In this Bulletin
Sections which have changed since last time marked *
- * Happy New Year!
- * Sea staff bids for 2023 from qualified volunteers – please send availability NOW
- * February shorebased training weekend for volunteers – apply NOW
- * Winter refit news – and help needed
- 2023 voyages available for young people
- 2023 adult voyages and volunteer training
- * Financial appeal
- Raise funds for OYT South if you’re shopping online – we’ve made nearly £1,200 through Easyfundraising!
- OYT South social media – please get involved
- Branded clothing
- New readers’ welcome and introduction
- Receiving this newsletter by email
* Happy New Year
We want to send our very best wishes to all our friends and supporters, staff, volunteers, clients, sponsors and donors – we hope you are all safe and well and we look forward to having you involved with the charity in 2023. We hugely appreciate all that you do for us, and we hope you are very proud of the impact that your support has on the young people who sail with us.
* Sea staff bids for 2023 from qualified volunteers – please send availability NOW
We are now working on voyage allocation from everyone who has sent in bids to sail this year; but we clearly still have voyages in need of more experienced and qualified sea staff – particularly first mates, second mates and anyone who can sail as a relief engineer. If you can send in details of your availability NOW we will be very grateful.
We’ve had plenty of requests from new and trainee volunteers since we opened for bids on 18th November, especially those who can only sail in school / college / uni holidays – at this stage we are not looking for more bids in this category but if you have missed out, you can always send in details of your availability at a later stage just in case there are any gaps left. New volunteers aged under 25 who miss out on a staff berth may be eligible for a bursary to sail in a crew berth and continue their training – please ask.
But for experienced and qualified volunteers, if you want to sail in 2023, you need to send in details of when you are available and how much time you can spare – but please read the rest of this section before doing so!
Please give us voyage numbers of anything you would like to do (see here for voyage numbers) and tell us how many voyages you are offering; or give us names of any regular clients you’d particularly like to sail with; or simply tell us the maximum number of days you can offer in 2023 and any times of year you can or can’t manage. Please be specific: “voyages in university holidays” only works if you tell us your exact holiday dates!
If you have NOT yet had a recommendation from our skipper to join our sea staff, then you need to do a training/selection voyage first, and the next step depends on your age. If you are aged 16 or 17 then you need to book on any standard youth voyage and aim to get your recommendation there. If you are aged over 25 you will need to get your recommendation on an adult training voyage – see below (open to people aged 18+). If you are aged 18-25 you have a choice and you can use either a youth or an adult voyage to try and earn your recommendation.
If you have already had a skipper’s recommendation (which means that EITHER you have sailed on a youth voyage and been told at the end that you have been recommended to come back for bosun or watchleader training, or you have done an adult voyage and been given a recommendation at the end) but are not yet an assessed and qualified member of sea staff, your next step is to sail on a youth voyage of four nights or more, for further training and assessment. Not all voyages are suitable for this and at this stage we have had bids for most of the available places already; but anyone who hasn’t already sent in a bid can go on a reserve list just in case.
Please note that we DO need you to send in details of when you can sail and how much time you can offer – please DON’T email to ask what voyage dates are available. The reasons for this are complicated but we will try to explain the process just to help people understand how complex it is for us to get the volunteer bookings organised!
Essentially, it’s not simply a question of finding dates that work for individuals and then just booking you. What we have to do is put together a TEAM of staff and volunteers for each voyage, with a skipper, 1M, 2M, 3M, bosun and/or engineer and often but not always a trainee mate or bosun, and we can’t book anyone until we have at least some idea of who else is going to make up each team. For example, at least one adult on each voyage must be a woman, if there are girls in the crew; and then we have to think about special skills if the group includes people with disabilities or challenging behaviour. We also don’t want to end up with a voyage where too many of the volunteers are all newly-qualified at their particular level – each trip should include some people who are comfortable and familiar in their roles and therefore hopefully able to support those who are new to it. Then sometimes the client will be a school or charity where a staff member has qualified or wants to qualify as a volunteer, so needs a staff berth. Meanwhile, some client groups are just not suitable for brand-new trainee mates. Plus we have to think about some priority bookings (e.g. people who have been identified as potential first mates or skippers, if we can give them enough time on the boat). And we do promise that people who help the most with other things like refit or raising money or introducing us to new clients will be higher up the list to get their choice of voyages.
