One hundred young people recovering from cancer will be taking part in Round Britain 2017 - a 2,000 mile relay team race around the coast
Further details will be released by Dame Ellen MacArthur later today about a new project – Round Britain 2017.
Run by the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, the challenge will see 100 young people in recovery from cancer sailing around Britain in a national relay, “celebrating achievement and realising potential”.
It will take place over four months and will see the crew, aged between eight and 24, visit towns and ports around the UK.
Speaking ahead of the launch at the London Boat Show, Dame Ellen said: “Round Britain is about a lot more than sailing – it is about rebuilding the confidence, self-belief and independence of those involved – bringing back in to focus positive options which have been unimaginable during treatment.”
Recovering from the long-term impacts of treatment extend far beyond the physical for many children.
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.
The trust believes that by providing the opportunity to participate in a team activity alongside peers with similar experiences will help individuals improve their ability to plan a future.
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,” she stressed.
From May to September, Round Britain 2017 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.
Since the trust’s inception 14 years ago, it has supported 1,559 young people in recovery from cancer.
However, for every one young person the trust can support there are nine they cannot. This ambitious team challenge aims to change that by encouraging more people to get involved.
Dame Ellen urged everyone to become part of the adventure.
“The trust aims to rebuild young people’s confidence through positive, shared experiences. The local welcomes to the crew, wherever you are in the UK will be a huge part of this experience,” she stressed.
“We would love everyone to be part of the adventure and get involved, every individual moment, throughout the UK will make difference. And to ensure we can reach more young people who need support in the future, please share our story on social media,” added Dame Ellen.
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