Come Sailing With Us

Come Sailing With Us


imageThe Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is a national organisation that gives young people between the ages of 8-24 who are in recovery from cancer the opportunity to take part in the new and fantastic experience of sailing.  The majority of our young people who sail for the first time have finished treatment and are in the very difficult process of trying to put their lives back together.  These young people are recruited by our contact (usually a nurse or Clic Sargent social worker) at the hospital or group we work with, as they are more involved with the young people and are more aware of who would benefit the most from the trip.  Those aged 8-17 can continue to sail with the Trust every year up until their 18th birthday, and we try and invite those aged 18-24 to return to sail at least once.  After this, many will continue sailing with the Trust as Volunteers by going through our Graduate Volunteer programme.

The Trust was launched by the internationally-renowned sailor Ellen MacArthur on 2nd January 2003. In Ellen’s words:

“These are really special kids. In many ways they are just the same as everyone else, they are interested in the same things as kids their age, they have the same goals in life, but the difference is that they do this with a huge challenge ahead of them.

I face challenges out on the water, but these are challenges that I choose to do. They on the other hand don’t have this luxury. They battle against something harder than many of us could ever imagine and they do it with the biggest smiles on their faces. To me they are truly inspirational and if the Trust can help them in their battle in any way then that is a fantastic achievement.”

imageWe now work with every young person Principal Treatment Centre in the UK.  These Pricipal Treatment Centres deal with around 95% of young people being treated for cancer in the UK, so working with these key hospitals gives us the greatest opportunity to allow young people to find out and sign up for our sailing trips.  Over the last couple of years we have also started working with a growing number of Designated Hospitals and Shared Care Units.




Hospitals and Groups we work with:

Great Ormond Street, London (GOS)

Southampton General Hospital

University College Hospitals London (UCLH)

Guy's Hospital, London

St George's Hospital, London

Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford

Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children, Belfast (NICFC)

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Royal Leicester Infirmary

Bristol Royal Hospital for Children

Bristol Haematology & Oncology Centre

The Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton

Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge

Birmingham Childrens Hospital

Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham

Cardiff Children's Hospital

University Hospital Wales, Cardiff

St James Hospital, Leeds

Leeds General Infirmary

Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital

The Christie Hospital, Manchester

Sheffield Children’s Hospital

Weston Park Hospital, Sheffield

Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield

John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool

Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology, Liverpool

Great North Children's Hospital at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle

Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital

Derriford Hospital, Plymouth

Royal Hospital for Sick Children (Yorkhill), Glasgow

The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, Glasgow

Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh

Western General Hospital, Edinburgh

Ninewells Hospital, Dundee

Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary

Raigmore Hospital, Inverness

In 2013 we launched a 3 year plan to double the amount of young people in recovery from cancer that we work with from 6% in 2013 to 14.2% by 2016, whilst ensuring that the quality of our work remains at a high standard and every young person gets as much out of their time with the Trust as possible.



“Tyler gained lots of confidence and lots of new friends who he is still in touch with. I’m really glad he went. To meet children who have been through the same thing is invaluable. Whilst sailing, Tyler met a volunteer who had had the same cancer as Tyler and was in his twenties. That gave him a lot of hope for the future.”

- Mother of Tyler, 15

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“This is the first time I have been sailing, and I never thought it would be this good! I have really enjoyed the trip and learnt loads like how to tie knots, use the winches and hoist the sail. I would definitely come back again to see the friends I have made”

- Jorge, 15

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