About us

Helping the community one fish at a time

What is the Angling and Mental Health Initiative?

The Angling and Mental Health Initiative CIC is a community interest company dedicated to harnessing the therapeutic benefits of angling to enhance mental health and wellbeing within the community. We operate at the intersection of recreational fishing, mental health awareness, and community development, aiming to create a positive impact on individuals and communities.

 

Through our various projects/brands, including the “Let’s Go Fishing!” open day events, the Clubmate hub, and the Angling Development Club, we aim to foster strong community connections, provide skill-building opportunities, and address mental health challenges. Our mission is rooted in the belief that the combination of angling and mental health initiatives can contribute to building resilient, healthier, and more connected communities. Furthermore, we provide the sport of fishing with facilities to nourish the grassroots pathway and encourage angling education with enhanced training courses.

Mission:

Our mission is to provide a holistic approach to mental wellbeing by offering programs that combine the transformative experience of angling with mental health initiatives. We strive to create a nurturing and inclusive environment where individuals, especially young people, can develop life skills, resilience, and a sense of community through their engagement with the sport of fishing. We remain focused on maintaining our solid and exclusive sponsorship with Bodle Angling, remaining a key integral piece within the local angling community and strengthening our affiliation with branding companies within the angling industry.

Vision:

We envision a society where the calming and immersive nature of angling is recognised as a powerful tool for mental wellness. It should also recognise the interconnectedness of mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing, with angling playing a vital role in promoting holistic therapy solutions. Our vision includes fostering strong community connections, empowering individuals to reach their potential, and promoting the overall wellbeing of diverse communities through outdoor activities. We also envisage the creation of a grassroots pathway into the sport of fishing, with opportunities for advancing skillsets and providing developmental access to new anglers.

Ultimately, our aim is to create a lasting impact on individuals and communities, using angling as a vehicle for positive mental health, personal development, and the creation of supportive, connected, and thriving communities. 

A founders story

“It really is great to see how much more evolved we are as a community, how we are more accepting as a society with mental health needs.  I lost a few friends to mental health issues and lost more friends from not dealing with my own.  

Fishing was an old pastime, one that always gave me peace, allowed me to turn off and chill out.  My life changed a little when I turned 18, my mental health was at an all time low and I changed into someone who I look back on and do not know, I experienced a lot but at the same time, too much.  Roll on to my late 30’s and things changed, a loving fiancée and a father to 2 young boys, my life had changed and so had I. 

The idea for this project (AMHI) started during the Covid-19 lockdown, I saw the frustration and stresses it was causing my children and people around me.  This was an opportunity for me to teach my children the art of fishing.  After a few fish they were hooked, at the same time I saw the benefit it was having to myself as well.  We joined a few local clubs and societies, until we eventually joined Haywards Heath & District Angling Society (HHDAS). After a few months, they suggested I get more involved.  This started out as a base project to get the junior club back up and running, but ended up building something very special! and here we are now, from an idea in 2021 to what AMHI is doing now for the local community. I have been supported throughout the whole project from the start by the team at HHDAS, the Angling Trust and Bodle Angling….I am blessed to be in such a position”

Ben Harragan

 

Our work is all about the community

The Faces Behind Our Success

Meet our amazing team of licensed coaches and volunteers

The Faces Behind our Success

We Couldn’t Do It Without Them

AMHI Directors

Ben Harragan

Level 2 Angling Trust Coach
Founder/Director - AMHI

Harry Sandercock

Level 2 Angling Trust Coach
Director - AMHI

Ian Holmes

Director - AMHI

Volunteer Coaching Team

Lewis 'Roly' Smith

Level 1 Angling Trust Coach

Darren Chilcott

Level 1 Angling Trust Coach

Nigel Jackson

Level 2 Angling Trust Coach

John Warrener

Volunteer Coach

Simon Judd

Volunteer Coach

Norman Cragg

Volunteer Coach

Neil Vine

Volunteer Coach

Dan Ford

Volunteer Coach

Ollie Lashmar

Volunteer Coach

Peter Davenport

Volunteer Coach

Oli Pocock

Volunteer Coach

Lorna King

Volunteer Coach

Paul Vent

Volunteer Coach

Joanne Barlow

Level 2 Angling Trust Coach

Sophie Costello

Volunteer Coach

Ed Parker

Volunteer Coach

Harry Koniotes

Volunteer Coach

Junior Assistant Coaching Team

Joshua Davenport

Noah Harragan

Riley Harragan

Ben Hicks-Prowse