OYT South bulletin 5th January 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 5th January 2024

by | Jan 5, 2024

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


* 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 2024. 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.

Back to index


* Refit – welcome Constantinos! Please come and help at refit – including NEW March volunteers’ weekend
Our new Staff Skipper, Constantinos Jensen, has joined the team!

New skipper Constantinos on Prolific's bowsprit netting

If you missed the November issue of this newsletter where we announced his appointment, Constantinos is a very experienced Yachtmaster Instructor whose most recent work has been skippering UKSA’s Farr 65, running Yachtmaster training; but many of you will know of our regular voyages with Greig City Academy in Haringey, which, through the Scaramouche sailing trust, has a remarkable reputation for giving sailing opportunities to inner-city young people, and back in 2017 realised an ambition to become the first state school to compete in the Fastnet race. Constantinos coached the Greig City Academy crew for the 2019 Fastnet and has seen the difference that sailing has made to their lives. He has also worked with the SeaChange Foundation at UKSA – all of which convinced him that the most fulfilling next step in his career would be to become a full-time sail training skipper.

We’re absolutely delighted to have Constantinos (a.k.a. Gotch) on board. This week he has been working with Lauren, Josh, Susanna, Lynne, Hannah Blyton, Rona Skuodas and Juliette Draper. As well as lots of work bringing Constantinos up to speed with Prolific and with the refit plans, the team has been sorting out the store; sorting out bookshelves and games on board; sorting out old sails to be recycled; and getting ready to send lifejackets and jon buoy off to Ocean Safety for servicing.

Constantinos in Prolific's engine room First mate Lauren looks pleased to have new skipper Constantinos on board! Refit team including Constantinos on board Prolific

Today, Susanna, Rona, Juliette and Hannah are painting the roof:

Rona painting the roof Hannah painting the roof Juliette, Rona and Hannah painting the roof Susanna, Rona and Hannah painting the roof

We know you will all want to get to know Constantinos and make him feel like a very welcome member of the sail training community and the OYT South team … One of the best ways of doing that in the coming weeks would be to come along and help him with the refit!

Prolific is in Ocean Village but not on our usual berth – we are tucked in for the winter on a sheltered berth by the hotel. We also have some lovely refit accommodation a short drive away by the Hamble.

Just call the boat on 07990 518915 or email refit@oytsouth.org if you want to come and help us. At the moment we are looking for help on weekdays: do let us know if you can help any time from now until March, either for just one day or for a longer period or some sort of regular commitment such as a day each week.

If you want to come and help for longer than a day and you need accommodation, just ask – it all depends what we have available.

Please note that there will be a volunteers’ refit weekend 2-3 March to get the sails and other gear back on board – as well as a social event on the Saturday night. Email refit@oytsouth.org to book yourself in.

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 next season to maintenance issues.

Sea staff who want to sail next season: remember that if lots of volunteers all apply for the same dates, priority will go to people who have helped us in other ways – coming to refit, raising money, introducing new clients etc!

You can read more about how refit works here.

Back to index


* Does anyone else want to sail as a watchleader, bosun or trainee watchleader or bosun this year? EMAIL NOW
Huge thanks to everyone who sent in details of availability by 1st January as requested. We are about to start allocating voyage places for the whole year (bear with us, it does take a while to match dozens of individual bids with voyage places to make up suitable teams for every voyage), so if there is anyone else wanting to sail this year, do let us know NOW. Please note that some voyages – especially in school or college holidays – are already significantly over-subscribed, and we’ve already had a lot of requests from trainee mates and bosuns. But there may still be some vacancies, especially for qualified watchleaders, bosuns and relief engineers.

If you missed the information on how to bid for voyages and how it all works, you can find it all in the last six issues of this newsletter (10th November to 18th December).

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 webmaster1@oytsouth.org.

Back to index


Shorebased training weekend 10-11 February
BOOK NOW! First Aid, safety at sea, diversity, wellbeing, GMDSS and more!
Book now
for our training weekend in Gosport 10-11 February!

Tony Salmon will be running the RYA one day First Aid course – price £80. There will be 12 places on Saturday 10th Feb and we have now added a second course on the Sunday. This qualification needs to be renewed every three years and is compulsory for second mates and above, and strongly recommended for all other volunteers, as well as giving you a valuable skill and confidence in everyday life, not just when you are sailing. Email caroline.white@oytsouth.org to reserve a place – let us know which day you prefer or if you are flexible and can do either. Please don’t just book without checking whether the day you want is full!

