A charity that helps wounded former serviceman by engaging them with carp fishing is on the march – with Royal backing.

Two-year-old charity Forces CARP has additional new programmes for 2017 thanks to a grant obtained by a fund set up by the Princes William and Harry, and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Armed forces veterans can use the sport to assist in their personal recovery from both mental and physical injuries and illness.

And thanks to the money from the Endeavour Fund, they can now move on to a further stage of the programme by obtaining training and work experience opportunities.

Founder of the charity Simon Bangert, himself a wounded ex serviceman, explained: “We are really thrilled to have obtained this extra funding and hope it will help to improve the lives of more damaged service personnel.

“We have managed to assist at least 50 people in our first two years and hope this money will raise our total to 100 by the end of the year.

“The first part of the existing programme is an introductory session to carp fishing, some of the participants being new to the sport, others former anglers; and the second phase is a mentoring programme where we assist and individuals with taking their carp fishing further.

“But as from April, thanks to the new funding, we will be rolling out two new programmes that will complement the initial two phases. The first is a training element where we will try to get some individuals on to the Angling Trust level 1 coaching qualification.

“This will allow individuals to go back to their communities and get involved with their local angling clubs and broaden their social and personal networks which can be key in someone’s well-being.”

Work placement for veterans

“The second is a work placement programme that offers huge benefits to WIS veterans whose recovery can be enhanced by this experience of the workplace.

“For those where a placement will aid their progress we have on-board some excellent companies that will provide great experiences for those who undertake the programme.

“It’s exciting times ahead for us, and although the numbers we can help are relatively small, the programme will be of enormous benefit to those we can help.

“The general public seems to believe that there is a lot done for wounded ex-service people but it happened to me 13 years ago and I can assure you that every day since has been a struggle with only limited support available, and many feel we are left to rot.

“It is only since I set up the charity that I have been able to move forward personally, and I hope this extended programme can help others on the path to living more rewarding and constructive lives,” he added.

Forces CARP runs four introductory fishing days and in July they will be repeating last year’s hugely successful seven day fishing trip to Lac Baleine, France. They will also be delivering a programme for patients at Headley Court, the Defence Rehabilitation Centre in September.

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