2018 marks a special year for the Trust as we celebrate our 15th year of operation. From the first trip in 2003 where just five young people set sail, in 2018 we will take over 663 young people sailing over the next five months.
Trust trips provide a lifeline after treatment for young people to start rebuilding their lives and confidence, using the power of sailing as a mechanism for this. Whilst there are many fantastic charities supporting young people during treatment, there are very few that fill the void for young people after treatment has ended.
The young people are initially invited to take part in a four-day sailing trip, they get involved in every aspect of running a yacht including domestic routines. They live, sleep and eat on the boat and sail from place to place, enabling them to step out of their illness in an environment which is inspiring, challenging and fun. They are with other young people who have undergone similar treatments, share the same worries and have also had their confidence stripped away. The atmosphere a boat creates has an incredibly positive effect, concentrating very much on what they can achieve rather than what they cannot.
Emily from Bristol went on her first trip last year and will be returning on a four-day sailing trip on the Solent this summer. “After treatment, many of us feel like we’ve been dropped and find it extremely hard to get back to where we were and feel accepted by society again, thankfully the Trust helps pick us up after this dramatic drop”
The Trust is unique in the respect that we not only support young people immediately after this period of treatment to rebuild their confidence and support them through this critical and often isolating stage after treatment has finished, but we offer a long-term support for young people. Enabling those who have sailed previously to come back and volunteer through the Return to Sail and volunteer programmes. We believe in the importance of creating a lasting impact, by supporting the young people along the journey to recovery and beyond.
After the initial trip, the Trust annually invites them back to take part in other sailing events until they are 24. These events include Round the Island Race, a week-long residential at the Bradwell outdoors Centre in Essex, Outdoor Adventure in Cornwall, Water Park in the Lake District and cruising in the West Coast of Scotland, and the East Coast of England.
We would not exist without the amazing support from individual donors, fundraisers, volunteers, and grants. This year will see our two newest boats, Solent Hero and Caledonian Hero set sail from our bases on the South Coast and Scotland. These boats, which are uniquely adapted for the Trust, allow us to work with a wider range of young people especially those with visual or mobility disabilities, which has been made possible due to our biggest supporter players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
We are proud to work with every young person’s specialist treatment center unit in the UK, but for every young person we work with there are nine that we can’t. We want to reach even more young people during this crucial time after treatment.
You can help us empower more young people in recovery from cancer by signing up to take part in an event this year, from the Great South Run to the Great Scottish Swim and the Kilt Walks there’s something for everyone to get involved with.
email@example.com or visit our website www.ellenmacarthurcancertrust.org/getinvolved