On top of all that we want to try to be fair to all our volunteers and make sure everyone gets at least a voyage or two! No point confirming voyages for someone who is really flexible only to find that they have taken the only dates that would have worked for someone else who has limited availability.
We hope that explains things for you – we really need to get bids in from as many people as possible before we can start the allocation process and it will take until January or February before we can start confirming bookings for every voyage. If you really need an answer more quickly than that then please tell us your deadline and we will do our best for you.
Once the main round of allocations is completed we will advertise any remaining gaps, but you may find there’s not a lot of choice at that stage. Please send bids or questions to email@example.com.
* February shorebased training weekend for volunteers – apply NOW
The usual shorebased training weekend for volunteers will run February 11th and 12th and we need people to apply for places NOW – some of the courses need a few more guaranteed bookings before we can afford to run them.
Full details of all the courses are here but please email us to say what you would like to do, and don’t book and pay just yet until we have confirmed that your chosen course is definitely going ahead. At this stage, for example, it is not clear that we will be able to run First Aid on both days; and that may affect what other courses people want to do.
Ideally on Saturday you will have a choice of EITHER RYA First Aid OR a two-part day covering risk and harm online and disability awareness; on Sunday it should be 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. It may be possible to fit in a GMDSS assessment (for your radio licence) on either day.
Do have a look at the course details before you decide – the course titles alone don’t do justice to what should be really fascinating sessions involving superb instructors covering topics which will be of real value to the staff and volunteers who sail with us. PLEASE let us know a.s.a.p. what you want so that we can hopefully ensure that all these courses actually go ahead!
* Winter refit news – and help needed
Huge thanks this week to Lauren, Sparky, Josh, Steve and Cathy. All the white areas have now had at least one coat of paint; work has started on the systems manual; and extra thanks to Steve and Cathy who checked on Prolific twice over the Christmas / New Year break, and have given invaluable help on refit planning and management.
We’ve got reasonable number of people booked in to help over the next couple of weeks, but do keep an eye on this newsletter each week as we will let you know when we need people. One definite date for your diaries is a volunteer weekend 4th – 5th March to put the sails back on – a job that needs a good group of competent people – email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help. Also do let Lauren know if you are available to help at other times, so she can call on you if she needs you.
Sea staff – don’t forget that if we have multiple applications for popular voyages next year, priority goes to people who have helped the charity in other ways – coming to refit, raising money, introducing new clients etc. Helping at refit is also a great way to learn about bits of the boat you might not see during the season – and it’s always fun and sociable too!
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.
7-11 April 2023, Southampton, 4 nights, £475
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
There is also a voyage 5-10 Sept out of Southampton aimed at people aged 16-25 who have already sailed with us and been recommended to train as volunteers to sail on future voyage. Places on this voyage are by invitation only but if you would like to be considered, please email us.
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:
12-16 April 2023, 4 nights, Southampton, £475 per person
30 April-5 May 2023, 5 nights, Southampton, £575 per person
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
9-14 Oct 2023, 5 nights, Southampton, £575 per person.
Contact email@example.com to express an interest.
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.
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.
“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 is also registered with Amazon Smile which makes donations to us when people shop – Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price on eligible purchases. If you ever shop with Amazon, do have a look – once you pick Ocean Youth Trust South as your chosen charity and start using https://smile.amazon.co.uk, you don’t need to do anything further, and all your other Amazon account settings remain unchanged.
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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
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 email@example.com.