Leading Lights


OYT South bulletin 20th May 2019

In this Bulletin
Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* Voyage news

On Saturday 11th May we were delighted to be involved with the Gosport Marine Festival, and Prolific offered a day sail for eleven people as part of the show. This was a mixed group of adults and young people, families and individual bookings. Everyone enjoyed a great day on the water but rather than offering our own description, here's a version by one of the crew, Zella Compton, who wrote about the day in the Portsmouth News. Big thanks to sea staff Peta, Jen, Ollie, Allen, Lucinda, Georgia, Tom and Callum.

The last newsletter reported on the second year of the Ormiston Trust's Leading Lights Project, a fantastic initiative which brings young people from Ormiston Academies on board with inspirational mentors. The idea is that students have time during the voyage to get to know adults with interesting jobs - including OYT South's staff and volunteers as well as the mentors - and to find out how their careers developed, and perhaps start to get some new ideas about what might be possible in their own futures. The last report was on a voyage for girls and women mentors: this time it was boys and male mentors.

They joined on Sunday and sailed round to Chichester, followed by a long passage down to Weymouth on Monday. They had a good time in Weymouth including a visit to the fishing tackle shop.

Tuesday was a great day as they sailed to Worbarrow Bay and anchored - was this the first BBQ of the season? It was the most glorious outlook and a fantastic sunset: quite something to show the boys who came from two schools in Stoke on Trent.


Worbarrow Bay

Worbarrow Bay

Next day they sailed to Poole which really isn't far, but with the tide against them (and wanting to go sailing rather than wait around for hours for the tide to turn) and the wind against them as well, it turned into quite a big day - you can see their actual track here as they went almost halfway to France!

At the helm


Leading Lights crew

The voyage ended last Friday after 110 nautical miles, with thirteen people earning the RYA Start Yachting qualification - a great achievement! Big thanks to the mentors Gordon and Tony; teacher Dan, and to the sea staff Peta, Andy Brown, Andy Gissing, Annant, Allen and Tom.

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* South Coast Boat Show report

Prolific and the team had a fabulous time this weekend at the inaugural South Coast Boat Show in Ocean Village. MDL supplied us with ingredients to provide bacon rolls for visitors and other exhibitors and we were kept busy through Saturday and Sunday mornings, and had a very successful time collecting donations!


Bacon rolls

The weather was a bit mixed so we were very grateful to have our new deck tent, generously sponsored by the Graham High Charity:

Deck tent

It was great to see Prolific being used as one of the focal points of the show and we couldn't be more grateful to Scott the marina manager and all of the MDL team who do so much to support us. Overall, we came away from the weekend thinking that we had made not just a lot of useful contacts, but also a lot of friends.

South Coast boat show

Big thanks to our staff and volunteers who not only made bacon rolls but also showed plenty of visitors round the boat and told them all about the charity's work: Peta, Mark, Holly, Josh, Danny, Callum, Andy, Tom, Shaun, John, James, Amy, Caz and special thanks to Millie (14) and Ciaran (15) who are not only young crew members but also MDL Award Winners who first sailed with us after being selected by the MDL team. They couldn't have worked harder to show guests around and explain what the charity does for young people, and we received a stream of compliments for the great impression they made as they talked about their involvement with the charity with such articulate passion and commitment.

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* Day Skipper Georgia
Huge congratulations to our Staff Cadet Georgia who is up with OYT Scotland at the moment to broaden her experience and has just passed her RYA Day Skipper!

We look forward welcoming two of Scotland's cadets on board Prolific later in the season.

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* Amber Foundation - Jack's story

A few weeks ago we had on board a crew provided by the Amber Foundation which aims to help homeless, unemployed young people move on to positive, independent futures. They have now published a case study on their website about 20-year old Jack, who says "Before I came to Amber life was just drink and drugs. Being here and having these amazing opportunities and challenges is showing me that there is more to life than getting wrecked. I thought sailing was amazing and I’m hoping to be able to go again in the summer”.

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* 2019 voyages available for young people
Our 2019 sailing programme is available here - just 19 berths left without confirmed bookings, and we have had provisional enquiries for nine of those so we may have as few as ten places still available out of more than 470 for the year!

