A Hailsham teenager was one of fourteen volunteers who took on specialist training to help young people recovering from cancer set sail on the trip of a lifetime.
Lillie Killick, 19, first sailed with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust after she finished treatment at the Royal Marsden Hospital in March 2013 for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).
My experience with the Trust completely changed my life. It was probably the best thing I’ve ever done. It improved my confidence and has made me the person I am today.Lillie Killick
And last month, Lillie rejoined the Trust as it ran three weeks of Graduate Volunteer Training with the support of players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.
Fourteen young people braved the winter weather on the Solent to complete their RYA Competent Crew Course and learn what it takes to be a volunteer on the trips.
Each young person has previously sailed with the Trust following treatment for cancer and will return to volunteer on trips over the summer.
Lillie said, “My experience with the Trust completely changed my life. It was probably the best thing I’ve ever done. It improved my confidence and has made me the person I am today. I want to be able to help give that opportunity to other young people in recovery from cancer.”
The Trust not only offers the young people it works with the chance to do Return to Sail trips, it also invites them to develop new skills by giving them the opportunity to become Graduate Volunteers. Having young people who have previously sailed with the Trust, helps to provide a strong network of support for those taking part in their first trip.
Founder Dame Ellen MacArthur said, “We currently work with 8.1 per cent of the young people we could help in the UK but with the support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, along with the continued support and dedication of our volunteers, we are growing year on year.”
Launched in 2003, the aim of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is to give young people in recovery from cancer the chance to rebuild their confidence through sailing. For more information, visit www.ellen macarthurcancertrust.org