18th Oct, 2019

Sailor prepares to help young people recovering from cancer rebuild their confidence

Ian Hughes 24th Aug, 2019

SAILING instructor James Hall is looking to help recovering young cancer patients rebuild their confidence after landing a key role with the charity founded by record-breaking round-the-world yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur.

The 28-year-old has been appointed the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust’s operations manager for the north, and will co-ordinate and manage all the trust’s operational activities in Scotland and the north of England.

The former Stratford College student will help support young people from across the UK to rebuild their confidence after cancer.

James, who also attended Studley High School, started sailing at Youth Afloat Activity Centre, near his Redditch home. His career in sailing took off after he started working as an instructor with disadvantaged young people.

Launched in 2003, the trust supports young people aged eight to 24 in recovery from cancer. When treatment ends the trust’s work begins as picking up where they left off before their diagnosis is difficult for many young people.

Through sailing and other UK-wide adventure trips, young people build confidence by making friends with others who have been through similar experiences. They are helped to rediscover independence away from home and learn new skills.

James said: “As young people who are already going through ups and downs, after a cancer diagnosis has hit them, it’s incredibly important to get them back trusting themselves and trusting their body.

“Going out on a boat is a great way to do that because they see what they are capable of, and have a good time while they’re doing it. I don’t think it can be underestimated how beneficial that is. I really like seeing young people have the recognition that they’ve achieved something. That’s the warm fuzzy feeling.

“I’m looking forward to bringing a lot of experience from my previous jobs, getting more young people out on the water, and to keep on doing the good work that has been happening at the trust.”

James will oversee two different sailing programmes – four-day trips for young people sailing with the trust for the first time and longer cruising trips for those returning. He will also look after residential trips in the Lake District.

Visit www.ellenmacarthurcancertrust.org for further details.

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