OYT South bulletin 7th January 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 7th January 2022

by | Jan 7, 2022

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

* Happy New Year
We want to send our very best wishes to all our friends and supporters – we hope you are all safe and well and we look forward to having you involved with the charity in 2022. We hugely appreciate all that you have done for us, especially over the last couple of difficult years. Here’s hoping for better times ahead!

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* Website updates

Apologies to anyone who has had issues accessing our website lately – we had some problems with the server between Christmas and New Year, leading to a decision to move the whole thing onto a new server. The process is underway and we hope to have the entire site working on a new server very soon.

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A fantastic bit of writing from one of our young volunteers
Do have a look at this brilliant article from 16-year-old bosun Harry!

If you sailed as a young crew member last year and did well enough to earn a recommendation to join our team of volunteers, and you have taken up that recommendation by completing your paperwork and bidding for voyages, this is a great insight into what you will find yourself doing on board – and how confident and competent a sixteen-year-old can become after just a few voyages.


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* 2022 volunteer sea staff bookings –any more bids?
Huge thanks to everyone who has been sending in details of when you would be available to sail this year. We’ll be working on allocating voyages over the next few weeks so if there is anyone else wanting to sail who hasn’t been in touch yet, please do so NOW or you may find all the voyages you could have done have been filled!

Qualified sea staff (anyone who has previously sailed with us as a watchleader, bosun or engineer) – ideally please give us voyage numbers of anything you would like to do (see here for voyage numbers); or give us names of any regular clients you’d particularly like to sail with; or simply tell us the maximum number of days you can offer in 2022 and any times of year you can or can’t manage. Please be specific: “voyages in university holidays” only works if you tell us your exact holiday dates!

If you have NOT yet had a recommendation from our skipper to join our sea staff, then you need to do a training/selection voyage first, and the next step depends on your age. If you are aged 16 or 17 then you need to book on any standard youth voyage and aim to get your recommendation there. If you are aged over 25 you will need to get your recommendation on an adult training voyage – see below (open to people aged 18+). If you are aged 18-25 you have a choice and you can use either a youth or an adult voyage to try and earn your recommendation.

If you have had a skipper’s recommendation (which means that EITHER you have sailed on a youth voyage and been told at the end that you have been recommended to come back for bosun or watchleader training, or you have done an adult voyage and been given a recommendation at the end) but are not yet an assessed and qualified member of sea staff, your next step is to sail on a youth voyage of four nights or more, for further training and assessment. Not all voyages are suitable for this but please send in details of your availability and we’ll aim to match you with an appropriate voyage.

Please note that we DO need you to send in details of when you can sail and how much time you can offer – please DON’T email to ask what voyage dates are available. The reasons for this are complicated but we will try to explain the process just to help people understand how complex it is for us to get the volunteer bookings organised!

Essentially, it’s not simply a question of finding dates that work for individuals and then just booking you. What we have to do is put together a TEAM of staff and volunteers for each voyage, with a skipper, 1M, 2M, 3M, bosun and/or engineer and often but not always a trainee mate or bosun, and we can’t book anyone until we have at least some idea of who else is going to make up each team. For example, at least one adult on each voyage must be a woman, if there are girls in the crew; and then we have to think about special skills if the group includes people with disabilities or challenging behaviour. We also don’t want to end up with a voyage where too many of the volunteers are all newly-qualified at their particular level – each trip should include some people who are comfortable and familiar in their roles and therefore hopefully able to support those who are new to it. Then sometimes the client will be a school or charity where a staff member has qualified or wants to qualify as a volunteer, so needs a staff berth. Meanwhile, some client groups are just not suitable for brand-new trainee mates. Plus we have to think about some priority bookings (e.g. people who have been identified as potential first mates or skippers, if we can give them enough time on the boat). And we do promise that people who help the most with other things like refit or raising money or introducing us to new clients will be higher up the list to get their choice of voyages.

On top of all that we want to try to be fair to all our volunteers and make sure everyone gets at least a voyage or two! No point confirming voyages for someone who is really flexible only to find that they have taken the only dates that would have worked for someone else who has limited availability.

We hope that explains things for you – we really need to get bids in from as many people as possible before we can start the allocation process..

Once the main round of allocations is completed we will advertise any remaining gaps, but you may find there’s not a lot of choice at that stage. Please send bids or questions to webmaster1@oytsouth.org.

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* Refit news
The refit team is still on a well-deserved break and will be back next week.

Because of the current level of Covid infections, we have sadly had to take the decision not to have casual volunteers at refit at the moment, and the January volunteers’ weekend has been cancelled. We would still welcome people who can come for a block of time living in the refit house, testing before arrival and joining our bubble – whether you are joining our core refit team or coming for a slightly shorter block of time. Call the boat on 07990 518915 or email refit@oytsouth.org if you want to arrange to help.

If you had meant to volunteer at refit and would now like to support us in some other way, do contact refit@oytsouth.org – there may be some small items of refit equipment that you could buy for us – or just send a morale-boosting treat for the core team!

We very much hope it will be safe to take casual volunteers again before too long – and if so we will need you more than ever! – so please keep an eye on future issues of this newsletter and we will let you know as soon as anything changes.

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* Shorebased training weekend – 26-27 February
– more details on courses and dates
Covid permitting, we are still hoping for a normal face-to-face shorebased training weekend in Gosport in February.

