Fakenham girl Cassidey’s voyage of adventure

Cassidey at the helm during the voyage.

Cassidey at the helm during the voyage. - Credit: Archant

A 10-year-old girl from Fakenham who is recovering from cancer set sail with 25 young people on a voyage of adventure.

Cassidey Notcutt joined the crew of one of five yachts sailing around the Solent under the banner of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.

Cassidey, who finished cancer treatment in 2012 for Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, was taking to the water for the first time.

“I was nervous because I didn’t know what the people would be like and what I would be doing but I loved it,” she said. “There were some really nice people on my boat.”

Sailing on board 42 - 48ft 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.

Cassidey continued: “My favourite part was helming the boat. I got to make dinner and I enjoyed that because I don’t cook at home.

“It is cool to spend time with people the same age who have been through similar things to me.”

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Departing from their south coast HQ in East Cowes Marina, Isle of Wight, the trip navigated the waters of the Solent, which took them to various stopovers including Yarmouth Harbour and the picturesque bay of Newtown Creek for a barbecue, before cruising back into Cowes.

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.

Dame Ellen, who tries to spend a day on as many trips as possible, said: “The mental and social fall-out from cancer can be just as devastating as the physical illness. Everything we do is about building confidence, self-esteem and having fun together.”