A DISABLED fisherman is back out on the riverbank thanks to his carer.
Dawn Wootton, a team leader for Stratford-based Home Instead Senior Care, proved a real fisherman’s friend when she met wheelchair-bound Ron Burke.
The 73 year-old had undergone an amputation due to diabetes, which left him stuck at home rather than being able to enjoy the great outdoors like he once did.
But Dawn set about researching fishing for disabled people and sourcing free fishing equipment online. It was then she discovered a disabled fishing club and even fishing holidays.
Dawn said: “Ron told me that because he is wheelchair bound he would be unable to go fishing again and had given his equipment away.
“I like a challenge and was determined to get him back out by the water again.
“With the help of my internet-savvy daughter I sourced fishing equipment for free. I was so excited to go and collect a fishing rod and other equipment which I delivered to Ron the following day.”
And Ron says his life has been transformed since he’s been able to get back out on the water, although it hasn’t all been plain sailing.
He said: “Dawn really is a fisherman’s friend and her efforts have made a real difference to my life.
“Soon after she got me kitted out I obtained my fishing licence and am now out fishing on the Avon on a regular basis.
“I had a few practice journeys to test getting to the river bank in my wheelchair. I did become stuck in the mud once and had to be rescued by a friend, but it was worth it as I’m enjoying my fishing so much.
“I have now even purchased more equipment and I know that Dawn is also on the lookout for other bits for me. I have even purchased a table top fridge in which to store my maggots, she is not so keen on looking in that.”