In a progressive step, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust’s Board of Trustees have appointed their first young person in recovery from cancer to the Board, welcoming 21-year-old Claire Amaladoss to the team.
For Claire, who first sailed with the Trust in 2007 after being diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma at the age of 13, the trip formed a key part of her recovery and helped her regain the confidence and independence that years of intensive treatment had striped away.
“Before the trip, I had felt increasingly isolated and cut off. The first Trust trip enabled me to meet others who had the same experience. That unspoken understanding was crucial to my recovery.”
Having returned to sail with the Trust in following years, Claire went on to train as a Graduate Volunteer and was one of the founding members of the Trust’s Youth Board initiative. Still sitting on the Youth Board, Claire will act as a bridge between their discussions and those of the main Board of Trustees.
Joining Chairman Clive Stephen and five Trustees – who are all involved in the Trust activities at a practical level as well as in the board-room – Claire hopes to bring fresh ideas and perspective to the table:
“I hope to represent the views of the young people, giving insight into the lasting effects of cancer both in terms of what it does to your thought process, but practical things too such as aching muscles, bereavements and continued hospital trips.
“The Trust is breaking the mold as a progressive and innovative charity in their governance to the point bringing in a young person who’s benefitted from the Trust’s support. It is symptomatic of how the Trust consistently put us, the young people, at the heart of what they do. I’ve always known they valued our opinions, but having someone like contributing to Board meetings is a very tangible demonstration of that.”
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. In their 11th year, the Trust has grown beyond every expectation into a national charity.
There are many ways you can support The Trust with your time, money or services. To become a Friend of the Trust and help them to continue to provide support and encouragement to young people in recovery from cancer visit:
Photographed L-R: Dame Ellen MacArthur, Claire Amaladoss and Trust Graduate Volunteers Gemma Foster and Chloe Persons