14 February 2022

My Life Now - meet Youth Board chair Dan

It’s been 18 years since the Trust first set sail – what are the young people who have been on trips up to now? Our 'My Life Now' series shows a brighter future after cancer is a reality. Find out how the chair of the Trust's Youth Board, Dan is using his experience to 'give back'.

Dan Bishop taking a selfie on a Trust boat with the sea sparkling behind himName: Dan Bishop

Age: 29

Diagnosis/year: Hodgkin lymphoma in 2015 and 2017

When did you first sail with the Trust: 2016

What do you do now: I work in charity governance and operations

Explain what that means - I work for a charity which supports other charities in their governance and leadership. In my role, I oversee our events and membership services as well as the charities operations including administration, finance, and Human Resources.

Why did you do want to do this - I have worked in the charity sector since my diagnosis and love the fact that my work helps make a difference to many organisations helping those around the country. It has been really important to me since my illnesses to 'give back' - both to wonderful charities like the Trust who have supported me directly, and to society more widely.

Dan Bishop pictured smiling with his wife on their wedding dayWhat's the coolest thing you've done lately - Speaking at the Trust’s Ambitions Launch event in 2020 was pretty cool, but it probably gets trumped by getting married 6 weeks later! Two years ago, my now wife and I got married earlier than we’d planned in a very small ceremony two days before the lockdown started. I missed my second ever Trust Youth Board meeting - apparently for a novel excuse!

Two years on, and we’re able to have the celebration which we planned. As an alternative to wedding gifts, we’re suggesting that our guests may want to donate to the Trust. We’ve chosen the Trust as it has supported me through my two cancer diagnoses, and it's doing so much great work with the young people it supports every year. Our rearranged celebration will mean I miss another Youth Board meeting - sorry Frank!

Why did you need the Trust's support in recovery - I’ve always loved sailing, but never been on a trip as wonderful as the Trust trips. I didn’t realise how much I needed and would value the support of the Trust - the “magic” which the trips provide is indescribable - there’s something about the solidarity of young people with similar experiences and being out on the water which makes you forget whatever you were worried about when you set off.

What part has the Trust played in you doing what you are now? Chairing the Trust’s Youth Board has helped me in my current role as I work a lot with chairs of charities. It’s also helped to give me a wider understanding of the charity sector. All that aside, Trust trips and activities give loads of transferrable skills such as forming relationships with new people (you get to know people quite quickly living on a boat for a week together!) and team building.

What's your top tip for anyone interested in working in your industry? There are so many opportunities to get stuck into charity work, and you never know where it will take you. Enjoy pushing the different doors open and take people up on their offers of work experience - you never know where it will lead you.

Inspired by Dan's story and want to do something to give back in 2022? The fundraising team would love to help you mark a milestone in your life by turning it into an extra special occassions, please get in touch here.