OYT South bulletin 14th April 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 14th April 2023

by | Apr 14, 2023

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

* Happy anniversary to MDL Marinas, our major sponsor!
This year is the 50th anniversary for MDL Marinas, who so generously provide a home for Prolific in Ocean Village and welcome her in Brixham as well when we sail west. They also established the MDL Sail Training Awards in 1988 to reward inspirational young people between the ages of 12 and 18 who have overcome adverse personal circumstances – and the winners get a voyage on board Prolific (see voyage news below as we have just had the 2023 winners on board). Since the awards’ inception 35 years ago, 140 young people have experienced a life changing voyage.

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* Welcome Lynne Robbins – new Business Manager
A huge welcome to Lynne Robbins who has joined the office team in Gosport this week as our new Business Manager (with Caz’s job title becoming Chief Operating Officer … she’s not leaving …)

Lynne worked as Boat Team Manager for Boathouse 4 in Portsmouth for the last seven years, where she looked after a team of 100 volunteers, so is looking forward to getting to know the OYT South volunteers.  She also facilitated the restoration, maintenance and replica build of the 32 boats in their care so is excited about only having one boat to concentrate on!

Although she has spent some time at sea, she says most of it was spent throwing up over the side, but what she lacks in sailing prowess, she makes up for with enthusiasm and office & organisation skills.

We are thrilled to have Lynne with us – she’s already settling in well and is clearly going to be a great fit for the organisation as well as a whirlwind of efficiency. So if you’re phoning or emailing the office, please do say hello and make her feel at home!

Lynne Robbins smiling in sunglasses

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* Voyage news – three excellent voyages!
Lots to report as there was no newsletter last week.

Our second voyage of the season included seven fantastic young people who had won their places through the MDL Sail Training Awards organised by our major sponsor, plus six others from two Young Carers groups.

They sailed down to Cowes on the first afternoon, and next day had a great first full day at sea with sunshine, a passing seal, and people getting a chance to go out on the bowsprit and learning how to steer:

Boy looking over Prolific's capping rail Watchleader and two crew at the helm

They ended the day in Weymouth where they worked on tying knots and rowing the dinghy:

Prolific moored in Wymouth in sunshine with flags up Crew members in dinghy with Prolific's stern behind them

They set off next day for another sunny sail:

Happy crew with arms outstretched on deck Smiling crew on deck

They also took charge of the navigation to get us safely into Poole:

Young person with chart and chart plotter Young people and watchleader studying chart

They had some fun and games during their evening in Poole (the After Eight game was popular) and the next day sailed back to the Solent, with some practice at boat manoeuvres:

Happy young people on Prolific's bowsprit

They anchored for dinner and waited until it got dark so the young people could experience night sailing – taking charge of the navigation back up Southampton Water.

You can see the full voyage track here. They sailed 136 nautical miles and 13 people earned RYA Start Yachting certificates. One crew member said ”My most memorable bit was probably last night when I was steering the boat and it was just stressful but then it all went well so I’m happy with that” and another said: “My favourite bit was probably when we got off in Weymouth and we were all on the beach and we went around Weymouth. And then my most memorable bit was after the night sail when we were all down here and it was just really fun and we were all laughing.”

Big thanks to sea staff Mark, Diggory, Sara (sailing as trainee first mate!), Cathy Ayres, Val Hague, Iori Kent, Julian Ware and Aaron Arnold who was starting his bosun training.

They were followed by a mixed crew involving students from Applemore College, the Vyne School and several individual bookings. All but a couple had sailed with us before and were clearly going to benefit from coming again.

Watchleader teaching young people to use a winch

They joined on the Friday of Easter weekend and picked up a buoy outside Yarmouth for the night. They had dinner there and played games, including the Banana Game.

Next morning the crew were all on deck to set off at 6am and head through the North Channel. One watch took on the steering and keeping lookout; another took back bearings to avoid the beach/shingle bank; and the third watch used the radar to keep a set distance off the beach. Great teamwork!

Young person with compass taking bearings at sunrise Young person with compass taking bearings at sunrise Watchleader talking to yoiung people in the navigation area on board

They did man overboard recovery drills on the way to Weymouth:

Young people watching a man overboard recovery exercise on Prolific's port side

There was very little wind – they did some tacking practice under engine just to get used to handling sheets and winches. Once in harbour they had a late afternoon trip ashore for ice creams.

