In this Bulletin
Sections which have changed since last time marked *
- * Voyage news
- * Maintenance days – can anyone help TOMORROW?
- * Sea staff vacancies– including one in June
- Vessel tracking – see where Prolfiic is sailing!
- Sally Croly leaving THIS MONTH! – please contribute to her leaving present
- * 2023 voyages available for young people
- * 2023 adult voyages and volunteer training – does anyone not eligible for youth voyages want to sail our beautiful boat?
- * Harry’s article
- * Feedback from a former Skipper
- Volunteer introduction videos
- Volunteer quotes on website
- Movement for Good Awards – please nominate us to win £1,000
- * Financial appeal
- Raise funds for OYT South if you’re shopping online – we’ve made over £1,300 through Easyfundraising!
- OYT South social media – please share as well as liking!
- Website – Raise and Sail – help needed
- Branded clothing
- New readers’ welcome and introduction
- Receiving this newsletter by email
The last bulletin ended with a crew of older girls from Greig City Academy in Poole Bay and heading towards the Needles. They voted on whether to beat upwind or motor in order to avoid having to go through Hurst against the tide – and sailing won the vote even though they knew it might make things more difficult later on, with a later arrival! They got into the Solent and picked up a buoy outside Yarmouth, where they made enchiladas for dinner and planned their pilotage back to Southampton, waiting until it got dark so they could all experience night sailing and night pilotage. They were back in Ocean Village in the early hours of Friday morning. They had covered 101 nautical miles, maximum wind force 7. You can see the full voyage track here. Seven people who hadn’t been before earned RYA Start Yachting certificates. Our team on board said: “A great trip with a lovely and caring crew. All very welcome to return.”
Voyage feedback from the crew included a notable awareness of the life skills that can be gained through sailing, talking about the importance of “being fair” when living together on board, or “giving and receiving clear instructions with my team.”. One said her most memorable bit was “when it was like raining and it was dark, and we were sailing, I loved it”. Others commented on the night sailing: “My best bit was sailing at night, I think it was beautiful, honestly”, and “My best bit was sailing at night and just working as a team to navigate and buoys, that was really fun”. Their final verdicts included “Such a positive experience and I gained a lot from sailing on Prolific”; “It was a nice experience and I developed my independence skills a bit more and I learnt how to do things I’ve never done before”; “It was an amazing experience discovering new things and building bonds with new people”; and “It was such a loving and warm environment and it was great to take on different responsibilities”. And finally “It was a wonderful experience and I was able to gain more experience overall upon the technical terms of the boat in general I was also able to combine my independence and my past experiences to enjoy the trip itself”.
Big thanks to sea staff Andy Viney, Lauren, Josh, Susanna Paynter, Michelle van den Bergh, Mark Dent and Phil Loutsis.
After that, Prolific spent a couple of days in harbour taking part in the South Coast Boat Show with our major sponsors, MDL Marinas. We had a fabulous time showing people round the boat and taking donations in exchange for bacon rolls! We also hosted two evening receptions on board, for the other exhibitors on Friday and for Ocean Village berth-holders on Saturday. It was a real tribute to the efforts of the MDL team that awareness of OYT South has clearly risen hugely amongst berth-holders in recent years: lots of people knew all about our work with young people, and one even said that when she sees Prolific going in and out of the marina, she checks this newsletter on the website to find out about the young people on board and where they have been on their voyage.
We must have shown hundreds of people round the boat, met lots of old friends and new ones, given away any number of leaflets and raised almost twice as much money as we did last year. We also did some long-term crew recruitment with people who might sail some years in the future:
Huge thanks to MDL and to all the people who came to help: Diggory, Josh, Lauren, Annette, Lynne, Sara Abdur, Dave Dent, Mark Dent, Unity Bowns, Willoughby Matthews, Kirsty Rosenfeld, Jonathan Pinnock, Stuart Harrison, Rebecca Brookes, Jack Dignan, Kiera Webster, Rob Jelley, David Marshall, Hilary Croft, and a special guest visit from former staff skipper Peta Koczy and some OYT Scotland friends.
The next day was a maintenance day and the major task was putting on our beautiful new mainsail, made by Kemp Sails and funded by generous donors, with the largest contribution coming from the Whirlwind Charitable Trust:
Next came a voyage with George Green’s School, notable partly because it was on this voyage in 2019 that we first met Sara Abdur, who seems to have been with us ever since that voyage with her school. Not only is she now our Youth Trustee, but she was also on this voyage as a fully-qualified second mate, having passed her assessment recently but just needing her GMDSS radio licence in order to complete everything – thanks to Willoughby for arranging her GMDSS exam.
