OYT South bulletin 8th March 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 8th March 2024

by | Mar 8, 2024

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


* Refit – please come and help
Thank you to everyone who has been to the boat and helped with refit over the last two weeks: Gotch (Constantinos), Lauren, Josh, Lynne, Susanna, Caitlin Neall-Johnston, Juliette Draper, Rob Jelley, Lizzie Miller, Glyn Collins, Unity Bowns, Sara Abdur, Jack Thompson, William Robinson, Katie Hamlet, Nige Bush, Russell Frost, Lucy Mitchell, Dave Dent, Patrick Kelly, Aoife Harrington, Willoughby Matthews and Rona Skuodas. Also thank you to volunteers from MMP Tax for coming and helping out for the day: Andy Wales, Robb Puttock, James Allen, and Guy du Plessis.

Sanding and painting have continued on the hull and topsides, and inside the bunks – continuing thanks to International Paint for the paint and varnish we’ve used on board.

Caitlin dressed in overalls and gloves poses next to the bunk she is painting. William stands and gives a thumbs up next to the bunk he’s cleaning. Lizzie, Rob and Juliette painting the side of the boat from the pontoon.

Marine Fire Safety have serviced and returned the life rafts, and the team have worked to get these back on board.

Lots of work has been going on up the mizzen mast, getting the cars back on the mizzen track ready for the boom and sails to be reattached.

Unity in a harness up the mast holding onto a shroud, with a bucket of tools next to them, and a smiling Lauren in a hard hat tails the winch. Gotch tailing looks up, Josh winching in, both wearing hardhats.

The sails were moved back on board, so that they are ready to be attached once the main mast is back in – email refit@oytsouth.org if you are free on Saturday 16th March to help with that!

A sail in a sail-bag is winched onboard and hangs from a halyard, while Caitlin stands on the pontoon to control it.

At the maintenance weekend a large variety of jobs were completed: a complete clearing and cleaning of the workshop, a deck wash before the deck boxes came back on board, the gangway had extra grip applied, and all the bunk cushions have been stowed away in their bunks. We really needed all the help to get Prolific ready for the season again, so a huge thanks to everyone who came down to help out!

Aoife smiles in the workshop. An empty workshop gets scrubbed and cleaned by Nige Dave works to attach grippy strips to the gangway. Sara hoses down the area where the helm platform will go. Glyn looks through a box of tools on the workshop roof. Patrick scrubs the deck. Caitlin and Russell laugh, posing with a sail tie.

There’s still more to do at refit over the next week so please come and help!

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 next week. If you want to help but will need accommodation, just ask – it all depends on what is available.

The sails are being reattached on Saturday 16th March and we are looking for more volunteers for this. Please get in touch if you think you’ll be able to come and help.

Back to index


* Sea staff vacancies – including urgent gap in April!
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:

15-19 April, Southampton – one more watchleader or bosun – URGENT
12-16 May, Southampton – one more watchleader, ideally available to help with the maintenance day on 11th May as well.
18 May, Southampton – one more person for a day sail (day sail volunteers should have a reasonable familiarity with Prolific as there is no time to train anyone new)
20-24 May, Southampton – one more watchleader, trainee watchleader or bosun
29 May – 2 June, Southampton – qualified watchleader
3-7 June, Southampton – another qualified watchleader, ideally available to stay for the maintenance day on 8th June as well
17-21 June, Southampton – qualified or trainee watchleader or possibly bosun
7-13 July, Brixham – one more qualified watchleader, ideally able to help with maintenance day 6th July as well
20-26 July, Brixham – watchleader

At this stage we don’t necessarily want to fill all the remaining September and October places (we may want spaces for good new people who emerge during the season, or to finish upgrade assessments started earlier in the year).

Back to index


* Chris Ellis Award – the winners
The Chris Ellis Award is in memory of one of the charity’s two founders and is given each for the best piece of work based on a voyage> It can be anything – writing, art, video – and the winner and runners-up get money off the price of sailing again. The judges are Chris’s daughter Emma, and an old family friend, Peter Tracey, so the competition really does give us a link right back to the early days of the charity. Peter actually sailed with Chris some years before the charity began and you can read his account of the voyage here.

