OYT South bulletin 3rd 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 3rd February 2023

by | Feb 3, 2023

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

* OYT South is recruiting! – could you join our Gosport office team?
Would you like to work for Ocean Youth Trust South, or do you know anyone who might be interested?

We are looking for an experienced Business Manager, with an effective track record of working in a high performing and professional setting, able to manage day-to-day business routines while having the initiative and drive to help take the charity forward and maintain our place as one of the UK’s leading sail training charities.

This is a great opportunity to become part of the team which is essential in delivering our charitable work. You can find the job advertisement, job description and application details here. Deadline 17th February – please share with anyone you think might be interested.

No-one is leaving: this appointment is linked to some changes of working hours and job titles as well as the desire to create capacity to keep taking the charity forwards!

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* Chris Ellis Award – the winners
The Chris Ellis Award, in memory of one of the charity’s founders, is given each year for the best piece of work based on a voyage with Ocean Youth Trust South, and we are delighted to announce this year’s winners.

The top prize goes to Ollie Smith, who was 15 when he came on a voyage last year with his school and made this video:

This year there are two runners-up.

Rose MacInnes (17) did some fantastic art on her voyage last summer and entered this fabulous picture for the award:

Painting of Prolific by Rose MacInnes - runner-up, Chris Ellis award

Rose also kindly offered to let us use this image to help the charity. Would anyone like a hi-res copy of the image file in exchange for a donation, so that you can get a print made up? Or does anyone have other ideas for using such a lovely picture? Email caroline.white@oytsouth.org to discuss and we’ll talk to Rose about what she’s happy with.

And Aaron Thomas-Epstein (15) wrote and performed a sea shanty:

Chris Ellis’s daughter Emma said:

“Congratulations to Ollie, Rose and Aaron for their wonderful submissions.

Ollie’s video is a most skilful and moving tribute to Prolific and OYT South and I love the title, ‘Be prolific’…! I am hugely impressed by what Ollie has achieved and the sensitivity with which he has captured the spirit of adventure under sail in this video.

Chris Ellis was a great lover of creativity, and when he himself was at sea in his youth, he did many drawings and paintings, sang sea shanties and played his flute. Afterwards his life was dedicated to assisting young people not only to have adventurous challenges at sea, but also to express themselves through creative mediums, knowing that for many young people, this can be more meaningful than words. He spent much of his time as a teacher fostering in each individual what they were best at. It is with this in mind that we wished to make these awards to Ollie, for his skilful use of a medium that barely existed in Chris’s day, and to Rose for her painting and Aaron for his song that Chris would have thoroughly appreciated. He would have recognized the thought, effort and hard work that went into all these submissions.”

All three will win money off the cost of another voyage this year. Well done to all of them! A new competition will open at the start of the season, and the closing date for entries will be Christmas 2023.

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* February shorebased training weekend for volunteers – a few spaces left – does anyone else want to join us for meals – and timings and locations for those who have already booked
The full programme for our training weekend February 11th and 12th in Gosport is:

Saturday: EITHER RYA First Aid OR a two-part day covering risk and harm online and disability awareness
Sunday: EITHER First Aid or a three-part day covering understanding autistic people, teaching RYA Start Yachting and Competent Crew on board; and a safeguarding update. Anyone wanting to do a GMDSS assessment could do it on the Sunday afternoon (missing part or all of the RYA and Safeguarding sessions).

See here for much more detail on all the courses, including course content, price, locations and timings.

We still have a few spaces, particularly for First Aid – we’d be happy to accept people who are not actively involved with OYT South on these courses as it will help to make it work for everyone, so if you know anyone needing an RYA first aid qualification, please ask them to get in touch.

Please email us if you want to join a course; and OYT South members, supporters and friends are welcome to join us for dinner on the Saturday night – deadline for meal bookings is MONDAY NIGHT, so that we can give final numbers to the catering team.

A few people have asked about accommodation for the training weekend. OYT South doesn’t have accommodation to offer, but sea staff who use the OYT South Sea Staff Facebook group can always post there and see if they can link up with others (e.g. to share an AirBnB). If you’re a member of Sea Staff without access to that group, send us a request!

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* New website coming soon!
We’re hoping that the brand-new OYT South website will go live in the next few weeks! It has an eye-catching design and a much clearer structure, and it should work much better on phones and other devices than the old site.

It will still be at oytsouth.org, but the links to all the other pages will change – please bear that in mind if you are following links from an old newsletter or email, for example. Links which no longer work should take you a page with lots of information to help you find what you want, but do email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you get stuck. And please also let us know if you find anything on the new site that doesn’t work quite right – we’ll aim to fix any problems as quickly as possible!

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* Winter refit news
Big thanks this week to Josh who has been working on board while Lauren is away doing training courses. He has fixed the heating (again …) and taken oil samples and fuel samples, worked on the generator service, and started looking at the batteries.



He has also taken delivery of some new flares: huge thanks to Wescom Group. Safety is always the first priority for a charity sailing with young people – many of them disadvantaged or vulnerable. This is the sort of equipment we hope never to have to use; but in a genuine emergency it matters so much to know that we have high-quality flares which are in-date, carefully stored and available for quick access by people who know how to use them.



