The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust has been presented with a cheque for over £7,000 from Natasha Lambert, a young sailor born with cerebral palsy who achieved the amazing feat of sailing around the Isle of Wight on 9th September last year in 12 hours and 25 minutes in an effort to fundraise for three Isle of Wight charities.
Natasha, 15 from Cowes, who sails by a single straw in her mouth using a ‘sip/puff system’ to helm and trim the sails, managed to raise a total of £17,758.47 for three local charities of her choosing: the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust (£7,328.64), Cowes Lifeboat (£7,328.63) and Isle of Wight Scope (£3,101.19). She presented representatives from all three of the charities with the funds raised onboard her yacht, Miss Isle Too, a Mini 6.50.
Amanda Lambert, Natasha’s mother describes her daughter as “a fun-loving, normal teenager who is driven to live-life, overcome challenges and who aims to show that anybody can achieve their dreams regardless of disability. Natasha loves the freedom that sailing gives her, for her it takes away the disability and allows her to get involved in the local community.”
“The most important thing for Tasha is to choose charities that personally mean something to her. Natasha became familiar with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust when she saw young people regularly going out sailing from Cowes on the charity’s yacht and recognized how happy they all were. Sailing provided these other young people with the same opportunities that Natasha has experienced, including learning new skills, doing something fun and exhilarating and giving them a completely new focus on life, something very special and so important to recover and move forward.”
Fundraising was a family affair. Besides using a Virgin fundraising page, Natasha also wrote to companies asking them for their support. Knowing that every little bit makes a difference, the Lambert family also set up a cake stall, and with the help of her sister, Natasha sold baked goods to tired and hungry sailors coming in off the water at the end of the day. Miss Isle Too played host to a fundraising bucket and also made an appearance at the Southampton Boat Show to an overwhelmingly positive response from supporters.
The effort and contribution that Natasha has made will make a huge difference to the Trust, giving 14 more young people, aged 8-24 the chance to take part in a life changing sailing trip.
Dan Taylor, a representative from the Trust commented: “Natasha exudes incredible qualities of selflessness and is exactly the type of person that it is wonderful to have working with the Trust, and we are looking forward to her continued involvement.”
In July this year, Natasha has set her sights on sailing to France to raise funds for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), and Wetwheels, a not-for-profit organization that uses fully accessible boats to provide power boating opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. Just one more step towards Natasha’s ultimate dream of sailing across the Atlantic.
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