On Sunday the weather dictated a change of plan and they made a hasty retreat to back to the Solent – again with little wind so motor-sailing. They entered the Solent via the Needles Channel and enjoyed some great steering – and dancing on deck – on the way.

Happy young people on deck Selfie of three smiling sea staff Watchleader supervises a young person on the helm

They spent that night in Cowes and had dinner, showers and a movie night on board.

On Monday they were going to leave early and got everything ready for departure – with everyone getting wet! – and then the skipper changed his mind as the wind was evidently stronger than forecast. Instead they planned a packed day of activities in harbour. They did lots of training towards their RYA qualifications  – knots, weather etc; and then they had a bake off:

Boy with a tray of homemade cake Young people decorating cupcakes

That was followed by a run ashore for ice cream (again); a beach visit to throw stones and get wet feet; and a rolly-polly race downhill. When they got back to the boat, there was a surprise birthday party for one of the crew:

Cup cakes spelling happy birthday Boy with birthday cake

On Tuesday they had to get back to Ocean Village but as that involved getting up at 0430, the intention was that the staff would do it but no – all the young people wanted to be up!!!!! There was a great sunrise on a rather cold day but people kept warm with foredeck dancing, coming up Southampton Water to Cha Cha Slide amongst other tunes. They were alongside at 7am for breakfast, happy hour, and the end of the voyage stuff.

Whole crew gathered at Prolific's stern

They sailed 114 nautical miles and the two who hadn’t been before earned their RYA Start Yachting certificates. You can see the full voyage track here. Big thanks to sea staff Lee Mosscrop, Josh, Andrew Wilkes, Jess Collingwood, Nige Bush, Harry Lack and Simon Banks.

This week we are sailing with a new crew from Testbourne School. They joined on Wednesday and di activities in harbour while some terrible weather blew through. Next day they helped us to get a brand-new sail on board – very exciting! Big thanks to Kemp Sails who made it, and the Whirlwind Charitable Trust whose grant helped to make it possible.

Young people and staff bringing a tightly-rolled mainsail down a pontoon on a trolley

Meanwhile they were doing winch drills, clipping-on practice and more:

Young people clipping safety lines on to a line on deck Young person supervised by watchleader putting a rope on a winch Young person sitting on deck pulling a rope

Finally they were ready to sail – they had a great passage down to Cowes where they spent the night. This morning they were heading west.

Big thanks to sea staff Andy Viney, Josh, Andrew Wilkes, Tom Knight, Jo Macgregor and James Robinson.

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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.

Sample map showing Prolific's location

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* Sea staff vacancies
Just a few spaces left for relief skippers, mates and volunteer watchleaders – can anyone help?

  • 8-12 May, Southampton – first mate possibly needed – we hope we have one but we want someone on standby just in case there’s a problem.
  • 26-30 May, Southampton – relief skipper needed.
  • 31 May – 4 June, Southampton – relief skipper needed
  • 5-9 June plus maintenance day 10th June, Southampton – another qualified watchleader needed.

Email caroline.white@oytsouth.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.

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* 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 already just to give you the idea 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 webmaster1@oytsouth.org when you have done yours and we’ll sort out the best way of getting it to us. Thank you!

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Volunteer quotes on website
This might be ideal for any volunteers who really can’t face doing a video!

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 webmaster1@oytsouth.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.

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* 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.

Movement for Good logo

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* 2023 voyages available for young people
Voyages available for full-boat bookings or individuals!

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 (this could be an individual OR group voyage depending on demand – please ask)
20-26 July 2023, Falmouth to Brixham, 6 nights, £675
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

We’re happy to take smaller groups (e.g. three or four people) on individual voyages to mix with others; but many clients will want to book the whole boat exclusively for their own group (twelve to fifteen people, including any adult leaders who come with the group). Dates available for whole-boat bookings:

5-10 July 2023, 5 nights, Poole to Brixham, £575 per person (this could be an individual OR group voyage depending on demand – please ask)

Contact webmaster1@oytsouth.org to express an interest.

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2023 adult voyages and volunteer training
does anyone aged 18+ (no upper limit) want to sail for a weekend in May?
We have adult voyages scheduled as follows:

5-7 May 2023, Southampton, 2 nights, age range 18+, £245 per person, adult weekend voyage (Friday evening to Sunday evening).- only 5 places left.

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 webmaster1@oytsouth.org to reserve a place on an adult voyage.

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Sally Croly leaving! – please contribute to her leaving present
Our Finance Manager Sally Croly is leaving!

