Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust plans around Covid-19
After Covid-19 prevented young people from sailing with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust last year, the charity says it is now looking forward to a brighter summer with a best-case scenario plan to take young people on both day sails and longer cruising trips across the UK between July and September.
The charity, which supports young people post cancer treatment, says nothing matters more than keeping young people, skippers, volunteers and the team safe, so the trust’s season will look a bit different to usual while still giving young people the support they need right now.
“We’ve said it so many times in the past year; young people living through and beyond cancer need us more than ever,” says Frank Fletcher, trust CEO. “The isolation, loneliness and anxiety experienced by young people with cancer has been massively amplified by Covid.
“Bringing them back together is the best way we can make a difference. But it must be safe. Exploring how to do that has been our sole focus this winter and while we can’t eliminate all Covid-risk we can minimise it and have revised our safety procedures and risk management measures for all trips.
“Nothing would make me happier than the trust supporting young people in person again this summer. We now believe we can safely make that happen.”
Usually, young people being supported by the trust for the first time would go on a four-day sailing trip from its bases in Cowes, Isle of Wight or Largs, Scotland. But this year, these young people will have the chance to get a regional one-day taste closer to home. This includes day sails around the coast in places the trust rarely gets to visit, such as Plymouth, Belfast, Portsmouth, and the North West and North East. Young people will also enjoy more traditional sailing aboard the 70ft Essex Smack, Pioneer, on the east coast.
For those previously supported by the trust, there is the chance to enjoy five-day yacht cruises from Cowes and Largs as well as on the Ocean Youth Trust South’s 98ft ketch, Prolific. Young people will also be taking part in Round the Island Race, for which the trust is the official race charity partner again, on 3 July, and the ASTO Small Ships Race in October.
“The past year has taught us all it’s impossible to be 100% certain about anything. We can plan, but there are still things out of our control that could ultimately decide if or which trips will be able to go ahead,” says Fletcher.
“We want to be back supporting young people in person so much and really hope we can. For now, I hope everyone can now look forward to, and feel as excited as we are about the prospect of a brighter summer ahead.”
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