Forces for Fishing supported by Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust grant
25 November 2023
1 min read
Walking With The Wounded would like to thank the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust (AFCFT) for their recent grant of £15,000 to support our ‘Forces for Fishing’ project in Scotland which is part of our Op CONNECT programme.
Op CONNECT offers dedicated social activities for veterans with the aim of improving their mental health and well-being. It provides regular opportunities for veterans to connect socially with others in their community, to bond over shared experiences, and to take part in fun and engaging activities.
As part of Op CONNECT, we offer Wellness Walks, Veterans Mess and Social Hub and Fishing. All activities are led by a dedicated coordinator who is a former member of the Armed Forces. He has had firsthand experience of many of the issues that veterans face and where appropriate can make referrals into other WWTW services.
Interaction with nature can have a positive effect on mental health and a clinical study by the University of UTAH and Maine found that only three days of fly fishing reduced the impact of PTSD by 29%. The study in 2009 by a team of researchers found that combat veterans had significant reductions in stress and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and improvements in sleep quality after taking part in fly fishing. Fishing can help to build resilience against ill health through opportunities for relaxation, relief from stress, improved physical activity and access to nature.
In Scotland, veterans often must undertake a short hike to wherever they are fishing. They benefit from the physical exercise as well as being with other veterans, out in the countryside. Data from surveys commissioned by the medical profession state that angling ‘actively promotes and encourages socialisation, social inclusion and social interaction’. It also ‘strongly promotes health in many ways from mental health to physical health and well-being it is also a powerful recovery aid that benefits patients.’
Thank you again to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust for supporting us with grants so that we can continue to providing valuable activities to veterans.
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