The birthday boy in his yacht-sanding outfit (or is this just what he wears to relax in?)


OYT South bulletin 14th February 2008

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* Refit news
A good turnout this week, thanks to Wolf, Liz, Paul, Max, Matt, Sarah McCullough, Rob Dickinson, Bob Trimble, Eddie Harper, Miranda Camping, Fraser Old (who dropped off the bottle screws he has been working on at home), Jo Rawlings, Dan Irving, Hugh Myers, Dinghy Boy and Chris from Contact Marine.

As of result of having a large and enthusiastic team, the forehatch, mid-hatch, scuppers, dorade vents, portholes and cockpit locker lids have all been painted; the crew locker lids are being repainted; the heads area, bosun’s cabin and veg locker bilges are nearly finished; the oilskin locker is being sanded today; the coachroof is being prepped but there is currently too much condensation to paint; and the first coat of topcoat is starting to go on the hull today!

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We REALLY need people this weekend - only one volunteer booked so far! Call 07771 771864, or 07990 518915 if you can come. We also need LOTS of people for the week beginning 3 March, and the following weekend. But there may well also be room for you if you want to come at some other time!

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 three and half weeks to go before the tent and scaffolding comes down and John Laing goes back into the water, and four 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
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 recently been updated.

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* 2008 bookings
- NEW availability
Berths currently available:

NEW 21-24 April: Southampton, £185, possible 12 places available tbc. This voyage was previously marked as fully-booked but it might now be available again - please ask.
5-9 May, Poole to Southampton, £255, 4 places left.
20-22 June (weekend), Southampton, £150, 4 to 6 places left (over-18s only).
NEW 3-5 July, Southampton to Portsmouth / Gosport, £185, possible 12 places available tbc. This voyage was previously marked as fully-booked but it might now be available again - please ask.
8-13 Sept: Southampton, £315, 12 places left.
12-16 Oct: Southampton, £250, 12 places left.
17-19 Oct (weekend): Southampton, £115, 12 places left.

Tall Ships Races and Cruise in Company (July and August): we have currently had enquiries for all 12 places on all three of these voyages; but the last few places are unconfirmed (including those with deposits not yet paid), and people do drop out or change their minds, so if you still want to sail, get your name on the reserve list NOW!

If you can't find what you want on this availability list, do please keep checking this voyage programme as new vacancies keep coming up as 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 bookings

I’m just waiting for a few people to confirm bookings on the voyages they have been offered, and then I’ll see where any gaps remain, for the people who want to do several voyages - though I do need to leave space for new people coming through, who might need assessments.

If you haven’t yet replied to an email asking if you can do a particular voyage, please can you do so a.s.a.p.?

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* Volunteer s
ea staff training (on board John Laing) - NEW vacancies
Owing to cancellations, we now have TWO places left on the sea staff training / induction voyage 29 April - 4 May (£275) - email me if you want to come!

The weekend 25-27 April 2008 (£150) is still fully-booked, but as you can see from the above, it might be well worth having your name on the reserve list.

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

Email me for bookings or places on the reserve list for any of these voyages.

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* Sea survival course - short notice discount!
Yvonne Taylor has last-minute availability next week, 18th and 19th Feb, for sea survival courses - just £50 per day - call her on 07785 335189 for more information.

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* “Working with young people” course
Brian Eyres and Steve Lacey are offering a FREE pilot course on “Working with young people”, on Saturday 12th April in the Gosport office, 11am to 4pm, open to all OYT South sea staff. Email, or call 01929 401696 (evenings only) if you are interested.

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* Job advertisement: OYT South General Manager - details now available
The advertisement for the post of General Manager has now been widely publicised. A full job description, person specification and details of how to apply are on our website here. Anyone who has trouble opening a pdf file can email me for a copy. If you are interested in joining the team, with a view to taking over management of OYT South's shore-based operations when David Salmon retires in November, please read the documents and apply with a CV and covering letter before 14th March 2008.

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* OYT South volunteering improves your employment prospects!
One of last winter’s full-time refit volunteers, Rob Harwood, has just been offered a great new job working in geotechnical engineering and marine surveys, with a firm who were impressed by the OYT South experience on his CV.

And third mate Tom Hughes has impressed a superyacht crewing agency with his OYT South experiences and will hopefully be set for a luxury career in the sunshine (with lots of polishing).

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* John Snowden's women-only self-defence course
Happy birthday for yesterday to John “Cuddles” Snowden!

Five takers so far for his women-only self-defence course if we run it on 23rd February in Gosport - we need a couple more to make it worthwhile, or we’ll look for an alternative date. Anyone interested needs to let me know a.s.a.p. !

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* Calling anyone in Devon or Cornwall - deadline next week!
The Battisborough Charitable Trust offers funding to help young people take part in sail training voyages, and are currently looking for applications, which must be in by 18th February.

If you didn't see the local 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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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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* 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