"Volunteering doesn't pay" (photos: Will Ramsay)


OYT South bulletin 7th December 2007

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* Refit news - help needed!
This has been a big sanding and grinding week on John Laing. The antifoul has all been sanded; the hull has all been sanded; the forward bilges have been started (they were in pretty good condition - well done to the people who did them last year); the forward crew cabin has been sanded; all the rust has been ground out in the forepeak and anchor locker and the sanding has started; and Laura and Paul are currently working on the stern platform. The tent is up and has a roof on it; but it hasn't been possible to finish it and get everything secure, because it is too windy to do the work. Fingers crossed that it all survives the current gales!

Big thanks to all this week's helpers: Wolf, Laura, Paul, John Snowden, Will Ramsay, Penny Sykes (who apparently enthralled Paul and Laura with tales of her life flying helicopters - Paul says he wants her back at refit as soon as possible as he wants to hear more), Chris from Contact Marine, Stuart Raynsford (who dropped off some floorboards he had made for the skipper's cabin), and Peter and Susan Hughes, who very kindly took away all our oilskins for washing and mending.

Many thanks also to everyone who responded to last week's urgent call for more helpers. Things are now booking up fine for weekdays before Christmas, but weekends are still a bit slack and we could do with a few more people. Otherwise, we are taking bookings for after the holidays, so please do come and help for a day or two (or more) if you can. Just call Wolf on 07771 771864 to book yourself in. Please note that the last working day before the holiday will be 21st December, and the first day back will be January 3rd.

If you have never been to one of our refits before, you can find more information here. The key thing you need to know is that our refits require an inexhaustible supply of volunteer helpers, both skilled and unskilled. In 2006-7, ninety-five people contributed a total of 381 days of volunteer labour, and we need to match or beat that figure this year.

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* Refit equipment appeal
See here for a list of small, inexpensive items (gloves, binbags, white spirit etc.) which we are hoping people can donate to the refit. Do check with skipper Wolf (07771 771864) before you buy anything, though - it would be a shame if you bought the wrong size or variety, or something which has just been bought by someone else!

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* Financial appeal
The refit is our current fundraising priority, as there is a great deal to do to keep John Laing in good condition. See here for how to make a donation. To see the sorts of things that a small donation (anything from £1 upwards) would buy, see here. For larger donations (up to £50,000!) see here (pdf).  

There is also a new way of making a donation to our refit appeal which I am sure will be very attractive to quite a few people - see People News below!

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* John Laing on the BBC - change of date
Last week I mentioned a forthcoming BBC documentary featuring John Laing and crew member Tor Stimson. I've now got a lot more details, including a change of date.

The film is called "Cut Up Kids" and will be shown as part of the "Born Survivors" Season on BBC 3, on 18th December at 10.30pm. I understand the finished version includes quite a lot of John Laing footage. You can see a five minute version of the film on YouTube here. It's worth adding comments about John Laing and OYT South which might encourage other viewers to look at our website and maybe come sailing. There's also a BBC website.

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* Bosun update
Staff bosun Laura is leaving us at Christmas and we are collecting for her leaving present. If you would like to contribute something in recognition of all Laura's hard work, the easiest way is to call the office on 0845 365 6781 with a credit card handy; otherwise please send cheques to the office at PO Box 203, Gosport, Hampshire PO12 9AZ.

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* Website updates
I have started a new Updates page on this website, so you can see at a glance everything that has recently changed on the site.

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* 2008 bookings
Possible Easter holiday vacancies: at least four berths available 11-15 April 2008, and two left for 16-20 April (both £255). There aren't many voyages left for people who can't sail in term time and don't want to do Tall Ships races in the summer, so please look at these dates before it's too late and they all get booked by someone else!

We also have some spaces for 5-9 May (also £255), and there are Tall Ships race vacancies over the summer.

Other good options for those who can manage the dates are both weekend and longer voyages still available in September and October: see the voyage programme. If you can't find what you want, do please keep checking this voyage programme as new vacancies keep coming up as we adjust the programme to meet clients' needs, or because provisional reservations aren't confirmed.

If you want to book a berth, contact the office as soon as possible.

