In this Bulletin
Sections which have changed since last time marked *
- * Welcome Sara!
- * Revised Covid guidelines
- * New Annual Report
- * 2022 voyage availability – any young people want to sail 10-16 August or 17-23 August?
- * Voyage news
- * Nathan’s fundraising challenge – ONE WEEK TO GO – please support him and share the link
- 2023 DRAFT sailing programme
- Movement for Good Awards – PLEASE keep nominating us and sharing the link!
- Vessel tracking– see where Prolific is sailing now!
- 2022 adult voyages and volunteer training
- * Financial appeal
- Painting of Prolific – prints available to buy!
- Raise funds for OYT South if you’re shopping online – we’ve made over £1,000 through Easyfundraising!
- OYT South social media – please get involved
- Branded clothing
- Raise And Sail – website for anyone looking to raise money to come sailing
- New readers’ welcome and introduction
- Receiving this newsletter by email
* Welcome Sara!
A few weeks ago we announced that Sara Abdur would be joining our staff team on board until the end of the season. We are delighted that Sara has now started in the role – she’s going to be a huge help to Holly and Josh, giving us one more person who is consistently on board in addition to the ever-changing cast of volunteers.
Sara is aged 20 and came to us originally on a voyage with George Green’s School in Tower Hamlets in 2019. She immediately impressed the skipper and earned a recommendation to join our volunteers’ team, sailing on voyages and helping at refits, taking part in our lockdown activities and fundraising, and proving to be among our most enthusiastic and efficient volunteers. She qualified as a third mate earlier this season, and when we wanted to add someone else to the team on board, we were delighted to find that Sara was available! We want to give her as much training and experience as possible while she is with us, and we know everyone on board will want to support her and will enjoy working alongside her.
Last season we had a policy of insisting on compulsory Covid tests before joining the boat, for everyone sailing – young people, group leaders, staff and volunteers. This season, with infection rates initially lower and the end of free test kits, we relaxed this and made testing a recommendation but not compulsory: however, we have kept this under review and we have now taken the decision to return to compulsory testing.
This is in response to two things in particular: first is the evidence of a rising infection rate, confirmed by experience on board: we have recently seen more people dropping out of voyages because they chose to test beforehand and had a positive result.
Second is something that clients have mentioned to us: this summer many families have planned holidays for the first time since 2019, and some have been booking flights and accommodation – all of which is at risk if someone in the family tests positive before they are due to go. Which means if a young person is sailing with us shortly before a family holiday, clients are very keen that we should take the rise in infections seriously and do everything we can to keep the boat Covid-free.
Unlike last year, when we asked for two negative tests, three days apart, before sailing, the plan this year is to ask for just ONE test on the day before joining the boat, with evidence of a negative test sent to us that day. Young people will be sent details of what they need to do with their voyage joining instructions, and we will contact sea staff separately.
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.
We very much hope this change will keep everyone safer over the coming months and help to avoid disruption to people’s summer plans!
* Annual Report
OYT South’s Annual Report for the financial year November 2020 to October 2021 is now available!
It includes our accounts but also a lot of facts and figures, comments from young people and clients, and much more. It is a true celebration of our return to sailing after such a long period with no voyages due to Covid; and a real tribute to everyone who helped to see us through such a difficult period, and those who ensured that our return to sailing was safe and effective. The report shows just how much our voyages meant to young people last year, after all the experiences they had missed and the opportunities they had lost. Everyone involved with the charity should feel very proud when they read this report.
* 2022 voyage availability – any young people want to sail 10-16 August or 17-23 August?
Most voyages are full or very nearly full now but these individual youth voyages definitely still have spaces available:
10-16 Aug, Brixham, 6 nights, £625 – several places left!
17-23 Aug, Brixham, 6 nights, £625 – two places left!
6-11 Sept, Southampton, 5 nights, £525 – special voyage open to young people aged 16-25 who are training as volunteers for the charity – at least 3 places left.
21-25 Oct, Southampton, 4 nights, £410 (voyage starts later on Friday so people can join after schools break up for half term)
Six further individual youth voyages MAY have spaces available if we can add extra capacity or if provisional bookings are not confirmed – please ask as things can always change!
2-8 July, Southampton to Poole, 6 nights, £625
9-15 July, Poole to Brixham, 6 nights, £625
23-27 July, Brixham, 4 nights, £425
24-29 Aug, Brixham to Poole, 5 nights, £525
30 Aug – 4 Sept, Poole to Southampton, 5 nights, £525
If you are interested in any of these dates. email email@example.com stating the age of the person who will be sailing. Our voyages can be open to people aged 11-25 but in practice we aim to divide people into compatible groups and not have 11-year-olds and 25-year-olds sailing together. If you are around the middle of the age range, any voyage on the list could work, but for younger or older people we will advise if your chosen date looks appropriate or not.
People who are aged 18-25 can apply for places on youth voyages but would also be eligible for adult voyages (18+ with no upper age limit).