The following voyages are available for bookings or enquiries now:

24-29 June, Southampton to Poole, 5 nights, age range 12-25, £490 per person, at least 2 berths available. This could be an ideal voyage for people who have finished exams - the bookings we have so far are for people aged 15-19. Passports needed as we may have the opportunity to sail to France, weather permitting.

16-22 July, Falmouth to Brixham, 6 nights, age range 12-25, £575 per person, at least 4 berths available. Passports needed as we may have the opportunity to sail to France, weather permitting.

29 July - 4 August, Brixham, 6 nights, age range 12-25, £575 per person,1 berth possibly available depending on whether the final provisional booking is confirmed. Passports needed as we may have the opportunity to sail to France, weather permitting.

14-20 Aug, Brixham, 6 nights, age range 12-25, £575 per person, at least 3 berths available. Passports needed as we may have the opportunity to sail to France, weather permitting.

27 Aug - 1 Sept, Poole to Southampton, 5 nights, age range 12-25, £490 per person, 1 berth available. Passports needed as we may have the opportunity to sail to France, weather permitting.

If you would like to make a booking, please email caroline.white@oytsouth.org.

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Volunteer sea staff vacancies
We have a few voyages definitely needing additional sea staff, and others where volunteers MAY need to drop out of places they have booked, for reasons such as waiting to hear about possible new jobs and internships.

10-14 June, Poole to Southampton - qualified watchleader possibly needed
15-19 June, Southampton - watchleader possibly needed
7-15 July, Brixham to Falmouth - watchleader possibly needed
14-20 Aug, Brixham - watchleader possibly needed
28 Sept - 1 Oct, Southampton - watchleader needed
18-22 Oct, Southampton - watchleader needed

Email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you could help with any of these voyages. All dates given are when young people or clients are on board so we generally need volunteers the afternoon before (or the evening before for day sails).

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Adult volunteer training voyages - open to current and new potential volunteers
The adult voyage in June is now fully booked and we have just one remaining voyage with spaces in 2019 earmarked for volunteer training for adults (18+):

11-13 October, Southampton (8pm Friday to 5pm Sunday), £200 (but see below about the cost). Up to 5 places left.

Voyages like these are designed both for current volunteers who want to improve their own skills in sailing Prolific, on a voyage where they don't have to be supervising young people at the same time; and also for new potential volunteers who want to come along and find out what it's all about and how we work. It is also intended to be a lot of fun - please BOOK NOW!

The cost of volunteer training voyages is designed as a contribution to charitable funds from those who can afford it, and it includes a year's annual membership. Current and potential volunteers who still can't afford it, please apply to webmaster1@oytsouth.org for bursary funding - no-one who is already a valuable volunteer interested in improving their skills should be excluded from these voyages by the cost; and new potential volunteers who seem to have a lot to offer the charity are also welcome to apply as we will be keen to invest in getting you trained and familiar with the boat. Email webmaster1@oytsouth.org to reserve a place, or for more information.

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2020 advance planning - Tall Ships in Coruna, and the Mayflower Small Ships Race
With this summer's voyages filling up fast, plans are becoming clearer for summer 2020. Our current plan is to sail down to the Tall Ships festival in A Coruna in Spain in July and take part in the Tall Ships race to Dunkirk (another great festival). Then we'll cruise back to Southampton in time to run a voyage which will include the Mayflower Small Ships Race to Dartmouth - part of the 400th anniversary celebrations for the Mayflower sailing to the New World. Then we'll have another voyage taking us back to Southampton in time for the end of the school summer holidays.

This programme should provide a brilliant mix of voyages: overseas adventures; more affordable local south coast trips; races and cruises; something for older and more able crew members and other dates for younger people and novices needing a gentler introduction to sailing.

More details and dates are available here and you can register to take part in any of the voyages either as an individual or a group booking. (This applies to clients and young people - we aren't looking for sea staff bids yet!)

No part of this programme is yet set in stone and we are also happy to talk to clients about other options.

Tall Ships race

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Vessel Tracking

Don’t forget you can always have a look and see where Prolific is sailing.

