Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust builds a brighter future in Scotland
Last week, there was a milestone celebration for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust as they officially opened their first Scottish base in Largs Yacht Haven in North Ayrshire.
The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust gives young people in recovery from cancer the chance to rebuild their confidence through sailing. Having established themselves over the past 11 years on the Isle of Wight, the Trust is embarking on a new mission to introduce more Scottish sailing trips into their programme. This will make their services even more accessible to young people in Scotland and the North of England.
Opening the celebration Dame Ellen MacArthur explained, "Since we began working with young people in recovery from cancer and leukaemia 11 years ago we have built our network to work with hospitals right across the United Kingdom. Until now our only operational base has been on the Isle of Wight. It is therefore so exciting for the Trust to have officially opened a second base in Largs, allowing us to increase the number of young people we currently work with each year and take them sailing amongst some of the most beautiful scenery in the world."
With support from players of People's Postcode Lottery, the new base in Largs will allow the charity to double in size over the next three years. This is a huge step that will see them take a further 200 young people sailing in Scotland. The charity will continue to invest in and develop the base in Largs until they are able to run a full summer programme from April to September alongside their established programme on the Isle of Wight. Joining Dame Ellen at the opening, Managing Director of People's Postcode Lottery, Jo Bucci commented, "I was delighted to attend the opening of the sailing hub in Largs on behalf of players of People's Postcode Lottery. With a pledge to award at least £1 Million over the next 10 years, players of People's Postcode Lottery are firmly committed to supporting the vital work carried out by the Trust to support young people recovering from cancer."
Cutting the celebratory cake and welcoming guests to the new base, Dame Ellen was accompanied by three inspirational young people from the local area who have benefited from the charity's help. Kristie Reid, 20 from Aberdeen, was diagnosed with Biphasic Synovial Sarcoma in August 2009. Kristie first learnt to sail with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust after finishing treatment in February 2010. This summer, Kristie was part of the 19 strong crew on board Team Great Britain taking on a challenging 5,630 miles crossing the Atlantic Ocean to arrive in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as part of the Clipper Round the World Race.
Beth Fraser, 21 from Inverness,was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma in her left arm in March 2009. With an inner prosthetic fitted to her upper arm, Beth endured many operations and orthopedic set backs leaving her housebound. Having sailed on the first Trust trip in Largs in June 2013,Beth returned to sail this year on the first Scottish longer cruising week and is now studying History and Theology at University of the Highlands.
Hosting the afternoon alongside Ellen, Kirstie Paterson 24 from Elgin, first sailed with the Trust in 2012 after beingdiagnosedwithprimitivekidney cancer. She returned to sail with the Trust on Jolie Brise in 2013, undertook her graduate volunteer training in March 2014 and has since volunteered on all four of the Trust trips this summer in Scotland.
There are many ways you can support the Trust, with your time, money or services. To become a Friend of the Trust and help them to continue to provide support and encouragement to young people in recovery from cancer visit http://www.ellenmacarthurcancertrust.org.