OYT South bulletin 3rd May 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 3rd May 2024

by | May 3, 2024

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


* Office change of address
Ocean Youth Trust South’s office has moved! Please note our new address is:

Unit 2
Endeavour Building
Shamrock Quay
Lower William Street
Southampton
SO14 5QL

Phone number, email addresses etc. are not changing.

This is much closer to Prolific in Ocean Village so it should be really convenient for both the boat team and the office team. Big thanks to everyone for all the hard work in getting everything moved!

Susanna, Annette and Lynne outside the new office Susanna, Annette and Lynne inside the new office

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* Annual Report
OYT South’s Annual Report and accounts for the year ending 31st October 2023 is now available – do have a look! It’s packed with information about the charity and highlights from the last season. If you want to know more about who’s who – Patron and Vice-Patrons, Trustees, staff, honorary life members – or where the money comes from, how it’s spent and what different it makes, you can find all that in the Annual Report.

Cover of OYT South's Annual Report for the year ending 31st October 2023, showing a group of young people on Prolific's foredeck entering harbour

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* Voyage news
Last week’s newsletter reported on our crew from Greig City Academy in Haringey sailing to Weymouth:

Crew members using a winch Crew members hauling on a halyard Crew member at the helm

Heading back to the Solent after an early start:

Crew on the foredeck in Weymouth A crew member on the helm, supervised by a staff member Tying a fender on to the shrouds where they are stored

The last newsletter left them working on their RYA qualifications in Cowes:

Crew members sit on the pontoon and watch others learning to row the dinghy

In the afternoon they went for a sail and did 13 tacks for 13 crew members.

Crew member on the helm, supervised by a watchleader Crew member on the helm

They anchored near Ryde for a passage planning session and dinner, and then had a night sail back to Southampton with the young people in different groups taking charge of the pilotage and running the vessel.

The voyage ended with ten people achieving RYA Start Yachting certificates and three getting the more advanced RYA Competent Crew qualification; they sailed 148 nautical miles with a maximum wind of Force 6, and you can see the voyage track here.

Crew and staff wave from Prolific's deck

Comments included:

“The best bit was learning how to actually sail properly and learning all this new stuff … the team Prolific did an amazing job, the atmosphere was very welcoming! I had lots of great and new experiences – these will forever be remembered!”

“My favourite part of this trip was I think it was the first happy hour, everyone was here cleaning, everyone was vibing to the music and it was funny, and my other favourite bit is night sailing, and learning to do a reef knot … Thank you to all the staff for making this trip an unforgettable experience and teaching us how to sail. It was fun and interesting. Through this trip everyone got to know each other more including the staff. These will forever be in my memory.”

“It was an amazing experience! I would love to come on a trip with Prolific again. I have created so many good memories and friends thanks to Prolific.

“I think the best part was like when we went night sailing, it was really fun, the view was so nice, and I steered a lot and I enjoyed a lot … Thank you to all the staff for making this past five days so memorable and for having patience with all the girls, we really enjoyed it.”

“The best bit was the night sailing … I was the navigator, it was really fun, looking for the flash, the red and the green one.”

“Thank you so much for this trip. I’m so glad I chose to come even when I was in doubt. This trip was really fun and a great new experience where I learnt so many new things.”

“Thanks for the opportunity and all the fun we had. The knots are great skills to know in real life.”

“Thank you very much to everyone that was on the trip. I enjoyed every bit and made so many memories, I met with so many new people and gained so much skills.”

“Thank you to all of the sea staff for guiding and training me. It’s been a great experience & I’m so glad I participated. I’d love to carry on this journey! Thank you all once again for the amazing experience & unforgettable memories!”

You can see more feedback here.

Big thanks to sea staff Constantinos, Lauren, Vince Brodie, Glyn Collins, Katie Hamlet, Willoughby Matthews and Sandy Garrity.

This week we have been sailing with George Green’s School in Tower Hamlets – where five years ago we first encountered Sara Abdur, previously Staff Cadet and now Youth Trustee and volunteer watchleader!

Once again they sent us a sixth-form group with huge amounts of enthusiasm. It was decided that they would all work towards earning Competent Crew qualifications on this voyage. They sailed to Cowes on Sunday and then spent some time on Monday morning on training for their RYA certificates and fuelling up, before heading out on a windy day under mizzen and staysail for a lesson on points of sail, with everyone busy handling lines and steering as they tried adjusting the sails to the wind on different courses.

Crew member on the helm, supervised by a watchleader eating an ice cream

They ended the day in Haslar and next morning launched the dinghy – rowing practice for the young crew, while the staff all had a chance to try out our new e Spirit 1 Plus Electric Outboard so kindly donated by ePropulsion, as mentioned in last week’s newsletter. Not only is it eco friendly – which matches our ethos: it is lighter than a petrol outboard, it is much more user-friendly, very easy to use with beginners and with only a few moving parts it is very low on maintenance!

