24 June 2019
The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trusts exists to support young people in the journey that starts when treatment ends. This means rediscovering and reclaiming parts of themselves which may have been lost during their illness.
Wellbeing is about more than just the relationship you have with your body. It is about the emotional and social aspects of a person’s life, essential for a healthy standard of living.
Being a young person is taxing regardless of your physical health. Body image issues, friendships and relationships, education – it’s not an easy time!
Having to deal with those things while recovering from treatment is an even bigger ask. It is never as simple as picking life up from where it left off.
The mental health impact of a diagnosis is something 80% of young people find to be just as difficult as the physical side.
We hope our sailing and residential trips are fun, but more importantly, we hope the experience benefits the young people’s wellbeing.
Our trips may be the first time a young person recovering from cancer has met others who have been through something similar. Without having those who understand and empathise with what they are experiencing, it can be a lonely journey.
The boats are a safe place for young people to open up and confide in one another. They are able to express thoughts they may not have shared with anyone else, which can be cathartic.
Sharing a space with our volunteers – many of whom have been on Trust trips during their own recovery – provides insight into what different stages of recovery look like. It is powerful and aspirational for young people to meet young volunteers who have had cancer and to see what their lives look like now. They feel permission to have fun and enjoy their youth again, knowing they are not alone and the future is full of potential.
This WellBeing Week, we are proud of everyone who has come on a Trust trip. Even making the journey to a trip location, before any activities begin, can feel insurmountable for some. A person’s wellbeing – physical, emotional, social – is impacted by a diagnosis. It is essential that we are there to help build it back up again.