We have the one-day RYA first aid course running on both the Saturday and Sunday, so we can cover two groups. Price £80 including first aid handbook. If you have already asked for a place on one of these courses, what follows may determine which day you are available for first aid – please let me know! Still a couple of spare places if anyone wants – email caroline.white@oytsouth.org.

Otherwise on the Saturday we will have a three-part course. From 0930-1030 one of our new trainee watchleaders, Anjelica Finnegan, is going to run a short session on recognising domestic abuse: helping our staff and volunteers identify if there is risk of domestic abuse at home to young people and also if a young person’s relationship is abusive and when we might need to report this. This is Anjelica’s professional speciality and is recommended for everyone but the idea of putting it on first thing in the morning is that if you are uncomfortable with this topic you can just arrive at 1030 and do the other sessions. The rest of the morning will involve Holly running through teaching young people about environmental issues and some of the environmental games sessions she developed pre-pandemic. In the afternoon Kerry McMillan, whom many of you will remember as a former OYT South refit and sailing volunteer, has a great session on games on board: what we can achieve by playing games with young people and how it can make a real difference; support for sea staff who are nervous about being asked to run games sessions; and lots of fun! Price tbc but it won’t be much – we just need to cover some expenses. Email caroline.white@oytsouth.org if you are interested in some or all of this package of courses (and if you are already booked for first aid, we will aim to put you on the Sunday first aid course). Cost £10 for the whole day!

On the Sunday we have another two-part day, this time on electronic navigation and radar, but this course is already over-subscribed.

Finally we can offer VHF/GMDSS – this is mainly an online course which you have to do in advance, but we can cover a short practical session and the exam for your radio licence at the training weekend. This can be fitted in somewhere on either Saturday or Sunday depending on what other courses you might be doing, but will be easiest to do on the Saturday afternoon. Cost £30 to OYT South and £60 to the RYA. Email caroline.white@oytsouth.org for more details.

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Core refit team needed
We still need a core team of volunteers to come and help us this winter from now to March, or for a significant block within that period. 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 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 winter 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. If you want to follow in the footsteps of Jake, Oran and Ian from the last full-time core team, and all the others who have gone before them, please see here for details and how to apply.

Core refit

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2022 voyage programme
– OPEN for individual bookings
We are now able to accept individual bookings for young people on the following voyages (see following sections for group voyages and adult voyages):

15-19 April, Southampton, 4 nights, £425 – filling up fast!
9-15 July, Poole tbc to Brixham, 6 nights, £625 – possibly full – please ask
23-27 July, Brixham, 4 nights, £425
17-23 Aug, Brixham, 6 nights, £625
24-29 Aug, Brixham to Poole tbc, 5 nights, £525
30 Aug – 4 Sept, Poole tbc to Southampton, 5 nights, £525 – filling up fast!
21-25 Oct, Southampton, 4 nights, £410 (voyage starts later on Friday so people can join after schools break up for half term)

If you are interested in any of these dates. email webmaster1@oytsouth.org 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 – sometimes it is hard to be sure until we have a reasonable number of enquiries.

If none of these dates are suitable, then we MAY also open up one or more of the following to individual bookings, depending on the levels of demand for individual mixed voyages versus group voyages. So do let us know if you would be interested in a place on any of these voyages once the decision is made:

2-8 July, Southampton to Poole, 6 nights, £625
10-16 Aug, Brixham, 6 nights, £625.

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).

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2022 voyage programme – OPEN for group bookings

These dates are still available for group bookings (usually at least 12 people, which may be all young people but can include adult leaders). Please email webmaster1@oytsouth.org a.s.a.p. to discuss the requirements for your group.

We have had provisional enquiries for one or two of these dates but nothing confirmed yet so it is certainly worth asking, if you are interested:

26 April to 1 May, Southampton, 5 nights, £525 per person
10-15 May, Southampton, 5 nights, £525 per person
2-8 July, Southampton to Poole, 6 nights, £625 per person (this voyage may be made available for individual bookings if it is not required for a group)
10-16 Aug, Brixham, 6 nights, £625 per person this voyage may be made available for individual bookings if it is not required for a group)
10-15 Oct, Southampton, 5 nights, £525 per person
17-21 Oct, Southampton, 4 nights, £425 per person

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2022 adult voyages
and volunteer training
We have adult voyages scheduled as follows:

1-3 April 2022, Southampton, 2 nights, age range 18+, £215 per person, adult weekend voyage (Friday evening to Sunday evening). Provisionally full but we can take names for a reserve list.

12-16 Sept 2022, Southampton, 4 nights, age range 18+, £425, adult week (Monday to Friday).

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

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 webmaster1@oytsouth.org 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 webmaster1@oytsouth.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.

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* Financial appeal

Huge thanks this week to P66 for yet another very generous donation to the refit, as well as to Peter Tracey, Andrew Clifford Hill, and other donors who prefer to remain anonymous. Special mention also to all the people who make regular monthly donations – it really is enormously appreciated!

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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Georgia leaving present – please give generously!

One of the most enthusiastic and capable core team refit volunteers we have ever had is Georgia Watson, who did so well in the role that she was invited to become one of the staff team on board. However, she is now coming to the end of her final season as OYT South’s Staff Cadet. She’s working on the refit with Holly and Josh and the team but after that she will be moving on – though she has promised to stay involved as a volunteer. We are hugely grateful for all that Georgia has done for the charity as our Staff Cadet, and it’s been amazing to watch her progress as she worked through her qualifications. So we’d like to send her off with a really nice leaving present – please contribute if you can!

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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!

“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!”

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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