Crew members in the dinghy - plus new outboard!

After that they had a downwind sail to Lymington and some time ashore.

Next morning they got up early to get the tide through Hurst, and sailed to anchor in Christchurch Bay, with reefing practice:

Lauren holds up a whiteboard for her reefing session Crew hauling on a halyard

There was also a chance for the group to plan the pilotage before they headed into Poole for the night.

Pilotage planning - lots of hands drawing plans, with a chart visible underneath Crew and watchleader doing a passage planning session on deck

Yesterday they headed back to Southampton, dividing the day up so that every hour saw different young people taking over as watchleader and navigator.

Crew member by the chart table

You can see the complete voyage track for the week here, and we’ll include their feedback in the next newsletter.

Ice creams in the chart room

Big thanks to sea staff Gotch, Lauren, Patrick Kelly, Barry Walker, Willoughby Matthews, Andy Kitching, Vince Brodie and Andy Gissing.

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* Sea staff vacancies
Please email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you can help with any of the remaining vacancies. Dates given are when crew are on board so volunteers are generally needed the day before:

NEXT WEEK 6-10 May, Southampton – qualified or trainee watchleader or bosun, ideally able to stay for the maintenance day on 11th May.
9-14 June, Southampton – qualified or trainee watchleader or bosun, ideally able to join for the maintenance day on 8th June.
17-21 June, Southampton – qualified or trainee watchleader or bosun
7-13 July, Brixham – one more qualified watchleader tbc, ideally able to help with maintenance day 6th July as well.
20-26 July, Brixham – possibly one more person tbc
27 July – 2 Aug, Brixham – qualified watchleader
6-10 Sept, Southampton – qualified watchleader, ideally able to join in time for the maintenance day on 5th September
16-20 Sept, Southampton – qualified or trainee watchleader
28 Sept – 1 Oct, Southampton – qualified watchleader
14-19 Oct, Southampton – at least one qualified watchleader, ideally able to stay for the maintenance day on 20th Oct.
25-29 Oct, Southampton – qualified or trainee watchleader

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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 sometimes 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!

We have a VERY few full-boat bookings still available for a group such as a school, youth club or another charity. To discuss group bookings, please email caroline.white@oytsouth.org.

However, we have plenty of spaces still available for individual bookings, with fantastic adventure sailing opportunities for young people aged 11-25 in summer holidays – please share this with anyone you can think of who might be interested:

7-13 July, Brixham, 6 nights, £710 per person
14-19 July, Brixham, 5 nights, £605 per person – filling very fast!
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.
* 24-29 Aug, Poole to Brixham, 5 nights, £605 per person – filling very fast!
30 Aug – 4 Sept, Brixham to Southampton, 5 nights, £605 per person

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.

Voyages marked * are UK-only and may be ideal for the youngest crew members or anyone else wanting a less ambitious voyage. 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.

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.

Please note that voyages above are for people aged 11-25 and the next section is for adults 18+ with no upper limit – that means that people aged 18-25 can sail on either type of voyage.

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2024 voyages available for adults
Adult voyages are ideal for current volunteers who want a bit more experience, or an opportunity to enjoy sailing and to focus on their own skills, without supervising young people and helping them to do all the fun tasks on board instead of having the chance to do them yourself! Adult voyages are also used to select and train new volunteers, as well as for other adults who simply want to come for a holiday or to enjoy sailing Prolific. Please note that people aged 18-25 can sail on either youth voyages or adult voyages; but these adult voyages are the only option for those over 25.

11-13 Oct, Southampton, 2 nights, age range 18+, £255 per person, adult weekend voyage (Friday evening to Sunday evening)

There may also be a longer adult voyage – dates to be confirmed to fit around the demand from youth clients.

For adult bookings and volunteer training / selection voyages, please contact SeaStaffAdmin@oytsouth.org.

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Maintenance days – next one coming soon (May 11th)
If you are in any danger of feeling nostalgic for the refit, or if you didn’t manage to get down and help last winter, don’t worry – we have several planned maintenance days during the season and you can always come and help with one of those. Please put these dates in your diary:

Saturday 11th May – Southampton
Saturday 8th June – Southampton
Saturday 6th July – Brixham
Thursday 5th September – Southampton
Sunday 20th October – Southampton

If you call the boat on 07990 518915 a few days beforehand, 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 come and help! 

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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
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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Prolific earrings inspired by a crew member  – shortlisted for an award! PLEASE VOTE
Our studs have been shortlisted for Ethical Gift of the Year! The shortlist has now moved to a public vote so please click the link and vote for our earrings!

These very special earrings were designed by Vurchoo based on a drawing by a Prolific crew member and with part of the proceeds coming to us to support our charitable work! You can read the full story here.

£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 £2,000 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 £2,000 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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