Angling for your vote – Stevenage MP takes part in 24-hour fishathon to support autism charity

Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland wasn't towing the party line when he took part in a 24-hour charity

Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland wasn't towing the party line when he took part in a 24-hour charity fishathon for autism. - Credit: Archant

After landing a hefty majority to win his third term as MP for Stevenage at the last general election, it seems the town’s MP Stephen McPartland has become hooked on fishing.

The Tory MP who took the seat with a 3,384 majority at the June 8 election, joined some friends to take part in a 24-hour ‘fishathon’ to raise money and awareness for autism.

The event at Fairlands Valley Park was organised by Mark Clifford-Smith and some of his fisherman friends.

They have set up a charity called Carping4Charity and this year have raised more than £450 for The National Autistic Society.

Mark who is chair of the charity, said: “This year’s charity is close to my heart due to one of my nieces having autism and my nephew awaiting to be diagnosed.

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“Also one of our young fishermen is autistic, and since doing these events we have helped him a lot with his social skills, with being more independent, and to find himself something that he can focus on – now he fishes all the time.

“I know first hand at how hard it can be for some families, the struggles they deal with, what they have to go through on a daily basis and not to have anyone to turn to for help when needed.

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“We hope the money raised will help improve a family’s life and make things that bit easier for them.”

Mr McPartland said: “I am always delighted to support local events and proud of how many people get involved to help others in our community. Mark and his friends are making a big difference by raising money but, most importantly, the understanding of autism.”

The friends are already planning a similar event for next year, in aid of the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance.

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