About us

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is a national charity that inspires young people aged 8-24 to believe in a brighter future living through and beyond cancer.

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The difference we make

Cancer can have a big impact on a young person’s mental wellbeing.

For many young people, simply picking up where they left off before their diagnosis isn’t possible. That is why when treatment ends, our work begins.

Through sailing and outdoor adventure, young people…

  • build confidence by making friends with others who have had similar experiences - often for the first time.
  • rediscover independence away from home and outside of their ‘cancer bubble’.
  • begin to realise what they are capable of again.
  • stop feeling like the ‘only one’.

Their mental wellbeing improves, and they start to re-establish their purpose and place in the world, getting back into education or work and reconnecting with their friends and families. They believe in a brighter future.

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Because of the Trust graphic

The Trust won’t ever drop you or forget about you. It will always be there for you.

Sailing gives everyone the chance to find out what they’re capable of alongside other young people who completely understand what they’ve been through.

Ellen - our inspiration

The spirit of adventure, determination and possibility instilled across the Trust comes from our founder and patron, Dame Ellen MacArthur.

Ellen was just four when she first stepped on a boat, but immediately knew her life would be full of sailing adventures.

What she didn't know then was that she would end up sailing around the world twice, and, in 2005, become the fastest person to ever do that!

Ellen knew sailing could give young people recovering from cancer an amazing opportunity to learn new skills, get out of their comfort zone, get a confidence boost, and gain a sense of independence.

Ellen says she needed a certain element of bravery to deal with whatever situation she found herself in at sea, but thinks true bravery is when people face adversity they didn’t choose, like the young people we support.

Ellen had a dream and never let go of it. It's why her message is clear - ‘Go for it!'

Our impact

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The history of the Trust

From Dame Ellen MacArthur’s early inspiration to how we got to where we are today.

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Callum's Story

Being at the wheel, you feel so in control, like you’re finally in the driver’s seat, literally and metaphorically.

If cancer feels like losing control, then learning to sail with others who have been through the same thing feels like taking it back again, says Callum.

Find out more about Callum's Story

Find out more about the trips Support the Trust

How you can help 

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