15 October 2020

Good news - you can stay involved...

This year has highlighted the importance of staying connected. We’re super excited to announce our new online support programmes are here to stay.

Virtual Summer was a chance to develop different ways of supporting young people from afar. Bringing young people together during their recovery has always been our aim, and the COVID-19 pandemic was not going to stop that. Young people can now be part of the Trust community all year round by joining peer support groups and monthly drop-in sessions. Here are the ways you can stay connected…

Pen Pal exchange continuesYou’ve got a friend in me!

Our Trust Letters network is opening up to everyone, having only been available to under 18s until now.

Here’s how it works: Trust Letter applicants will be paired with someone else of a similar age. At first, letters will be sent to the Trust office, and from there they will be forwarded on to your pen pal’s home. We will provide posting dates, so everyone sends their letters - and receives them - around the same time.

Trust Letters is open to anyone in recovery from cancer whether they have been on a Trust trip yet or not. Parents or guardians must take part by making sure what is written and received is appropriate if senders and recipients are under 18. This is laid out when signing up to be a pen pal below. Agreeing to this Code of Conduct keeps everyone involved safe.

Trust team member Beth can't wait to have even more young people join Trust Letters: "It’s been wonderful hearing what a positive experience exchanging letters has been for the young people involved and it’s really special to see friendships forming over pen and paper. We are so excited to be able to offer this opportunity to those 18+ now too."

Since joining, Fallon has been eagerly awaiting the postman’s arrival and said: “We really enjoy our pen pal letters, it's great to see how other children are learning to grow and how they have handled their illness.”

Join Trust Letters by signing up HERE.

'Page Turners' book club continuesBook club buddies

Young people over 18 are invited to join our new ‘Page Turners’ book club via our private Facebook group. Get stuck into a new book each month and get together (via Zoom!) to discuss on the last Thursday of the month.

Here’s how to get the book:

Option 1: Join your local library. You can get ebooks from your local library sent directly to your device - for free!

Option 2: Visit smile.amazon.co.uk and choose the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust as your supported charity and order the book from there - in ebook or physical book form.

Option 3: Support your local bookstore - with the COVID-19 situation lots of small businesses will be struggling.

Option 4: If you need assistance with the financial cost of purchasing the book, please contact [email protected]

Let’s talk

For young people who need further or specific support in their recovery, monthly ‘A conversation about…’ drop-in sessions will be held in partnership with post-cancer care experts. After hosting a talk on nutrition with Trekstock and a session focusing on survivor’s guilt with Nurse Specialist Sue Morgan from Teenage Cancer Trust, we will be covering a range of other topics, including body image. Keep your eyes on our social channels - date coming soon.

Half-term hangouts

Our Trust Tuesday hangouts were a highlight of Virtual Summer so we couldn't resist planning a few more. With the autumn days sweeping in, we're excited to welcome young people back for two special hangouts.

Join the Halloween Pumpkin Extravaganza on Tuesday 27 October at 6pm. Guys and ghouls are invited to our Halloween themed pumpkin night! You can carve your pumpkin, paint it or decorate it with stickers – it's going to be spooktacular! Sign up here to join the fun.

Let's get quizzical on Tuesday 3 November at 6pm - come along to our Halloween and Bonfire Night themed quiz. Fancy dress is optional but always encouraged. Sign up here and don't forget to bring a hot chocolate.

Just keep sailing

Trust volunteers still have the chance to access online RYA Training courses, including Day Skipper, Essential Navigation and Seamanship and VHF.

Further support

We have all experienced a level of isolation during lockdown, but this is a normal part of life for many young people going through cancer treatment. Isolation, loneliness, anxiety, anger and fear are all challenges young people, and their families experience during and after cancer treatment. COVID-19 is intensifying every one of these to unimaginable levels. That’s why we must be there to support them.

For those that need further support beyond the Trust, we have updated our Signposting page. Click here to access further information and guidance.