Casting many smiles and sharing the fun of fishing with Essex Freemasons

Volunteers show people with special needs how fishing can be so much fun and helps with life

Members of the Masonic Trout and Salmon Fishing Club, the Masonic Fishing Charity, held their second event this year at Chigborough Lakes, Heybridge, Essex on 3rd October 2023. These events not only show that fishing can be fun but they also give disadvantaged people with special needs an interactive experience in the countryside to help improve confidence, meet new challenges and achieve tangible results to take away. 

Accompanied by their carers, each of the 17 participants received one-to-one tuition and after casting many smiles, as well as enjoying all the fun of a day’s fishing, they were all awarded a wooden-framed Certificate of Achievement ‘For Fishing Ability’ a medal and a goody bag as a memento of a pleasurable day.  

The event was kindly sponsored by North Essex Masters’ Lodge No 9831, which meets at the St Giles Masonic Centre in Colchester, and is one of nearly 300 Masonic Lodges which meet at 26 centres across Essex. As well as volunteering a lot of their time to help good causes throughout the county, around 7,500 Essex Freemasons regularly donate over £1 million each year towards local community initiatives and charities.

Vic Crowhurst, Chairman of the MTSFC (Essex) and the event organiser said “We had a fabulous day with some good tutoring.  Everyone had a great time including our volunteers, who enjoy giving something back to the community and having some fun on the way.”  Volunteer fishermen do not have to be Freemasons and ladies are especially welcome.

There is a really interesting video all about being a volunteer at these events on the Charity’s national website at MTSFC - Join In. Well worth watching if you can spare just one or two days a year to help the disabled and disadvantaged to ‘Catch the Smile’.


Top: Group photo of participants with their awards, carers and MTSFC volunteers

Middle: Their lines are cast and the fun begins