14 June 2023

Mental health training for skippers and volunteers

Mental health first aid training offered to every Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust volunteer and skipper to strengthen frontline support of young people

Volunteer and skippers with their backs to the camera, showing their t-shirts which say 'Trust team' along the back, as they look out over the sunny East Cowes marina

We want every young person to feel supported and be given a safe space to talk about their mental health on trips, which is why every volunteer and skipper has been offered the chance to take part in Mental Health First Aid (Youth) training.

Two groups have already completed their training with Susie Shaw of Citrine Wellness (and also of Mind Over Cancer) in May, with two more sitting the course this month. Almost 120 volunteers and skippers have expressed interest in taking part so far.

The training, which will be spread across the next three years, comes after several of the core team at the Trust completed Mental Health First Aid courses in November, along with 2019’s Volunteer of the Year Alex Rickman and skipper Becky.

Better support

The course aims to teach skills and inspire confidence to spot the signs of mental health issues in a young person, offer first aid, and guide them towards the support they need.

The purpose of the training is to:

As the training is delivered by Susie Shaw, whose charity Mind Over Cancer works closely with us, she is able to contextualise the course around the Trust and the environment in which volunteers and skippers support young people.

We know cancer treatment can be very lonely with long periods of isolation away from friends, family and school. It is important our frontline staff and volunteers understand these situations and can support young people’s mental wellbeing during trips.

Working together

Delivering such an important course to so many people has been made possible by the support of Baillie Gifford.

We are grateful for their support and the impact this will have on our Ambition to strengthen our frontline team, and we look forward to this special partnership.