OYT South bulletin 19th October 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 19th October 2023

by | Oct 19, 2023

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

Diggory’s leaving present – two weeks to go
Sadly we have just two weeks left with Diggory as our Staff Skipper – please see here for how to contribute to his leaving present. And if you want to come and say goodbye to him, a good opportunity would be to join the refit weekend, AGM and curry night on 4th November – see below.

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* Voyage news
The last newsletter left our crew from The Costello School in Basingstoke in Cowes. It was extremely windy on Friday so they didn’t sail, but they had a lot of fun at the Cowes Classic Boat Museum; they explored lots of boats, did some rope work, and enjoyed sitting in their life raft!

Sailing dinghies in a museum OYT South crew trying out a liferaft Skipper investigating a boat in a museum Practising knots in a museum Playing a game in a museum

Ramsgate lifeboat crew were in Cowes doing some training and kindly gave our crew a tour of the lifeboat they have been using for training:

OYT South crew standing next to an RNLI lifeboat Close-up of OYT South crew standing next to an RNLI lifeboat OYT South crew at the helm of an RNLI lifeboat

Saturday morning was an early start, heading back to Southampton with the young people taking responsibility for the navigation:

Group of crew members on Prolific's bow at dawn Group of crew members and staff on Prolific's bow at dawn with arms outstretched

The voyage ended after 100 miles. You can see the full voyage track here.

Prolific in harbour with the full crew gathered in rows on the roof

The verdict from the OYT South staff team was: “Brilliant school with exceptional teachers. Brought a mixed group with really nice dynamic. The staff had done some sessions beforehand with them to bond as a team and cover some knots and theory” – definitely a client we would like to work with again on a regular basis.

Comments included:

“I know how to sail and I can deal with my own battles more confidently … I have managed to learn a new side to the outside world … I’ve had friends to help comfort me and I’ve become more independent … I have got a new side to myself that I didn’t know before.”

“Everyone will help you no matter what.”

“Most memorable bit, honestly, like the 2-6-heave thing, I feel like I was in a pirate movie. I loved it.”

“The most memorable bit was talking to that bloke on the radio. Whatever I said!”

“I loved the experience, I really liked going out on the bowsprit and doing new things that I normally wouldn’t have the chance to do.”

“I had an amazing time and I managed to learn a whole host of new skills.”

“The experience was amazing, unlike anything else I have done. It was very fun and I got even closer with the people who came with me.”

“I did something I thought I’d never of done, I made amazing friendships and learned great things.”

“I hope this is running next year!”

And from the two school staff who sailed with them:

“I’ve got two best bits: myself … learning how to sail and having just an absolutely amazing time … And also watching you guys just thrive really, you’ve had such a brilliant week … I have had the best week and have fallen in love with sailing.”

“As an individual the best bit has just been robbing the sea staff about ideas about how to get my sailing better. That’s been really, really good. But as a teacher, it’s been these little lightbulb moments where I can see these young people growing and developing a better sense of resilience or self-confidence or knowing that they can do more than they ever thought they could do, so that’s been fantastic.”

You can read more feedback here.

Big thanks to sea staff Diggory, Lauren, Patrick Kelly, Martin Bayfield, Rob Jelley, Andrew Wilkes who made fantastic progress towards qualifying as a skipper, completing a part 1 assessment (skipper qualifications come in two parts) and big congratulations also to Nige Bush who completed his second mate qualification.

This week we have had a crew from Bruern Abbey school who joined us on Monday. They had initial safety briefings including practice with their safety harnesses:

Young person practising use of harness lines and clips on deck Young person practising use of harness lines and clips on deck

And then they sailed down to Cowes:

Young person at the helm in near-darkness

They have had shocking weather this week but they have managed plenty of activities while they couldn’t sail. They visited the Classic Boat museum; Willoughby showed them round the lifeboat station; they walked up to the headland to feel the wind; and they went out on the bowsprit:

Two young people sitting in the bowsptir netting with arms round each other

They did lots of theory training:

Young people looking at a chart Young people looking at images of different navigation marks Three young people at the chart table

They looked at all our safety gear:

Young people sitting on bunks while a watchleader shows them a box of flares Crew member in orange protective suit

And they made apple crumble:

Young person shows off an large tray of apple crumble reeady to go in the oven Young people gathered proudly round a large tray of apple crumble

After apple crumble last night, they watched the second half of the Paddington movie that they had started previously – and this morning they woke to marginally better weather which made it possible to go sailing! They were heading east this morning but are planning a navigation exercise back to Ocean Village later tonight.

Big thanks to sea staff Diggory, Lauren, Josh, Cathy Lacey, Barry Walker, Martin Bayfield and Julian Ware.