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.

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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.

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 (NEW shorter voyage)
14-19 May 2023, 5 nights, Southampton, £575 per person
5-9 June 2023, 4 nights, Southampton, £475 per person
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.

Contact webmaster1@oytsouth.org to express an interest.

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Special voyage for young volunteers – could this be you?
Thanks to a generous donation from the Gipsy Moth Trust, OYT South has an annual training voyage funded specifically for young people aged 16-25 who are starting to sail as volunteer watchleaders or bosuns, or who have been newly recommended to join our volunteers.

This year’s young volunteers’ training voyage will be 5-10 Sept, starting and finishing in Southampton. If you have sailed with us in the last year or two and have been invited back for volunteer training, or have recently started sailing as a trainee mate, third mate or bosun and you want to develop your skills and are aged 16-25, let us know if you would be interested in joining this voyage.

If you have not yet been told by one of our skippers that you are ready for volunteer training but you are hoping to earn a recommendation this year, you can contact us about going on the waiting list for the September voyage. Then if you come on another voyage before then and do well enough to earn your recommendation, you might get a place on the September voyage as well.

The September voyage is designed to get people thinking not just as another crew member but as someone who can start stepping up to leading, teaching, supervising and encouraging other young people. Around one in three of our volunteers on board is aged under 25 and started out as crew members on an ordinary voyage before coming back for more training and working their way up the ladder. It’s a lot of fun and it’s also great for your own personal development and providing evidence to future employers that you can stand out from the crowd and take on responsibility.

Here’s what people said about last year’s Gipsy Moth voyage:

“My favourite bit has just been really watching everyone throw themselves into leading stuff, it’s been really really impressive. But also how everyone else supported them when they were doing leading, that was really really good.”

“My memorable bit was when I was told I had to take down the mizzen and I had to lead it and I stressed myself out and I knocked my confidence by doubting myself and I was going like, ‘I can’t do it, I can’t do it,’ and then I done it and then Andy [first mate] took me to the side and he said, ‘you just did it, you can do it,’ and I think that was just like a really nice, just a really nice little chat”.

“My favourite bit this trip was probably how confident I became learning how all the sailing procedures work, and all the different ropes, whereas previous trips I’ve not been that familiar with how it all works, but I’m definitely a lot more confident with it all now.”

Young volunteers voyage 2022

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* Cold water shock – RYA video
The RYA has produced a very useful video on what to do if you fall into cold water: a few simple things could help save your life. We strongly recommend that all our staff and volunteers should watch it – and anyone else who goes near the sea. It’s just a 3-minute video but if you ever fall into cold water it could be the best three minutes you ever spent.

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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.

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* 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.

Bacon rolls!

South Coast boat Show with Prolific at the heart

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* Financial appeal
Big thanks this week to the Vokins Charitable Trust for another very generous 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 (pdf) we can claim back tax on your donation.

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* Short-notice Yachtmaster Theory places

Roger Drewery – who may be known to some readers through his sail training background – writes: “I have three places on a YM Theory course in Hythe starting next Friday. Will do for £200pp.”

Sadly this clashes with our own shorebased training weekend but anyone who is interested and won’t be in Gosport with us can contact Roger!

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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.

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OYT South social media – please get involved
One of the simplest ways you can help us while we can’t sail is to keep looking at our social media pages and share, retweet or like as many posts as possible. This all helps to make sure other people hear about us too – and the more we can keep alive the interest in our charitable work, the more people might help us now or start to think about sailing with us in future. Maybe you’ve got a community group, a local page, even a street WhatsApp where members might like to know that you are involved with a charity that could be of interest to them?

We are on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/oytsouth – please do give us a Like! If you were friends with John Laing on our old page (https://www.facebook.com/johnlaingsailing please do move to the new page now.

We are also on Twitter @oytsouth so please follow us!

And Instagram @oyt_south

And LinkedIn Ocean Youth Trust South

Please note that OYT South has a policy that our adult staff and volunteers should not make or accept individual online friend requests 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

Regular readers will know that we are moving towards the launch of 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. On the new site we would love to have this much more integrated with the rest of the site, but the current content is very dated (not only because it features John Laing rather than Prolific). Would anyone like to take on the task of updating this ready for the new site? You might just go through the current site and amend things as needed, or you might have ideas for starting from scratch and providing useful resources in different ways.

OYT South has a significant bursaries fund to help young people who can’t afford the voyage fees: but the fund has limits and every bursary we give leaves less in the pot for everyone else. So we massively appreciate it when bursary applicants do something to raise part of the voyage fee for themselves, even if they can only manage a small amount. And of course we like to give bursaries to young people who have shown that they want to put in some effort and commitment! But if we can have something on our website which makes it easy for a young person to get started, that can make a big difference.

You don’t need to know anything about web design – just provide good content and we can upload it. This job might suit a team of people who can share ideas, and it would be great to include at least one young person with experience of trying to raise money through sponsored activities or similar. 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 12-25, 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 12-25 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.

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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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