A Sleaford teenager recovering from leukaemia has just returned from an inspirational sailing trip with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.
Lara Orriss, 16, sailed with 25 other young people aged eight-18 in recovery from cancer on one of five yachts around the Solent on the south coast from July 27-30.
Lara, who finished cancer treatment in June 2010 for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at Sheffield Children’s Hospital and Queens Medical Centre, said: “I have had a brilliant week, I’ve never been sailing before. I was really nervous before I came but I’m so glad I did.”
Sailing on board 42-48 foot cruising yachts, the Trust trips provide a chance for young people to test themselves in a safe and supportive environment, encouraging them to work as a team and get involved in everything from steering to cooking.
Lara continued: “People in my hospice were a lot younger than me so it was nice to have people my age who understand what I have been through.”
Departing from East Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, they stopped at Yarmouth Harbour and picturesque Newtown Creek for a barbecue. Before putting their new skills to the test cruising back into Cowes.
Dame Ellen who attends many of the trips, adds: “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.”