The Ellen MacArthur Trust is a charity based on the IOW working with young people between 8 and 24, helping to rebuild their confidence after treatment for cancer and leukaemia.
Established in 2003 by world-renowned yachtswoman and IOW resident Dame Ellen MacArthur, the Trust now welcomes young people from hospitals all over the country to participate in short sailing trips, initially around the IOW. These young people have often spent long periods of their childhood in hospital, missing out on school and isolated from their peer group. The trips give them a chance to regain their independence and take control of their lives again, meeting others who understand what they’ve been through. We aim to rebuild the confidence lost during treatment, and simply have fun, with sailing being the perfect catalyst.
The young people sleep and eat on board, and are encouraged to participate in all aspects of crew life, from helming the yacht, to washing up, with the emphasis on teamwork. The sailing is mixed with shore-based activities and the Trust is supported by local businesses and organizations including UKSA, Liz Earle, Plaza Ice Creams, Yarmouth Lifeboat, Red Funnel and Solent Yacht Club, helping to make sure all the young people have a great time.
They can then return each year, to sailing regattas, a residential dinghy week in Essex, or for longer cruising. In 2009 we sailed Round Britain, with 74 young people crewing on one of 16 separate legs. Trust crews sailed under London’s famous Tower Bridge, were welcomed into Belfast by the Lady Mayor, and saw dolphins and whales. The yacht returned to Cowes in September at the end of a truly inspirational voyage! To find out more about the work of the Trust or how to support us, please visit www.ellenmacarthurtrust.org