The crew joined on Tuesday and began with a short evening trip to a buoy outside Yarmouth, enjoying a beautiful sunset. Next day they sailed to Weymouth in conditions which many found extremely challenging and it was great to see people continuing to make an effort and then to realise how rewarding it is to have the sense of achievement that comes from completing something really tough. They had a good time ashore in Weymouth with ice cream and a trip to the beach, which was all quite different for some of those who have had limited opportunities to see places outside London. Next day they had a short sail to Portland with a man overboard recovery drill on the way, and then enjoyed a film night on board. They also spent time on some of the exercises in Prolific’s environmental toolkit. All the hardships of the first part of the week were forgotten when they had the most marvellous sail back to the Solent with Prolific’s brand-new mainsail, and a fantastic evening sail back up Southampton Water with dinner while under way, and another glorious sunset.
Sara showed some of them how to carry out daily engine checks:
The voyage covered 120 nautical miles, maximum wind force 5. You can see the full voyage track here.
Feedback included: “The experience was fantastic, I was able to achieve the uttermost of my ability. I got the chance to work as a team in hoisting the sails and cooking the food. Overall it was a spectacular trip and made me appreciate the challenges of sailing at sea. I hope this isn’t my last trip”. Another added: “The trip was insane. The views was insane and the people I travelled with made it an incredible experience. It is hard work, but if you soldier through that you’ll find that the trip was a diamond”. Others said: “My least favourite would probably be Tuesday’s voyage, the weather and the voyage was really difficult I would say it was like the hardest test of endurance I have ever had to go through, trying not to get seasick. But my favourite part would probably be yesterday’s voyage, the weather was just amazing, the whole day was just amazing, I got to go on the bowsprit for a long time, I got to sail for a long time and like steer the ship for a long time as well.” Others said: “The most memorable bit for me was probably the views, ‘cos, especially for someone like me, I don’t really leave the city much so you get to see things you don’t really see”; “I would like to mention the incredibly friendly, energised and cheery sea staff who were always just to fun to be around. Overall, the trip was a great experience I’d recommend everyone :)”; “Really awesome experience, Done lots of stuff. Sailed the high seas, meeting everyone was fun and doing jobs. I feel I could fulfil my wish, of becoming a PIRATE!”; and “It was an eventful experience. Even though I got seasick I had lots of fun with the people on board. I was able to learn lots of new things such as knots and now how to hoist a sail which was hard work. I liked experiencing and seeing the different places we docked at. The best was definitely Weymouth where the ice cream was amazing.”
Big thanks to sea staff Diggory, Lauren, Vince Brodie, Sara, Tom Knight, Michelle van den Bergh and Hilary Croft.
Next came Applemore College with a crew aged 11-13 for a short voyage. There was more energy than focus on the first day, but that was solved by a long day of sailing round the Isle of Wight. The crew settled into watches and took turns steering and going on the bowsprit. On Tuesday morning the young people went ashore to explore Cowes and get ice cream. That afternoon was spent tacking up towards Portsmouth, with lots of different people helming and each watch taking a shift on the foredeck handling sails. They enjoyed dinner on deck and lots of fun and laughter was had on the beanbags at the stern of the boat. It would have been great to have had them for longer as several were showing real signs of development as the voyage went on!
The voyage covered 82 nautical miles, maximum wind force 5. You can see the full voyage track here.
Feedback included: “I loved it, I met new people and learnt new things that might come in handy” and “I really enjoyed it many chaotic memories were made”, while others reflected on a growth in confidence: “I had to climb over the port side to untie ropes. I was a bit unsure but I did it. Then I had to do it again and I jumped straight over!”, in teamwork: “Lots of things need teams to make it work and more fun”, and in communication: “I had to listen so that I could do the fun stuff.”
Big thanks to sea staff Diggory, Graeme Cole, Lauren, Sara, Cathy Lacey, Tom Knight, Vernon Harten-Ash and Aaron Arnold.
Then we had a couple of days with just the paid staff and some of the key officers of the charity, using the boat for a bit of team-building and strategy planning as we have some new people, plus people in new roles.
Last weekend was a mates’ training voyage, largely for adults who are new to the charity. Many of them were coming to see if they might enjoy volunteering for us and for us to see who has useful skills to offer, but a few were there for other reasons – just for a good sail and a chance to experience our lovely boat, or to look at what we might offer for a potential school booking.
We met some lovely people who we really hope to see on board again! Big thanks to the sea staff Diggory, Sara, Miranda Camping, Andy Royse, Martin Bayfield, Patrick Kelly, Jack Dignan and special congratulations to Aaron Arnold who completed his bosun assessment.
