Young cancer sufferer goes on special sports adventure

The group of youngsters enjoyed various activities in Bradwell, Essex
The group of youngsters enjoyed various activities in Bradwell, Essex
From left, Jacob Kennard, Gavin Moon, Ian Doyle and Sarah Talboys-Smith with Shanon Rees and Rodney Watson at the front
 at the Southsea Village in Palmerston Road Picture: Habibur Rahman

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A young boy recovering from cancer enjoyed a four-day sports adventure thanks to the support of two charities.

James Restell, nine, from Denmead, joined the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust for an inspirational four-day trip including sailing, canoeing, high ropes, cycling, archery and power-kiting at the Essex Outdoors Centre in Bradwell thanks to the help of players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

James, who finished cancer treatment in June 2012 for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at Southampton General Hospital, was joined by 32 other young people from around the UK, who are recovering from cancer.

Taking part in his second trip with the trust, James explained what the opportunity meant to him.

He said: ‘I chose to come back to the trust because it was really fun the first time on the Isle of Wight and I thought that if I came back it would be even more fun to do it again, just in a different place doing different things.’

Young people between the ages of eight and 18 participated in a range of water and land-based activities to help build their confidence after finishing cancer treatment.

The trip is part of the trust’s return-to-sail programme, aimed at building long-term relationships with the young people in recovery from cancer who sail with the trust.

Having been a key supporter for more than four years, players of People’s Postcode Lottery are integral to the trust’s ability to offer return-to-sail trips, plan for the future and support the young people for as long as required.

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.

Dame Ellen, who tries to spend a day on as many trips as possible, 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.’

The trust invites young people between the ages of eight-17 back each year for various return-to-sail activities.