OYT South bulletin 21st June 2024

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 21st June 2024

by | Jun 21, 2024

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


* Sea staff vacancies – for new and trainee volunteers as well as well as experienced and qualified people – including URGENT July vacancy
Please email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you can help with any of the remaining vacancies.

People who have been newly-recommended to join the volunteers’ team: please do contact us if you are interested in suitable voyages from this list – we can advise you if a particular vacancy needs someone with more Prolific experience, but where possible this list is for you as much as it is for established volunteers. We will need to make sure your DBS, references and other paperwork is in place before you can sail. And do keep checking the list in each edition of the newsletter as people do occasionally drop out and leave other vacancies!

Dates given are when crew are on board so volunteers are generally needed the day before:

URGENT 7-13 July, Brixham – one more qualified watchleader and possibly someone else as well, ideally able to help with maintenance day 6th July as well. This is a mixed individuals’ voyage.
6-10 Sept, Southampton – qualified watchleader and/or experienced bosun, ideally able to join in time for the maintenance day on 5th September. Client will be children in care from Brighton.
16-20 Sept, Southampton – qualified watchleader. School group (new client)
14-19 Oct, Southampton – one qualified or trainee watchleader, ideally able to stay for the maintenance day on 20th Oct. Cowes Enterprise College.
25-29 Oct, Southampton – qualified or trainee watchleader. Swindon Scouts group.

Please email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you would like to sail!

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* 2024 voyages available for people aged 11-25 – PLEASE SHARE – including discount offer
If all our members, volunteers, Trustees and other supporters shared our voyage availability with young people, parents, friends and colleagues, we could easily fill the rest of this year’s voyages. Don’t forget we can often find bursary funding for genuinely disadvantaged young people who couldn’t otherwise afford to sail; but we also welcome those who can afford an amazing adventure holiday!

Please share this with anyone you can think of who might be interested:

7-13 July, Brixham, 6 nights, £710 per person – possibly full if all provisional bookings are confirmed – contact us to go on the reserve list.
3-9 Aug, Brixham to Guernsey, 6 nights, £710 per person (not including travel)
10-17 Aug, Guernsey to Poole, 7 nights, £815 per person (not including travel) – race against other sail training vessels – ideal for age 14+ – see here for more details about this exciting event.
30 Aug – 4 Sept, Brixham to Southampton, 5 nights, £605 per person

There’s a PDF flyer here – please share it!

Flyer about summer 2024 voyages

There’s also a YouTube playlist with a number of very short videos about standard youth voyages or DofE Gold residentials, originally made for TikTok – there might be something there you can share!

Owing to the additional costs of travel to and from Guernsey, we are looking at offering discounts to anyone who books on a Guernsey voyage and persuades a friend to book too. Contact the office for more information on “bring a friend discounts”. We would also discuss discounts for anyone who booked on two back-to-back voyages, out to Guernsey and back again.

Passports will be needed for the voyages starting or ending in Guernsey, which may also visit a French port; and other voyages MAY go to France if we are lucky with the weather, so passports will be needed there too.

No previous sailing experience needed – all we ask is that you come prepared to join in and make friends!

Feedback from last year included:

The experience was fantastic, I was able to achieve the uttermost of my ability. I got the chance to work as a team in hoisting the sails and cooking the food. Overall it was a spectacular trip and made me appreciate the challenges of sailing at sea. I hope this isn’t my last trip.”

“The trip was insane. The views was insane and the people I travelled with made it an incredible experience. It is hard work, but if you soldier through that you’ll find that the trip was a diamond.”.

“I would like to mention the incredibly friendly, energised and cheery sea staff who were always just to fun to be around. Overall, the trip was a great experience I’d recommend to everyone :)”

“A huge thank you to the crew of the Prolific for such a fantastic opportunity. My son was very nervous about the prospect of a trip where he knew no-one, but he really enjoyed it and got a huge amount from it. I’m very grateful to you all for such a great experience for him.”

RYA sailing qualifications and DofE Gold Residential voyages available.

More information here on sailing with us.

For individual bookings on youth voyages, please contact VoyageAdmin@oytsouth.org.

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* NEW bursary scheme for summer voyages
Thanks to one of the guests who sailed with us last weekend, we have had an exciting new donation which will allow us to offer funding worth up to £250 each to a limited number of young people to help them afford the cost of a voyage this summer … but there is a condition!

