Young sailors build confidence on board

Olivia Moore
Olivia Moore

A teenager from Bedford being treated for leukaemia joined a crew on board a sailing trip with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.

Olivia Moore, 13, was on one of four yachts sailing around the Solent and Isle of Wight during a four-day yachting adventure in August, along with 17 other young people in recovery from cancer.

Olivia is undergoing treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and this was her first time sailing with the trust.

She said: “Before the trip, I was quite nervous to meet everyone, but it was quite easy to make friends because we’ve all been through the same thing.”

Sailing onboard 42-48 foot cruising yachts, the trust trips provide a chance for the young people to test themselves in a safe and supportive environment, encouraging them to work as a team and get involved in everything from helming the boat to cooking.

Olivia added: “Joining the trust on this trip has taught me that I’ll try anything. Any new opportunities that come my way.”

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust aims to give young people in recovery from cancer the chance to rebuild their confidence through sailing.

Dame Ellen, who tries to spend a day on as many trips as possible, said: “The mental and social fall-out from cancer can be just as devastating as the physical illness. Everything we do is about building confidence, self-esteem and having fun together.”