Get hooked on fishing

Darren McGlen, Project Manager
07940 251059


Darren McGlen form GHOF Wansbeck The GHOF Easington project, part-funded by the Environment Agency, was started in November 2008 by Darren McGlen, a passionate sea angler who won the North East Sea Fishing Winter League in both 2005 and 2007.

The Easington Project:


The Easington Get Hooked on Fishing Project concentrates mainly on sea angling although an environmental programme which takes people rock pooling and performing beach cleans has recently been introduced to help the young people understand the impact they can have on the habitat by littering.

The Easington Project provides taster days, peer-mentor and environmental programmes to schools, Easington Disability Forum and the Ports Development Authortiy. McCorley, aged 10, is Darren’s youngest ever peer mentor and was a great help during the summer holidays. McCorley is pictured (above) helping out.

This is the second project set up by Darren McGlen (pictured top right) following the success of the Wansbeck Project which has now been in operation since April 2007.



Get Hooked on Fishing is very open to people wishing to gain further Youth Work experience or angling knowledge by way of volunteering. Anyone wishing to do so can contact Darren directly for further information.

Key Partners

GHOF Wansbeck works closely with the following partners.

  • Environment Agency
  • Positive Futures
  • Youth Offending Team
  • Various Schools and Community Centres
  • Durham County Council
  • Groundwork
  • Coastal Rangers
  • Angling Trust
  • Local Angling Clubs

Recent Events:

Working with Repeat Offenders

As our work with adult repeat offenders involves working with DISC (Developing Initiatives Supporting Communities), we were a little held up for a few months as they were going through a major reshuffle.  DISC weren't allowing any staff to do much work and therefore we had to put the project on hold a little bit but were confident this would start up again soon, which I'm please to inform you it has. I have now worked with 19 adult repeat offenders and 9 young offenders (we still have the final part of our second project to start in the next couple of months which is with the next round of young people).

Nice Pollack. Nice Pollack

The project is being very well received by both parties and although the young people are enjoying the project, it seems to be the adult offenders who are are the most enthusiastic to not only get involved in this project but are wanting to participate with Get Hooked on Fishing on a more long term basis.  This will enable them to work with a lot more young people than I had initially envisaged. Quotes I am receiving from the adults include:-

Class Based Learning

"I've taken so much from the community I think it's about time I gave something back."

"I think its a great idea we can use our bad choices and help the young'uns make better ones."

"I really need to sort myself out quick coz this is something I've always wanted to do."

"I totally see where they're coming from when they tell me about their past life and I don't want to go down the same road. It has made me realise what could happen if I don't change."


As well as learning a new activity which will keep them occupied rather than living the life of crime they have lived for some time now, it seems the project is making both the adults and young people realise there is more to life than what they have experienced so far. Hopefully this will have an impact on more people as we continue to run this project during the summer.

Modules and taster days are delivered regularly, whether requested during the week, at weekends or on an evening. Anyone wishing to participate in Get Hooked on Fishing can contact Darren by either email or telephone.

GHOF Easington - Latest News

Get Hooked on Fishing Easington have managed to acquire funding to get together local people and establish an angling club to be based at Herrington Country Park.  This project, however, involves a lot more than creating an angling club.  The goal is to raise environmental awareness to the people of Herrington and in the process try and clean up the lake and surrounding area to ensure the club will be run from a healthy environment and continue to stay that way.

The club will contain both an adult section (18yrs and over) and a junior section (under 18s).  Darren held a couple of meetings in November, discussing what would be involved and also identifying committee members, volunteers and participants to get involved.  This funding was received from the Local Environmental Action Fund via the Community Foundation.


GHOF National Champs - Connor Catches first Carp!

The fishing trip was an amazing experience. It was a great opportunity to learn so much that I

would never have been able to without being at the Glebe with Get Hooked On Fishing. I learned fishing techniques which I was completely unfamiliar with beforehand, techniques which I will take with me in future fishing. There were so many people that were able to assist me, that were able to guide me through what was my personal highlight of the whole experience - catching my first ever carp.

I had the chance to experience the various aspects of match fishing which, again, I would never have otherwise had the opportunity to do so. For my first ever time competing in match fishing, I am very proud of my 17th place out of 33 competitors, something which I believe is quite a testament to how knowledgeable the coaches were. I certainly wasn't expecting to perform even remotely as well as I did, and without the teaching of the coaches, it wouldn't have been possible.

It is hard to express in words how much I have taken away from this experience, but it was fantastic and I am eternally grateful for the opportunity given to me.



Get Hooked in Strawberry Fields

Strawberry Fields Stocking

Get Hooked on Fishing Easington have now acquired the use of a small lake in Strawberry Fields working in conjunction with Sharpley Springs. The main focus of the lake is to work with local young people from disadvantaged communities. The aim is to have a young people’s angling club which is both developed and ran by them, whilst also trying to constantly boost members. As well as this, the lake will be used as a training centre for many other groups of young people concentrating on various kinds of teaching work including both accredited and none-accredited courses. This project is highly sponsored by the Environment Agency and you can see in the picture (above) the stocking of the lake where a mixed bag of 4,000 fish were put in by them.

Strawberry Fields Fishery

The lake is a very picturesque and secluded site (see left) which will be enjoyed for years to come by many local people whilst also enticing people from outside the area to come and experience the fishing here.

As Get Hooked on Fishing have proved in the many years it has been operating, angling can be used as a fantastic diversionary tactic from crime and anti-social behaviour and this setting is the perfect haven to deliver this kind of work from. As well as peer mentor work, structured angling courses and curriculum based teachings, Get Hooked on Fishing concentrate a lot of the work we do around conservation and environmental issues.

We have a lot of work planned for this site which includes developing the site for disabled anglers to be able to access the fishing, rebuild the pegs to enable safe and comfortable fishing and also to build pathways from the car park to the lake and around it’s circumference. We plan on getting the young people involved in a lot of this work as it would give them great satisfaction for them to feel they had a part in creating what we hope to be an amazing fishery.

Help with Strawberry Fields Stocking

As a national charity, Get Hooked on Fishing depend on donations and voluntary work and so far the local community have proven what an asset they are (see right). We hope to gain more materials and work through donations and volunteer time, as well as fundraising, to ensure this fishery is created and fit for purpose as soon as possible. We hope to promote all of the people who have been involved in the project in various articles and promotional information we about the site.

Anyone wishing to get involved with the project, whether that be volunteer work, donations or young people wanting to be part of the project can contact Darren McGlen, Project Manager on the below details.

Darren McGlen
Project Manager
Get Hooked on Fishing
Tel: 07940251059


Strawberry Fields Lake is based in Seaton, Seaham along the B1404 situated right next to Massive Attack Paintball.

Easington Colliery Welfare Angling Club Open Day

Easington Colliery Welfare Angling Club Open Day

GHOF participated in a Fun Day aimed at young people organised with Easington Colliery Welfare, Easington Colliery Angling Club, The Environment Agency, Angling Trust, Coastal Rangers, local angling shops, Groundwork and Easington Council to promote Easington Sea Angling Club. The aim was to boost membership, support the newly formed young people’s club and raise awareness of the three angling disciplines. Over 200 people attended and the day was judged a great success.

GHOF gave casting instruction and other activities included environmental awareness and rock pool habitat. There were raffle prizes worth hundreds of pounds, giveaways, a sustainable fish cookery demonstration with tasters (mackerel, whiting and flatfish) and face-painting.

If you would like to talk to Get Hooked on Fishing about setting up and running your own project, please complete our contact form by CLICKING HERE arrow

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