OYT South bulletin 22nd June 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 22nd June 2023

by | Jun 22, 2023

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

* Voyage news
On 10th June we had a maintenance day – big thanks to Diggory, Josh, Lauren, Sara, Sam Gray, Rob Jelley, Martin Bayfield and Julian Ware. They did lots of work on the mizzen mast and capping rail, plus some painting and lots of other odd jobs to keep the boat in good condition and running smoothly.

Then came a voyage for the Amber Foundation, which houses and supports homeless young people facing complex challenges. After introductions and safety briefings, they sailed down to Yarmouth on the first evening, watching the sunset and playing some games on board.

Next day they motor-sailed to Weymouth in light winds – lots of sunshine and music; and everyone had a chance to learn to steer and how to fill in the logbook as well as taking part in hoisting sails.

At sea At the helm

Next day they did some training towards their sailing qualifications and then had a relatively short sail to Ringstead Bay for lunch (fish fingers), and had a refreshing deck wash and ice lollies. They sailed back to Portland in the afternoon and had a BBQ on Chesil Beach.


In the morning they moved the boat down to the fuel pontoon, with the Amber crew doing nearly everything – there was only the first mate and a couple of watchleaders on deck as the other sea staff weren’t needed! They did some more training towards their qualifications and also practised rowing the dinghy. And they saw a dolphin inside Portland harbour!

Next day was a really big sail, all the way round the south of the Isle of Wight to Cowes. They had another beautiful sunset and people took a keen interest in learning about navigation buoys and cardinal markers as they passed.

On the bowsprit At the helm At sea

They had time ashore in Cowes in the morning and then went out to practise sailing manoeuvres – tacks and gybes – in the Solent. They anchored in Stokes Bay for dinner and planned the pilotage up Southampton Water so that the Amber group could run the navigation for themselves – in the dark! At this time of year that meant setting off late and arriving very late at night.

You can see the full voyage track here. They sailed 163 nautical miles. Big thanks to sea staff Diggory, Lauren, Sara, Unity, Martin Bayfield, Julian Ware and Halima Mehmood.

Amber crew

Several of the Amber crew were very focussed on using the voyage to develop skills that will help them move into employment and independent living and at the end of the voyage remarked on having practised “Trying different ways to deal with a situation”; “Teamwork to get jobs done”; “Keeping myself busy to take mind off things”; “Negotiating organisation of jobs”; “Communication when doing jobs”; “Doing jobs for people who did jobs for me”; “Doing a knot wrong and learning from it”; “Relaying instructions and how to do stuff”; and “Feeling confident around new people”.

Other comments included:

“My favourite part was probably the going to Weymouth at the start it ‘cos it was all new and exciting.”

“Most memorable part of the experience was I think was last night – the navigating at night – ‘cos we were bringing all of our skills together that we have learnt throughout the week condensed into one night. The teamwork was amazing … The worst bit, I think is this moment right now because I know that it is coming to an end … Thank you for the experience.”

“Thank you for this amazing experience I was nervous before coming on the boat but I eased my fear and done it all thank you for all being friendly and welcoming.”

“A great time, better than I expected it to be and the staff definitely made it that, they really made me feel like this is something I should be grateful to have a chance to go on.”

And from the group leader: “A great experience for the group, lovely to see so many of them throw themselves into everything and get so involved. I’ve seen a lot of growth and new confidence in so many of the young people. I think they will all remember this voyage very fondly.”

One of the young men was from Ukraine and had been homeless after arriving in the UK as a result of the war. He was glad of the opportunity to practise his English and talked about his experience of working in a team: “Last day. Navigation on the night sea. It’s how we worked together … Live all together on board it is the best way to work together. And I guessed you cannot avoid getting new friends”.

After that, a couple of adult day sails allowed us to sail with sponsors and donors as well as to invite representatives of the Marine Accident Investigation Branch and Trinity House, as well as our local MP, plus some friends and family of the OYT South team.

