Ancasta supports Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust ‘first time’ trip

L-R Lara and Aja

Friendships were forged as the first Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust ‘first time’ trip of 2023 took to the waters of the Solent, in the south of the UK, earlier this month (12-15 June 2023).

It was also the first trip that benefited from the support of yacht sales agency 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.

A total of 17 intrepid young cancer survivors, aged between 18 and 26, arrived in East Cowes Marina on Monday, 12 June 2023, to begin an adventure with the trust.

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 into 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 an 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 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, and 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 with 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 3,000 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 per cent of the young people it could each year, but it is aiming to increase this to 16 per cent by the end of 2025.

The trust says Ancasta’s support is invaluable in helping the trust reach its ambitious target.

“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,” says Frank Fletcher, Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust CEO. “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.”

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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