* Voyage news
Some news to add to the end of last week’s newsletter: huge congratulations to Martin Bayfield, who successfully completed his second mate’s assessment, and Saul Tomlin who passed his third mate’s assessment. Julian Ware also made great progress towards being upgraded to second mate!
This week’s crew brought us ten young people aged 12-15 from New Forest Academy. They joined us on Saturday but with strong winds forecast, they stayed in Southampton that night and did drills and briefings on Sunday morning before setting off and making the most of the day by staying in the shelter of Southampton Water, sailing up and down several times while people got used to tacking and gybing, steering and winching. When the worst of the weather had gone through, they ventured out and headed for Portsmouth where they had dinner and showers.
Next morning they had some time ashore, and when it began to rain hard they had some sessions covering topics needed for them to earn their sailing qualifications and some games on board. When the rain stopped, they set off and had a cracking sail down to Yarmouth, with a man overboard recovery drill on the way. A chat about plans for the next day followed and it was agreed that there was a lot to be gained by carrying on with a night passage to Weymouth!
They anchored outside Weymouth a little after 4am, and then moved into the harbour later in the morning. This gave plenty of time for beach games, a picnic lunch on the foredeck, exploring the town, and helping the staff who were doing some work with the mainsail. The beach visit was eventful … crew member Joe had bought some chips and dropped one, and suddenly there were 200 seagulls, crazy for chips. The crew fled to watchleader Zeenat for cover – leading 200 chip-crazed seagulls straight to her …
That evening they had a movie night on board, and then an 0500 start on Wednesday to catch the tide – it was good to see other vessels, including another sail training boat, Donald Searle, had the same idea and were also up early!
They had another great sail and were back on the buoy outside Yarmouth in time to finish the movie they started last night and then to plan their navigation back to Southampton. The skipper said the young people took this exercise seriously and he was impressed with how well they did. They got back to Southampton, had a late dinner and then chatted and laughed around the table before bed.
They sailed 167 nautical miles and all ten young people earned their Royal Yachting Association Start Yachting qualifications. You can see the full voyage track here.
Big thanks to sea staff Andy, Josh, Martyn Powe, Cathy Ayres, Jess Collingwood, Sara Abdur and special congratulations to Zeenat Shah who passed her third mate’s assessment!
Regular readers may remember that back in the first lockdown, when he was 16, one of our volunteer bosuns, Nathan Kelsall, completed a fundraising challenge for Ocean Youth Trust South, running 2.6 miles every day for 26 days – a total of 67.6 miles (more than two and a half marathons).
This year Nathan has even more ambitious plans and in July he plans to climb 15 mountains over 3000 feet in Wales to raise money for Ocean Youth Trust South “because I want to give something back for all they do”. He’s going to tackle the challenge between 6th and 8th July. Please look at his fundraising page – he needs as many people as possible to share the link and support him. If anyone can complete this challenge, Nathan can – we look forward to following his progress!
2023 DRAFT sailing programme
We have been working on a draft sailing programme for 2023 and have sent it out to regular clients for consultation. If you normally organise group bookings and haven’t received the draft, or if you might be a new client wanting to book a full voyage in 2023, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will reserve some voyages for individual bookings and publish those details later on; but for the moment we’ll be looking at options for schools, charities and other organisations which need to get something on next year’s calendar now, as we know some of them find it helpful to have it settled by the end of this term.
Movement for Good Awards – PLEASE keep nominating us and sharing the link!
Please nominate us for funding from Movement for Good!
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!
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.
There are also apps like Marine Traffic that you can use to track Prolific on your phone.
12-16 Sept 2022, Southampton, 4 nights, age range 18+, £425, adult week (Monday to Friday). Spaces available.
7-9 Oct 2022, Southampton, 2 nights, age range 18+, £215 per person, adult weekend voyage (Friday evening to Sunday evening). Spaces available.
These are 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 email@example.com if you are interested in an adult berth.
In addition, as we did in 2021, we have earmarked a special training voyage for young volunteers aged 16-25. This will run from 6-11 September and will be largely filled by invitation: we will be looking for young people who have excelled on a youth voyage and have great potential as volunteers, or people who have recently started sailing as young volunteers and whose training we are investing in for the future of the charity. We will be aiming to raise funds to make this voyage as affordable as possible: the priority is to focus on the best young people who could be part of the charity for years to come and will make it possible for us to sail with hundreds of other young people in future. Although we will be inviting people to join this voyage, if you would like to be considered, you can ask the skipper on any other voyage if they would recommend you, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org asking to be considered. If not all the places are filled with young volunteers, we may open up a few places to others in the same age range who don’t mind getting involved while others practise their leadership skills.
* Financial appeal
Huge thanks this week to Jennifer Sherwen for a donation in memory of the late Colin Keillar. Jenifer told us “He would have been very proud to know that this donation will help sponsor the work you do helping disadvantaged and vulnerable young people to learn life skills through the joy of sailing.”
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.
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:
Anyone outside the UK wanting to order a copy, please email us.
“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.
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.
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!
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.
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 email@example.com 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.