Success for fishing event aimed at reducing ASB in Maidstone
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Teenagers took part in a fishing competition last weekend as part of a project to reduce anti-social behaviour in Maidstone.
The PCSO-led initiative saw Kent Police team up with the Kent County Council (KCC) youth hub and local businesses following concerns by residents around the use of a lake next to Mallards Way, Downswood.
The project, called Fish Fest, aimed to provide an angling experience for local young people and was arranged by PCSO Kirsty Greaves of the Maidstone Community Safety Unit.
Nine local teenagers accepted the invitation to take part in the experience, which was fully funded by Golding Homes Housing Association.
Prior to the event, the boys attended two educational sessions held at InfoZone in the Maidstone Youth Hub, which also provided bait for the practical days.
On successful completion of the classes, the children took part in a fishing event at Monks Lakes, Staplehurst, on Saturday 28 October and Sunday 29 October 2023.
The event was well-attended by those involved in planning, including PCSO Greaves and the Maidstone Community Safety Unit.
Cast A Thought, which provides fishing activities as a tool to support mental health, assisted in the running of the weekend’s activities, coaching the boys, and loaning them the relevant equipment.
On Sunday 29 October, the children competed for three prizes, generously donated by local businesses, Ashford Angling Direct and Maidstone Angling Shop, which included vouchers to spend on fishing equipment.
PCSO Greaves said:
‘Fish Fest was a success, providing a focussed learning opportunity for young people in the Downswood area. We initially anticipated the attendance of six children but were pleased when more turned up. ‘Speaking to the group, it is evident they now feel better equipped to pursue this hobby both safely and legally.‘I am extremely grateful to local services and businesses for their efforts and generosity and look forward to coordinating future events.'