutic fishing trips are all about comradeship and support and are really important in helping to ensure veterans don’t feel ‘forgotten’. All the men said they felt more confident following the trip and felt it really helped with their wellbeing. It was a fantastic opportunity for them to feel connected again after being in lockdown for so long.
“This was our first respite trip following the lockdown and we hope to be doing more over the months ahead.”