A NEW fishing club has been launched by a Barrhead charity to promote positive mental health and new friendships.

Include Me 2 Club, based in the town’s Main Street, provides support to children, young people and adults with additional support needs and disabilities.

In 2019, the charity’s chairperson, Paul McIlvenny, and volunteer Ross McMaster hatched a plan to set up an accessible fishing group so that members could enjoy access to the sport or be able to try it for the first time.

Ross, 29, has always had a passion for fishing but, after suffering life-changing injuries as a result of a quad bike accident in 2013, his access to the sport was restricted.

“Getting the fishing club up and running is very important to me,” he told the Barrhead News. “I’m a keen fisherman but can’t go as much as I’d like since my accident.

“It is a great way for me and many others to improve our mental health and just enjoy the peace and tranquility of the countryside that comes with fishing.

“I thought something like a fishing club would not only benefit myself but other members of Include Me 2 Club who are struggling with their mental health.

“It’s also a great way to meet people, build friendships and try a new sport.”
Paul Devlin, owner of the Glasgow Angling Centre, has supported the charity by offering discounts worth more than £1,200.

Paul McIlvenny said: “After more than two years of planning and having secured a minibus to help transport our members to and from fishing venues, we have managed to get some amazing support from the Glasgow Angling Centre and purchased more than £2,400 worth of rods, reels and tackle.

“Fishing is such an enjoyable, relaxing pastime that creates great memories.

“Getting outdoors, trying new things and battling with a hard-fighting fish is a great way for our members to connect with their friends and the outdoors.

“We’re delighted that a conversation that happened long ago is now coming to fruition, with the jigsaw pieces coming together as access is provided to fisheries and fishing waters around East Renfrewshire and Glasgow.”

The group’s first fishing trip will take place at Carbeth Fishery, north of Glasgow, on Saturday and costs £15 for a full day.

To register, go online HERE.