Fishing for Life

729. Gillian Payne (Dulverton)

Gillian Payne, from Dulverton, has set up an innovative organisation that helps women with breast cancer.

Gillian founded ‘South West Fishing for Life’ in 2009 to help people recovering from or living with breast cancer. People with breast cancer have reported that fly fishing can help by strengthening arm muscle tissue damaged by the cancer, whilst providing a relaxed environment in which they can socialise with those experiencing similar challenges.

The charity now runs sessions in eight locations, supporting eighty people across the UK every month and helping them when they are at their lowest point.

In a personal letter to Gillian, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“‘South West Fishing for Life’ is an innovative way of supporting those who are living with or recovering from breast cancer. As well as aiding the physical recovery process, you are bringing together people who are experiencing similar challenges to socialise in a relaxing environment.”

Ian Liddell-Grainger, MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset, said:
“Breast cancer is a truly devastating form of the disease which in so many cases is as difficult to cope with emotionally as physically. I applaud initiatives like that set up by Gillian Payne which are designed specifically to help them through a particularly difficult time in their lives. I offer my warmest congratulations to Gillian on this latest achievement.”

Gillian said:

“I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of South West Fishing For Life. The monthly meetings help the members to learn a new hobby, build new friendships, move on with their lives and have fun! Thank you Prime Minister for your support.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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