Established 14 years ago, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust now works with every principle treatment centre and a growing number of designated units across the UK, taking young people aged between eight and 24 on sailing trips to help them rebuild their confidence after cancer treatment and re-engage with education, employment and society.
Recovering from the long-term impact of serious illness extend far beyond the physical. Research shows that 90% of young people in recovery from cancer feel isolated having often spent long periods of time in hospital. This is where the Trust can help through providing a safe and secure environment for young people to have new experiences and meet other young people who may well have had similar experiences.
Hannah Spencer, full time Round Britain 2017 Mate, was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia at the age of just 15, missing out on four years of her life. She explained, ‘Before my treatment I was a happy young girl who loved climbing trees, riding bikes and going for walks. During treatment, I became introverted and reclusive, not able to talk to people and afraid to come out of my bubble I’d grown so used to. I owe so much to the Trust for helping me become the person I am today through the support they have shown me over so many years. I’m about to sail around Britain and in the process, help so many other young people in the same way the Trust has helped me – it’s amazing!’
Trust CEO, Frank Fletcher explained the importance of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust Round Britain 2017 project in helping more young people in the future, ‘For every young person the Trust currently supports, there are nine we cannot, yet. This can only be changed with a shift in awareness, both within hospitals and medical support networks, and a step change in public profile. Round Britain 2017 will be a key catalyst for this change and we hope everyone will get involved and share our story.’
Setting off this afternoon, the first leg of Round Britain 2017 will see the crew of eight, six of whom have received treatment for cancer, leave Largs and sail up the Firth of Clyde into Glasgow.
by Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust