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Friendships forged as Ancasta supports an Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust 'first time' trip

by Ancasta Group 28 Jun 2023 11:00 UTC 12-15 June 2023
(l-r) Lara and Aja © Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust

Friendships forged as Ancasta supports an Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust 'first time' trip

Friendships were forged as the first Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust 'first time' trip of 2023 took to the waters of the Solent earlier this month (12-15 June). It was also the first trip which benefited from the support of The Ancasta Group.

Earlier this year, Ancasta pledged that for every new boat sold, it would donate the cost for one young person to enjoy a transformational four-day sailing voyage with the Trust for the first time, enabling more young people to benefit from the support after cancer that the Isle of Wight based charity provides.

Cancer often has a big impact on a young person's mental wellbeing and for many, picking up where they left off before their diagnosis just isn't possible. With a view to helping them re-establish their purpose and place in the world, 17 intrepid young cancer survivors, aged between 18 and 26, arrived in East Cowes Marina on Monday 12 June to begin a life-changing adventure with the Trust.

Following a welcome briefing and team bonding games, the would-be sailors enjoyed a BBQ and a relaxed evening of getting to know each other before casting off the next day.

Making the most of the sunny conditions, the crew and 11 volunteers sailed towards Lymington, anchoring in Newtown Creek for lunch. Epic RIB rides with Solent RIB Charters that afternoon got everyone's adrenaline pumping before tucking into homemade fajitas and settling down to an evening of competitive card games.

Competition continued on day three with the legendary Trust water fight to cool the crew down as they cruised towards The Needles for lunch before heading back to Yarmouth for lawn games and rounders on the green. Back onboard, appetites were sated with a fish and chip supper and copious amounts of ice cream before sunset.

Leaving Yarmouth for a magical early morning sail back to Lymington the next day, those onboard were treated to a peaceful and calming mirror like sea before disembarking for farewells and onward travel.

The valuable work the Trust does through its sailing trips allows young people to have fun, gain a new sense of purpose and self-worth, rediscover independence, and feel optimism for the future. They realise what they are capable of again, feel accepted and no longer like 'the only one'.

"The amount we have in common is actually scary," first-time voyager, Aja from the Midlands, explains: "We've all experienced something quite similar so we can bond over the treatment methods, problems that we had, and we'll compare."

Aja's crewmate, Lara, adds: "We understand each other's perspective on life better, whereas friends wouldn't have the same sort of experience as we would. What we've learnt from going through it all even though it's all different, there is an underlying understanding and similarity and perspective that comes from it.

"I come from somewhere there isn't many of us young people that have cancer. Devon has a very small young population, it's mainly all elderly, so it's nice to come here and know that what you went through is common for people that have gone through the same thing and it's normal.

"I feel happier - really happy I did this because it's really hard to step out and do something new. I think it's quite intimidating to go to things that are like 'cancer things', but when you've done it and you've managed to do something completely new at the end it feels really great that you have."

By the end of the summer, over 3000 young people from across the UK will have sailed with the Trust since its launch by Dame Ellen MacArthur in 2003. Currently, the charity can only support 9% of the young people it could each year, but it is aiming to increase this to 16% by the end of 2025.

Ancasta's support is invaluable in helping the Trust reach its ambitious target.

Frank Fletcher, Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust CEO, says: "It's wonderful to be back on the water and to have Ancasta's support in helping us inspire more young people than ever this summer. For 20 years we have seen the positive impact sailing has on young people's mental wellbeing after treatment ends. But it is essential every young person who needs us can experience the magic of the Trust. With Ancasta's help, we can transform more young lives after treatment."

For more information on the Ancasta Group visit ancasta.com

For more information on the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust visit www.ellenmacarthurcancertrust.org or follow @EMCTrust across social media.

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