If you discover she is in a harbour somewhere near you, please go and say hello. If we’re not too busy with activities with young people, then visitors are generally welcome. You can always call the boat beforehand (07990 518915) to see if there is time for a visit - and sometimes you may be just what we need if you have local information or a bit of time to spare to help with something, or a car for running a quick errand!

Big thanks to the Graham High Charity who sponsor our vessel tracking.


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Online fundraising - raise money with minimal effort! 

OYT South is now registered with Amazon Smile which makes donations to us when people shop - Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price on eligible purchases. If you ever shop with Amazon, do have a look - once you pick Ocean Youth Trust South as your chosen charity and start using https://smile.amazon.co.uk, you don’t need to do anything further, and all your other Amazon account settings remain unchanged.

We also receive donations through Easyfundraising - this one works for all sorts of online shopping, not just a single site like Amazon. One of our volunteers says “I booked a Citybreak weekend away on Expedia and car parking on Holiday Extras through Easyfundraising and that produced £18.28 for OYT South at zero cost to me.” Easyfundraising says: "It doesn't cost you a penny extra. When you shop the easyfundraising way with one of our 3,241 shops and sites they give us a commission for your purchase. We turn that into a donation and give it to your good cause. Easy!"

If all our supporters got into the habit of raising money for us when shopping online, it would soon mount up. If you can persuade your friends and family to do it, even better. And if you work for a business which spends significant sums online, who knows how much you could raise?

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Financial appeal
We need a regular flow of funds to cover at least three major areas: bursaries for young people who could not otherwise afford to sail; vessel maintenance and equipment; and staff salaries - please help, or pass on our details to anyone you come across who might make a grant, large or small.

See here for how to make a donation - you can contribute by cheque, phone or PayPal, but please do something if you possibly can. Don't forget that if you complete and return a Gift Aid form (pdf) we can claim back tax on your donation.

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Vessel maintenance days - help needed

Please make a note of the list of maintenance days during the season when we would really appreciate lots of help:

Friday 21st June - Southampton
Tuesday 13th August - Brixham
Friday 20th September - Southampton

Skilled and unskilled help needed. Over-18s welcome. 16 and 17-year olds may be allowed to help at the skipper's discretion and depending on what work needs to be done, but trainee bosuns and young people who have had sea staff recommendations should certainly ask if they can help at a maintenance day. We normally need people on board from around 9am to 5pm, and lunch is provided on board.

Email refit@oytsouth.org so the skipper knows you are coming and can plan jobs and meals for you, or call the boat on 07990 518915.

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2019 AGM date

The 2019 AGM has been set for Saturday 9th November - more details to follow, but do save the date! It will probably include the usual Curry Night...

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Chris Ellis Award - win up to £500
off the price of your next voyage
Now open for 2019 entries.

If you enjoy a voyage with OYT South and want to come again (and are aged 12-25), please think about entering for this award. You can win up to £500 off the price of another voyage, by sending in an account of a voyage you have already done with us. It can be a logbook, diary, story, pictures, video - anything which gives the judges an idea of why you had a good time and would like to come again. The prize is judged at the end of each season and the award can be spent on a voyage the following year. Entries should be emailed to webmaster1@oytsouth.org  or posted to the office. See here for more details of this award, which was set up in memory of the charity's founder. You can also see some previous winning entries.

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Youth Trustee - speaking up for young people

OYT South has a rule that at least one member of the Board of Trustees - which runs the charity - should be in the same age range as the young people who sail with us. The current Youth Trustee is Lauren Mackenzie, aged 18. Lauren first sailed with us for her gold DofE and quickly started volunteering with us, qualifying as a watchleader as soon as she was old enough and then being upgraded to second mate last September. She is currently in her first year at university, studying maths at Oxford.

Lauren is in a position to speak up for young crew members, suggest changes in the way the charity operates or to do anything else which will improve the experience of the young people who sail with us. If you are a young person and you have ideas or suggestions for how we can do better, and you want to talk to someone close to your own age, you can contact Lauren. If you’re not happy with something and want to know what to do about it, you might want to start by talking to Lauren. If you want to get more involved - whether by just doing another voyage, or by training as a volunteer - Lauren can point you in the right direction. You can email her at laurenmackenzie@oytsouth.org.