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AGM and curry night 4th November – please book NOW for curry!
The official Notice of AGM and associated paperwork has now been sent out to members (and to recently lapsed members, with a reminder) – if you think you are a member and haven’t received yours, please let us know.

If you are not a member, it’s not too late – people can still join in time for the AGM.

OYT South’s AGM will be held on Saturday 4th November in Southampton, followed by a curry in the Coriander Lounge (not the same restaurant as last year). More details here, including a link to see the menu and book for the curry.

We are combining this with a refit weekend as we’ll need lots of help moving gear off the boat.

Non-members are very welcome to attend the AGM (and come to the curry) – you just won’t be able to vote!

The payment link for the curry briefly stopped working but it should be fine now – if you have any problems with it, please let us know straight away so we can look into it. Apologies if you tried it while it was down.

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* Refit – please come and help!
There will be dates for occasional refit weekends over the winter, with the first being Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th November – Ocean Village – part of the AGM and curry weekend. We’re also generally pleased to have offers of help on weekdays. 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.

At the start of the refit it is all about moving kit off the boat and getting everything sorted, clean and tidy ready for the rest of the work to begin.

Just call the boat on 07990 518915 or email refit@oytsouth.org if you want to come and help any time from early November onwards. If you would like to stay on board Prolific for the AGM weekend, please let us know as soon as possible, as the boat may fill up!

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

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* Feedback from a bosun – using OYT South experience to build a career
We had a lovely email this week from Harry, one of our volunteer bosuns who has been sailing with the charity since he was 13, started bosun training at 16, and is now making plans for when he leaves school at the end of the current year.

“On Saturday, I attended an open day at Warsash Maritime Academy to gain an insight into the courses on offer. On the advice of my school, I was wearing my OYT South hoodie, and this proved to be an amazing conversation starter, especially with Trinity House and I left certain that I will be looking to pursue a career at sea, be that on ships, or in sail training. My time so far with OYT has given me an amazing insight into the sea, and has helped me to get myself on a path I intend to pursue as a career. As I have preached to friends, family, and my school community in the school’s magazine, OYT has, and continues to provide a significant boost to my confidence and aspirations. This would not have been possible without the endless encouragement, support and patience of yourself and the office team, Josh and the sea staff and all the incredible community of volunteer sea staff I have been so privileged to work with and learn from. I look forward to seeing what the future holds with my future sea staff voyages, and, although I am not yet certain when I will next be onboard, as I move towards the end of my time at school, I am grateful for the continuity that OYT brings, so I’m not going anywhere, regardless of where my future takes me. Thank you once again, and all the best for the beginning of the fast approaching refit season, I look forward to hopefully (school permitting) getting involved this year.”

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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.

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Chris Ellis Award – win £££s off the price of your next voyage!
Now 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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Winter refit core team and regular helpers needed – including a driver
If you are planning a gap year, or you are between jobs or for any other reason potentially available for several weeks or months this winter, might you be interested in joining our full-time refit team? Or could you come regularly for shorter periods – maybe one day a week? More details here.

At the moment we are particularly keen to attract more help from people who can drive and have a car – we have some refit accommodation which is a drive away from the boat, and there are often errands to run requiring a car!

Prolific will be staying in Ocean Village, Southampton, this winter, and the team is in the process of developing detailed plans and schedules so we will know when we will particularly need extra help.

Plenty of our previous refit volunteers have gone on to great jobs in the marine industry – it really helps to have maintenance experience as well as good sailing skills when applying for sailing jobs! And any refit volunteers who want to sail in Prolific can be offered berths as watchleaders, bosuns, or relief engineers. So it’s a great way of developing useful experience, contributing to a good cause, securing free food and accommodation for a few months, and having a positive experience with a fun group of people! If you’re interested, please read the web page and email us with the details requested at the bottom of the page.

In due course we will also want to hear from casual refit helpers – people offering the odd day or weekend here or there; but for the moment we are mainly interested in sorting out the long-term or regular helpers.

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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.

Tracking map showing Prolific in the Solent

There are also apps like Marine Traffic that you can use to track Prolific on your phone.

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2024 voyages
We now have a sailing programme for 2024 and we have sent it round to our regular clients! If anyone else is interested in a full-boat group booking for next year, please contact caroline.white@oytsouth.org.

Once most of our regular groups have booked, we will designate some voyages for individual rather than group bookings, so there’s no rush to enquire about those just yet!

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* Financial appeal
Big thanks this week to the Lambert Trust for another very kind donation towards bursaries, and also to a donor who prefers to remain anonymous but has made a very generous contribution to be split between core costs and bursaries.

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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