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Applications to volunteer as a Mate with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust on 2021 trips are now open

by Scott Wilson 17 Jul 2020 15:18 BST
Volunteer mate John Burton with young person Molly Gilmore © Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust

Applications to volunteer as a Mate and support young people in recovery with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust on 2021 trips are now open!

Despite the disappointment of having to cancel its 2020 season due to COVID-19, the Trust is already looking ahead to 2021, when it sincerely hopes to be welcoming young people back sailing. It's looking for Mates to come and join the fun while supporting young people in recovery from cancer.

Mates get fully immersed in all aspects of the trips, on the boats and ashore, to ensure the maximum enjoyment and safety of all young people and other staff and volunteers. It's the perfect role if you enjoy working with young people and putting your sailing skills to good use.

Full criteria and application information can be found on the Become a Volunteer section of the Trust's website.

John Burton has volunteered as a Mate since 2013's Round the Island Race. He explained what being a Trust volunteer has meant to him.

"I get a lot back from seeing the young people become completely different characters on a trip. They arrive on Monday, a bit like rabbits in headlights, and by Thursday you can't contain them. They're all getting on, they're all mixed together, and they're all experienced sailors by the end of the week, I would say.

"Most of the young people haven't been away from home before, certainly not on a sailing yacht. There's a little trepidation to start with, but that changes quite quickly. They all work together during the day, cook together, share rooms. The general mix of the trips, you see the confidence build over the four days."

Registered doctors, nurses, and paramedics are also encouraged to volunteer for Medic positions. Medics are required to accompany young people on trips, provide support and occasional medical assistance. Sailing experience is not essential, but can be an advantage. Medics get fully immersed in all aspects of the trips, on the boats and ashore, to ensure the maximum enjoyment and safety of all young people. If you are a Medic with a sailing qualification, please read the 'I want to use my medical skills' section of the Trust's website.

Kirstie has come full circle with the Trust. She sailed as a young person, became a volunteer, and has since returned in her new capacity as a trip medic.

She said: "When I think of the trips, I just think of the fun that I'm having. It's extremely nice to be a volunteer and to have gone full circle. Everyone talks openly about medicine or other requirements. It's just prompting people to take ownership of it. When they see that other people have to take as many medicines as they do, it just kind of normalises it."

If you have any questions please contact .

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