MPT Steps boosts confidence of job seekers through fishing sessions

Onward Homes 1st Call service is providing free fishing sessions to job seekers in Hyndburn to help them boost their confidence and skills relating to gaining employment.

The new “Get Fishing For Wellbeing” sessions are being run as part of MPT Steps, a project aimed at helping unemployed people in Lancashire find and sustain employment.

MPT Steps is delivered by 20 partners across the county, with the partnership managed by Active Lancashire and funding provided by the European Social Fund. It was set up to combat rising unemployment caused by the pandemic.

The fishing sessions take place at Devine Fishery in Accrington and Kearns Allens in Baxenden. They provide participants with the opportunity to learn new skills, build new relationships and work together with others. By offering an enjoyable and relaxed environment, 1st Call hope to help job seekers overcome any anxieties or insecurities they may have about returning to work.

Clare McKenna, an MPT Steps mentor at 1st Call, Onward said, “At the heart of this project is an ambition to support the residents of Lancashire and help improve their overall health and wellbeing.

"We understand that finding employment can be a daunting prospect, especially for those who have been out of work for some time. We believe that by providing enjoyable and engaging health and wellbeing activities such as fishing, we can help job seekers build their confidence and develop the skills they need to succeed in the workplace.

"The support the MPT Steps programme and 1st Call offer is open to Onward and non-Onward tenants and is tailored to the individual’s needs to make sure we have the maximum positive impact. If you need support, please get in touch with us.”

Local resident Gareth has frequently attended the fishing sessions and now works as a lead volunteer on the project. Gareth said, “The fishing project has provided me with a unique opportunity to learn new skills while enjoying the great outdoors and meeting new people.

"Not only did I bring my extensive knowledge of fishing to the group I have also learnt more with the help of the group and had the chance of passing my knowledge on around fishing, but the experience has given me a newfound confidence that I can take with me into the workplace and beyond."

The fishing sessions are just one of the many services that Onward’s 1st Call service provides to help individuals improve their employability through MPT Steps, which also include interview skills training, support with CVs and bespoke training delivered with local businesses to provide people with the skills they need for vacancies. Other free wellbeing sessions run by 1st Call as part of MPT Steps also include gardening projects, couch to 5k running sessions, yoga and cycling.

Sarah Dunne, Relationship Manager at Active Lancashire, said, “MPT Steps delivery partners across the county run all manner of other wellbeing activities, including free outdoor activities, crafts and multi-sports sessions. Wherever you live in the county, there is bound to be something for you in your area.”

Funding for the sessions was provided by Active Lancashire through the Together Fund, which they deliver on behalf of Sport England, alongside funding from the angling association Get Fishing.

Jill Stazicker MPT Steps team leader at Onward, said "We are also grateful for all of the support received from Devine Fisheries, Hyndburn and Blackburn Angling Association and The Angling Trust. Their help has made this initiaitve possible."

The fishing sessions are open to anyone who registers with MPT Steps through 1st Call and no previous fishing experience is required. Please contact Onward’s 1st Call service for more information and to book your place by emailing [email protected] or calling 01254 238533.

Active Partnerships
Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership
Funded by UK Government Levelling Up