Recovering youths enjoy week at sea

The Ellen MacArthur Trust has held its first long-distance cruising week for young people, recovering from cancer or other serious illnesses.

The youngsters, who had all previously sailed with the trust, set off from Yarmouth on Sunday, August 1.

They then sailed to Weymouth, where they were treated to a fireworks show, then to Brixton, for a beach barbeque, and Poole, before returning to Yarmouth on Friday 6.

James Kemp, 17 from Kent, was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphona on New Year’s Day 2006 and was one of the 12-to-19-year-old youngsters on the trip.

James was on his third trip with the Ellen Macarthur Trust and he said: ‘I was really looking forward to sailing with the trust again, as every time I do it boosts my confidence.

‘I get to meet new friends and the trust has given me experiences which I could only have dreamt of before.’

Dame Ellen MacArthur set up the trust in 2003 to inspire young people’s recovery from illness through sailing trips that test the youngsters in a safe and supportive enviroment.

Dame Ellen said: ‘In 2009 the trust ran the Round Britain Voyage which was a big success. Following on from that we decided to run this longer cruising week for the first time and I am really excited that the trust is embarking on this new chapter.

‘It is great to be able to welcome the young people back in this way and to see how they have moved on since treatment.’