Refit helpers get down and dirty


OYT South bulletin 1st February 2008

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* Calling anyone in Devon or Cornwall!
The Battisborough Charitable Trust offers funding to help young people take part in sail training voyages, and are currently looking for applications, but on a very tight deadline - they are advertising in the Evening Herald and Western Morning News today, and applications must be in by 18th February.

If you don't see the press ads, the rules for last year were: applications can be made by individuals (not groups) from Devon and Cornwall only, to: Sonia Donovan, 57 Green Park Road, Plymstock, PL9 9HU. You will need to write a letter explaining a bit about yourself, why you want to sail and why you need help with funding. The Trust looks most favourably on people who have succeeded in raising some of the funds themselves, so you should write about what else you are doing towards paying the voyage fee - they will not normally cover 100% of your costs. And you should enclose a stamped, addressed envelope so they can reply to you.

People have been successful with applications to help them sail in John Laing in each of the last two years, so let's make it three in a row!

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* Refit news
A very thin response from volunteers this week, which has been disappointing as we are now in the busiest period for refit jobs. Huge thanks to the small but valiant band who did turn up: Wolf, Paul "Cakes" Barber, Max, Alastair, Matt Bland, John Snowden, Rob Harwood, JP Hadden and Chris and Tristan from Contact Marine. Bosun Liz has been on the Ship Captain's Medical Course. To put this into context, we have had a total of 14 people working on the boat over the last two weeks, compared with 32 in the same period last year.

However, the team did get through as many jobs as possible, though it has been so windy that condensation on the inside of the tent keeps getting knocked off, which has held up painting jobs on deck. But the scuppers have been started; the keel has had three coats of primer; the work under the capping rail is slowly ongoing; the crew quarters painting is nearly done; the skipper's heads job is (still) approaching completion; and the forehatch and mid-hatch, liferaft holders, dorade boxes, deck bitts and fire extinguisher holders have all been sanded and primed.

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Last year we had some periods during the refit when we didn't have anything like enough help; and then at the very end lots of people offered to come, and some had to be turned away because there wasn't space in the refit house - or, sometimes, there were more people than can work on the boat at once. Please don't let this happen again! The refit house is starting to fill up; but we still need more people; and we can certainly take lots more day visitors who don't need accommodation.

We have just five and half weeks to go before the tent and scaffolding comes down and John Laing goes back into the water, and six and a half weeks before the coding inspection.

Please call Wolf on 07771 771864 if you can come, and do leave a message if he doesn't answer, as he'll always call you back. We really need you!
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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* Financial appeal
Huge thanks this week to the Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation for £2,000 towards refit.

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) - which has been updated this week.  

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* 2008 bookings
Berths currently available:

11-15 April: Southampton, £255, 1 place possibly left tbc.
16-20 April: Southampton, £255, 1 place possibly left tbc.
5-9 May, Poole to Southampton, £255, 5 places left.
20-22 June (weekend), Southampton, £150, 4 places left (over-18s only).
20 July to 3 Aug, Liverpool to Måløy (Norway), £840, 2 places possibly left (Tall Ships Race 1) - NB we have had enquiries for these last two places, which may yet turn into firm bookings, so if you want to do the race, please tell us NOW!
11-22 Aug: Bergen (Norway) to Den Helder (Netherlands), £660, may be one place left, to be confirmed (Tall Ships Race 2)
8-13 Sept: Southampton, £315, places left tbc.
12-16 Oct: Southampton, £250, 12 places left.
17-19 Oct (weekend): Southampton, £115, 12 places left.
20-24 Oct: Southampton, £250, places tbc.

If you can't find what you want, do please keep checking the 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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* Volunteer sea staff training (on board John Laing)
The first two training voyages for new and existing sea staff are currently full (the weekend 25-27 April 2008 [£150] and a longer voyage, 29 April - 4 May [£275]), but people do occasionally drop out, so it's worth putting your name on the reserve list if you want to sail then.

We do have 5 or 6 spaces left for the September staff training voyage: 19-21 Sept (£150).

Email me for bookings on any of these voyages.

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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.

Andy Brown is interested in helping to set up a Plymouth / SW support group if others in the area would like to get involved - email Andy if you might be interested.
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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Job advertisement: OYT South General Manager

See here to find out more about plans for this job, and how to make enquiries or an initial expression of interest. A formal job advertisement will be published shortly.

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* Core refit team - long-term volunteers needed
We now have our two full-time volunteers in place until the end of the refit; but we are still keen to meet people who can come and help for longer than a few days at a time - it's always good to have people who can really settle into a job and follow it through from start to finish, and it certainly saves time. If you are not working over the next five or six weeks and might be interested in a longer stint at 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.

We shall be recruiting at least two full-time volunteers for the next refit, November 2008 to March 2009, so if you are considering a gap year or career break, please feel free to contact us as early as you like if you want to be on the team next time.

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Trustees needed
OYT South is run by a Board of Directors consisting of a number of unpaid Trustees. The Trustees are responsible for setting the charity's strategy and priorities, overseeing the management of the Trust, and ensuring good governance. The Charity Commission website has some good guidance on the duties and responsibilities of Trustees.

Trustees are elected by members at OYT South's AGM - the next one is Friday 4th April, 7 for 7.30pm, to be followed by a glass of wine in the new Gosport office.

The Trust is actively seeking to strengthen the Board by adding a number of new Trustees at this AGM. The present Trustees bring considerable expertise in terms of sailing, sail training and youth work; but as we entering a period of significant change and growth, we urgently need people with experience of business, management, finance, strategic development, marketing and PR. Anyone interested should email the chairman, Martin Skipper.

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Keep in touch with other John Laing people - or make new friends
See here for online opportunities to meet other John Laing enthusiasts.

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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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Website updates
There is now an Updates page on this website, so you can see at a glance everything that has recently changed on the site.

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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 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