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Ellen MacArthur Plans Scottish Hub as Cancer Sailing Charity Celebrates Tenth Birthday

4th February 2013
Ellen MacArthur Plans Scottish Hub as Cancer Sailing Charity Celebrates Tenth Birthday

#charity – Dame Ellen MacArthur met Health Minister, Alex Neil MSP today, to discuss plans for a Scottish hub.

Celebrating its tenth birthday this year, the Cancer Trust is looking to expand its services and make their dream of a Scottish sailing hub a reality, all thanks to the support of players of People's Postcode Lottery. In a meeting with Alex Neil today, Dame Ellen was keen to discuss how important the Trust will be for the Scottish youngsters living with or recovering from cancer or leukaemia.

Dame Ellen said: "Being here in Scotland to discuss plans with Health Minister, Alex Neil, for our Scottish hub is very exciting. We have already worked with over 29 Scottish young people so we know that what the Trust does is an integral part of their recovery. Having our services on their doorstep will make such a difference, allowing us to reach even more young people across the country.
"We've already seen what an impact our work on the Isle of Wight has had, so we know our hub in Largs will be just as life-changing. Yet, none of this would be possible without fundraising and support like that provided by players of People's Postcode Lottery. Without this funding we simply wouldn't have had the means to make our dream a reality and, as you can imagine, we are delighted to get it all started."
The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust has received funding of £40,000 from People's Postcode Trust, a small-grant giving charity funded entirely by players of People's Postcode Lottery. The funding will allow the charity to charter sailing boats from Largs on the West Coast of Scotland. Giving young cancer sufferers the chance to build their confidence, have fun and enjoy sailing.
Minister Alex Neil was keen to learn more about the Trust and its work across the country. The Cancer Trust is an integral part of the Scottish community, having already worked with Teenage Cancer Trust and CLIC Sargent, who provide a lifeline for the young people and encourage many of them to access the experiences provided by the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.
Echoing the support previous Health Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, had shown for the project, Minister Alex Neil said: "I am delighted to learn that the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust will be bringing their dream of a Scottish hub to life this year. It's inspiring to see a charity work hard to make a young person's experience of cancer or leukaemia as positive as possible. Simply being involved with the Cancer Trust gives these youngsters the confidence to be young people again, to be around each other and find the strength to get their lives back on track."
Players of People's Postcode Lottery have raised over £22.6 million to date, £6 million of which has been awarded by People's Postcode Trust to organisations and charities, like the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, that are making a big difference to grass root projects.

NOTES TO EDITOR
For media enquiries please contact:
Calsey Thorne
Into the Blue
Tel: 01983 203 523
Email: [email protected]
Background to the Trust
Dame Ellen MacArthur launched the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust in 2003 after she spent some time with a similar organisation in France.
We are a nationwide organisation who aims to rebuild confidence in young people who have suffered from Cancer and Leukaemia through sailing. We work with every primary treatment centre in the UK.
Often these children have spent long periods in hospital and can be suffering from low self-esteem and a loss of confidence as well as missing out on large parts of their childhood. Their siblings can feel isolated in circumstances where the parents naturally centre their attention on their sick child.
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 children are initially invited to take part in a four-day sailing trip on Yachts in the Solent, which are run throughout the summer holidays. They are all about having fun; barbeques, rib rides and lots of water fights! This enables the young people to work together as a team and to take part in the duties on board the boats. After the initial trip, the Trust annually invites the children back to take part in other sailing events until they are 18. These events include J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, Cowes Week and a week-long residential week at the Bradwell Outdoors Centre in Essex.
Inviting the youngsters back to take part in other events enables the Trust to establish ongoing relationships with them. Once the young people are over 18 we train those who are interested so they can return as volunteers.
This quote from a mother shortly after one of the first trips we have run sums up the Trust's work: "It has never been the cancer that has worried me but the depression that came with it. She had lost her self confidence and had a very low self esteem, but the Ellen MacArthur Trust has changed all that. From the minute I picked her up she hasn't stopped smiling, she has talked non stop about her trip, she is singing and dancing and walking tall. She was able to have fun and relax for the first time in years. Of all the medicines she had, this one – the trip – was the one that made her better!"

Published in News Update
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