For additional information about voyages:

UK-based voyages
Tall Ships 2008: Liverpool - Måløy (Norway) - Bergen (Norway) - Den Helder (Netherlands)
Duke of Edinburgh Gold Residential projects
Bursary funding
Small Ships race
Special funding for crew members from outside the UK

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* Sea staff bookings and assessments 2008

Qualified sea staff: please start emailing me any dates when you would like to sail in 2008 (though I may not confirm bookings for the most popular voyages just yet as those who do most at refit get priority).

If you are hoping to do an assessment (including new potential sea staff who have got a skipper’s recommendation to become a third mate), I would definitely like to get your voyage availability pencilled in early.

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* Shorebased training (RYA and other courses) - please book now!
We now have an option of running two first aid courses on the weekend of 2nd and 3rd February, one on the Saturday and the other on the Sunday, in order to fit in more people: so we have plenty of spaces left for first aid, as well as for food hygiene and sea survival.

However, the diesel course is already full (I am starting a second list of reserves or in case we get sufficient demand to run the course again on another date) and the GMDSS and Radar courses are down to the last couple of places. 

  • Sea Survival (Sat 2 Feb, Universal Marina, near Southampton) - £70. This is a really fascinating course which involves the use of flares and a practice session with a liferaft in a swimming pool. I hope none of you ever needs to use most of the things you learn on this course; but if you do need it, this course could save your life and those of other crew members. Thoroughly recommended for all sea staff at all levels. (Already booked: Di Roberts, Paul Barber, Sue Bird, David Heffer, Phil Runchman, Devon B-B, Lisa Davis, John Snowden, Amanda Smith, AN Other tbc, Ben Martin, Dave Blogg, 8 places still available).
  • First aid (Gosport) - £40 - 2 courses available. The RYA one-day certificate needs renewing every three years and is COMPULSORY for second mates and above. You cannot sail as 2M without an in-date certificate. Sat 2 Feb: Jo Brooks, Geoff Eddy, Will Ramsay, Stuart Raynsford, Colin Stevens, John Parkin, Andy Shuttleworth, Dyfrig Harries, Andy Viney, plus up to 3 spaces. Sun 3 Feb: Andy Royse plus up to 11 spaces left. Plus John Smith, Cathy Lacey and Erfaan Sharif who might be able to do either day.
  • Food hygiene (Sun 3 Feb, Gosport) - £40. This qualification is important for anyone handling food - i.e. all OYT South sea staff. It will eventually become compulsory, but does not need regular updating, so come and get your certificate now! (Caz White, Hugh Myers, Paul Barber, Lindsey Gilbert, John Parkin, Penny Sykes, Mark Boggis, Martin Skipper, Colin Stevens, Andy Shuttleworth, 5 places still available).
  • GMDSS (Sun 3 Feb, Gosport) - £50 + £22 exam fee. The updated radio licence. (Jo Brooks, Sue Bird, David Heffer, Devon B-B, Will Ramsay, Tristan Caudrey, Sarah "Tee Hee" Tredinnick, 1 place still available).
  • Radar (Sun 3 Feb, Gosport) - £50. (Di Roberts, Geoff Eddy, Richie Butler, John Snowden, Pete French, Stuart Raynsford, Dyfrig Harries, Ben Martin, Andy Viney - we have been able to add a tenth place so there is still one available).
  • Diesel (Sat 2 Feb, Gosport) - £60. (Penny Sykes, Richie Butler, Caz White, Phoebe, Andy Royse, Matt Bland - course currently FULL but I am keeping a reserve list in case anyone drops out, or there is sufficient demand for a second course on another date).

 * * Do check your first aid certificate: you need an update every three years * *

If you want to change your preference or you no longer wish to do the course I've got you down for, let me know so I can free up your place for someone else.

If you haven't already booked your course(s), let me know your preferences a.s.a.p.

NB we cannot guarantee to have overnight accommodation available though we will of course help where we can. Priority for staying in the refit house will go to people working on the boat rather than doing courses that weekend. If anyone in the area has a spare bed or sofa and would be willing to offer accommodation to people on training courses, please let me know.
I do have a list of people wanting to do Powerboat Level II, which is a 2-day course, and I'll get back to you all with dates for this as soon as I possibly can. I also have a number of takers for John Snowden's women-only self-defence course and we hope to have a date for this very soon.

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* Volunteer sea staff training (on board John Laing)
2008 training voyages for sea staff and new potential sea staff:

25-27 April 2008 (£150) - I have asked the first twelve people who booked to let me know a.s.a.p. whether or not they want to confirm their place, so I can give the people on the reserve list a better idea of where they stand. If you were on this list and haven't replied, please do so as soon as you can!

