13 July 2004

Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children Trip 10th - 13th July 2006

13th July 04

The first group of students came from the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children. The group was drawn from the T.A.C.T branch of the cancer fund; Teens Against Cancer Together. They were made up of 5 teenage girls and 5 teenage boys, all recovering from the effects of cancer or leukaemia. This first sailing weekend with some special young adults was a huge success. Everyone had a great “craic” with some top sailing and parties afloat.

They flew in on the afternoon of Thursday 8th July and their timing couldn’t have been better. The day before had seen the skippers of the trips bringing the yachts across the solent in 45 knots of wind! The intense depression passed over the solent on the Wednesday, and by the time the group arrived, the wind had calmed down and the sun was breaking through.

The trips were a huge success, all the students, crew and carers had a fantastic time with everyone getting on famously with each other from the moment they came together

The trips took place on two boats of 45’ in length with 5 students and 3 crew on each boat. They were over a four day period and ran out from the UKSA in Cowes. During the trip the group sailed around the Western Solent visiting Yarmouth, Newtown Creek and Osborne bay.They also had tours around Inventure, the catamaran set up for disabled sailing, the lifeboat station in Yarmouth, the bridge of Red Jet 4, and took tea at the Royal Solent Yacht Club.

Martin Noyle, the trust manager said ” This was a fantastic group to start this years activities with. Their attitude and behaviour has been a credit to themselves and their families. They have been a privilege to work with. Thank you to all of you that have shown such kindness and generosity in making these trips possible, both ashore and afloat.”

Peter Topping, The Northern Ireland Cancer Fund coordinator who came over with the group had this to say: “Children that get cancer or leukaemia can suffer a real loss of confidence and self esteem often becoming more shy and withdrawn. This trip not only gave them a break but through learning to sail helped them to rebuild confidence, make new friends and they had a lot of fun. The ten teenagers, five boys and five girls, have not stopped talking about the trip since they got back. Thank you to The Ellen MacArthur Trust for providing such a great opportunity.”