Peabody community programmes  - young children with watering cans

Peter Cook, 69, has lived at Darwin Court for 10 years. He joined the men’s fishing group when it started in June 2012.

"There are five of us from Darwin Court who go fishing. Carl Singh, one of Peabody’s community development workers, drives us to various fishing spots in a minibus — we wouldn’t be able to do it otherwise. I have thrombosis which means I can’t walk far. We go to Gold Valley in Aldershot or Lizard Lakes in West Drayton. 

"We meet outside the building at 5am. It doesn’t matter what the weather is, we always go. We catch carp, roach, bream, perch. We sit and chat and have a laugh – we’re all good friends. 

"I used to drive a mini cab, and then I worked in a wood yard. I enjoyed working — it got me out. I was married for 26 years but when my wife died in 1998 I was so depressed I left home and started sleeping on the streets.

"I suffer quite badly from depression but fishing lifts me up. It’s the fresh air, relaxation, friends, birdsong. When you go fishing you don’t think about anything else. You just enjoy it. I used to fish in canals and the River Lee when I lived in Hackney. Fishing is my life. If I could, I’d go fishing seven days a week."

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