Andrew Moll, MAIB Local MP Royston Smith Chris Wood

Comments included:

“I feel I have some appreciation of what you and your team do but what I can see is lots of enthusiasm, knowledge, and consideration for others and teamwork, carry on the good work. Thank you for a great day’s sailing.”

“Thank you for showing us around the Solent and explaining the amazing work you all do. Amazing day, great day learning new skills and meeting new people. Keep up the good work!”

“Super day out, thank you! Lovely to meet everyone and learn about what you do! Really inspiring and some fantastic stories to share. Looking forward to staying in touch in the future.”

An excellent day, good vibe and great fun. The real bonus was learning about OYT South and the good work you do. Keep it up!”

“What a crew! What a skipper! What a shining example of how to do life properly! Thank you all so much.”

Big thanks to sea staff Diggory, Lauren, Sara, Unity, Glyn Collins, Caz, Susanna Paynter, Michelle van den Bergh, Andy Royse and Tom Knight. All the best to Sara who is now away for the summer, having spent more time on board so far this season than most of the staff!

On Monday we started a new voyage, with Harris Merton school from south London. Diggory says everyone is having an amazing time!

They went to Cowes on the first evening and then set off on Tuesday, enjoying the sight of some fabulous vessels which are racing in the Solent this week:


Prolific had a choppy windward passage to Weymouth, which the young people tackled with impressive resilience and determination, working together and helping each other when needed.

In Weymouth they visited the beach, and then turned Prolific under sail in the harbour yesterday morning in order to leave – prompting lots of waving and cheering from the shore. It then took them five sails (including the mizzen staysail) and 19 ice-creams to make progress along the coast:

At sea Mizzen staysail  At sea At sea

The wind died and they made their way to anchor in Swanage where they found dolphins – just visible in this photo:

Sunset with dolphins

Last night they had a beach BBQ and they are making their way back towards the Solent today.

Big thanks to sea staff Diggory, Lauren, Unity Bowns, Glyn Collins, Aaron Arnold, Susanna Paynter and Callum Doyle.

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* Sea staff vacancy – new – can anyone help?
Can anyone help with the voyage 18-22 September (Southampton)? We could do with another watchleader, bosun (aged 18+) or trainee volunteer to sail on an adult voyage for the Outdoor Lads charity. Email caroline.white@oytsouth.org if you can help.

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Winter refit core team needed
We haven’t yet finalised plans for Prolific’s winter refit 2023-24, but 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? We may well need a couple of full-time volunteers between November and March. More details here. 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.

If you are new to OYT South and wondering whether you would enjoy being a refit volunteer, why not book on a September adult voyage, to see the boat and meet some of the team?

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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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* 2023 voyages available for young people – last few places this summer!
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 – just 2 places left
20-26 July 2023, Falmouth to Brixham, 6 nights, £675 – just 2 places left
9-15 Aug 2023, 6 nights, Brixham, £675 – possibly up to 3 places left if provisional bookings are not confirmed
16-22 Aug 2023, 6 nights, Brixham, £675 – between 3 and 7 places left depending on whether provisional bookings are confirmed
29 Aug-3 Sept 2023, 5 nights, Poole to Southampton, £575 – 1-3 places left depending on whether provisional bookings are confirmed
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 webmaster1@oytsouth.org to express an interest.

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2023 adult voyages and volunteer training
does anyone not eligible for youth voyages want to sail our beautiful boat?
We have adult voyages scheduled as follows:

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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Volunteer introduction videos – have you done yours?
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 quite 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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* Maintenance days – please come and help!
Please come to one of our in-season maintenance days! 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 to maintenance issues.

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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Movement for Good Awards – please nominate us to win £1,000

In September, 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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* Financial appeal
Well done this week to volunteer bosun Harry Lack, who has persuaded his school to adopt us as their charity for the autumn term. They are going to be doing some great fundraising for us.

Can any of our other supporters do anything similar, with a school, club, or employer which regularly does charitable fundraising?

Big thanks also this week to Meg Rose and Dave Longly for a kind donation.

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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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. 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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