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 Croly on board John Laing (OYT South's previous vessel)

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!

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Maintenance days – for your diary
If you’re missing refit already, or feeling guilty because you weren’t around to help much, please come to one of our in-season maintenance days!

Monday 24th April – Southampton
Saturday 13th May – Southampton
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 refit@oytsouth.org nearer the time if you want to come and help.

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Special voyage for young volunteers – could this be you?
Thanks to a generous donation from the Gipsy Moth Trust, OYT South has an annual training voyage funded specifically for young people aged 16-25 who are starting to sail as volunteer watchleaders or bosuns, or who have been newly recommended to join our volunteers.

This year’s young volunteers’ training voyage will be 5-10 Sept, starting and finishing in Southampton. If you have sailed with us in the last year or two and have been invited back for volunteer training, or have recently started sailing as a trainee mate, third mate or bosun and you want to develop your skills and are aged 16-25, let us know if you would be interested in joining this voyage.

If you have not yet been told by one of our skippers that you are ready for volunteer training but you are hoping to earn a recommendation this year, you can contact us about going on the waiting list for the September voyage. Then if you come on another voyage before then and do well enough to earn your recommendation, you might get a place on the September voyage as well.

The September voyage is designed to get people thinking not just as another crew member but as someone who can start stepping up to leading, teaching, supervising and encouraging other young people. Around one in three of our volunteers on board is aged under 25 and started out as crew members on an ordinary voyage before coming back for more training and working their way up the ladder. It’s a lot of fun and it’s also great for your own personal development and providing evidence to future employers that you can stand out from the crowd and take on responsibility.

Here’s what people said about last year’s Gipsy Moth voyage:

“My favourite bit has just been really watching everyone throw themselves into leading stuff, it’s been really really impressive. But also how everyone else supported them when they were doing leading, that was really really good.”

“My memorable bit was when I was told I had to take down the mizzen and I had to lead it and I stressed myself out and I knocked my confidence by doubting myself and I was going like, ‘I can’t do it, I can’t do it,’ and then I done it and then Andy [first mate] took me to the side and he said, ‘you just did it, you can do it,’ and I think that was just like a really nice, just a really nice little chat”.

“My favourite bit this trip was probably how confident I became learning how all the sailing procedures work, and all the different ropes, whereas previous trips I’ve not been that familiar with how it all works, but I’m definitely a lot more confident with it all now.”

Young volunteers voyage 2022

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* Financial appeal
Huge thanks this week to Parkstone Yacht Club for a very generous donation which is partly for our new halyards and topping lifts, and partly for bursaries; to one of our vice patrons, Nicholas Phillips, for a fantastic contribution; to the Orange County Community Foundation for a great donation towards the salaries of our seagoing staff; to the Bassil Shippam and Alsford Trust; and to Stuart Harrison and Nigel Pearce for very kind contributions. Nigel wrote: “Keep up the good work. Nothing beats a week at sea, the awe, the majesty, the power, the fear, the wonder, the fun, the friendship, the weather, the seas, great sailing, the new friends.” 

Big thanks also to Aeoliki, the company that provides our vessel tracking: we pay for credits as the system is used, and recently Aeoliki contacted us to say that another client had paid for a number of credits which were going to be unused, so they have been transferred to our account, saving us a significant amount of money!

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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Updated leaflets about OYT South!
Printed copies available from the office from next week!

With thanks to the Marine Ad Agency for design work, we have revised and updated the set of leaflets about our work, which you can read online or print out if you really need. There will also be some printed copies available from the office.

Please do share them with anyone aged 11-25 who might be interested in sailing with us – as well as with parents, grandparents, teachers, youthworkers and others. We still have some places to fill this year and the issue is not that there aren’t people wanting to sail – it’s that too many people who would love the opportunity don’t yet know about us! If everyone who reads this newsletter found someone new to give the link or a leaflet to, we could easily fill the remaining places.

Leaflet: Sail with us, Volunteer with us, Support us Leaflet: Sail with us, Volunteer with us, Support us

Leaflet: our boat Prolific Leaflet: giving young people the skills to succeeed in life Leaflet: making a lasting difference Leaflet: who we are Leaflet: facts and figures Leaflet: volunteers

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Raise funds for OYT South if you’re shopping online
we’ve made over £1,200 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 £1,200 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. 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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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 caroline.white@oytsouth.org if you would like to help.

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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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