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Eddystone* Eddystone Charity Pursuit - can you take part?
Regular readers will know that one of our volunteers, Sandy Garrity, has entered his boat Aphrodite in the Eddystone Charity Pursuit (the South West’s largest sailing fundraising event).on Saturday 15th June this year to raise money for OYT South. Sandy says:

"Aphrodite is now fully crewed and an "intensive training course" has started with topics that both OYT South's crew and sea staff will be familiar with: how to get the cooker going, how the skipper likes his tea, where the biscuits are *stored* (hidden), what is the general direction to the Eddystone (south), how to turn the boat round and general direction of Plymouth (north).  Passports are being carried just in case we make a "slight" navigation error and end up going round the lighthouse off Roscoff.  The current size of the fleet is forty-seven vessels and the crew are looking forward to participating in the event.  During the event we can be followed on Instagram and AIS (MMSI 235036786)."

Sandy would be very grateful if you could share his JustGiving page with everybody you know to help him reach his target of £500 for the OYT South.

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RYA courses with SeaRegs

Occasional OYT South relief skipper Simon Jinks's company SeaRegs is now offering RYA practical coursers on a regular basis. This year they have a monthly programme of both Sail and Power Yachtmaster weeks and Day Skipper weeks, as well as both classroom based and online theory courses. A 10% discount is available for booking both a theory course and a practical course.

Contact Vicky Jinks admin@searegs.co.uk if you are interested - please DON'T reply to the OYT South staff via the bulletin for this one!

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Branded clothing
OYT South branded clothing available - please see here. You can buy hoodies (in a wide range of colours), fleeces, short- and long-sleeved t-shirts, baseball caps, beanie hats, polo shirts and more, all with OYT South's logo!

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From youth crew to volunteer
Have you recently done a voyage as a young crew member, enjoyed it, and been told by the skipper or any of the other sea staff to think about coming back as a volunteer on board? This is how many of our watchleaders and bosuns started, and it’s a great opportunity for getting years of very cheap sailing, plus something impressive to add to your CV, college or job applications. If you start volunteering with us and do well, you could gain invaluable experience in leading and motivating teams, looking after safety issues, taking responsibility and more - especially if you end up volunteering on some of our voyages with highly disadvantaged and vulnerable young people.

If you’ve had a recommendation from the skipper, it’s still really up to you to decide whether you are keen and ready to take this step - moving from being a young crew member who can be looked after and supported by the sea staff, into a position of responsibility where you will be looking after other people and responsible for helping to deliver a successful voyage to others, and accepting that this can involve hard work - though we hope our volunteers also have plenty of fun! Junior volunteers will still get support and advice from more experienced sea staff, but you really have to be ready to get stuck in when there are things to do and your effort can help make the difference to keeping the boat working smoothly and ensuring that another group of young people has the best possible experience.

But the next stage is really up to you. There are plenty of young people who impress us on voyages each year, but the ones who get to come back for more voyages, training and qualifications are the ones who show a real interest and make the effort to keep in touch - we simply don’t have the time to chase all of you individually if we don’t hear from you. Reading this weekly newsletter is vital - you will see when we are advertising for trainee mates or bosuns, or offering courses, or asking for help with maintenance or other events. You may also sometimes see that we have a short-notice vacancy for a crew berth - if we can’t fill the place with a paying customer, offering it as a cut-price or even free place to a new potential volunteer whom we know will be an asset to the team is much better than sailing with an empty berth. So if you are keen, PLEASE read the bulletin and don’t be afraid to reply and ask questions - if you’re not sure whether an opportunity is suitable for you or not, or if there might be age restrictions, just ask. We really do want to hear from you!

If you read this newsletter regularly, you will see that the key period for sending in bids for volunteer berths tends to be November to early January. Every year we get a few people who haven't read the newsletter and don't start thinking about summer sailing until the new year is well underway - only to find that volunteer berths in school and college holidays are already booked up.

And one more thing ... if you are mature enough to be thinking about making the step up into volunteering, then you should really be contacting us yourself. It doesn't quite create the same impression if you get your mum to do it ...!

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Raise And Sail - website for anyone looking to raise money to come sailing
Raise And Sail is a section of this website full of ideas, information and support for young people who would like to raise money in order to come sailing with us. Huge thanks to Fiona Keen and Emma Burrows for putting Raise And Sail together. We hope you will find it useful - let us know how you get on as we can add success stories and new ideas to the site in due course.

