A 20-YEAR-OLD from Calne who is recovering from cancer recently returned from a sailing trip with five other young people.

George Paxford, a biomedical science student from Derry Hill completed the latest leg of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust’s four-month Round Britain 2017 challenge at the end of August (August 27).

He was one of six young people recovering from cancer who took part in the 230-nautical mile Leg 13 sail from Falmouth, Cornwall to Cardiff on the Trust’s voyage yacht Moonspray.

Launched in 2003, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is a national charity that rebuilds confidence after cancer, using sailing to as way to support and empower, as well as inspire 8-24-year-olds to embrace their future optimistically.

Mr Paxford first sailed with the Trust in 2009 after treatment for osteosarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer.

He said that this year’s trip had surpassed his expectations.

“Waking up at midnight, going up on deck and seeing all the stars with dolphins swimming with us was a really special moment you don’t get every day,” he explained.

“Going round Lands End by sea was another incredible moment. It’s been a learning experience. The Trust started my interest in sailing and it’s been really nice to continue expanding my knowledge.”

Like all six Leg 13 crew members that first sailed with Trust as young people in recovery, George is now a Trust volunteer to support other young people going through experiences only they know.

He said: "Before I became a volunteer I kept coming back through my love of sailing and having the opportunity to do something I enjoyed being surrounded by others who had been in similar situations.

"As a volunteer it's about helping to create the satisfaction I felt as a young person, of trying something different and gaining more confidence through making new friends and learning skills."

During the stopover in Cardiff, the crew visited hospitals in Bristol and Cardiff to meet young people who are still undergoing treatment, to inspire them in seeing what is possible after cancer.

For every young person the Trust currently supports, there are nine they cannot.

Round Britain 2017 aims to raise awareness of the Trust’s work both publicly and within the hospitals and support networks around the country through the #tell9people campaign.

You can support the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust’s campaign and follow Round Britain 2017 via the Trust’s social media channels and on the live voyage tracker at www.ellenmacarthurcancertrust.org.