2018 marks a special year for Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust (EMCT) as it plans to take a record number of young people on sailing trips, thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery.
This summer, 663 youngsters will get to board two new, uniquely adapted boats called Solent Hero and Caledonian Hero - purchased by funding from players.
As EMCT celebrates its 15th anniversary, People's Postcode Lottery players continue to be a critical part of the charity's success. EMCT will continue to help more young people go on to achieve in education, employment, and, ultimately, life after the total devastation of cancer.
Since their first trip in 2002, when a small group of five young people went sailing, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust has grown enormously, thanks to more than £1.7 Million in funding from players.
EMCT fills a unique role, focusing on young people aged 8-24 who are in post-treatment from cancer. The Trust provides a lifeline for them to start rebuilding their lives and confidence, using sailing as a mechanism.
Today, 11 more children and young people will hear the shattering news that they have cancer. Only after treatment ends, and the doctors and nurses have done their work, can a young person start to rebuild.
Last year the Trust set sail on their most ambitious voyage yet, Round Britain 2017, which provided an amazing opportunity for the charity to raise its profile - visiting 58 ports and 13 hospitals. The Trust is now proud to work with every young person's oncology unit in the UK, which has only been made possible thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery.
"Sailing is just a vehicle", said Trust founding patron Dame Ellen MacArthur. "It's about regaining your life. The joy of the trips is overwhelming, there are always transformations. We are enormously grateful for the ongoing support from the players of People's Postcode Lottery."
For the young people that join EMCT, the four-day sailing trips on the south coast and from the charity's northern base on the west coast of Scotland are life-changing.
Emily, one of the young people who has received support from the Trust, said, "After treatment, many of us feel like we've been dropped and find it hard to be able to get back to where we were and feel 'accepted' by society once again.
"Thankfully, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust help to pick us up after this dramatic 'drop,'. The Trust helps teens rebuild their confidence and most importantly helps teach us teens to love ourselves again. I can't thank them enough."