This week’s voyage has been with Alfreton Park Special School, for young people with physical and learning disabilities plus adult carers. As ever, it was one of the most rewarding voyages of the year, with short sails but lots of other fun activities. It’s not every crew who wants to go off and practise their roly-polys down a hill in Cowes! They also did handstands on the beach and threw stones into the water. Next day they sailed to Gosport and enjoyed the lovely showers there.
Yesterday they sailed back to Ocean Village, with a man overboard recovery drill on the way, and had dinner and a movie on board. Ocean Village laid on a spectacular sunset to celebrate their last evening:
They sailed 42 nautical miles and all earned voyage certificates showing the sailing activities they had taken part in. You can see the full voyage track here.
Big thanks to sea staff Diggory, Sara, Andy Gissing, Patrick Kelly (training as a first mate and getting on really well), Unity Bowns (making good progress towards a second mate assessment), Aoife Harrington (starting a third mate assessment) and Lynne Robbins (who recently joined our office team as Business Manager and wanted to see a voyage at first-hand).
Saturday 13th May – Southampton – TOMORROW
Saturday 10th June – Southampton
Tuesday 11th July – Brixham
Monday 4th September – Southampton
Sunday 15th October – Southampton
Just call the boat on 07990 518915 or email email@example.com if you want to come and help.
* Sea staff vacancies – including one in June
Just a few possible spaces left for volunteer watchleaders and bosuns– can anyone help? Some of these are definite gaps; others are where people have alerted me that they MAY need to drop out and we want to have a reserve in mind:
- 11-16 June, Southampton – another watchleader, bosun or trainee volunteer needed. Ideally to help with maintenance day 10th June as well.
- 18-22 Sept, Southampton – another watchleader, bosun or trainee volunteer possibly needed.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help with one of these. And keep an eye on this section of the newsletter as the season goes on – sadly people do occasionally have to drop out of voyages and there might be other opportunities if you are a volunteer who wants to sail this year.
Vessel tracking – see where Prolific is sailing!
Don’t forget you can always have a look and see where Prolific is sailing.
If you discover that Prolific is in a harbour somewhere near you, please come and say hello. 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.
Sally has been with OYT South since 2003, moving up from part-time administration assistant to a full-time role running the office. In 2018 she went back down to part-time hours with a greater focus on the finance side.
Sadly she has now decided that it is time to stop working and she will be leaving her job at the end of May. Though she is keen to stress that she will continue to be very much around as a friend and supporter of the charity and of all the people around OYT South!
Sally has been involved with the charity for twenty years – almost the entire span of OYT South’s existence as an independent charity, and a third of our entire existence since the Ocean Youth Club was founded in 1960. She always gave the most steadfast and reliable support when the charity faced challenges, and she played a huge part in the best of times as well. When OYT South won The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2011, Sally was the obvious choice to represent us at a Buckingham Palace garden party.
Sally might not have been the most high-profile member of our staff and she never wanted the limelight, but the smooth running of the office for so many years was down to her: paying bills on time, managing bookings efficiently and always there to support the rest of the team. She has been an absolutely fundamental part of everything the charity has done for two decades – which means that more than 8,000 young people have benefitted from her efforts.
Everyone has loved working with Sally and we all depended on her support, help, guidance, honesty, and good humour.
She will be missed more than we can say, and we really want to send her off with a nice leaving present, so please give generously – details and a payment link here!
* 2023 voyages available for young people
Dates open for individual bookings are as follows. Please state your age when applying – we can sail with young people aged 11-25 but we aim to organise compatible groups and not have too wide an age range on any voyage.
5-10 July 2023, 5 nights, Poole to Brixham, £575 per person
20-26 July 2023, Falmouth to Brixham, 6 nights, £675 – this one is filling very fast!
9-15 Aug 2023, 6 nights, Brixham, £675
16-22 Aug 2023, 6 nights, Brixham, £675
29 Aug-3 Sept 2023, 5 nights, Poole to Southampton, £575
5-10 Sept 2023, Southampton, 5 nights, £575 – places available for people aged 16-25 to join a voyage with some of our young volunteers – please ask for more details. Please note that there is a chance this voyage may run 4-9 Sept or 5-9 Sept instead.
Contact email@example.com to express an interest.
11-15 Sept 2023, Southampton, 4 nights, age range 18+, £475, adult week (Monday to Friday).
22-24 Sept 2023, Southampton, 2 nights, age range 18+, £245 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a place on an adult voyage.
