The Ellen Macarthur Cancer Trust
The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is a national organisation that gives young people between the ages of 8-18 who have suffered from cancer and leukaemia the opportunity to take part in the new and fantastic experience of sailing. The majority of our young people are off treatment and in recovery from cancer and leukaemia. These young people are recruited by our contact (usually a nurse or social worker) at the hospital or group we work with, as they are more involved with the young people at the hospitals and so aware of who would benefit the most from the trip. The young people can continue to sail with the Trust up until their 18th birthday or remission date. Often the young people that sail with us have spent long periods of time in hospital and can be suffering from low self-esteem on top of missing out on large chunks of their childhood. Studies into the psychological effects of cancer in children highlight how important positive personal relationships with others are in facilitating coping with cancer. They also state how difficult it is for the children (especially teens) to establish independence and a sense of control over their lives and maintain a sense of personal worth. The emphasis of our trips is on teamwork and fun, with sailing as the perfect catalyst. Sailing offers a new experience in a small and intimate environment, which gives the young people the space to assert themselves without the chance of getting lost in the group. These independent studies into the psychological effects of cancer in children and the values of sail training for young people highlight the long term positive impact the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust trips can have on the challenges that children with cancer and leukaemia face. “Jay returned full of confidence, chat, and knowledge of sailing. Jay had ‘life’ back in his eyes. He enjoyed the whole experience"

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The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is a national organisation that gives young people between the ages of 8-24 who have suffered from cancer the opportunity to take part in the new and fantastic experience of sailing. 

Use this page to help us support a young person from London, like Tiffany.

My name is Tiffany, I’m from London and am 21.

I was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer called a germ cell tumour when I was 17. At the time I was diagnosed I was playing football for Chelsea Academy, I felt like I couldn’t do the sport I thought I would always do, so after treatment I looked for something that I could do.

I heard about the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust from my Clic Sargent worker but I had already turned 18 so couldn’t go as the trips were for under 18’s.

Last year in 2010 the Trust did their first 18-25 sailing trip. I was one of the lucky 20 odd to go. I was counting down the days till we left… It finally came and it was the best trip I have every done. When it finished I wished it hadn’t, and couldn’t wait till I went on another one.

This year the Trust did a Competent Crew week, which is just what I wanted to do so when I got asked I was over the moon. Our trip was the 25-30 September 2011. The 25th Sept just so happened to be my 21st birthday, it was a awesome way to spend my birthday week and they sang Happy Birthday and got me two cakes which I was not expecting. We started the trip and sailed to Poole, it took 9 hours, which was amazing as I have always wanted to sail that long and actually get the sails on the yacht up.

I meet lots of new patients and new friends. I also learnt so much more about sailing, which was what I wanted to do. At the end of the trip we all got our RYA Competent Crew qualification. I hope to continue sailing and would love to do the Round the Island race next year.

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust has helped me with my confidence and it’s helped me to talk about my diagnosis with other patients as well as the Trust team.

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Neil & Hilary Murphy
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