14 December 2016

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust reach out to more young people in recovery from cancer

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is proud to announce that thanks to generous support from Players of People's Postcode Lottery, Ancasta and Beneteau, it is set to receive a highly-specialised yacht to further improve the experience for young people with mobility issues after treatment for cancer, at its south coast base on the Isle of Wight.

This exciting announcement follows on from a successful similar project at its base in Scotland. Earlier in 2016, the Trust's Largs base took delivery of EMCT 2, a yacht modified around the needs of the young people the Trust support. The incredible positive impact that this yacht has had has meant that Players of People's Postcode Lottery have decided to award the Trust with a further award to invest in a similar project at its south coast base; further enabling the drive to include more young people in recovery from cancer in their activities.

Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People's Postcode Lottery, said: "Having witnessed what an impact funding from our players for the Largs yacht has made we are delighted that this additional funding will be able to give the same opportunity to those in the south."

The long-term impact cancer treatment has on some young people means that many suffer with mobility and cognitive issues as they try to rebuild their lives after cancer. Dave Hobin, Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust Trustee and Consultant Paediatric Oncologist at Birmingham Children's Hospital said, "The most common cancers, that will often lead to significant mobility issues, are the tumours that have affected the brain or spinal cord and tumours that have affected the limbs. These can cause challenges in simply walking because of, for example, an amputation or the wearing of a prosthesis or difficulties because of issues with balance and spatial awareness.

"We [The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust] have always been conscious that providing an activity that is based on a yacht presents significant challenges for those young people who experience mobility issues. It is fantastic news that we are being supported in securing a new vessel to build on the already excellent work of the Trust. This new boat will enhance the experience young people get and help them realise that with their peers' support they are able to fully participate in all activities aboard. They leave with new found confidence and friends."

The yacht, which will be delivered in time for trips in Spring 2017, will be adapted to suit the young people's needs. Modifications include, the fitting of extra hand rails and altering the cabin space to make a more accessible social area. The primary winches have been moved forward to give more room when manoeuvring and the stern of the boat lowers to pontoon level. These adaptations will drastically improve the experience for young people with these long-term side effects from treatment.

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is a national organisation, set up 14 years ago by internationally renowned yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur, that gives young people in recovery from cancer the opportunity to take part in sailing trips to rebuild their confidence. The Trust works with every young person Principal Treatment Centre in the UK and a growing number of Designated Units in the UK. It receives no government funding and relies entirely on voluntary donations to provide sailing trips free of charge to the young people.