OYT South bulletin 23rd September 2022

OYT South’s weekly newsletter, including details of what has happened on the boat in the last week, plus short notice sailing vacancies for crew and sea staff and other ways you can get involved, and all the charity’s news.

OYT South bulletin 23rd September 2022

by | Sep 23, 2022

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

Movement for Good Awards – TWO DAYS till the next draw – PLEASE nominate us NOW and share the link!

Please nominate us for funding from Movement for Good! Even if you nominated us for a previous draw you can do so again for this week’s draw.

Several times in the past we have been successful with these awards and we have had significant sums to spend on our work with young people, but it really does require as many people as possible to nominate us and to share this post and encourage others to help – it’s incredibly quick and easy! We weren’t lucky in the June draw but that’s all the more reason to keep on nominating us for the next draw.

Go to https://movementforgood.com/ecclesiastical and click Nominate Now. In the box “search for charity name or number”, put Ocean Youth Trust South or 1079959 and select “education and skills” under “charity type”. Fill in your own details and that’s it – it takes seconds!

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OYT South AGM 2022 – Saturday 12th November
We are planning to get together in person for this year’s AGM – after holding it on Zoom for the last two years! There will be a short meeting in the early evening followed by a social evening and a curry, probably all in the Southampton area. More details to follow soon but for the moment, please put the date in your diary: Saturday 12th November.

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Skipper job advertisement – one week to go!
We announced earlier this month that our lovely Staff Skipper Holly Vint has decided to move on at the end of the year – and we are now looking for new Staff Skipper!

There is a detailed job description and person specification available here, including details of how to apply. But essentially the priority is to find the right person for the role, and that could lead us down one of two distinct paths. We might find an experienced and qualified skipper, able to take over following basic familiarisation and handover; but sometimes in the past we have had success by recruiting someone with immense potential, already at least a commercially-endorsed Yachtmaster Offshore – but not ready to skipper Prolific straight away and needing a training programme lasting up to a year to ensure they can manage such a large vessel while working effectively with young people and volunteers (and looking to stay long enough in the role to make this training programme worthwhile).

We would therefore welcome applications or enquiries from anyone who could reasonably skipper Prolific either straight away or with no more than a season of training.

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Holly’s leaving present
Holly has been with us for two years as Staff Skipper – as well as many years of volunteering and a season as Sailing Support Officer, having first sailed with us as a young crew member in 2012.

She has played a tremendous part in the success of the charity, especially as we returned to work after losing a season and a half to Covid. We have received a great deal of fantastic feedback from voyages which Holly has skippered. She is a great sailor with a fantastic talent for working with young people, and she has contributed so much to OYT South in so many ways since she first became involved as a young crew member.

You can contribute to her leaving present here.

Holly Vint

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2023 sailing programme

We are still sorting out some group bookings for our regular clients and confirming our port bookings, and a few dates and ports may still change; but a 2023 voyage programme is now available on the website. Do talk to us if you want to make a group booking (12-15 places); and for individual bookings, have a look at the voyages earmarked for individuals in school / college / uni holidays (shown in yellow on the programme – we may add more individual voyages depending on demand) and contact webmaster1@oytsouth.org to express an interest.

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* Voyage news

Last week’s newsletter was written just as our adult training voyage for volunteers and prospective volunteers was ending – and we hadn’t yet collected the feedback from the boat. There were some lovely comments, including: “The best bit is 100% the people, everybody’s just been so supportive, encouraging, patient and just really excellent people to get along with. And the second best bit is when things start to make sense and you kind of see what is doing what and why it’s doing it, and yeah, that’s a really cool feeling”, and: “The hardest bit very quickly became the best bit actually: coming here not knowing anyone, feeling like strangers and not really feeling like you fit in necessarily yet, and then becoming the best bit where you all fit in and it kind of makes sense and it is an eclectic group of people and we’re all different and when that slots together I think it’s better than if we were all the same types of people.”

The value of the interaction between people on board was particularly evident in one comment from a new potential volunteer who had sailed with one of our current volunteers who is visually-impaired: “The best bit I’m going to remember is when I’d finished helming and she wanted to come and helm with me and I was just really inspired because we were trying to work out how she, because she couldn’t see much, how she could feel it on her cheek, and it made me wonder about feeling the wind on my cheek and feeling the whole helming thing, and, you know, little moments like that during the week which were really inspiring.”

That was followed by a really special weekend with two day sails.

