OYT South bulletin 10th November 2023

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 10th November 2023

by | Nov 10, 2023

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

* Voyage news
– end of the sailing season
Lots to cover as it’s been a couple of weeks since the last newsletter! We left the boys of Bruern Abbey School planning a navigation exercise back to Ocean Village, where their voyage ended after 47 nautical miles despite time in harbour for bad weather. You can see the full voyage track here. Eleven people earned RYA Start Yachting certificates.

Feedback included:

“This trip was especially great, I loved navigating and driving at the helm. Two things I am proud of helping navigating and doing a gybe.”

“My favourite bit was probably when we were all soaked by like rain and we were all like soaking because that was quite fun. We got to see the waves and stuff … And my most memorable bit was on the first night in the dark, being on watch in the dark.”

Big thanks to sea staff Diggory, Lauren, Josh, Barry Walker, Martin Bayfield and Julian Ware; and very special congratulations to Cathy Lacey who completed her first mate assessment on this voyage. This is a big step up and a significant achievement, as the first mate has to demonstrate that they can run the whole boat, look after the crew and get back to a safe haven if the skipper was ill or injured.

Next came a group from First Swindon Sea Scouts, who joined the boat on Friday evening at the start of half term and after the initial briefings enjoyed a very loud and competitive version of the banana game!

On Saturday morning they had more briefings before setting off – they got rained on a little bit but the sun came out for a lovely sail, first into the western Solent and then east to Gosport, with a man overboard recovery drill on the way.

Young person steering, supervised by watchleader A line of young people heaving on a halyard Young people looking at a chart, with a member of sea staff

Dinner was sausages and mash with Yorkshire puddings! Then the crew filled in their personal logbooks, played the After Eight game and went for showers.

On Sunday they planned the navigation from Gosport to an anchorage off Ryde, in their watches.

Young people looking at a chart, with a member of sea staff

There was no wind so they motored out in the beautiful sunshine, with young people taking turns to navigate or go out on the bowsprit.

Calm sea, blue sku and clouds beyond Prolific's bow Young crew member with navigation equipment and radio set

They anchored for lunch and then hoisted sails on the anchorage and sailed off the anchor towards Cowes – including tacking practice. That evening they made a curry, played the spoons game, and had more time for logbooks and showers ashore.

On Monday they had some shore leave in Cowes, before sailing off into the Western Solent on a beautiful downwind leg. They tacked back and got every member of the crew to helm through at least one tack; and they did a drill sailing back to an object in the water.

Young crew member steering, supervised by watchleader Young people winching

Then they re-hoisted the headsail and sailed up into Southampton Water – back to Ocean Village for Tacos and a movie on board.

The voyage ended on Tuesday after crumpets and an end of voyage debrief. They had covered 82 nautical miles and you can see the full voyage track here. Ten people earned RYA Start Yachting certificates.

Feedback included:

“I think my best bit was using the helm yesterday, when we were tacking. That was quite fun because we were going quite quickly. My least favourite bit was doing the washing up when we were doing like 10 knots, and the boat was over on her side.”  

The Scout Leader added: “When I go on a trip when I’m in close proximity to other leaders I’m always a bit apprehensive at first because I’m not sure what their views are and how they’re going to behave, and on this trip, I have to say, the very first night I was very relaxed and felt very comfortable about how the crew behaved and were so positive towards everyone and so welcoming. And no question was a daft question, if we asked a question it was met with a very sincere response. I think that’s one of the things that I’ve noticed over these few days, is that initially you changed the language to suit the group, so initially you were saying ‘this rope’, ‘that rope’, or ‘this sail’, but within a couple of days you were actually using the right names and it was coming through as a drip, drip effect so we learnt very quickly rather than overwhelming us, which I appreciate. That was really, really good.”

Next came the final youth voyage of the season, with East London charity Ambition, Aspire, Achieve.

We did all the usual safety briefings on the first day and then motored to Cowes.