The donor has asked that the money should go to young people aged 14-25 who are raising at least part of the voyage cost by their own efforts. That doesn’t mean that – for example – your family can’t cover part of the cost; but part of it (even if it’s a small part) must be money that you have raised or worked for yourself. If you think you might qualify, email us explaining why you would like a funded place via RH Bursaries and what you are doing to raise your share of the cost. A seven-night voyage normally costing £815 could come down to £565; six nights comes down from £710 to £460; and 5 nights from £605 to £355. So don’t miss this amazing opportunity!

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* Voyage news
Last weekend’s newsletter came out just as the Alfreton Park voyage was finishing.

Alfreton student looks proud to be a crew member on deck! Alfreton student in Captain's hat steers the boat with help from a watchleader - both smiling broadly!

“Best bits” included: Driving the boat”, “wearing the lifejacket”, “food”, “party time!” and “I liked waving at the people.” One said “Was a bit scared on the bowsprit, then focussed on it.”

They put in the comments book on board:

“My favourite day was when we had a dance party!”

“I liked helping to do the jobs on deck.”

“I liked going out in the dinghy and eating ice cream in Cowes.”

“I enjoyed sailing and waving to the people on the passing boats.”

“I enjoyed everything.”

The school staff added that they would remember:

“Just seeing all the children grow in confidence, chatting to the crew, doing more jobs.”

“All of you just having the best time and having lots of fun and lots of smiles.”

“Seeing everybody so happy and enjoying themselves and especially pushing themselves past their comfort zones.”

“Best bit about the sailing trip is seeing all the students gaining confidence throughout the week.”

You can see their full voyage track here.

Big thanks to sea staff Gotch, Lauren, Josh, Glyn Collins, Lucy Grodie, Caitlin Neall-Johnston and Val Hague.

Next came two great day sails for sponsors, donors and other people who are supporting our charitable work, including guests from the RYA, Trinity House, Xylem, Saltee sunscreen, British Marine and lots of family and friends. Saturday’s group had a daunting forecast – strong winds and rain – but we blasted up and down Southampton Water several times – you can see their voyage track here. Sunday’s weather was kinder and we got a bit further.

Adrien from British Marine gives a thumbs-up from the helm. Gotch keeps an eye on a guest at the helm Rear Admiral Iain Lower, Deputy Master of Trinity House, at Prolific's helm Mark Todd with Vaughan Marsh, RYA Chief Instructor The team from Xylem whose support is invaluable for Prolific's plumbing and toilets! Patrick McGuirk from our lovely sunscreen sponsors, Saltee

It was lovely to be able to thank lots of people whose support for our work means so much to us. Their comments included:

 “Great experience! Amazing team!”

 “Love you guys! It was a great experience!”

 “Thanks for such a wonderful day. What a treat! My first time ever under sail and I didn’t throw up! What amazing people you all are.”

 “Thank you so much for everything you do – it’s an honour to support you from Trinity House.”

“A fun day on the breezy Solent. Inspirational to have a small window into the World of OYT. BRAVO!”

 “Thank you all for such an enjoyable trip! Thoroughly enjoyed every aspect and the lunch was delicious … Please can I come again? Great to get an idea of the experience the kids get.”

 “A fantastic day and sail! The highlight was taking the helm. Awesome crew, awesome boat, awesome afternoon sailing. Thank you. PS the lunch was great too.”

One of the guests was Robbie Crow who started our long history of running voyages with the MACS charity for young people born without eyes or with underdeveloped eyes, and remains a great advisor on anything to do with accessibility and inclusion. Robbie wrote a lovely post about us on LinkedIn and you should follow him, as his profile says, “for practical hints, tips and advice that will help your organisation be a great place for disabled people.”

Big thanks to sea staff who sailed on one or both days over the weekend: Gotch, Mark Todd, Miranda Camping, Martyn Powe, Caitlin Neall-Johnston, Patrick Kelly, Unity Bowns, Annant Shah, Michelle van den Berg, Susanna Paynter, Lucy Grodie and Caz.

