Kenneth has new wind in his sails after trip

A Galashiels teenager who went through cancer treatment for leukaemia at the age of five, is brimming with new-found confidence after taking part in a charity sailing adventure.

Kenneth Lyons, 15, took part in a recent inspirational sailing trip with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, along with a number of other young people in recovery from cancer.

The young Borderer joined the crew of one of the yachts to sail on the Firth of Clyde last month in a four-day yacht adventure.

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For Kenneth, who finished cancer treatment in 2006 for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at The Royal Hospital for Sick Children, this was his first time sailing with the trust.

He said: “I found it really easy to chat to everyone on the trip, I think this was because we all have something in common and everyone was very relaxed.”

Sailing onboard 42-48 foot cruising yachts, the trust trips provide a chance for the young people to test themselves in a safe and supportive environment, encouraging them to work as a team and get involved in everything from helming the boat to cooking.

Kenneth continued: “We went crabbing and the water fight was really good, I had one of the bigger water pistols.

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“I will take away from this trip new friends, confidence and new skills.”

Departing from their Scottish base in Largs, the youngsters navigated the waters of the Firth of Clyde and enjoyed various stopovers including Port Bannatyne on the picturesque Isle of Bute, before putting their new skills to the test by cruising back to Largs.

Launched in 2003 by the internationally-renowned yachtswoman, 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, commented: “The mental and social fall-out from cancer can be just as devastating as the physical illness.

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“Everything we do is about building confidence, self-esteem and having fun together.”

Find out how you can support the trust and help to make a real difference to young people’s lives by visiting