The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is a national charity that rebuilds confidence after cancer, using sailing to support, empower and inspire young people between the ages of 8-24 in embracing their future with optimism.
In 2000 Dame Ellen MacArthur DBE sailed with A Chacun Son Cap, a French charity for children with cancer and leukaemia. Inspired by the incredible impact sailing had on helping those children rediscover themselves in the confusing aftermath of cancer, and by their courage, spirit and humour, Ellen launched the Trust in 2003.
Since then more than 1,550 young people from across the UK have taken part in over 190 Trust sailing trips, reclaiming independence lost during prolonged periods on treatment, overcoming physical barriers long-term illness had built, making new and enduring friendships and, most importantly, having HEAPS of fun.
Young people initially come on a four-day Trust sailing trip, often the first time many of them have ever sailed. After this they have the incomparable chance to build a long-term relationship with the Trust that presents huge opportunities and benefits.
Only after treatment ends can a young person start rebuilding their life from the devastation of cancer. What ‘confidence’ means is different to every individual, and they will each take something personally unique from their trips. But just realising they can participate in activities commonly triggers the bigger process of recovery.
Young people can enjoy a range of sailing experiences through the Trust:
- Four-day trips from our bases in Cowes (Isle of Wight) or Largs (Scotland)
- Return to Sail and residential adventures
- Longer cruising trips
- One-off opportunities to participate in high profile yachting events
- Canal boating
- One-day sailing trips
Who do we work with?
We work with every young person’s principal treatment centre, and a growing number of designated units, in the UK.
Young people come to us either through our contact within each of these hospitals or units, usually a nurse or CLIC Sargent social worker, who recommend which young people they think would be benefit most from a Trust trip, or as self-referrals.
The Trust is special because…
- All of our trips are free
- Travel is organised and paid for
- We know how to support nervous and apprehensive young people and parents
- We work with leading medical professionals and specialists to cater for every personal need
- All equipment a young person might need, medical or otherwise, is provided