For anyone not doing first aid, or doing first aid on one day and wanting to join sessions on the other day, we have the following at just £30 per day to cover both morning and afternoon sessions:

Saturday morning: an Introduction to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, covering awareness and leverage of privilege; inclusion to sustain diversity; cultural awareness and belonging; and supporting asylum seekers and refugees. The speaker is Shamila Dhana, a volunteer community activist for women, migrants & the BAME community and a Trustee and Founding member of Portsmouth City of Sanctuary. In 2019, Shamila was the recipient of the Inspirational Women of Portsmouth Awards, category Community Activism. In the same year she won the IFRC Female Innovation Award for her work with Migrant women in Portsmouth, chosen from over 300 worldwide Red Cross Female Volunteers. In 2022 she was awarded the HM Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Champion award for her community service in Portsmouth. Shamila is an inspirational speaker who empowers others with her own story of resilience and her mission to lift others up.

Saturday afternoon: Mental Wellbeing with Hannah from Engendering Change. Hannah will be talking to us about how we can best look after our own wellbeing and the wellbeing of others, including looking at how we can spot signs of mental health distress and what we can do to help.

Sunday morning: A session run by James Stevens, our newest Trustee and former Training Manager and Chief Examiner of the RYA. He introduced the RYA Sea Survival course and was chairman of the National Watersports Safety Committee and has attended numerous MAIB accident enquiries, so there’s no-one better to talk to us about safety at sea. His session will be on Accident and Incident Avoidance and Management for Watchleaders and Bosuns (though of course skippers and 1Ms and trainee volunteers are welcome too). In an interactive session, James will look at the role of watchleaders and bosuns in preventing accidents and incidents. In the event of an accident or incident we will consider how to assist the skipper and work as a team in managing the aftermath. Good sea staff are regularly considering “What if….?” and reflecting on how they would handle difficult situations. This will be a fascinating session and we’ll keep the price as affordable as possible.

Sunday afternoon: This will be broken into a number of short sessions. It will start with an hour from Ocean Safety on the care and packing of lifejackets, with a short look at liferafts. We really need as many volunteers as possible to be familiar with re-packing lifejackets as it’s a lot of work after our regular inflation tests, designed to ensure that no-one is wearing a lifejacket which has any damage – even a pin-prick – which would cause it to deflate when someone needs it to work. Knowing how to check all the component parts and repack them properly is a vital skill. There will also be a short refresher session with our safeguarding team, and a short session run by Lauren on chart corrections.

We can also run GMDSS assessments (for your radio licence) which involves an online course which must be done in advance, and then a short practical session and assessment at the training weekend, fitted in around other courses. You’ll need to pay £40 to OYT South plus a £70 fee to the RYA.

There will be the usual supper and social gathering on the Saturday night, in Gosport – all welcome!

We can provide lunch on Saturday and Sunday (£5 each); breakfast on Sunday (£5) and dinner on Saturday (£15).

We’ve had a couple of very kind offers of some accommodation on Saturday night for a few volunteers who really couldn’t attend the training weekend otherwise – please ask; and if anyone else living locally can offer a bed for the night, or even a sofa if someone brings a sleeping bag, do let us know.

Booking form, details, timings and locations here: https://www.oytsouth.org/training-weekend/

Please BOOK NOW!

Back to index


2024 voyages available for individuals, group bookings and adults
Please see here for next year’s voyage availability – we have some voyages designated for group bookings (such as a school or youth group, or another charity); some voyages for individual bookings; and some which could be either for groups or individuals, depending on demand. A couple of individual voyages are shown as “UK only” which makes them suitable for younger crew members and people without passports. (Other individual voyages MAY go to France if we are lucky with the weather so passports will be needed; passport requirements for group bookings will be agreed with the group organiser).

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

To discuss group bookings, please email caroline.white@oytsouth.org.

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

Back to index


* Financial appeal
Huge thanks to the Whirlwind Charitable Trust for a fantastic contribution to new sails; to Peter Tracey for another very generous donation to bursary funding; to Jonathan Pinnock for donations to bursaries and also a very generous donation of oil and antifreeze for Prolific; and to Gillian Ellis for a kind contribution to the Isle of Wight bursaries fund.

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.

Back to index


Prolific earrings inspired by a crew member
Don’t forget these very special earrings, 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

Back to index


Raise funds for OYT South if you’re shopping online
we’ve made over £1,600 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 £1,600 through Easyfundraising – huge thanks to everyone who has used it!

Back to index


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.

Back to index


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!

Back to index


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.

Back to index


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.

Back to index