Sir Robin and Dame Ellen launched the initiative today aboard an ocean racing yacht together with Clipper Ventures CEO William Ward who selected the Trust as the fleet’s official charity. He said, “I’m extremely pleased to announce the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust as our chosen charity. It does a remarkable job for young people who are coping with cancer and deserves all the publicity and support we can give it. I hope this will significantly boost awareness and raise thousands of pounds in the process.”
The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is a national organisation, based in the Isle of Wight that helps young people between the ages of 8-24 who are in recovery from cancer and leukaemia by taking them sailing to rebuild their confidence.
Dame Ellen explained, “This is great news for the Trust and provides an innovative and relevant opportunity to help us increase the numbers of young people who can benefit from our work. Sailing provides a very powerful way of helping to take back control of their lives after cancer treatment. We are very grateful to Clipper Ventures and believe this will be a very powerful partnership over the next two years of this project.”
The Charity now works with every young person’s primary cancer care unit in the UK. These primary care units deal with around 95% of young people being treated for cancer. The Charity’s vision is to continue to increase the number of young people they work with.
Regional centres will be encouraged to develop relationships with each of the twelve yachts competing in the 40,000 miles Clipper Race, having the opportunity to meet with local crew members and follow them on the race.
In addition to the profile and fundraising partnership, Clipper Ventures is giving one young person who has been supported by the charity the opportunity to sail on the first leg of the next biennial Clipper Race from the UK to Brazil.
The successful young person will act as an ambassador for the charity, helping to raise the profile of the Trust while encouraging crew and supporters to raise thousands of pounds for the charity. Additional funding will help more young people recovering from cancer the chance to take part in the Trust’s sailing programmes.
Clipper Race founder and chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo, non-stop, around the world in 1968-9 added, “For me the Clipper Race is about giving everyone, regardless of who they are, the chance to achieve their dream, which is exactly what the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust endeavours to do for so many brave young people.”
Any young person, who has previously sailed with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and has completed their treatment, can find out how to apply for the ambassador crew place on the first leg of the next Clipper Race by visiting the Trust’s Facebook site at www.facebook.com/EllenMacArthurCancerTrust
The successful candidate will be announced next March, before completing the full Clipper Race training programme prior to departing on the race in the summer.
For more information about the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust visit www.ellenmacarthurcancertrust.org