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Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust announce James Hall as new Operations Manager in Largs

by Ashton Howard 24 Aug 2019 13:46 BST
Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust has a new Operations Manager for the North: James Hall © EMCT

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust has a new Operations Manager for the North, with James Hall appointed to help support more young people from across the UK to rebuild their confidence after cancer.

James, an RYA Yachtmaster Instructor who has most recently been working for the Ocean Youth Trust Scotland, will co-ordinate and manage all of the Trust's operational activities in Scotland and the north of England from its base in Largs Marina, Ayrshire.

Launched by the round-the-world yachtswoman in 2003, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is a national charity that supports young people aged 8-24 in recovery from cancer. When treatment ends the Trust's work begins because for many young people picking up where they left off before their diagnosis just isn't possible.

Through sailing and other UK-wide adventure trips, coordinated from Largs and the Trust's HQ in Cowes, young people build confidence by making friends with others who have been through similar, rediscovering independence away from home, learning new skills and, most importantly, stop feeling like they are the 'only one'.

James will oversee two different sailing programmes from Largs - four-day trips for young people sailing with the Trust for the first time and longer cruising trips on the Firth of Clyde for those returning for a second time or more. He will also look after residential trips to WaterPark Lakeland Adventure Centre in the Lake District.

James, 28, said: "As young people who are already going through ups and downs, after a cancer diagnosis has hit them, it's incredibly important to get them back trusting themselves and trusting their body.

"Going out on a boat is a great way to do that because they see what they are capable of, and have a good time while they're doing it. I don't think it can be underestimated how beneficial that is. I really like seeing young people have the recognition that they've achieved something. That's the warm fuzzy feeling.

"I'm looking forward to bringing a lot of experience from my previous jobs, getting more young people out on the water, and to keep on doing the good work that has been happening at the Trust."

Young people have been sailing in Scotland with the Trust since the Largs base opened in 2013. By the end of last year, more than 720 young people in recovery had sailed from Largs, with 196 of those - the most ever - in 2018. The 2019 season will see around another 200 take to the waters of the Clyde.

James started sailing at Youth Afloat Activity Centre, near his home in Redditch in Worcstershire.

After working with disadvantaged young people at the former Youth Afloat at Arrow Valley in Redditch, he gained his MCA/RYA Yachtmaster Offshore (Commercially Endorsed) certificate and worked in the Mediterranean for Sunsail. He went on to become Cruising Instructor for the British Offshore Sailing School (BOSS) in Hamble before going freelance as a Yachtmaster Instructor. He has been a Staff Mate / Relief Skipper at the Ocean Youth Trust Scotland since March 2016.

James officially takes over from Kerry McMillian, who has been at the Largs helm for five years, in September.

Frank Fletcher, Trust CEO, said: "We welcome James as we thank Kerry for the incredible contribution she has made to growing both the number of young people supported from Largs and awareness of the Trust across the northern half of the UK.

"There were some outstanding candidates, but James stood out for his enthusiasm, professionalism and obvious desire to make a difference to the lives of even more young people who are in recovery from cancer."

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