OYT South bulletin 24th February 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 24th February 2023

by | Feb 24, 2023

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

* NEW OYT South website
OYT South has a brand-new website, as you can see from this newsletter! Do have a look round the site.

Huge thanks to Andy Viney and Andy Miles, and to Mark Boggis, Martin Bayfield and Nige Bush for lots of proof-reading and testing. We’re still making a few tweaks but almost everything should be working fine now. (Do email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you spot any problems).

Most of the site is divided into three clear sections:

Sail With Us covers information needed by young people, parents, guardians, group leaders and other clients, as well as voyage availability:

Website screengrab - Sail with us

Volunteer With Us is for sea staff and new potential sea staff, refit volunteers and other shorebased helpers:

Website screengrab - Volunteer with us

Support Us is for sponsors, donors and others interested in our charitable work:

Website screengrab - Support us

Other things which might be relevant to anyone, like the newsletter, the contacts page, vessel tracking, feedback, videos and vessel details, are listed separately.

The site is designed to be much more modern than the old site (which we had had since 2005) and to work better on phones, tablets and other devices.

We hope you like it!

Please note that if you are following links from old emails or previous editions of this newsletter, you may well find they no longer work – we no longer have .asp pages. There is a landing page for links that don’t work, with a search box and other suggestions for finding anything you might need. But please do email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you really can’t find what you want.

Back to index

Gipsy Moth Young Volunteer of the Year Award
Some time ago we received a generous grant from the Gipsy Moth Trust which they asked us to spend on training and supporting young people who excel on an initial youth voyage and are working towards becoming the bosuns and watchleaders of the future.

Along with the grant came a trophy: a mounted section of the mizzen mast from Gipsy Moth IV, which after her epic 1967 voyage held the records for the fastest voyage around the world by any small vessel; the longest non-stop passage that had been made by a small sailing vessel (15,000 miles (24,000 km)); and more than twice the distance of the previous longest passage by a singlehanded sailor. These days we regularly hear of record-breaking single-handed non-stop voyages round the world, but in 1967 to see Francis Chichester circle the globe alone with only one stop was truly remarkable.

So we now have a trophy which we can award annually to a volunteer aged 16-25 who has successfully made the step up from youth crew to sea staff and is excelling as a young volunteer.

At our training weekend, the 2023 winner was announced as Tom Knight.

Tom Knight on board Prolific

Although Tom is still aged under 25, he is one of our more experienced volunteers, with several years under their belt as bosun, 3M and 2M. He originally came to us on a youth group voyage in 2016 when his report from the skipper was “Wow, how keen. A really enthusiastic young man. He took the lead where he could and encouraged and praised the others. Reliable doing all asked of him and more, a proactive young man. He also took pride and responsibility in the boat. He was thorough during clean up. He was keen to learn reading the almanac when he had a spare moment. He conned the boat into Portsmouth and he relished the opportunity and did very well. Another who earned a sea staff recommendation and would be enthusiastic to rise through the ranks.” 

Young people looking at a chart - including Tom Knight when he was 16

Tom has fulfilled that early promise and along the way he has become a really popular watchleader, with excellent skills in working with young people which he has carried forward into his career. Everyone who sails with Tom speaks of him with genuine warmth, appreciation and affection; and his bedtime stories on board are the stuff of legend.

However, something that helped to tip the balance in Tom’s favour when we came to select the 2023 Gipsy Moth winner was the effort he has put into gaining RYA qualifications and building his experience. One of the main things that can keep good volunteers at second mate level without the chance of trying for first mate and beyond is the lack of RYA theory and practical qualifications, including time spent in smaller vessels where they can practice things like boat handling, and gain command experience. We have been trying to support and encourage people with the potential to climb through the ranks, and Tom is a great example of someone who has been really proactive in doing courses and gaining experience with other boats and in different sailing areas. He has earned a coastal skipper qualification and is now thinking about the 60-mile passages he needs to complete as skipper before he can go for the Yachtmaster exam.

Tom takes over from last year’s winner, Sara Abdur – now our Youth Trustee!

Back to index

* Sea staff vacancies
Many thanks to everyone who has been so efficient in sending in your availability and then confirming voyage dates when offered. We’ve now got almost a complete rota for the season which is a huge help and means the office team can focus on making sure everyone has all their paperwork in place when it’s needed.

At the moment we have a handful of spaces – can anyone help?

    • 26-30 May, Southampton – possibly space for another qualified watchleader tbc.
    • 31 May – 4 June, Southampton – second mate or experienced third mate needed.
    • 5-9 June plus maintenance day 10th June, Southampton – possibly space for another qualified watchleader tbc.
    • 11-15 Sept – space for two more volunteers (qualified or trainee mates or a bosun). This is an adult voyage including new potential watchleaders so it doesn’t work for a trainee mate on their first voyage as sea staff, because you need to be able to help to train others; but if you are a new volunteer this year and you’ll have done a voyage or two earlier in the season, this could still be an option as it can be good for people who are just thinking about joining us to meet someone who is only a few months ahead of them. But one of the two places needs to go to a more experienced qualified mate.

Email caroline.white@oytsouth.org if you can help with one of these.

Back to index

* Shorebased training weekend report
Huge thanks to everyone who took part in our training weekend on February 11th and 12th in Gosport.

