OYT South bulletin 20th 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 20th April 2023

by | Apr 20, 2023

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

* Voyage news
Last week’s newsletter ended with our crew from Testbourne School heading west from Cowes.

They set off down the western Solent, out via the north channel, and across Poole Bay. The forecast had been for force 5 or so, which would have been quite enough for such a young crew; but in the event the winds were significantly stronger and it was a challenging passage. The sea staff enjoyed it …

Wet but cheerful watchleaders in full oilskins

It was great to see the young people bounce back, all smiles, once we were in the shelter of Poole harbour. They had time ashore in Poole and we had visits from a couple of OYT South’s Trustees and other supporters. In the evening they had dinner, games, time to fill in their personal logbooks, some training towards their sailing qualifications, and bed.

Saturday was quite a different sailing day in good conditions. We spent some time in company with another sail training vessel, Jolie Brise, and then had a cracking sail towards the Solent and in through the Needles Channel. There was music on deck and a disco on the foredeck for those who were not on the helm or keeping lookout! People also had the chance to go out on the bowsprit.

Watchleader and young people on the bowsprit on a sunny day Youn gpeople and watchleader working at the bow

By evening they were in Cowes again, with showers and shore leave as well as time for the young people to plan for taking charge of navigation on the passage back to Southampton. They were really keen to do this in the dark and have a proper experience of night sailing, so they left very late and reached Southampton in the small hours – in time to have a short sleep before the voyage ended next morning. They had covered 94 nautical miles and you can see the full voyage track here. All the young people and their teacher earned RYA Start Yachting certificates.

Crew members said: “My most memorable bit was probably being in the storm because I don’t think that anyone normally could say that you’ve been in a force 8. My best bit was probably like on the last day when we all had the music on and we were all like pulling the sails down and everything”; “I liked going on the bowsprit. I didn’t like the storm and the rockiness” and “My best bit was a first bit of the rough weather. My least favourite bit was the second bit of the worst weather.”

The teacher who sailed with the group said: “Oh my goodness – my best bit was steering through the Needles Channel and then going into the winds which turned out to be force 8 winds, that was an experience of a lifetime I will never forget. I think my most memorable bit was when we were all sat down here listening to [one of the boys] play the guitar, it was the beautiful calm between the storms and it was a really nice togetherness moment and it was really beautiful.”

The day after the voyage, one mum emailed: My son had an absolutely amazing time with you and I cannot thank you enough.”  And the staff member who organised everything for the school told us: “What an amazing time they had, and I’ve been getting some lovely emails from parents to say how good it was for their child to be involved.”

You can see more feedback from recent voyages here.

Big thanks to sea staff Andy Viney, Josh, Andrew Wilkes, Tom Knight, James Robinson, and Jo Macgregor whose 3rd mate qualification was successfully renewed after a few years away from sailing with us.

This week we have been enjoying our second voyage of the year with girls from Greig City Academy in Haringey. A few weeks ago we enjoyed the company of some of their 12- and 13-year-olds: this week we had a crew aged 15-19. Four have sailed with us before, and all but two of the others have sailed in dinghies or in Scaramouche. So they are a good keen crew! We are running “bosun of the day” with the four who have sailed on board Prolific before, giving them a taste of what it might be like if they want to join our volunteer sea staff.

They joined on Monday and sailed to Cowes that evening. Next day they did a quick trip over to Gosport for fuel, had lunch on the fuel pontoon and then spent the afternoon sailing in the eastern Solent before returning to Gosport.

On Wednesday they had a quick start to get all the way around the south of the Isle of Wight. It was a bit bumpy at first but then it calmed down and they had a beautiful sunny sail to Poole, where they had shore leave and ice cream.

Today they left Poole 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! They were heading into Poole Bay with two sails already up and about to hoist the ORC.

Big thanks to sea staff Andy Viney, Lauren, Josh, Susanna Paynter, Michelle van den Bergh, Mark Dent and Phil Loutsis.

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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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* Maintenance days – can anyone help NEXT MONDAY?
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!

Next Monday we hope to be fitting our NEW mainsail so please come and help with that.

Monday 24th April – Southampton – NEXT WEEK
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 if you want to come and help.

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* Adult day sails – would you like to see Prolific in action?
A few times a year we run adult day sails, to thank people who have supported the charity in various ways, or as an introduction to people who might like to work with us in future – perhaps teachers or youth leaders thinking of booking a group voyage, or potential donors interested in knowing where our money goes and how much difference we can make to young lives. If there is space, we can also take other adults – including parents and grandparents who have heard all about what a great time someone has had on board, and who want to come and try it for themselves, or people who might want to volunteer for us but want to have a look before signing up for a mates’ training voyage.

Dates this year are:

Saturday 20th May
Sunday 21st May
Saturday 17th June
Sunday 18th June
Sunday 17th September

All 0930 – 1700 from Southampton, with lunch on board.

If you would like one or more places on one of this year’s day sails, please email caroline.white@oytsouth.org.

Adult guests with watchleader at the winches Adult guests on the bowsprit Adult guest at the helm

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

  • 26-30 May, Southampton – relief skipper needed.
  • 31 May – 4 June, Southampton – relief skipper needed.
  • 5-9 June plus maintenance day 10th June, Southampton – possibly need a bosun/engineer and maybe another qualified watchleader.

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 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 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
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
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.

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 6 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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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 Trinity House, for a fantastic contribution to staff salaries; to the Peter Dixon Mohawk Voyage Fund; and to Emma King and Lee Young, for very generous contributions toward 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.

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* Updated leaflets about OYT South –
printed copies available!
Printed copies should be available from the office from today!

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 £1,300 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 £1,300 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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