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Online navigation training for volunteers and young people
OYT South has been offering basic navigation training through the RYA's Essential Navigation & Seamanship course - do have a look and sign up if you want the qualification.

For those of you who want something a little more advanced, one of our relief skippers, Simon Jinks, is offering online distance learning systems for the theory courses for Day Skipper, Coastal/Yachtmaster and Yachtmaster Ocean. Simon is a great sailor and a top instructor so this is very highly recommended. Details here. He is also offering a one-day Weather for Sailors course. Please note that Simon's website also includes Essential Navigation and the PPI course, both of which OYT South can offer in-house.

With our own courses and Simon's we now have navigation courses to suit everyone from total beginners right up to the most advanced level - please give it a go and do ask for advice if you are not sure which course is right for you.

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Keep in touch with other OYT South people
We are on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/oytsouth - please do give us a Like! If you were friends with John Laing on our old page (https://www.facebook.com/johnlaingsailing please do move to the new page now.

We are also on Twitter @oytsouth so please follow us!

And Instagram @oyt_south

And LinkedIn Ocean Youth Trust South

Please note that OYT South has a policy that our adult staff and volunteers should not make or accept individual online friend requests with crew members aged under 18, or vulnerable adults. Crew members can use the sites to stay in touch with the boat and with each other, but not with individual staff and volunteers.

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New readers' welcome and introduction
If you have recently registered your interest in OYT South, welcome to our newsletter, which is sent out almost every week, normally on a Friday, and is also copied onto the website.

If you have just started receiving this newsletter by email, it is because we believe you have signed up and consented to receive it - perhaps by emailing us to ask for it, completing a form on our website, or adding your email address to the book on board where people can sign up to receive news, as well as leaving comments. If this was a mistake or you simply decide you want to stop receiving the newsletter, just press “reply” to the email and write UNSUBSCRIBE at the top, or email webmaster1@oytsouth asking to unsubscribe.

Each week the newsletter includes a wide range of news from the boat and from the charity, including details of voyages available for young people; adult voyages; opportunities for adult volunteers both ashore and afloat, and much more. We find that while some people read the bulletin almost every week, many others dip in and out, and read it when it's convenient - which is why some items are repeated. New items are marked with an asterisk * so that if you did read it last week, you can see which sections you can safely skip.

Please feel free to join in any OYT South activities - nothing here is restricted to long-standing members or people who already know one another. New people are always very welcome!

If you need an introduction to the work of OYT South, you should find a lot of useful information on our website. But essentially, we are a registered charity (no. 1079959) which exists to offer adventure under sail as a personal development opportunity for young people aged 12-25, from the widest possible range of backgrounds. A high proportion of our young crew members are disadvantaged or deserving in some way: many of these sail in groups organised by other charities, youth clubs, special schools and so on, and will fill the bulk of our term-time voyages. But those from more fortunate backgrounds are also welcome to sail, either in groups or by coming as individuals on a mixed voyage. Every year we run a variety of shorter local voyages plus longer adventure trips - sometimes including Tall Ships races during the summer holidays. If you are aged 12-25 and hoping to sail as a crew member, take a look here - and this section is also useful for adults who are thinking of organising a voyage for a young person. Adults planning to organise a full group voyage should also see here. Adults who want to sail themselves should see here.

We have a professional staff skipper and engineer, but our watch leaders are normally all volunteers, who combine sailing skills with an interest in working with young people. You can find more information here - how the system works, how to join, and profiles of existing staff and volunteers.  

To volunteer for OYT South ashore, please see here. To help with the vessel's annual refit, see here.

It is a very expensive business maintaining a boat, running an office and employing staff. If you want to help us, please become a member of OYT South. Or see here for information on making a donation.

If you have any questions, please do email - or contact the office.

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Receiving this newsletter by email
Many thanks to all those who have given consent to receiving this newsletter by email. If you are not currently getting it by email and would like to, please just click here Newsletter Subscribe and press "send", or email webmaster1@oytsouth.org.

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“To be honest I never wanted to come, but I'm glad I did because I have learnt and seen so much!" Charlotte