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Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust: “still here for the young people that need us”

ellen macarthur cancer trust
CEO Frank Fletcher Dame Ellen MacArthur Co-founder Mark Turner at Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust Ambitions launch on World Cancer Day 2020

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust “never lost sight of what was most important” to navigate through the unprecedented challenges of 2020 and keep supporting young people living through and beyond cancer, a new report says.

The report was published by the Trust to mark World Cancer Day on 4 February 2021.

On World Cancer Day last year, founder and patron, Dame Ellen MacArthur, launched ‘Better Connections, Bigger Impact: Our Ambitions for 2020-2022’ in London, to outline how the Trust would build stronger relationships with, and make a greater long-term difference to, more young people over the next three years.

But after COVID-19 stopped young people being able to go sailing or on outdoor activity trips with the Trust in 2020, the charity was guided by its Ambitions to adapt, innovate and transform the support it provided so it was still there for the young people who needed it.

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust inspires young people aged 8-24 to believe in a brighter future through and beyond cancer. When treatment ends the Trust’s work begins, as for many young people, picking up from where they left off before cancer just isn’t possible.

ellen macarthur cancer trustIn the new report, Frank Fletcher, CEO, writes: “When we gathered at the Royal Society of Medicine on World Cancer Day one year ago today few could have imagined the turn 2020 was about to take.

“As we excitedly laid out our Ambitions for the next three years, it was an emotional evening of hope, belief and gratitude. We knew what we had to do to make sure every young person in recovery from cancer was aware of the opportunities the Trust offers, so we could positively impact the lives of all those who want our support.

“Yet for all the challenges and setbacks we faced in 2020, our Ambitions guided us. We might not have been able to support young people on the water, or fundraise in the usual ways, but our Ambitions meant we never lost sight of what was most important.

“As a result, we were still here for the young people that needed us, fundamentally the most important thing. We kept making our difference.”

‘Better Connections, Bigger Impact’ lays out the Trust’s Ambitions around three pillars – to make meaningful connections with more young people; to secure a diverse and robust income stream; and to improve the impact of the Trust’s work.

By hosting a Virtual Summer programme of on/offline support, strengthening relationships with charity partners, running its first ever virtual fundraisers, and investing in its team, including providing access to mental health first aiders and delivering online volunteer training, the Trust made great strides towards achieving the Ambitions in year one.

The aim is for the Trust to reach its 20th anniversary in 2023 knowing it is more efficient, sustainable and confident in the difference it makes to more young lives than ever before.

Speaking at last year’s launch, Claire Amaladoss, who was supported by the Trust after treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma as a teenager and is now a Trustee, said: “This has been a transforming experience for me. I can’t imagine my life without the Trust, and I want more young people to experience that.”

Read the Trust’s new ‘Better Connections, Bigger Impact – How We’re Doing’ report at ellenmacarthurcancertrust.org

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