First time trips

Our four-day sailing adventures for 8-17 and 18-24 year-olds can be transformational. But whether you get afloat in Cowes or Largs, sailing is only part of it…

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Inspiring brighter futures

Children, teenagers and young adults face different challenges living through and beyond cancer.

Finding the confidence to get back into education or employment, rebuilding relationships with family and friends and re-establishing their place in the world is vital in any young person starting to believe the possibilities of their new future. This trip lays those foundations.

The friendships they make, the acceptance they find, boundaries they push, independence they gain and skills they learn help every young person discover what they are capable of again and stops feeling like 'the only one'.

"After his trip he looked taller. Emotionally he had become a giant.” – Ted’s mum, Sarah.

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Our first time four-day sailing trips

The magic of Trust trips

It’s hard to explain how only four days on a boat can be so transformational. You have to live it to understand it. The result is very special.

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Meet Lily, Ella & Stephanie

If one of us feels tired or really bad one day, we can just text each other. Because we know that we’ll all understand. Even if no one at home understands, we will, and we’ve got each other.

By the end of their first trip together, Stephanie, Lily, and Ella had already promised to root for each other no matter where life took them.

Find out more about Meet Lily, Ella & Stephanie

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On their first trip…

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The other big trip questions...

When are the trips?

The 8-17 year-olds trips run during the school summer holidays in July and August, and the 18-24 year-olds trips are outside of that holiday period (June, July and/or September). The trips are four days / three nights long and normally run from Monday to Thursday (except for Bank Holidays).

Do we sail the whole time?

You’ve probably already figured it out, but sailing is really just the vehicle for an incredible all-round confidence building experience. There is a good mix of time on the water and on shore. If the weather is great, we can spend between four and six hours a day sailing. We stay at different places each night (depending on conditions).

How many other young people will be on the trip?

Each trip varies but there will be a maximum of 30 young people on any first time trip. The group will be divided between a number of 38-48ft yachts – based on age and ability – and there will be a maximum of six young people on each.

Do I need to have had my COVID vaccination?

Vaccination forms part of our risk assessment to minimise the COVID risks as much as possible, both to the young people and their families and the Trust team (skippers, volunteers, full-time staff) who will be involved in the trips.

The Trust was able to run a successful summer of trips in 2021 due to the COVID-safety measures we put in place, and we were delighted there weren't any COVID cases linked to a trip among young people, volunteers, skippers, or our staff.

But whereas we ran at reduced capacity in 2021, with 315 young people coming on a trip, in 2022 we hope to return to pre-pandemic numbers of 600+ young people safely joining the Trust. This is the right thing to do to support more young people after cancer treatment, but it increases the risk of possible COVID transmission among a wider group of people.

We will continue to review our on vaccination position in line with Government advice and with our medical advisers. We need to find the appropriate balance between young people being able to get the support they need while keeping everyone as safe as possible.

For our latest position on vaccinations for young people of your age (at the time of your trip), please click here – Vaccinations Update

I still get really tired or lack energy. Will this stop me coming?

No way! All our staff and volunteers understand the after-effects of cancer, including fatigue, can last a long time. They can make sure you get as many rest breaks as you need. You will be encouraged to join in all the activities, but won’t be forced to do anything you won’t be able to manage. We always also try to put young people into groups with similar abilities, so no one feels left out. You will surprise yourself.

What if I feel seasick?

We want you to enjoy your trip so we will never go out sailing if it’s really rough or windy. We also have plenty of tips and tricks to help if you do feel a bit green.

I can’t swim. Does it matter?

Nope! During the trips we don’t actually go in the sea, so you don’t need to be able to swim. Lifejackets will be provided for when you are sailing.

What do I need to bring?

Not as much as you think! Closer to the time of your trip we will send you a Trip Handbook containing all the information you need, including a full kit list. You won’t need any specialist clothing, waterproofs or a lifejacket – we provide all that - just normal clothes, including some warm layers, shoes you don’t mind getting wet and a pillow. You will basically live in joggers/leggings, a hoodie and your Trust trip t-shirt!

What’s the food like?

We have a good mix of meals you will help to prepare plus we have our fish and chip supper, BBQ night and baking competition. We try to cater for everyone’s needs and diets and aim to promote a healthy diet. If you do have any special dietary requirements these go on your Medical Form. You will be given a Trust water bottle to use whilst on the trip. We will make sure you drink plenty of liquids whilst on and off the water.

Where do I sleep?

Everybody sleeps on their allocated boat. You will share a cabin with at least one other young person of the same sex and similar age. The cabins are cosy, but they are private and just for sleeping in.

Should I bring my phone and spending money?

Any phones or valuable electronic equipment are bought along entirely at your own risk and we cannot be responsible for any loss or damage. We recommend these are left at home, but do understand you may want to bring them along for the journey. Network coverage and charging facilities can vary greatly during the trip. Our staff and volunteers will have phones you can use to phone home if necessary and a Trust contact will be provided to family and friends should they need to get in touch while you’re away. Because everything is provided, you only need enough money for any extra snacks or souvenirs you want to buy. We suggest no more than £20.

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Sailing not right for you? Come canal boating.

These trips are for young people who are who are full-time wheelchair users, need more 1-2-1 support, or are anxious about their mobility. Run in partnership with CanalAbility, the trips take place on fully accessible canal barges in Essex.

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Staying involved 

Many young people need continued support over time. Our return trips mean build a relationship with the Trust that goes beyond a one-off experience.

Once a young person has been on a first time trip, they are invited back the following year. They have a selection of trips to choose from depending on their age. Some are week long sailing trips, others are outdoor adventure weeks across the UK.

Wherever a young person lives and whatever stage of recovery they are at, they can always turn to the Trust. Our return trips are where we make a lasting difference.

See our return trips Return to all trips