Young crew member working with watchleader on the bowsprit A group of young people with watchleader at the bow

It was dark when we got there and that is always a bit magical at sea. After dinner that night we all sat down and made a plan – possible options were to sail in the relatively sheltered waters of the Solent for the 5 days or to ‘break out’ and sail to Poole. The decision was made (by the young people) to sail to Poole even though we would be sailing into wind and waves with a reasonable chance of getting seasick – most people did … but they also got stuck in to the sailing:

Three young people working at a winch

We had recently been given a donation of handheld radios by Icom and Dorset Marine Training, and the donors wanted photos and videos of them in use, so the young people did all the calls on the way into Poole and were congratulated on arrival by the harbour team who had enjoyed listening to all the different voices – some nervous, some confident …

Boy using handheld radio, supervised by first mate Watchleader showing crew member how to use handheld radio

Poole was great – showers and a chance to go ashore (a bit too wet and windy for ice creams). On the return trip we saw a military exercise with planes parachuting supplies to the sea where they were picked up by military RIBs. It was a windy downwind sail to Gosport with young people helming well in difficult conditions. Some signs of Hallowe’en preparations starting already …

Young person at the helm ... Hallowe'en pumpkins have started appearing all over the boat ... Boy tying on a fender, with Portsmouth's Spinnaker Tower behind

The next morning Lauren (first mate) gave us a talk all about points of sail and trimming sails which we put into practice sailing in the eastern Solent. After lunch at sea, we dropped the sails and motored into Cowes.

Young person at the helm Two crew members concentrating on knots

After looking around Cowes for an hour, everyone went back to Prolific where we prepared for the Hallowe’en Party – the preparations morphed into the party which morphed into dinner which morphed into more party games.

Pumpkin carving and decorations for a Hallowe'en party

We motored back to Southampton on Sunday, did a massive clean-up and the crew returned to London tired and, we think, happy. They had sailed 123 nautical miles and you can see the full voyage track here. Eleven people earned RYA Start Yachting certificates.

Feedback included:

“My best bit was all of the rainbows and the Hallowe’en party. And most memorable is the relief after I was done with one of the ropes.”

“The thing I’m going to remember is how nice all the sea staff was.”

“The best thing I liked is learning new life skills of this boat. This experience make me think new things I haven’t learned (before). And the most memorable thing about this is all the sea staff that helped me notice what a boat looks like and how to like steer it.”

“The most memorable part of it is probably the whole trip and like how I learnt how to do different knots and stuff.”

“Everyone was kind and the staff gave us a perfect time. I would love to come back again.”

And even from one girl who really didn’t take to sailing: “It was fun but not the right thing for me but enjoyable for others. The bit I’m gonna remember the most is probably going to all the different places.”

The two group leaders added: “My favourite bit, I think, was putting the sails up, and using the power of the wind to make us move forward, and well, make us sail. What I’ll remember, I think, is Prolific and this crew – the whole trip was enjoyable, so something I will never forget.”

“My most favourite bit is being with the young people from AAA, I just like being around young people and seeing them all learn new skills. And my most memorable thing is walking through and seeing Josh [engineer] dressed like a mermaid and in full glitter at the Hallowe’en party.”

That wasn’t quite the end of the season as we had two day sails last week. The first was with staff from our major sponsors, MDL Marinas – we really couldn’t do any of our work without them so it was lovely to be able to take them out and thank them.

Finally we had a day with outdoor activity instructors from Hampshire, organised by the head of Calshot Activities Centre. This was a great day with some very keen and capable people and it produced a lot of good ideas for how we can work together in future – as well as introducing us to some people who might be excellent watchleaders on future voyages!

And that was the end of Prolific’s 2023 sailing season – huge thanks to everyone: young people, clients, donors, staff and volunteers and everyone else involved in such a fabulous year!

And now it’s time for the winter refit …

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* Refit news – please come and help!
Winter refit 2023 has begun!

Prolific is staying in Ocean Village but not on our usual berth – we are tucked in for the winter on a sheltered berth by the hotel. We also have some lovely refit accommodation a short drive away by the Hamble.

Just call the boat on 07990 518915 or email refit@oytsouth.org if you want to come and help us. At the moment we are looking for help on weekdays in November, but do let us know if you can help from December to March, either for just one day or for a longer period or some sort of regular commitment such as a day each week. We’ll announce any weekend working in this newsletter in due course, for those of you who are never available Mon-Fri.

If you want to come and help for longer than a day and you need accommodation, just ask – it all depends what we have available.

We can use both skilled and unskilled volunteers, and it all helps to keep the boat in good condition and to try and avoid losing any time on voyages next season to maintenance issues.

Sea staff who want to sail next season: remember that if lots of volunteers all apply for the same dates, priority will go to people who have helped us in other ways – coming to refit, raising money, introducing new clients etc!

You can read more about how refit works here.

