HAVING hooked a big one, Worcester Angling Academy is helping tutor and train unemployed and economically inactive people aged 19 plus, thanks to a European Social Funding grant of £11,820 received from the Worcestershire Community Foundation.

Founder of the academy Mark Eacock is one of the tutors/assessors working with local students.

“We run accredited courses for all ages to help them learn and grow through the life skills that angling teaches,” he said.

“There are many transferable key skills to be gained from the courses as well as giving an accredited qualification to put on their CV to help in employment.

“Over the years, we have found time and time again that the skills used in angling can be useful in the workplace, for example, planning and preparation, patience, team building, presentation skills, problem solving, concentration, attention to detail and focus.”

As part of the academy’s work, all ages and abilities can play an important role as volunteers, either at one of the academy’s many events, or through one of many volunteer bureaux across the county, giving them experience and skills which they can also use on their CV to help gain employment, or be used as part of further or additional education or training.

“Effectively, Mark is helping turn a pastime into a profession,” said Jackie Howorth of the Worcestershire Community Foundation.

“Their courses cover all sorts of invaluable skills sets, from young leaders (ages eight to 13), sports leadership (ages 14 plus), community sports leaders (16 plus), and even first aid.”

In addition, the Worcester Angling Academy is using the ESF grant to set up 24 hubs in and around Worcestershire, together allowing some 288 people aged over 19 to access one-to-one contact.

To find out more visit worcestershirecommunityfoundation.org.uk.