On Saturday, we had been asked to support Southampton International Boat Show’s work to reach out to sections of the local community which may not have much connection with the marine world. They introduced us to Redbridge Community School, probably the closest school to the Port of Southampton, and they sent ten young people and two staff to meet Prolific at the show and come sailing for the day. Thanks to Southampton International Boat Show / Paul Wyeth Photography for these two images:

Redbridge Communiy School sailors (Southampton International Boat Show / Paul Wyeth Photography)Redbridge Communiy School sailors (Southampton International Boat Show / Paul Wyeth Photography)

The young people chosen for the day were engaged with projects within the school developing resilience and leadership, and they arrived with a fantastic attitude and a determination to make the most of their time on board, embracing the motto: “Feel the fear – and do it anyway!” They were a real credit to their school and hopefully we will find a way to get Redbridge students back for a longer voyage. They had a good sail in the Solent, with everyone steering, hoisting sails and going out on the bowsprit. Their comments included: “I loved learning with the crew about how to sail and navigation. I really enjoyed the whole trip. Thank you” and “It was fun and I tried the net of the boat” from the person who had been most nervous of going on the bowsprit but still did it! And from the teachers: “A wonderful trip – loved learning new skills, the glorious weather and your fantastic staff” and “Amazing day out on the water in the sun. The kids absolutely thrived and beamed with smiles and enthusiasm all day. They even enjoyed the experience of eating something new at lunch.”

On Sunday we enjoyed one of our standard adult day sails, filling the boat with sponsors, donors and supporters who have helped the charity in various ways as well as some who might be interested in supporting us in future. The group included some very generous donors; people who have volunteered for us, both as recent and long past (OYC) sea staff and Trustees; one of the MDL team from Ocean Village who do so much to support Prolific; and finally two photographers. You may remember that at the start of the season in March, we shared a set of photos of Prolific taken off the Isle of Wight by local photographer, Sienna Anderson:

Proilific at sunset - photo by Sienna Anderson

To thank her for those photos we invited her for the day sail and she came with her partner Paul Blackley, another photographer – and they both took more pictures:

Photo: Sienna Anderson Photo: Paul Blackley Photo: Sienna Anderson

Photo: Paul Blackley Photo: Sienna Anderson Photo: Sienna Anderson

Big thanks to sea staff Holly, Josh, Sara, Lucy Grodie, Andy Royse, Glyn Collins, Unity Bowns, Julian Ware and Caz.

To cap it all, Paul and Sienna then got an article in their local paper:

Press article

Monday saw the welcome return of a very longstanding client – the siblings programme from Shooting Star CHASE Children’s Hospices. They didn’t set off on the first night but had briefings and activities on board. On Tuesday there was no wind but they motored to Lymington in the sunshine, with people taking the chance to go out on the bowsprit and enjoy a chilled day. Next morning they went ashore for ice cream before embarking on a sightseeing tour of the Needles:

Prolific's crew at The Needles

After that they headed unto Cowes, with a fire drill underway, and visited the beach before settling down for a film on board. Yesterday morning the boat filled with fuel while the young people worked towards their RYA Start Yachting qualifications – and then they finally had enough wind for some good sailing! They tacked back and forth until they were a skilled but somewhat exhausted team, before finally heading back to Ocean Village. You can see the full voyage track here.

Big thanks to sea staff Holly, Josh, Steve Lacey, Cathy Ayres, Jess Collingwood, Vernon Harten-Ash and Halima Mehmood.

Shooting Star CHASE siblings voyage

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Mates’ training weekend – ONE place left, 7-9 October
Anyone want to join an adult weekend in October?

7-9 Oct 2022, Southampton, 2 nights, age range 18+, £215 per person, adult weekend voyage (Friday evening to Sunday evening). 1 place left.

This is open to anyone aged 18+ but priority will be given to people who are interested in finding out more about volunteering with the charity and potentially hoping to use the voyage to earn a recommendation for volunteer training (especially those who have not had the opportunity to earn a recommendation on a youth voyage), as well as current volunteers looking for some extra training on a voyage where they can focus on their own skills without the responsibility of supervising young people at the same time.

Email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you are interested in coming along.

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Powerboat level 2 course
Is anyone looking to complete a Powerboat Level 2 qualification? (That’s the certificate that allows you to drive Prolific’s dinghy). Our staff member Sara Abdur is doing hers in Poole on Weds 28th and Thurs 29th Sept, instructed by OYT South volunteer Dom Coleman. 9am-5pm each day. Cost £200 per head if we can get three people – and if they are all active OYT South sailors the course can be tailored specially for us. It’s a great course, highly recommended – if anyone would like to join in, email caroline.white@oytsouth.org and we’ll put you in touch with Dom for more details.

