It’s life on the ocean wave for brave girls

TWO South Yorkshire youngsters are spending this week sailing as part of a cruise organised by the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.

Lily Coates, aged 15, from Meadowhead, Sheffield, and Rebekah Wright, 15, from Rotherham, set off from Bradwell in Essex on Sunday.

The cruising week is part of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust’s Return to Sail programme, which gives youngsters aged 14 to 17 the chance to spend five days at sea after beating cancer or leukaemia.

Lily, who was treated for kidney cancer at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, and Rebekah, who was treated there for Hodgkins Lymphoma, have both been on two previous sailing trips with the Trust.

Lily said: ”I’m really looking forward to seeing old friends I made on other trips, making new friends and getting away from the day to day routine.

“The trip lets you meet other people who have been through similar experiences in a really fun environment.”

Rebekah added: ”I enjoy everything about the trips - they are so much fun. Learning how to sail the boat and making new friends has given me so much confidence, I would like to come back as a volunteer when I’m 18.”

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust was set up in 2003 by Dame Ellen MacArthur - who is from Whatstandwell near Matlock. It aims to inspire recovery through sailing.

Ellen said: “These children are truly amazing. They face experiences no child should ever have to go through, and yet they do it with the biggest smile on their faces. They are truly inspiring.”

Meanwhile Ian Carey, chief executive of Barnsley Hospice, has also taken to the seas to raise cash for charity.

He is the skipper of a yacht in the Fastnet sailing race - a famous offshore yachting race which starts off at Cowes on the Isle of Wight in England, rounds the Fastnet Rock off the southwest coast of Ireland, and finishes at Plymouth.

Ian, whose yacht is called Jumping Jellyfish, plans to split the money he raises between Barnsley Hospice and Help the Hospices.

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/Ianatbarnsleyhospice