The start of the refit has been all about moving kit off the boat and getting everything sorted, clean and tidy ready for the rest of the work to begin, as well as moving in to the refit accommodation.

Big thanks to Lauren and Josh who are now in charge of the refit; Lynne who is providing invaluable help in getting things organised; and Diggory who was with us for long enough to get the boat into position and see the refit started, and will be popping in as needed from time to time even though he is no longer Staff Skipper. We also have Susanna Paynter who will be dividing her time over the winter between helping on board, and working in the office. So far they have been helped by Iori Kent, Sandy Garrity, William Robinson, Brigid Stoney, Rona Skuodas, Rob Jelley, Sara Abdur, Jonathan “JP” Pinnock and Vicky Pembroke, Patrick Kelly, Willoughby Matthews, Aoife Harrington, Lucy Mitchell, Steve and Cathy Lacey, Niamh Lamin, Lee Mosscrop, and Ben Whinnett. A great turnout for the first stages of refit, including some very wet work getting sails off in the rain:

Team working on the mast to get the mainsail off Beautifully-flaked sail on the pontoon Rolling up the flaked sail on the pontoon PUtting the sail into a trolley to take it to the store

At least we had rainbows:

Double rainbow over Prolific

Is there anyone with a vehicle big enough to take the deck boxes to Dorset where some work is being done on them, and bring them back in February? Email refit@oytsouth.org or call 07990 518915 if you can help.

Deck boxes and wet volunteer

The team has also moved into their refit accommodation and taken a LOT of stuff there:

Josh heavily laden in a car

They don’t seem to be too unhappy about it all:

Lauren and Josh smiling in the nav area

Today we have a professional make-up artist helping to make Prolific beautiful – thank you Rona:

Lauren and Rona getting ready to paint Rona touching up Prolific's hull on a sunny day

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* Farewell Diggory
Farewell and huge thanks to Diggory who has now left us after a season as Staff Skipper – and thank you to everyone who contributed to his various leaving presents. He’s going to be around occasionally as needed over the winter and for some voyages as relief skipper, so we’ll see him again.

Diggory with a team of sea staff Diggory on the end of the bowsprit

There will be news of our new Staff Skipper in due course!

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* AGM and curry night – report
We had a great turnout of 40 people for the AGM on Saturday … 1970s skipper Lindy Chamberlain said that friends had commiserated at the news that she was attending an AGM, thinking it would be a dull way to spend an evening, but of course an OYT South AGM involves a lot of entertainment (and a curry).

The formal business of the AGM involved re-electing some Trustees who were due to stand down by rotation (Martyn Powe, Ed Bishop, John Hicks, Roger Bolton) as well as electing James Stevens who had been co-opted to the Board since the last meeting. For those who don’t know him, James is a professional yachtsman and former Training Manager and Chief Examiner of the RYA. He was the RYA’s safety spokesman and chaired the National Watersports Safety Committee. He was Chairman of the Association of Sail Training Organisations and is a trustee of several maritime charities. He is chairman of the Yachtmaster Qualification and Disciplinary Panel, a Younger Brother of Trinity House and Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation. He has written several books and is a regular contributor to the yachting press when not sailing his 34ft yacht out of Cowes. So he’s a great addition to the team!

Sadly we said farewell to Brian Eyres who retired as a Trustee after an amazing 22 years and was presented with a large framed photo of the boat. Brian is a former Ocean Youth Club staff skipper, who first got involved immediately after our previous boat John Laing’s naming ceremony. He went on to sail as second mate and volunteer on most weekends through five winter refits. In 1993 he started working full time for the Ocean Youth Club. The highlight of this period was sailing as first mate / skipper in John Laing and James Cook, her sister ship, when the two boats sailed round the world between December 1995 and March 1997. As a qualified book-keeper, Brian became our Treasurer and spent many years doing a lot of work on OYT South’s administration and budgeting before handing over to Martyn Powe. In 2015, Brian was awarded a Lifetime Commitment Award from the Royal Yachting Association for his work with OYT South.

The next agenda item also featured Brian as we agreed to appoint seven Honorary Life Members for the charity: people who have played a vital role within OYT South but are no longer involved day-to-day. We can add more HLMs whenever we want but the initial seven are:

Emma Ellis – daughter of Ocean Youth Club founder Chris Ellis, Emma worked with us for months organising our 50th anniversary in 2010.

