Mentoring children and young people in
foster care through fly fishing.
We are a children's charity that aims to enhance the lives of young people in foster care through mentorship in the sport of fly fishing. Our mission is to support children in care through fly fishing, providing opportunities for them to have fun, build self-esteem, learn new skills and develop a meaningful connection with the natural world.
THE VALUE OF THE MAYFLY PROJECT UK FOR CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE
How can fly fishing improve the life of a child in foster care? A quote from a caseworker from a project outing answers this question…
“I couldn’t believe the change in behaviour and spirit prior to our outing with TMP and then post outing — it was night and day. The children came feeling nervous and struggling to stay positive, and then once they started participating in the project their behaviour and attitude changed. Seeing the children smiling, feeling good about their accomplishments and themselves, enjoying time in nature and excited about life, was worth more than we could have ever expected.”
The Mayfly Project UK is committed to our 1:1 mentor ratio when working with children in foster care because we know they value this time with their mentor and it’s the most efficient way to teach fly fishing. The memories made by celebrating successes, working through wind knots together and giving high fives after releasing a fish, all surmount to essential experiences for our mentees.
During each project outing the children we mentor participate in our Conservation Initiative. We teach the three C’s: Catch and Release, Clean Rivers and Contamination. Our mentees join in a cycle of healing by taking care of the waters we are privileged to experience and the fish we are honoured to catch and release.
Our projects are structured to mentor a foster child through five sessions we call “stages”, just like the life cycle of a mayfly. Within these stages, the children learn line management, casting techniques, knot tying, some etymology, river safety, mending tactics, hook setting, catch and release tactics, and the value of conservation. At the end of the five stages the child is gifted their own gear to continue to pursue fly fishing.
“Everyone needs an escape. For me, my escape is fly fishing. During some of the most trying times of my adult life I have used a fly rod as a coping mechanism. The river is a place where I can immerse myself in God's creation and forget about everything but mending.”
– Jess Westbrook, TMP Founder
HOW you can help
There are many ways that you can help us reach more children and young people in foster care. Whether you join as a mentor or volunteer, donate money or gear, become a partner, host a fundraiser or simply help us spread the word on social media and within the foster care community every little bit will help us as we develop The Mayfly Project UK programme nationally.