We’ve had some fantastic feedback on the training sessions – special thanks to all the instructors.

On Saturday Tony Salmon ran the RYA First Aid course, and we also had a fascinating session from Dr Emily Setty on young people’s online lives and the risks and harms they may encounter online, plus a great session from Robbie Crow on disability equality. Robbie said: “It’s great to see the commitment OYT South has to building an inclusive and accessible environment onboard. We discussed the social model of disability, barriers to participation that disabled people face, the importance of language and communication, and we talked through people’s lived experience of disability in the room. The aim was to equip attendees with tools to support any disabled person coming on board. It was fantastic to have such an engaged audience who were genuinely interested in applying social model principles to the work they do with young people”. Robbie asked participants before and after his session “How confident do we feel when we talk about supporting disabled people sailing in Prolific?” and the proportion answering “I can do it” rose from 58% to 98%!

On Sunday, Tony ran another first aid course; Mark Todd ran two GMDSS assessments; and Dave Serpell-Stevens from Autism Hampshire ran a very useful session called “Beginning to understand autistic people”. Dave said the OYT South group was “a very receptive, engaged and appreciative audience so please thank them for that as this is not always the case.” In the afternoon, Brigid Stoney talked about teaching RYA Start Yachting and Competent Crew on board, keeping it fun and engaging and highlighting how to be aware of young people’s differing needs so that all our young crew members can learn effectively. Finally, Steve and Cathy from our safeguarding team ran a session on safeguarding updates.

Sea staff can download the presentations on Online Harms, Understanding Autistic People and Safeguarding from the members section of our website. This is accessed with a password and all sea staff who are booked to sail this season should have received a new password this week – email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you don’t have yours!

On Saturday night, our CEO Mark Todd gave his presentation looking back at the last year and ahead to the coming season.

Special thanks to Tony and Nix and the catering team for all their support, and to Liz for the use of the pub!

Dave from Autism Hampshire delivering a training session to OYT South members

Back to index

* Winter refit news
Big thanks over the last three weeks to Lauren and Josh, plus Sparky, Unity, Katie Hamlet and Ali Mansfield for lots of help at refit; to Steve and Cathy Lacey for invaluable assistance and problem-solving; and to Marcus Hardiman for hiring a van to transport the deck boxes and take stuff to the skip.

The team has put all the winches on, primed the bowsprit …

Newly painted bowsprit

… taken a lot of stuff to the store, brought ropes back from the store …

Loading and unloading gear from Prolific

… taken mouldy stuff from the store to the tip …

Mouldy kit in store

…  taken deck boxes to Tigger, fixed *some* of the leaky pipes, started fitting new pumps for the fresh water, and finally opened a tin of blue paint (wooooo!).

Refit work

People have also had time off refit for food hygiene training, medical care courses etc.

Contact refit@oytsouth.org if you can offer any refit help over the coming weeks – either on board or perhaps taking something to work on at home.

Back to index

* 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.

1-6 April 2023, Southampton, 5 nights, £575 – young people needed to mix with a group of 8 very deserving young award winners on this voyage. Bursary funding may be available for disadvantaged or vulnerable young people.
7-11 April 2023, Southampton, 4 nights, £475
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

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:

30 April-3 May 2023, 3 nights, Southampton, £375 per person (tbc – we may have a client for this)
14-19 May 2023, 5 nights, Southampton, £575 per person
5-9 June 2023, 4 nights, Southampton, £475 per person (tbc – we may have a client for this)
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)
9-14 Oct 2023, 5 nights, Southampton, £575 per person (tbc – we may have a client for this)

Contact webmaster1@oytsouth.org to express an interest.

Back to index

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

Back to index

2023 adult voyages and volunteer training

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).

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.

Back to index

South Coast Boat Show – help needed 21-23 April
The South Coast Boat Show will be taking place in Ocean Village over the weekend of 21-23 April. Prolific will once again be at the heart of the show, providing tea, coffee and bacon rolls to the public in exchange for donations to the charity.

We will need a good team of volunteers on Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday, to get the boat ready with the deck awnings up plus flags and bunting, and then working in the galley to make drinks and bacon rolls, or showing people round the boat and talking to them about the work of the charity.

We also have drinks receptions on board on both Friday and Saturday evenings and we need plenty of volunteers to help with those.

It would be good to have some sea staff on board but also at least a couple of under-18s who have sailed with us and are happy to talk to people about what the experience was like.

Email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you would like to be involved.

Josh cooking bacon rolls on board Prolific  South Coast boat Show with Prolific at the heart

Back to index

* Financial appeal
Big thanks this week to the James Myatt Trust for another very generous grant to support our sailing with Alfreton Park Special School. And the Whirlwind Trust’s fantastic donation towards Prolific’s new mainsail has arrived – huge thanks to them!

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.

Back to index

Raise funds for OYT South if you’re shopping online
we’ve made nearly £1,200 through Easyfundraising! – but Amazon Smile to close
“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 almost £1,200 through Easyfundraising – huge thanks to everyone who has used it!

OYT South has also been receiving funds from Amazon Smile – but very sadly Amazon has just announced they are closing the scheme and in future will donate to charities chosen by the company rather than by you when you shop.

Back to index

* OYT South social media – please get involved
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.

Back to index

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.

Back to index

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!

Back to index

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 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.

Back to index

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.

Back to index