Last call! Volunteers Mates wanted to join inspirational sailing adventures with Dame Ellen MacArthur’s cancer trust

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is looking for volunteer Mates to inspire young people living through and beyond cancer to believe in a brighter future, and the deadline for applications is fast approaching.

The charity is looking for those with an RYA Day Skipper qualification to join their four- and five-day sailing adventures in 2024, which set sail from East Cowes on the Isle of Wight and Largs in Scotland.

Applications can be made via the Trust’s website, which also includes a full role description, and close on 15 October:

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, rebuild their independence and confidence, and feel optimism for the future. They start to re-establish their place in the world and believe in a brighter future.

As a Mate, you will help young people learn new skills, assist the Skipper, and support the volunteer crew to look after the young people at sea and ashore.

If you enjoy working with young people and believe sailing is for everyone, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust wants to hear from you.

Shaheed Patel, 24, was diagnosed with a pituitary tumour in 2020. After sailing with the Trust in September, he said the volunteers made a huge difference to the trip.

He said: “The Mates and Crew Leaders make you laugh, get you involved, and help you get to know everyone else. They take things nice and slow if you’re not as quick as some other people.  

“It is literally one of the best things you can do. If you’ve had cancer, it can be difficult getting back into the swing of things. Just socialising, getting out there, doing activities, they all take a toll on you mentally and physically.

“Sailing with the Trust cleared my head, let me get away from my worries, and just generally uplifted my mood. It shows that we are still just as we were, it’s just we’ve been through an ordeal. It’s a really big confidence booster.”

Applications to volunteer as Mate close on Sunday 15 October. If you have any questions, please email

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