Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust
FIVE LIFE-CHANGING YEARS
When the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust approached Ancasta to help find and develop a yacht to make sailing more accessible for young people living through and beyond cancer, no-one imagined quite how big an impact that would have.
But five years and two boats later, hundreds of young lives have been transformed by the ‘Heroes’, and the Trust’s flagship Beneteau Oceanis 45s have become familiar features around the Solent and Firth of Clyde, where they are sailed.
Pushing The Boundaries
Cancer can have a significant impact on a young person’s mental wellbeing. For many young people, simply picking up where they left off before their diagnosis isn’t possible. That’s why when treatment ends, the Trust’s work begins.
The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust has been taking young people sailing to inspire them to believe in a brighter future since 2003. Many of these young people, particularly those who have had bone or eye cancers or brain tumours, live with mobility and sensory challenges from their treatment and/or surgery.
So, in 2016, following the advice and support of Ancasta, the Trust took delivery of its first specially adapted yacht, Caledonian Hero, at its Scottish base in Largs. A year later, her sister vessel, Solent Hero, arrived at the Trust’s East Cowes home.
What makes the ‘Heroes’ yachts unique is they were modified; more handrails aid mobility around the yacht, a two-level bunk cabin in the bow provides extra sleeping space and easy access, while the primary winches were moved forwards to create more room to move around when trimming the sails. The back of the boats also fold down so young people can step from the pontoon straight onto the boat. All this work was undertaken by Ancasta Yacht Services.
The year Caledonian Hero was launched, 515 young people were supported by the Trust. This summer, the Trust will welcome up to 650 young people from across the UK. Some 350 will experience their first sailing adventure while around 300 are coming back for more. The ‘Heroes' are once again changing hundreds of young lives.
For more information visit ellenmacarthurcancertrust.org