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Current Covid guidelines
We are still getting issues with Covid, including people dropping out voyages at the last minute due to positive tests or symptoms; and we want to remain cautious about infection rates until we see the impact of the schools going back. We are therefore still asking everyone to test before joining a voyage, partly in order to protect people on board, when everyone is living close together in a confined space, but also because we know that some people may be going home to vulnerable family members, or may have important plans in the days immediately following a voyage.

Anyone due to join the boat will be given details of the process and an email address to send an image of their negative test.

We know the end of free testing may be an issue for some families, so if anyone is going to struggle to get hold of a test, OYT South can provide one as long as you tell us in time to post a kit out to you.

We will keep the procedure under review to make sure it is working effectively, and will remove restrictions once it is safe to do so.

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Winter refit volunteers needed
We are planning a slightly different sort of winter refit this year – those of you who have been involved for a while will know that it has often taken a full four months between November and March; but this year we are planning to get the bulk of the work finished in November and December, and then take a break from full-time refit until the time comes to get ready for sea trials and the first voyages in March.

We are therefore looking to recruit a core team of volunteers to come and help us this winter in November and December. This is something we’ve been doing since at least 2002: a small full-time team offers continuity alongside all the other volunteers who come for odd days or weekends. We provide free food and accommodation (mainly on board, this year) for the core team, as well as great experience in boat maintenance and a chance to make a real difference to a good cause while enjoying a sociable couple of months in the team. Many previous core team members are still great friends of the charity – some still sailing with us, others using the experience to help develop their careers. Please see here for details and how to apply.

No particular experience is needed – just a great attitude. We can teach you some skills but we also need people who can sand and paint, shift equipment, assist the skilled team and more. This is ideal if you are on a gap year or otherwise between jobs and other commitments!

We will also be looking for volunteers wanting to help for shorter periods or just the occasional day, but we will sort this out much nearer the time, once the core team is organised.

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Vessel tracking – see where Prolific is sailing now!
Don’t forget you can always have a look and see where Prolific is sailing.

Just for the moment we can’t welcome visitors on board due to Covid protocols but if you discover that Prolific is in a harbour somewhere near you, please go and say hello from a safe distance. 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.

Vessel tracking image

There are also apps like Marine Traffic that you can use to track Prolific on your phone.

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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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Painting of Prolific – prints available to buy!

Our friend, Gosport-based marine artist Colin Baxter, has prints taken from an original painting of Prolific available for you to buy.

The unframed prints will measure 370mm x 230mm plus border. They will be numbered and signed, and will cost £45 if you can pick yours up in Gosport, and £50 if you need it posted (they will probably come rolled in a cardboard tube). Order here:

Postage / collection options

Anyone outside the UK wanting to order a copy, please email us.

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Raise funds for OYT South if you’re shopping online
we’ve made over £1,000 through Easyfundraising!
“What a fool I was!” says Mark Todd.

“For ages I’ve seen in the bulletin that Easyfundraising is a good way to raise money for charity, but I never got round to doing anything about it, and when Caz told me how easy it was, I didn’t listen.

I thought it might be a hassle, or that I’d have to remember to do something when I bought stuff online, or that it probably wasn’t really worthwhile.

This week I finally got round to it and it turns out it’s a REALLY EASY way to raise money for the charity I care about … and I definitely should have done it sooner.

It takes a minute or two to sign up; you can do it on a desktop, tablet and/or phone, and you can install a widget that flags up when a donation is available. Once that’s done, imagine you’re looking to buy – say – a rainbow unicorn: just put “rainbow unicorn” in your usual search box, and the list of results shows you which sites come with donations, and how much. It’s up to you what to pick and whether to accept the donation from the site, but a huge choice of sites will offer a donation – and it doesn’t cost you a penny.

I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner … but if there’s anyone else who has been like me and just not got round to it, PLEASE click the link now and sign up!”

We have already raised more than £1,000 through Easyfundraising – huge thanks to everyone who has used it!

OYT South is also 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.

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OYT South social media – please get involved
One of the simplest ways you can help us while we can’t sail is to keep looking at our social media pages and share, retweet or like as many posts as possible. This all helps to make sure other people hear about us too – and the more we can keep alive the interest in our charitable work, the more people might help us now or start to think about sailing with us in future. Maybe you’ve got a community group, a local page, even a street WhatsApp where members might like to know that you are involved with a charity that could be of interest to them?

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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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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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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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.org 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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