OYT South bulletin 26th May 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 26th May 2023

by | May 26, 2023

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

* Farewell Sally Croly after 20 years with the charity!
Our Finance Manager Sally Croly has left!

Cake in the office for Sally! Cake!

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 joined a small charity which had barely begun to recover from the end of the Ocean Youth Club in 1999, taking our first fledging steps with OYT South as an independent charity. In those days money was tight, volunteers were few and bookings were sometimes hard to come by: people who have only known us as the flourishing charity of more recent years don’t always know how much effort it took to get OYT South off the ground. Sally’s role was unobtrusive but utterly essential: as she moved from a part-time admin role to a full-time position running the office, the fact that bookings and finances were run efficiently was down to Sally. She provided the secure foundation which enabled us to grow and to start winning awards – including The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2011, and Sail Training Vessel of the Year in 2016 – as well as fundraising for a new vessel to replace John Laing.

By 2018, Prolific was up and running; bookings were steady and finances were sound; and Sally went back down to part-time hours with a greater focus on the finance side. She has trained, supported and befriended other office staff as they came and went; and when we returned to sailing after the pandemic, Sally’s experience and wisdom was invaluable.

In her time with OYT South, around 10,000 people have sailed with us – which means ten thousand booking forms …

It is hard to let someone go when they have done so much for the charity. But in Sally’s case she has given us so much more than we ever could have asked, and she has more than earned the chance for some rest and relaxation. 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 – we can’t thank you enough. We wish you all the very best for the future.

There will be a proper leaving party for Sally in due course – this week we just had a small farewell in the office, as some key people who wanted to be at a party weren’t available. But a lot of people have sent in comments to be added to her leaving card. We won’t reproduce all those comments here as many of them were meant as personal messages for Sally – but they include lots of thanks for all her hard work and best wishes for the future, and also reminders of some of the things she has done over the last twenty years: great efforts for the fabulous Ocean Youth Club 50th anniversary event in 2010; recognition for the support she has given to Trustees and to a previous Chair of the Board; memories of laughter and a great atmosphere from a long-serving office volunteer; recognition for helping make the charity the success it is today; and finally one comment which we will quote as it seems to sum up all the rest: “Sally – thanks very much for helping to make all our lives better for the last 20 years!”

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* Voyage news
Last week’s newsletter ended just as we were completing our voyage with students from Greig City Academy, and they left some great feedback. One remarked on “The staff making us confident”, and another mentioned “Being believed in” and “Doing challenging things” with “Positivity and support”. In the comments book people wrote: “Really nice people. Saw dolphins for the first time. Would come again”; “I had my first experience for cooking and sailing. That was nice :)”; “Very fun. Learnt many new things”; “I had lots of fun thank you for the experience it was very cool would like to come again!”; “Loved Prolific (love all staff). It’s a great experience – I’ll be back”; “Very fascinating and it was fun. Also the views were stunning.” The teacher who sailed with them wrote: “Thank you for looking after the girls and I so well! We loved it and would love to return!”

After that we had two day sails over the weekend, including friends and supporters of the charity. We were able to thank some people who had made donations to OYT South, including the family of Howard Gross whose bursary fund is still in use, and members of Parkstone Yacht Club which has raised money for bursaries as well as equipment including jammers, halyards and topping lifts. And we hope we have made some new friends as well, including a team from Raleigh International which might give us opportunities to work together in future.

Comments from the weekend included: “In the sun, wind and fresh sea airs, with kind, caring and lovely people, making conversation and chat and challenging yourself. Absolutely brilliant!”; “Well done, Team Prolific. Thank you for a brilliant day with great sailing, company and food. Converted!”; “Fantastic day, great ethos, great cakes!!”, “I’ve had a fantastic day – thank you so much – and for everything you’re doing for young people” and “A wonderful day out, thank you so much to all the staff and volunteers. Such an important charity.”

Raleigh International on the bowsprit Parkstone YC at the helm

We had glorious weather on both days, and some excellent sailing. Big thanks to sea staff Diggory, Josh, Martyn Powe, Will Parker, Susanna Paynter, Willoughby Matthews and Caz.

