Ellen MacArthur trust sailing trip for young person from Chichester

Holly Gillett
Holly Gillett

A young person from Chichester recently took part in an inspirational sailing trip with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, along with 16 other young people in recovery from cancer.

Holly joined the crew of one of three yachts to sail around the Solent on the south coast from 5th September, on a four-day yachting adventure.

For Holly, who finished treatment in April 2016 for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester, this was her first time sailing with the Trust. She said: “I have absolutely loved the trip and I really don’t want to leave. We’ve learnt to sail, from tacking to putting up sails, the parts of the yacht, steering in choppy seas, knot tying and more; it’s been really fun. I definitely want to come back!”

Sailing onboard 42-48 foot cruising yachts, the Trust trips provide a chance for the young people to test themselves in a safe and supportive environment, encouraging them to work as a team and get involved in everything from helming the boat to cooking.

Holly continued: “It’s been really beneficial getting to know the other young people who have been through similar things. I had no one on my ward who was actually a youngster, they were all over the age of 65 so I never saw anyone my age with cancer so it was good to get reassurance from people who have been through it. I will definitely stay in contact with the people I’ve met.”

Departing from their south coast base in East Cowes Marina, Isle of Wight on Monday the trip navigated the waters of the Solent, which took them to various stopovers including Yarmouth Harbour and the picturesque bay of Newtown Creek for a BBQ. They then put their new skills to the test cruised back to Cowes.

Launched in 2003, the aim of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is to give young people in recovery from cancer the chance to rebuild their confidence through sailing. The Trust trips provide a chance for the young people to test themselves in a safe and supportive environment.

Dame Ellen, who tries to spend a day on as many trips as possible, adds, “The mental and social fall-out from cancer can be just as devastating as the physical illness. Everything we do is about building confidence, self-esteem and having fun together.”

In its 13th year, the Trust has grown beyond every expectation into a national charity. Working with every young person Principal Treatment Centre and a growing number of Designated Units in the UK. Taking young people aged between 8-24 who are recovering from cancer on four-day sailing trips.

Find out how you can support the Trust and help to make a real difference to young people’s lives by visiting www.ellenmacarthurcancertrust.org.

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