Young cancer survivors from Oxfordshire are invited on sailing trips this summer with Dame Ellen MacArthur’s cancer charity.

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust offers sailing and outdoor journeys for young survivors, with the aim of supporting their mental and emotional recovery.

One of these youngsters is Yasmin Howes, 13, from Didcot, who was treated at John Radcliffe Hospital for osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, in 2020.

Yasmin Howes with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer TrustYasmin Howes with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust (Image: Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust)

She said: "I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in my thigh when I was nine.

"There was one week where my family could visit in hospital before COVID happened.

“So I didn’t have the same experience as others, where family could come and see them. I would look at them through the window outside.

"I was in a wheelchair for quite some time too, so I had to build up my mobility to be able to walk again.

Since 2022, she has spent a week with the trust each summer on a sailing or outdoor adventure.

Yasmin Howes (left centre) representing the trust at CarFestYasmin Howes (left centre) representing the trust at CarFest (Image: Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust)

She said: "It’s nice knowing we’ve been to similar hospitals and had the same experiences.

"You take all the memories of sailing and cooking on the boat back home with you, but all the friends and all the conversations you’ve had together too."

The charity works with children and young people aged eight to 24 from Oxfordshire and the wider region, helping them to deal with life after a cancer diagnosis and treatment.

The programmes aim to build confidence, boost mental wellbeing, and reconstruct their sense of purpose.

One of the trust's flagship yachts, Solent HeroOne of the trust's flagship yachts, Solent Hero (Image: Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust)

She added: "Someone else on the boat had the exact same cancer in the exact same place, and we have matching scars.

"We’re able to discuss things, we’ve been through the same experiences.

"You kind of know what the other is thinking, because you know what you both gone through.

"My hip to my knee is all titanium inside, which is quite cool. I am back to doing the things I love."

Founder and patron of the charity, Dame Ellen MacArthur, said: "We see it time and time again. Young people arrive anxious and isolated.

Yasmin Howes (right) with her crewmatesYasmin Howes (right) with her crewmates (Image: Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust)

"But they leave feeling part of something, accepted, independent, and optimistic.

"This summer we will welcome hundreds of young people from right across the UK who need post-treatment support.

"We will be there for them and they will believe in a brighter future.

“We are only able to support as many young people as we do thanks to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

"Because of them, thousands of young lives have been transformed after cancer through life-changing sailing and outdoor activity adventures."