This week we have been sailing with Harris Merton Academy from south London – a boys’ group, following a voyage with the girls a few weeks ago. They set off on Monday, excited and engaged and taking turns on the helm:

Harris Merton crew member at the helm

They anchored for the night near Lymington and the crew wrote an excellent story in their anchor watch teams, after a fantastic sunset:

Sunset from Prolific's deck

Next morning they sailed off the anchor and in light winds and strong tides, had to point towards Hurst in order to sail almost sideways down the channel.

Later on the wind died completely and they dropped the jib and motored to Weymouth with watchleader Michelle driving a man overboard recovery drill on the way. Here’s bosun Jack explaining the recovery process to the crew:

Bosun Jack explains man overboard recovery procedures to the crew

It was a very peaceful sunny day at sea and could hardly have been more different to their life in London.

Two young people and a watchleader on the bowsprit - with ice creams! Harris Merton crew on deck - lifejackets, ice creams, waves and smiles!

Lauren achieved a tricky park in Weymouth before happy hour and then a trip to the beach and showers. Back on board for dinner and a game of King of the Jungle!

Next morning they had some more shore leave and then set off in a bit more wind for a good session on mizzen, staysail and points of sail, plus a fire drill and a look at all the emergency kit.

That evening they went into Portland and ashore for a beach BBQ.

Yesterday morning they had some practice at sailing onto a fender, and then the wind died again and they motored to the Needles. They picked up Johnny Caulcutt’s buoy outside Yarmouth (thank you!) and planned their pilotage back to Ocean Village. At this time of year it’s barely dark enough to call it night pilotage, but they were in by 10pm and you can see their complete voyage track here.

Skipper Gotch says this was a lovely group and many of them were very bright – filling in the logbook unaided after being shown once or twice. We’ll put their feedback in the next issue.

Big thanks to sea staff Gotch, Lauren, Michelle van den Bergh, Martin Bayfield, Caitlin Neall-Johnston, Harry Lack and Jack Thompson.

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2025 DRAFT programme
We’ve been working on a draft programme for 2025 and have sent it to our regular clients for their comments. If you are interested in booking full group voyage for young people, do let us know and we can send you a copy of the current draft showing possible dates, ports, durations and prices.

We will reserve some school holiday voyages for individual bookings and some weekends, day sails etc for adults, so any interest in those (as well as volunteer bookings) can come later!

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2024 AGM – a date for your diary
Advance notice that OYT South’s 2024 AGM date has been set for 9th November.

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* Financial appeal
Big thanks this week to the Royal Thames Yacht Club charitable trust for another fantastic donation towards bursaries; to the Northwick Trust for brand-new funding; to Martin Thomas and Rob Hill for very kind donations; and to the 2024 Solent Crabber Rally who chose us as their charity to support this year!

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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* Maintenance days – please help – next one is 6th July
We have several planned maintenance days during the season – these are essential to keep Prolific in working order and avoid losing voyage time to maintenance issues. We need all the help we can get, both skilled and unskilled – there are easy jobs for people not used to boat maintenance, or maybe we can teach you a useful new skill!

Please put these dates in your diary:

Saturday 6th July – Brixham
Thursday 5th September – Southampton
Sunday 20th October – Southampton

If you call the boat on 07990 518915, or email refit@oytsouth.org, we can get you booked in for maintenance days. We can feed you on board and probably offer accommodation the night before or after if needed. Generally we need over-18s, or 16 and 17-year olds who are sailing as bosuns or trainee bosuns.

Sea staff on the voyages immediately before and after these days should plan to include the maintenance day as part of your booking unless specifically agreed. If we don’t have enough people at a maintenance day and there are significant jobs to do, it might even affect the start of the next voyage, so please do make sure you are available to help!

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* Prolific earrings inspired by a crew member and now NEW necklaces as well!
Exciting news – sales of the earrings based on a drawing by a young crew member have been strong enough that our friends at Vurchoo have been inspired to add necklaces to the range!

£68 in silver or £85 in gold – click the pictures to go to the website and see how to buy them:

Silver necklace and earrings based on a drawing by a Prolific crew member 

You can read the full story here of how the design was based on an idea from a Prolific crew member, with part of the proceeds coming to us to support our charitable work! The original earrings are still available for £40 in either gold or silver – click the pictures to see how to buy them:

Gold earrings Silver earrings

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Raise funds for OYT South if you’re shopping online
we’ve made over £2,100 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 £2,100 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. We are also on TikTok. 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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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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