Comedian Paul Whitehouse Joins Veterans at Charity Fishing Retreat

Paul Whitehouse, star of the BBC show ‘Gone Fishing’, has joined a team of ex-military personnel on a fishing respite break at the River Farm Carp Fishery in Hampshire.

The Fast Show comedian is a keen fisherman who believes that fishing provides the best therapy in the world. His trip coincides with the NHS prescribing angling to people suffering from depression for the first time. Under the new initiative, GPs, occupational therapists, psychiatrists and psychologists in all health institutions can prescribe fishing as an alternative to anxiety medications.

Paul joined the military veterans to talk with them about angling at the Not Forgotten event run by the British Armed Forces charity that supports serving and ex-military personnel.

Paul Whitehouse commented: “It was an absolute joy to meet all the guys and see just how much pleasure fishing can bring to people, especially when they have had to deal with a lot more than most of us. Mind you, they haven’t caught very much yet – they are as bad as Bob!”

Brigadier James Stopford CBE, CEO of the Not Forgotten, added: “This is the first respite trip we have organised for our beneficiaries this year following lockdown and is just one of many we have programmed over the months ahead.

“We are especially pleased this event is taking place as the participants have formed great friendships as a result of meeting on various Not Forgotten events in the past, and this is the first time they will come together as one group.

“These therapeutic fishing trips are all about comradeship and support and are important in helping to ensure veterans do not feel ‘forgotten’. They provide an opportunity for our veterans to have a bit of fun and respite, regain some balance and share experiences in the company of like-minded individuals.

“We find these trips have a significant positive effect on the individual’s health and wellbeing, improving their self-esteem and dignity. It is a fantastic opportunity for them to feel connected again after the isolation of 2020, and it is a great privilege for us to help lift their spirits and rekindle their confidence.”

The Not Forgotten provides a wide range of social activities and challenge holidays, to those injured in the service of their country and the carp fishing respite break is just one of the events the charity organises throughout the year. Find out more about the charity at their website.