Kit Power – a Governor of the charity in the 1960s, he has remained a staunch supporter and was one of the first people to welcome Prolific on her arrival in the UK when we bought her. He is also the current holder of the record for oldest person on Prolific’s bowsprit (aged 88 in June 2022).

Jonathan Cheshire – National Director of the Ocean Youth Club from 1989 to 1996, his experience and continuing support has hugely benefitted OYT South.

Brian Eyres – see above!

Sally Croly – part of the office team for 20 years until she retired this year.

Chris Lane – Trustee in the early 2000s and Chairman of the Board for a time – he played a key part in helping OYT South make the transition from the precarious early years to the financially secure and stable charity we became.

John Parkin – retired volunteer First Mate who played a huge part in keeping OYT South going in the early years when we were desperately short of experienced sea staff.

There are plenty more notable figures in our history, some of whom are still active, and more Honorary Life Members can always be added when appropriate.

The AGM was followed by Mark Todd’s review of the year which was much enjoyed; and then around 30 people went for a curry – the Coriander Lounge laid on a great evening for us with a buffet so there was almost no waiting to be served, and plenty of space to accommodate such a big group, so thank you to them.


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2024 volunteer sea staff bookings – including people who were told on voyages this year that they should think about returning as volunteers
You are welcome to start sending in your bids for sailing next year – though it is NOT first-come, first-served and it will be something we work on over the winter. If you possibly can, get your bids to us by 1st January – either dates when you would like to sail, or details of the maximum number of days you can offer and any dates you can’t manage.

The process is that we will do a rota for the paid staff and book relief skippers, and then go on to booking relief first mates. After that we’ll look at a few other priorities (e.g. for training and assessment to senior levels) before allocating teams of people to fill the other roles on each voyage.

For those of you who haven’t been through the process before or can’t remember, here’s a quick run-down:

It really helps if you can look at the sailing programme when sending in your availability. There’s no point, for example, telling us you can sail from 5th to 15th August – that’s half of one voyage and half of the next so there’s no complete voyage you can do!

Qualified sea staff (anyone who has previously sailed with us as a watchleader, bosun or engineer) and anyone who has already sailed as sea staff but is partway through training and assessment – 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 2024 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 already sailed as sea staff but 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 (after which you can do other voyages next year). 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. There is paperwork to be completed before you can sail (DBS, references etc) and we will give priority in bookings to people who have completed or made good progress with this, ahead of people who haven’t started or have delayed with it. So if you want to sail as a volunteer in 2024, please make sure you are in touch with seastaffadmin@oytsouth.org about your paperwork.

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 (open to people aged 18+): there will be two adult weekends in 2024 (3-5 May and 11-13 Oct) plus a longer adult voyage which is currently pencilled for 11-15 Sept though we can still move it if a youth group requests that week.

 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 others who who are new to their own role. 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 and it will take until January before we can start confirming bookings for every voyage. If you really need an answer more quickly than that then please tell us your deadline and we will do our best for you.

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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Chris Ellis Award – win £££s off the price of your next voyage!
Open for 2023 entries.

If you have enjoyed a voyage with OYT South and want to come again (and are aged 11-25), 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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Shorebased training weekend 10-11 February
Our shorebased training weekend next year will be 10-11 February, where we can run RYA First Aid and a range of other courses. We’ve had some great ideas for courses and we are just in the process of arranging instructors – we’ll let you have details and prices in due course.

If you would be interested in running a course on something that would interest our volunteers, or want to request training in something which we might look into putting on, please let us know. Otherwise, just put the date in your diary for now!

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* 2024 voyages available for individuals and group bookings
Please see here for next year’s voyage availability – we have some voyages designated for group bookings (such as a school or youth group, or another charity); some voyages for individual bookings; and some which could be either for groups or individuals, depending on demand. A couple of individual voyages are shown as “UK only” which makes them suitable for younger crew members and people without passports. (Other individual voyages MAY go to France if we are lucky with the weather so passports will be needed; passport requirements for group bookings will be agreed with the group organiser).

For individual bookings on youth voyages, please contact VoyageAdmin@oytsouth.org.

To discuss group bookings, please email caroline.white@oytsouth.org.

For adult bookings and volunteer training / selection voyages, please contact SeaStaffAdmin@oytsouth.org.

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Nominate an exceptional young person for an MDL sail training award – please spread the word
MDL Marinas are seeking nominations for exceptional young people for fully-funded places on a voyage with us in the Easter holidays next year.

