Catch a Smile is a Gloucestershire based not for profit CIC company created by husband-and-wife team Danny & Caroline Keene.
The couple established the project to create an easily accessible community where people with physical and mental disabilities can enjoy fishing.
It has now evolved to become an environment for all ages and abilities, especially welcoming people with disabilities with a view to contributing to a more inclusive community. In addition to fishing, visitors can now also enjoy the “petting corner” (including numerous rare breeds), sensory garden, football, golf, wildlife and animal education area as well as on-site café.
Securing Planning Permission for the Original Lake Facility
From the very beginning, it was evident that Danny and Caroline's vision for the site had the potential to bring about significant public benefits for everyone regardless of their abilities. Their project had a clear focus on improving leisure facilities for disabled people.
Hearing Danny and Caroline’s vision, we offered to provide our planning services initially at cost and then on a pro-bono basis to support this charity. We wanted to make an important contribution towards such a positive charity. The planning team here at Evans Jones played an integral part in obtaining the necessary planning permission for the fishing lake and other associated facilities and activities.
Collaborating with Charles England from Rappor and Fox Rural Land Management, we were able to ensure that all legal and environmental requirements were met within the designated time and expenses remained within budget.
Catch a Smile continues to evolve into a source of aid for multiple charitable organisations located in Gloucestershire. The organisation provides opportunities for outdoor activities to people in difficult situations such as children with disabilities, disadvantaged youths, and people with mental health conditions. By immersing users in nature and teaching them how to fish, the site creates opportunities for all in an inclusive environment .
Ongoing Pro Bono Support: The Essential Rural Workers Dwelling
In order to ensure the long-term success and viability of the Catch a Smile project, we have taken steps to secure additional planning permission. Specifically, securing planning permission for an onsite dwelling to allow for the effective management of the site together with glamping pods for overnight guest accommodation .
These additions serve an essential purpose, as they provide a living and working space for staff members, allowing them to support the expansion of community facilities. These measures demonstrate our commitment to community and continued Pro-bono support to the Catch a Smile project.
Thanks to Rappor, and Fox Rural Land Management, this charity fishing lake has become a beacon of hope and support for Gloucestershire-based charities. Through our combined efforts, we are proud to have helped facilitate a truly inclusive facility which is of great benefit to the local community.
Catch a Smile serves as a reminder that, even in challenging times, kindness, and generosity can make a profound difference in the lives of others.
About Evans Jones:
Evans Jones is a property consultancy, with offices in Cheltenham, Reading and London which has been in practice for over 50 years. Evans Jones provides professional consultancy services to the commercial sector in the areas of Town Planning, Construction, Building Consultancy, Disabled Access (Equality Act) and legal obligations associated with construction and development.