Otherwise, we have plenty of spaces left for the other two staff training voyages:

29 April - 4 May (£275)
19-21 Sept (£150)

Email me to book on any of these voyages.  

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* Job advertisement: OYT South General Manager
We are now aiming for January to publish the formal advertisement for a General Manager to replace David Salmon when he retires (but possibly to join us several months earlier to undertake specialist project work while becoming thoroughly familiar with the charity).

See here to find out more about plans for this job, and how to make enquiries or an initial expression of interest.

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* People News
We've raised £50 so far for the refit appeal through former staff bosun Julian "Dinghy Boy" Watkins and his sponsored beard shaving (see here for how he looked pre-beard and with beard). If you want to see Dings looking less like an escaped member of the band ZZ Top, the easiest way to contribute to his shaving fund is to call the office on 0845 365 6781 with a credit card handy; otherwise please send cheques to the office at PO Box 203, Gosport, Hampshire PO12 9AZ.

Meanwhile, Jo Brooks, who has been helping at refit this week, runs a business making attractive bags from recycled clothing - maybe a Christmas present idea for someone?

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Core refit team - long-term volunteers needed

We have had quite a bit of interest in the remaining full-time volunteer post and will be meeting applicants or getting more information about them over the next few weeks (now the skipper is back!) - but it is not too late to put your name forward if you would like to be considered as well.

If you are not working over the winter and might be interested in a full-time role on the refit and the opportunity to learn more about boat maintenance while doing something of real value for the charity, see here for details. Email me to express an interest and for more information.

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* John Laing on Facebook, MySpace and now Bebo
We are on MySpace , Facebook and now Bebo as well (just search for "John Laing" and if you find several you'll recognise the boat's profile picture!). These are all brilliant ways for crew members, sea staff and other friends and supporters to keep in touch, contact each other, or spread the word among other people about OYT South voyages. If you are already using one of these sites, come and be one of John Laing's friends - and tell all YOUR friends about us! If you are new to social networking sites and thinking of trying one, our Facebook page seems to be the liveliest of the three.

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* Photos needed
Please keep sending photos from John Laing voyages and the refit, and I'll use the best on this website. This week's web bulletin is illustrated with Will Ramsay's refit photos (you can find more on his Facebook page).

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OYT South AGM 2008

Advance notice of the AGM date: Friday 4th April, 7 for 7.30pm, a short meeting to be followed by a glass of wine in the new office!

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OYT South leaflet

There is a pdf copy of the very popular Southampton Boat Show leaflet on the website, so that you can download and print it, to give out to people or stick on noticeboards, etc. You can get the front and back covers here and the inside spread here.  

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Local support groups
If you live in any of the following areas and would like to help find local young people to come sailing, and raise a bit of money to help them do so, please get involved with one of our local support groups:

London: Rob Dickinson.
Dorset: Martin Skipper.
West Sussex: Chris Lane.
Isle of Wight: Marion Heming.

If you live in any other area and would be interested in helping to set up a local support group, please email me and I’ll try to put you in touch with other people in your area.

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Passwords to members-only website section
Anyone who hasn't received a password to the members-only section of this website and would like one should email me and I can give access to anyone eligible.

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Website - links needed
It’s always good to increase the numbers of people visiting our website – do you have any web page where you could add a link to http://www.oytsouth.org/? And let me know so that we can link back to you!

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Survey - tell us what you think
Always looking for more responses to the web-based survey - please have a look!

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New readers’ welcome and introduction
If you are reading the OYT South newsletter for the first time, I hope you will find it useful and interesting, and filled with opportunities for things you will want to get involved in. The newsletter is sent out virtually every week and contains all you need to know about voyages for young people or adults, becoming a volunteer, OYT South events, etc. 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 feel that you don't yet know much about OYT South, you will learn more by keeping a regular eye on these newsletters; but for a lot of background information, take a look at the rest of this website.

If you are aged 12-25 and hoping to sail as a crew member, take a look here.  

Adults interested in joining our volunteer sea staff can check here

To volunteer for OYT South ashore, please look here.

To help with the annual refit, or with maintenance days spread throughout the year, see here.

And if you have any questions, please do email me - or contact the office.

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“I have made a bunch of mates that I hope to keep in touch with - would love to come again" Joe, 13