OYT South bulletin 30th 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 30th June 2023

by | Jun 30, 2023

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

* Voyage news
The last newsletter left our crew from Harris Merton school in south London starting to make their way back to the Solent, where they did a few gybes, a man overboard recovery drill and saw the classic yachts racing again.


They anchored in Osborne Bay where they did happy hour (cleaning the boat) and planned the pilotage back to Southampton. They also did some training towards their sailing qualifications, and filled in their crew logbooks. After fajitas for dinner, the young people did an excellent job of navigating back to Southampton in the dark.

At the helm

On Friday they had another happy hour and did some more work on their logbooks. There’s a page in the logbook inviting crew members to think about any ways in which a voyage might have helped their mental or physical wellbeing and things they could carry forward into day-to-day life – we noticed at least one student had put “less time on phones and screens” as their wellbeing aim for the future!


The voyage ended after 110 nautical miles and you can see the full voyage track here.

The boys commented “Great journey, fun, adventurous, challenging, exciting and all that is positive!”, “Interesting and fun experience. Sailing is fun!” and noted that “Everyone helped each other” and “I’m always listening and asking questions, to be sure”. One of the two accompanying school staff said his favourite bit was: “seeing all the students coming together, working together, building new friendships, working out of their comfort zone, seeing different expression, interaction and that was a welcome sight from being at school” and the other said “My favourite bit was probably watching you all of you guys work as a team together, despite you being tired, despite not wanting to do, even offering to help like E last night even offering to take over some duties that weren’t even his duties so I loved all the camaraderie, that was excellent” and added “Fantastic journey, the boys learnt so much with confidence!”

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

That was followed by a voyage with New Forest Academy. The young people joined on Saturday and after introductions and safety briefings, they set sail for Cowes, with a training session on the way on how to use the winches. In Cowes they had some games on board before bed.

Welcoime to Cowes

On Sunday they had some time ashore (particularly appreciating Poundland!) and then went out into the western Solent and spent the day becoming a really proficient crew, with lots of tacking against the wind and tide and people getting used to steering and handling ropes and sails.


They anchored in Osborne Bay for the night and the young people stood anchor watches.

An early start (0600) on Monday was meant to enable them to sail right round the Isle of Wight and they headed west, but as they came closer to Yarmouth it became clear quite how rough the seas would be and how much seasickness this might provoke, so caution prevailed and they stayed in the Solent and headed east again, out of the Solent as far as Bembridge. Then they put up even more sails and headed back to Cowes for another night.

On the bowsprit On the bowsprit

They had more shore leave on Tuesday morning and then did more tacking before anchoring west of Beaulieu where they spent time planning the passage back to Southampton so that the young people could take charge of the vessel for themselves and experience sailing in the dark.


After a dinner of burritos they set off, with each of the three watches in charge of a section of the passage back, taking real responsibility and rising to the occasion brilliantly. They got to Southampton around 11pm and the voyage finished next morning after 102 nautical miles, with a maximum wind of Force 6. You can see the complete voyage track here.


Comments from the voyage included “I feel confident about the new skills I have learnt and that I could remember them again”; “I learnt how to have a team and working together”; “I’d say that my favourite bit was learning new skills with people I hadn’t really spoken to before … The most memorable bit … going up and down the Solent lots and lots of times and seeing places that you see from land but seeing them from sea – quite cool. … I had never been sailing before but in the space of only a few days, I’ve learnt so much. It was really fun too”; “The most memorable bit has got to be sailing … it’s very lush watching the waves go by”; and “My favourite bit was the night shift ‘cos I got to see the sun rise”.

Big thanks to sea staff Diggory, Martyn Powe, Glyn Collins, Jon Seddon, Millie Hughes, Caitlin Neall-Johnston and special congratulations to Unity Bowns for passing their second mate assessment!

Prolific set off yesterday with a new crew, from Dartmouth Academy – we’ll tell you all about their voyage in the next newsletter.

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* Simon Hellberg legacy
Regular readers will remember that OYT South recently received a very generous legacy from the estate of the late Simon Hellberg, and his family and friends have kindly sent us some information about him to share with our members, so that people can understand how this fantastic support came about, as Simon was not connected with us in his lifetime but had looked for a sailing charity to support through a legacy. The following is written by family friend Adrian Grainger, with the support of Simon’s sister Kaye:

“Simon and Monica Hellberg would have loved to have known the Prolific story, as it resonates so much with their lives and certainly things they felt strongly and very passionate about!

Simon’s long-term passion was sailing, spanning approximately 60 years and later motor boats.

As a child, Simon – whose family were Swedish – spent time in Sweden and England learning to sail and eventually owning and sailing numerous yachts over many years and enjoying the many benefits that sailing offers. If it be sailing with friends, discovery, new challenges or just immersing himself amongst nature!

Monica, on the other hand, was not too fond of the water but had a strong desire to see kids happy and just loved simply to see kids enjoying themselves.

Monica was brought up in war-torn London and unfortunately didn’t know her own parents, so being brought up by her two aunts with her two sisters, understood fully that giving kids opportunities was so important and very close to her heart!

Simon and Monica never had children, but with Simon’s passion for sailing as a youth in Sweden and England, along with Monica’s passion to see happy kids, makes me feel their story mirrors Prolific’s journey and intentions perfectly and they’d both be very happy to think that they’ve contributed to OYT South’s fabulous work!!”

Monica and Simon Hellberg Simon Hellberg

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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 –  possibly 1 place left
20-26 July 2023, 6 nights, Falmouth to Brixham, £675 – just 2 places left
16-22 Aug 2023, 6 nights, Brixham, £675 – 5 places left
29 Aug-3 Sept 2023, 5 nights, Poole to Southampton, £575 – possibly 1 place left
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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* 2024 draft programme
We now have a DRAFT sailing programme for 2024 and we have sent it round to our regular clients! If anyone else is interested in a full-boat group booking for next year, please contact caroline.white@oytsouth.org. At this stage it may be possible to amend the programme to meet clients’ needs.

Once we have a final version of the programme, we will designate some voyages for individual rather than group bookings, so there’s no rush to enquire about those just yet!

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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
Big thanks this week to the Lambert Trust for another very kind donation towards bursaries.

We need a regular flow of funds to cover at least three major areas: bursaries for young people who could not otherwise afford to sail; vessel maintenance and equipment; and staff salaries – please help, or pass on our details to anyone you come across who might make a grant, large or small.

See here for how to make a donation – you can contribute by cheque, phone or PayPal, but please do something if you possibly can. Don’t forget that if you complete and return a Gift Aid form we can claim back tax on your donation.

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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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