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Dame Ellen MacArthur announces new project for 2017

by Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust on 11 Jan
Moonspray - Round Britain 2017 Martin Allen Photography
Today, Tuesday, 10th January 2017, Dame Ellen MacArthur was in London to launch an ambitious, national project that will see 100 young people in recovery from cancer sail around Britain in a relay visiting over 60 towns and cities. Round Britain 2017 is being run by the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, a national charity which takes young people aged between eight and 24 from across the UK on sailing and other water-based adventures to help them rebuild their confidence after cancer treatment.

Supporting seven young people in its first year in 2003 the Trust worked with over 520 in 2016. However, for every one young person the Trust can support there are nine they could still help. The aim of the project is to continue to build awareness and extend support for the young people in recovery for cancer.

CEO of the Ellen MacArthur Trust, Frank Fletcher said: 'The launch of Round Britain 2017 today has provided us with a great opportunity to engage with people about the fantastic, national adventure ahead of us this year. Today's launch saw Dame Ellen, and some of the young people taking part in the voyage, visit the Houses of Parliament where they met over 40 MPs of the constituencies we will be visiting over the summer. We also took the chance to meet with a large number of national media, connect with our network of existing supporters from across the UK and attend the London Boat Show to further spread the news of this exciting project.

The support from our project partners UK wide has been superb throughout the planning of this project and we are delighted that the launch has already received huge engagement online. However, we know that to be able to reach more young people in recover from cancer then we need as many people as possible across the UK to continue to share the story of this fantastic challenge.'



Dame Ellen MacArthur said: 'The Trust aims to rebuild young people's confidence through positive, shared experiences. This challenge will allow us to extend awareness across the country, encouraging every local community along the way to get involved and make a real difference. Everyone can become part of this story by welcoming the crew when they visit your home port. These local welcomes, wherever you are in the UK, will be a huge part of this experience. We would love everyone to be part of the adventure and get involved. To ensure we can reach more young people who need support in the future, please share our story on social media.'

Ann, a young person who has sailed with the Trust over several years, said: 'It was so easy to talk to the other young people. We were a close-knit team who spent a lot of time together and I could really open up. I knew they understood what I was saying without me having to explain it. The friendships are different to my other friendships; more intimate because we all have this thing in common only we know. My teachers saw the change in me. I was more easy going, I joined more clubs and was getting other people to join in too. I stopped being the kid in the corner.'

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust's work plays an extremely important part in the long-term recovery of young people: Research shows that 90% of young people in recovery from cancer feel isolated and over 60% are worried about the impact on their education or future employment. By providing the opportunity to participate in a team activity alongside peers with similar experiences the Trust can really help individuals improve their ability to plan a future by developing new skills and forging long-lasting friendships. This project will allow the crew to visit cancer treatment centres across the UK to meet those still undergoing treatment to discuss the future and how they can get involved with the Trust.

From May to September the voyage will visit over 60 towns and ports where the crew, many sailing in their local area, will take part in events and activities, catch up with others who have been supported by the Trust over the past 14 years and visit friends and supporters throughout the UK. At every stage during Round Britain 2017 the Trust will be inviting local communities to be a part of the adventure.

To find out more about Round Britain 2017, view some of the ports the crew will be visiting and follow the young people's journey, please visit website.

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