On Monday we were joined by a client we have been really looking forward to seeing – Park House School in Newbury. This is always a lovely voyage but this year we were more determined than ever to ensure they had a great time, as some of these young people had their voyage last year cut short by Covid.

They sailed to Cowes on the first night and then headed for Weymouth on Tuesday in very light winds. They hoisted the main and mizzen but had to motor-sail, with a man overboard recovery drill once they were past the Needles. We’re very grateful to Weymouth harbour who made an extra effort to fit us in.


An early start on Wednesday meant there was time for shore leave before setting off at 10am. There was still no wind but they motored to Lulworth where they anchored and had dinghy rides to the beach for paddling and exploring ashore – thanks for the use of the pontoon in Lulworth!

Lulwoth Cove Ice cream!

After lunch they headed for Chapman’s Pool and finally found some wind – enough for the mizzen staysail:

Mizzen staysail

They had a slow but pleasant sail before dropping the anchor again in Chapman’s Pool where they enjoyed lots of activities, dinner, games and bed.

Evening anchorage Sunset anchorage

Yesterday they hoisted the mainsail and got the anchor up, and as they headed towards the Solent the wind filled in again and they hoisted the staysail and jib. They picked up Johnny Caulcutt’s buoy outside Yarmouth and had some time to relax as well as practising their knots and doing the planning so the young people could take charge of the passage back to Southampton. They did a great job with everyone paying attention and taking responsibility for navigation, arriving in Ocean Village for hot chocolate and bed. This was a lovely crew and it has been a pleasure having them on board for the week:

At sea At sea Park House School crew

You can see the full voyage track here. They sailed 127 nautical miles and all the young people earned RYA Start Yachting certificates.

Big thanks to sea staff Andy Viney, Josh, Ben Whinnett, Nyssa Hutchings, Jonathan Cheshire and special congratulations to Katie Hamlet who was signed off as a third mate!

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* Sunscreen sponsorship with Saltee!
With glorious weather recently and the hope of a sunny summer ahead, our team on board is more alert than ever to the need for young people, staff and volunteers to wear sunscreen. We’re sailing with a lot of people who aren’t used to long days out of doors in the sun and wind, and we’re keen to raise awareness of the need for people to protect themselves.

Ocean Youth Trust South is therefore delighted to be developing a new partnership with Saltee, a company we met at the Marine Advertising Agency lunch last month. Saltee is not just a manufacturer of high-quality sunscreen: they also have a strong belief in environmental and social responsibility. All their products are ocean friendly – identifying and avoiding ingredients that might be considered harmful to ocean life. Their goal is to be a zero-waste brand – seeking to minimise the carbon footprint of every Saltee product and make smart packaging decisions for every component of our SPF range. And they aim for sustainability in formulation: a safer, non-toxic approach and responsibly sourced ingredients. In addition, Saltee invests a minimum of 10% of their profits to the Saltee Foundation which they describe as “a Trust created to promote cultural awareness and foster a better understanding of communities and environments outside our own. The foundation represents our commitment not only to do less harm, but to ensure Saltee’s presence in the world is an active force for good.”

We now have Saltee products on board for everyone to use – huge thanks to Saltee for their support for our charitable work!

Saltee / OYT South educational poster about the need to wear sunscreen Saltee sunscreen!

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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
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 – this one may be full, though the last two provisional bookings haven’t finally confirmed so please ask if you want us to let you know if there is a space.
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. 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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* Sea staff vacancies
Just a few possible spaces left for volunteer watchleaders and bosuns – can anyone help? Some of these are definite gaps; others are where people have alerted me that they MAY need to drop out and we want to have a reserve in mind:

  • 5-9 June, Southampton – we MAY have space for one more volunteer here.
  • 19-23 June, Southampton – we MAY have space for one more volunteer here.

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 – 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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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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* Financial appeal
Huge thanks this week to the estate of the late Simon Hellberg for an exceptionally generous legacy.

Thanks also to Cliff and Brenda Willmer for a very 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 £1,400 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 £1,400 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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Maintenance days
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.

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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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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