The top prize this year went to Phoebe Buchan, who was 13 when she sailed on a school voyage and wrote this poem:

That week in May
by Phoebe Buchan

That week in May
waking up everyday
To the sound of the waves crashing
And the crew members chatting

That week in May
Where I made new friends
the memories never end
The constant jobs i were given
And all the people who were driven
To be inspired 

That week in May
From Southampton to Yarmouth
Then all the way back
I can now say I’m ready to attack
Any challenges that may come my way
I hope Prolific can always stay that way

Thank you to all the amazing leaders
That helped me to become an achiever
I hope with by luck
I could hopefully come back
And hopefully it will be just like
That week in May

There were two runners-up.

Lucas Judge was 12 when he painted this picture. The Red Arrows appear in the background as his voyage sailed past the Bournemouth Air Show (click to enlarge):

Painting of Prolific by Lucas Judge, runner-up in the Chris Ellis Awards. The Red Arrows appear in the background, as we sailed past the Bournemouth Air Show on Lucas's voyage

Keola Silver was 15 when she made this collage of activities which happened on her voyage (click to enlarge):

Picture of Prolific by Keola Silver, runner-up in the Chris Ellis Awards. The picture shows all the activities they diud during her voyage last year.

Huge congratulations to Phoebe, Lucas and Keola, and hopefully we can look forward to seeing them all on board again!

Back to index


* 2024 voyages available for people aged 11-25 – PLEASE SHARE
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 Easter and summer holidays – please share this with anyone you can think of who might be interested:

* 30 March – 3 April, Southampton, 4 nights, £500 per person
7-13 July, Brixham, 6 nights, £710 per person
14-19 July, Brixham, 5 nights, £605 per person
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+
* 24-29 Aug, Poole to Brixham, 5 nights, £605 per person
30 Aug – 4 Sept, Brixham to Southampton, 5 nights, £605 per person

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:

“It was an experience I will never forget. It was an amazing challenge. I would recommend for anyone looking to have fun, meet inspirational people, friends and great memories held close forever. Thank you endlessly to every person involved.”

“I just wanted to send this to you to thank you for the week my son had on Prolific last week. He was absolutely buzzing on his way back in the car on Sunday, telling us all that they had done, how to sail, how good the staff were, how well organised everything was and how nice everyone was! … It has been many years since we have seen him so excited!! We would like to thank you and your team and all the staff on Prolific for making it such a fantastic week for him. He said the crew created a great atmosphere within the team and treated them all as young adults which he really liked.”

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.

Back to index


* 2024 voyages available for adults
These 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.

3-5 May, Southampton, 2 nights, age range 18+, £255 per person, adult weekend voyage (Friday evening to Sunday evening)
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.

Back to index


* OYT South on the One Show!
In case you missed it, the One Show on BBC1 last week featured Lesley Paddy of #WillDoes, a charity which contributes each year to our bursary funds so that more young people can sail with us – and the programme included a brief appearance by Susanna, Constantinos and Caitlin on board Prolific! You can watch it here, with the feature on #WillDoes starting around 08:17, and a few words from our team at 15.33.

Screengrab from BBC One Show of our team members in red oilskins on board Prolific, by the wheel with mizzen mast behind them, with BBC branding and a caption reading "Caitlin, Susanna & Constantinos, Ocean Youth Trust South".

Back to index


* New AED on board
Huge thanks to Trauma Resus and to Glyn Collins for the new AED on board Prolific. It’s a Zoll AED Plus, and it’s slightly different to other AEDs – there are videos showing how to use it on the password-accessed Sea Staff page of the website. Please do have a look (email caroline.white@oytsouth,org if you need a password).

Back to index


South Coast Boat Show – help needed
Prolific will once again be at the heart of the South Coast Boat Show in Ocean Village, which this year runs from 19th – 21st April. We will need lots of volunteers on board to show visitors around, talk about the charity, collect money and sell bacon rolls! Email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you’d like to come and help.

Back to index


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

Back to index


* Financial appeal
Huge thanks this week to Parkstone Yacht Club and to Gary Wakefield, the outgoing Commodore – they have been raising money for us over the last three years and we attended their AGM this week to thank them for fantastic contributions towards items for the boat and bursaries for disadvantaged young people. We also collected a very generous cheque – in this third and final year of our partnership they have raised even more money than they have done in previous years. This year’s grant will be divided between sail covers and bursaries. We’ve made a lot of friends at Parkstone and we are enormously grateful for all they have done for us.

Parkstone Yacht Club AGM, with outgoing Commodore Gary Wakefield speaking Presentation cheque from Parkstone Yacht Club to OYT South

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  – 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 weredesigned 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 £1,700 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 £1,700 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