Sea staff and volunteers
Ocean Youth Trust South depends on the immense support we receive from our volunteers – sailing on our boat, helping ashore, carrying out vessel maintenance, assisting in the office, raising funds, and spreading the word so that as many young people as possible hear about the opportunities we offer, and have the chance to come sailing with us.
Without our volunteers, we could not carry out our mission to give young people the skills to succeed in life.
Volunteering brings benefits to our volunteers as well as to the charity. Our volunteers can learn new skills, make new friends and have a lot of fun – alongside the immense satisfaction which comes from making a lasting difference to young people. Read what some of our volunteers say about why they do it.
Volunteering at sea
Prolific has a highly-qualified professional Staff Skipper and Staff Engineer, and sometimes uses other people in paid professional roles. However, the watchleaders and bosun are almost always volunteers, and we may also use volunteer relief skippers, engineers and mates when staff are on leave.
We are always keen to find new volunteers who can help to ensure that all our crew members have a safe and enjoyable experience. We recruit volunteers at every level of experience, from 16-year-olds who have impressed the skipper on an initial voyage and been invited back as trainee bosuns, through to highly-skilled and experienced skippers. The common factor is that our volunteers all enjoy working with young people and want to help us create opportunities for young people of all abilities and from the widest possible variety of backgrounds.
We have a programme of training and assessments to ensure that volunteer sea staff at every level are familiar with Prolific and with our routines for working safely and effectively with young people.
You can also volunteer with us ashore, or by helping with vessel maintenance. We also need help with the essential work of raising funds, to maintain our boat, pay our staff, run the charity and enable us to offer bursaries to young people who could not otherwise afford to sail with us; and we occasionally need volunteers in the office.
Spread the word
Perhaps the easiest way to help us is to spread the word about our work. If we ever sail with an empty berth, it is not because no-one wanted to sail on that voyage: it is because someone who might have had the experience of a lifetime didn’t know that the opportunity existed. If we ever struggle to find sailing volunteers or are short of people to help with maintenance, it is because someone who might have loved the experience and brought their skills and enthusiasm to the charity hadn’t heard about us. And if we are struggling to bring in the funds to replace an item of equipment, or we have to turn away a young person because they cannot afford the full cost of their voyage and we have run out of funds to help them, it is not because there are no kind and generous donors out there, or people thinking of including a charity in their will: it is simply because someone who would have been interested in our work did not know about us and about how much difference their support could make.
So if you want to do one thing to help Ocean Youth Trust South, do talk about us. Tell your friends and colleagues; mention us to teachers and youthworkers, and spread the word. You might bring us to someone’s attention in a way that makes all the difference.
There are leaflets here which you can email as PDFs or print and give to people.