Nicola sails the seas with cancer trust

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Brave teen Nicola Clarke took part in an inspirational sailing trip with fifteen other youngsters in recovery from cancer.

Nicola, from Chesterfield, joined the crew of one of the yachts, to sail on the Firth of Clyde in Scotland in a four-day yacht adventure.

For Nicola, 17, this was her first time sailing with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, which organised the trip.

The teen is due to complete maintenance treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in July at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

She said: “I was nervous leading up to the trip because I didn’t know anyone who was coming.

“I enjoyed getting to meet new people as well as learning to sail. I definitely think I’ll stay in touch with them.”

Sailing onboard 42 by 48 foot cruising yachts, the trust trips provide a chance for the young people to test themselves in a safe and supportive environment, encouraging them to work as a team and get involved in everything from helming the boat to cooking.

Nicola said: “I normally struggle with the movement in my legs, but I’ve been climbing around the boat and doing things I wouldn’t normally dare to do. The support from other people on the boat has encouraged me to do that.

“I’ve learnt I can do more than I think I can and that I should believe in myself a bit more.”

Nicola ended her week on a high – even though she has missed a lot of school because of her illness and treatment, she got the very good news that she’s done well in her AS level exams.

During the trips, the trust fleet navigates the waters of the Firth of Clyde, making various stopovers including Port Bannatyne on the Isle of Bute, the national sailing centre at Great Cumbrae and back to Largs, giving the young people the opportunity to test their new skills on the water.

Launched in 2003, the aim of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is to give young people in recovery from cancer the chance to rebuild their confidence through sailing.

There are many ways you can support the trust with your time, money or services. To become a friend of the trust or to find out more visit: www.ellenmacarthurcancertrust.org.