OYT South has run voyages for MDL award winners for many years and we’ve met some outstanding young people through the scheme. As the website says, MDL wants to recognise “young people aged between 12 and 18, who have supported those around them, shown exceptional accomplishments and achievements or who have overcome adverse personal circumstances”.

Please do think about whether you know anyone who deserves to be nominated, and spread the word as widely as possible.

Nominations need to go to MDL, not to OYT South – we have no role in selecting the winners, apart from checking that that there isn’t anything which would make it hard for us to keep them safe on board.

MDL will aim to arrange informal chats with shortlisted candidates at one of their marinas so ideally anyone nominated should live within reach of an MDL marina.

Deadline for nominations: Friday 12th January.

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* Movement for Good Awards – please nominate us to win £1,000 – deadline 17th December
In December, 120 charities will receive a £1,000 grant, spread across 12 days, based on nominations from the public, through Movement for Good – please nominate us! If you follow that link and scroll down the page, you’ll come to a form already set to vote for us – you just have to add a few details and press the button at the bottom. It takes seconds!

We have been lucky enough to win a few times in the past but not recently, so PLEASE send in your nomination this time. £1,000 could provide voyages for two disadvantaged young people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to sail; or it could buy food for everyone on board for days, or a piece of equipment for the boat.

Movement for Good logo

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* Financial appeal
Big thanks this week to the Geoff Herrington Foundation, David Wakeford, the Pointer Family Trust and another donor who prefers to remain anonymous, for very generous donations! The Geoff Herrington Foundation has been a huge supporter of our work over a number of years but sadly is coming to the end of their funds so this will be a final grant, for bursaries next year – we look forward to showing them what an immense difference this will make for young people in need.

Huge thanks also to Xylem for a fantastic offer to replace the toilets on board – they mentioned that their new model is called Quiet Flush so there is maybe hope for people who have endured disturbed nights from the sound of flushing toilets!

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 we can claim back tax on your donation.

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Prolific earrings inspired by a crew member – available to buy!
More than a year ago we were approached at MDL’s South Coast Boat Show by someone with an interesting idea. He makes earrings based on drawings by children and young people all over the world: would we like to see if a crew member on board Prolific could do a drawing that would inspire earrings whose sale would help to fund other young people to sail with us?

This seemed like an exciting prospect – and now, thanks to Alex Angel-Benscher and Vurchoo, the earrings exist and you can buy them!

The first stage was to ask crew members to submit their drawings, and this happened on last year’s voyage with Shooting Star Children’s Hospice, for brothers and sisters of children with life-limiting conditions.

The winning drawing came from Joey, whose combination of a boat and an eye made us think of all the new things that young crew members see and experience from the deck of Prolific.

Joey's drawing

Shooting Star Children’s Hospice has supported Joey’s younger brother Nathan and the family over the last 10 years and Joey said: “The voyage meant a lot to me as I met a lot of young people like me who have siblings with life-limiting conditions like Nathan. It made me feel like I wasn’t alone in this world. Being a part of the crew and being on the voyage allowed me to experience being out of my comfort zone and becoming comfortable with that. I made friends who know what it’s like to be like me, and that’s so important.”

Alex loved Joey’s drawing and used it as the inspiration for an earring shaped like the hull and mast of a boat with a Blue Chalcedony stone representing the eye. Having tested it at trade fairs this summer, it is now part of Alex’s Studs of Hope collection, available in quite a number of shops and also for sale online for £40 – and don’t forget, a share of the profit comes back to OYT South! Buying a pair of earrings for yourself or someone else can rarely have been so meaningful. We hope you like them and will want to buy them! Click the pictures to see how to buy them.

Gold earrings Silver earrings

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Raise funds for OYT South if you’re shopping online
we’ve made over £1,500 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 over £1,500 through Easyfundraising – huge thanks to everyone who has used it!

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OYT South social media – please share as well as liking!
If you look at the top left of any page on our website, you can click on icons for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn. We are also on TikTok. Please share our social media posts as widely as you can – with the help of all our supporters, this charity is doing some amazing work and we need more people to hear about it. You don’t need to do anything more than share a post, or perhaps add a comment which could be as simple as “I’ve sailed with this charity!” or “I volunteer for this charity!”.

Please note that OYT South has a policy that our adult staff and volunteers should not make or accept personal online connections 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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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 11-25, 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 11-25 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, mate 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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