Youngsters Hooked By Angling Support

Aspire Housing hooked the interest of youngsters in the Knutton area by turning their attention to the ancient art of angling.

pm trainee with anglerThe housing association organised a challenge match for more than a dozen ‘teens and twenties’ who had been bitten by the fishing bug but had nowhere to practise their skills.

Staff and apprentices from Aspire and its training arm, PM Training, organised an educational event at Cudmore Fishery, Whitmore last month, providing support and advice to the young anglers about expanding their hobby.

Apprentice Steve Hughes, from Knutton, who joined PM Training two years ago, helped with the initiative by securing the location and engaging other local youngsters.

The initiative was backed by the Realise Foundation, Aspire’s own charitable organisation, and won the support of Staffordshire police.

Will Nixon, director of regeneration at Aspire Housing, said: “We wanted to engage with this group of youths from what is a deprived area of the town, and to help enhance their life skills.

“We know fishing is a real attraction in the area and decided to organise this competition – providing rod licences and some equipment for those that needed it – in order to engage them in a positive way.”

Mr Nixon, who is also chief executive of PM Training and a trustee of the Realise Foundation, added: “By engaging with these young people we also helped to raise the profile of PM Training with potential future trainees. We hope that these young people and others in their communities will consider the opportunities they could take with PM Training.”

PM Training, a social enterprise that tackles worklessness among young people, has provided training and work placements for 10,000 people since it was established in 1982.

It boasts the largest Entry to Employment contract in Staffordshire giving youngsters a balance of real life work tasters and a support programme that also offers sports and leisure activities, job search skills and CV writing.