Friday, 22 May 2009

Trust leaves London, after a great stopover!

Well, leg 3 has now begun and Scarlet and her new crew of Dan, James, Jamie and Steffi are leaving London now on their way to Ipswich, but the Trust's time spent in the city was just fantastic. I've been lucky enough to sail up the Thames and under Tower Bridge several times in the past, but this time, with six young people who have all sailed with the Trust before on board, was really special. Thanks to all the people who came down to cheer their support, and went online to "Buy a Mile" that day, to boost our fundraising total. To arrive and moor up next to HMS Belfast with Dan, Michael, Jay, Emily and Maxine, and see their family and friends waving and waiting to greet them at the end of their journey (some with a tear in their eyes) was amazing and I hope they all enjoyed the experience as much as I did. The Trust was helped greatly by Chris Livett, Waterman to H.M. Queen Elizabeth II who boarded at Sheerness to make sure the journey up the Thames was as easy as possible and arranged the opening of Tower Bridge for us, so a big thanks to him.

The next day, after the young people had taken a flight on the London Eye, and spent their last night on the boat, their final trip was to UCLH to give a presentation to patients still in treatment, their families and the staff there about their voyage. Introduced by our Ambassador Dan Monk, all the crew spoke about their experiences and received a great reception from all listening. Afterwards they stayed to have a bit of lunch with the patients and I can't help but feel this is one of the most important and rewarding parts of the trip for the young crew. To be able to go back and communicate their message of recovery I think is invaluable, to both themselves and those still in treatment. It's a huge step forward.

That night, the Trust held a dinner on HMS Belfast for some of our most valued supporters who I spoke to at length about the work of the Trust, answering many questions to give those who may not have participated in a trip before a real insight into our work and a good evening was had by all at a superb venue.

I also gave two talks whilst in London, one in Greenwich and one at BT Centre and it was great to see familiar faces in the audience at both, as well as having Dan our Ambassador receive a huge round of applause after I mentioned him in the Q & A session at the end, explaining how he sailed with the Trust at 16 and now skippers on our Summer Trips - a true inspiration to all.

I wish the crew on Leg 3 a safe and fun passage up to Ipswich, and hope to see some of you at my next talk in Hull on Saturday 6 June.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

A big, big thanks to everyone who came along to hear me talk in Brighton yesterday evening. I've been really overwhelmed by your kind comments and support and interest in the Ellen MacArthur Trust Skandia Round Britain trip - we're glad that you think it is as exciting as we do!

In the afternoon, the Scarlet Oyster crew came with me to visit the Musto store in Brighton with me - Musto have been fantastic and are kindly providing all the clothing for our Round Britain trip. At the store, we were interviewed by a schoolgirl called Carla who had won a competition in a local newspaper. One of Carla's questions was "Are you all friends onboard?" - we were all quite relieved that Joseph answered that with a resounding "Yes!".

The next stop for the Ellen MacArthur Trust Skandia Round Britain trip is Dover - weather permitting, Scarlet Oyster should be arriving in Dover Marina on Friday 10th June and I will be speaking at The Ark in Dover at 1430 on Saturday.

So for now, thanks Brighton ....and Dover here we come!