Calling all Mates! Applications to volunteer at Dame Ellen MacArthur’s cancer charity on 2024 sailing adventures now open

Could you make a life-changing difference by using your sailing skills to support young cancer survivors? The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is looking for volunteer Mates for their four- and five-day sailing adventures from the Isle of Wight and Scotland’s west coast in 2024.

If you hold an RYA Day Skipper qualification, enjoy working with young people, and believe sailing is for everyone, now is your chance to apply to volunteer with Dame Ellen MacArthur’s cancer charity.

Sailing from East Cowes Marina on the Isle of Wight and Largs in Scotland, Mates assist the Skipper with the sailing of the boat and the safety of young people and other volunteers on board. You would get stuck in with all aspects of the trip, helping the volunteer crew and Skipper look after young people when at sea and ashore.

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust takes young people aged 8-24 on sailing and outdoor adventures to inspire them to believe in a brighter future living through and beyond cancer.

For many young people simply picking up where they left off before their diagnosis just isn’t possible. That is why when treatment ends, the Trust’s work begins.

Through the Trust’s sailing and outdoor adventures, young people laugh, gain a new sense of purpose and self-worth, and feel optimism for the future. They start to re-establish their place in the world and believe in a brighter future.

By helping young people learn new skills, you will contribute to them rediscovering what they are capable of and rebuilding their independence and confidence.

To believe sailing is for them, young people must see volunteers like them. If you share these values, believe in the transformative power of sailing, and can connect with young people today, the Trust wants to hear from you.

John Peckham has volunteered with the Trust since 2018’s Round the Island Race. He says he gets ‘far more out of volunteering than he puts in’.

He said: “That’s the thing about volunteering for a place like the Trust. What you gain in your soul and your spirit far outweighs the time and energy and everything else you put into it. You go home tired, but at the same time, inspired by the young people and their determination to overcome various adversities they’ve been through, which are sometimes quite horrendous. I leave each trip on a high because I see the impact the Trust has on every one of them.”

Applications to volunteer as Mate close on Sunday 15 October. More details and a full role description can be found at If you have any questions, please email

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