I received my sea staff recommendation for the Ocean Youth Trust in August of 2021, I have sailed a frustrating total of 999 nautical miles with the Trust (only 1 away from a thousand!), 888 of which have been as a member of sea staff. The sea for me has always been something of a Venus fly trap, once I caught onto the sea, I was doomed to the madness it often holds. My first voyage with the charity, in 2018 without a shadow of a doubt changed my life, whether for better or for worse, I’m yet to determine. I have made friends the likes of which it is impossible to make anywhere else, worked with some interesting and inspirational sea staff, and have learned things about myself that I would never have known were it not for the sea. For example, as I learned at 2am on the way to Guernsey, coffee, or anything with caffeine in it, is your friend, the maximum number of fish fingers you can eat at once without being sick is 19 (demonstrated to me by a skipper) and it is possible to sleep anywhere, upside down, or both, and many, many more humorous and serious things.
I struggle to believe that it has only been only two years since I started volunteering with this amazing charity, thus far, I have sailed with some amazing young people, I have been able to watch friendships form that will last a lifetime and people go from complete strangers to an outstanding team. And all through this, I have received advice, information, and help from an endlessly supportive, kind, and knowledgeable group of people who are always keen to help others in their own time. I am now in a position, largely thanks to the lessons and skills taught to me by OYT South, where I have an opportunity to spend part of a season in Hong Kong, sailing on their boat Spirit of Outward Bound. I look back on my time so far with OYT South and realise exactly how much of a lasting impact every person, from crew to sea staff have played in my life. I can’t recommend sailing enough, even if you only go once, it might just change your life.
“After spending a good few years away from the OYT (OYC) we visited Prolific for the first time yesterday and I cannot express how wonderful we all felt after our visit. From the moment we met Sara and the other enthusiastic crew members at the gate, to our tour with Josh, the engineer, showing us round the boat, it felt like being back home.
It’s so heart-warming to know that the great work done by so many who went before is being carried on with such passion and enthusiasm by today’s OYT volunteers and staff. The welcome was second to none (tea and bacon rolls!) and we talked for hours with friends old and new.
All those on board yesterday were a real credit to the work the OYT does and its traditions started by Chris Ellis and Chris Courtauld all those years ago.”
Volunteer introduction videos
It’s clear from some of our clients and also from one of the speakers at our training weekend back in February that one of the most daunting things for a lot of young crew members sailing with us for the first time, especially anyone who is neurodiverse, is not knowing anything about our team on board – it’s hard to go away for a week with strangers when you have no idea what to expect.
It’s been suggested that something that will really help us to have introductory videos from as many staff and volunteers as possible on our website. We’ve got a few here already for you to look at but we’d like lots more! Big thanks to everyone who has helped to get this started: and if you want to join them, you can film your own introduction on the boat if you like, but since this is mainly about young people getting to know you a bit before they sail, you can also film one at home if you like (and if you want to replace it later with something shot on board, that’s fine). About thirty seconds is plenty. Some of the paid staff have done longer videos but you’ll see that most of the volunteers are about that length, and we’re adding subtitles which are helpful to some young people too, so we don’t need anything too long as the subtitles take a while to type! We’ll be really grateful to anyone who can do one – email email@example.com when you have done yours and we’ll sort out the best way of getting it to us. Thank you!
We’ve started a new page on the website where volunteers can explain why they enjoy volunteering for OYT South and what they get out of it. The idea is to encourage more people to think about volunteering for us in various different ways. At the moment the page only has examples from sea staff and refit volunteers (and we are happy to have more of those) but we would also like to add people who help in the office; people who raise funds or help us with events; volunteer Trustees; and anyone else who gives their time to support us. Please send your contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re happy to add photos too, if you have a good one of yourself in a volunteering capacity.
When anyone new enquires about volunteering with us, it would be great to send them a link to this page to show them that we have a wide variety of volunteers who have all sorts of reasons for being involved and get a lot out of it.
Movement for Good Awards – please nominate us to win £1,000
In June, 150 charities will each win £1,000, 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.
* Financial appeal
Huge thanks this week to the DCR Allen Trust, who have very kindly agreed to continue their extremely generous support for bursaries for young people who couldn’t otherwise afford to sail with us.
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.
“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 £1,300 through Easyfundraising – huge thanks to everyone who has used it!
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. 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.
Website – Raise and Sail – help needed
Although we have a brand-new website, one section that still needs work is to update Raise and Sail, which was designed many years ago by volunteers Fiona Keen and Emma Burrows as a stand-alone area of the site full of ideas and resources for young people who want to raise money in order to come sailing. We have a volunteer doing some work on this but others may be able to help too, if you have good ideas or experience of raising money. Email email@example.com if you would like to help.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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 email@example.com.