John Laing wrapped up for winter


OYT South bulletin 14th January 2010

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* Happy new year!
Apologies for the late arrival of the first OYT South newsletter of 2010 - I got caught up with other urgent things last week. But here’s to an excellent year for everyone involved with OYT South, and we hope to see as many of you as possible on board John Laing!

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* Farewell Liz, welcome Kirsten
Liz Key, our staff bosun for the last two years, has now left us. Huge thanks to Liz for her tremendous contribution to our work over this time; and we wish her all the best for the future, in her new job as mate of Pegasus..

Our new bosun, Kirsten Mackay, is hard at work at the refit - do go along to lend a hand at refit and say hello!

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* Refit news
Well done to everyone who has been at refit since the new year, enduring the cold weather while the heater was refusing to play (and has been sent off for repairs). Most people have been sympathetic to the refit team for working in the cold; but relief bosun Brendan (who has worked on fishing boats in the North Sea) wrote on Facebook that only a wuss would want a heater, and he’d be happy to work out of doors in a t-shirt in this weather. We have therefore invited him to come and show us how it’s done, and we hope to carry photos in a future edition of this newsletter.

In the meantime, many thanks to James, Liz, Kirsten, Wolf, Dan, Emma, Andy Kitching, Dave Blogg and Jon Seddon, who have been making great progress. The engine room has been de-rusted and painted, as have the cockpit locker and gas locker. Several winches have been serviced, half the scuppers have been ground and primed, and Dave has taken some stuff away to work on at home - presumably in warmer conditions!

We lost one day’s work because the pontoons were so icy that the marina was closed; the refit team instead went into the office and spent the day sorting through all our old charts.

The team also had a day moving all our kit out of the old leaking storage container into a huge new space in Ocean Village - with many thanks to Marina Developments Ltd (MDL) - see next section below!

The next planned volunteer weekend is 6-7 March - James definitely needs loads of people to help then, as well as as many people as possible on weekdays. Please call him on 07990 518915 if you can help with the refit for a day or more between now and late March - see here for more about what is involved. Please do ring James rather than emailing me - he can tell you when there is space and what he needs!

We hope that all sea staff who plan to sail next season will come and help for at least a few days or a weekend. See here for more detailed refit plans and estimated costs.

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* Ocean Village storage - pallets and shelving units needed
Our new enormous storage space in Ocean Village really needs some wooden pallets and shelving units - can anyone help? Call James on 07990 518915.

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* Office photocopier needed
The OYT South office badly needs a new photocopier. If anyone has one they might be able to donate, or sell to us at a reduced price, please call Sally on 0845 365 6781.

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* Training weekend 6th-7th February 2010 - last few places
We are just waiting for the last five people (you know who you are!) to confirm places they have reserved on training courses, and a few others yet to pay.

We definitely still have one space on the radar course on Sunday, if anyone would like it. If provisional bookings are not all confirmed, we may still have spaces on Saturday for GMDSS and Food Hygiene, and on Sunday for first aid, so please do let me know if you could fill one of these spaces if needed. Diesel already has a reserve for the only unconfirmed place. With lifejacket packing on Saturday, which only takes a couple of hours, we could fit in a second course, but only if we get at least four more people. More details here, including prices, information on course content and latest availability.

If I have confirmed with me that there is space for you on a course, there is a form on this website so you can confirm bookings for courses, meals and accommodation, and when you press "submit" it will give options for how to pay. Please do read the notes at the bottom of the page before booking.

The RYA or ISAF Sea Survival courses are not running on the same training weekend as the rest of our courses. If you want to do Sea Survival, there are courses running on March 6/7 or April 17/18. This course is very highly recommended, covering such things as use of distress flares and a session in a swimming pool with a life raft. Email me if you are interested.

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* Training weekend lunches / supper - all invited
Even if you aren’t doing a training course, other OYT South supporters are welcome to join us for lunch on either day, or for supper on Saturday (with the option of staying in the Sea Cadet Unit overnight). Unlike previous years when we have gone out for a meal, this year the whole thing is being done in the Sea Cadet Unit, to keep prices down. More details on the bottom of the booking form. If you want to come along, please use the booking form - you can leave the training course sections blank if they don’t apply to you.

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* Sea staff bookings 2010
I’m starting to get lots of bids in for voyage dates from qualified sea staff and those looking for assessments this year. It’s a bit of a juggling process as we aim to get a good mix of sea staff on each voyage, ensuring we get female staff where needed, making certain those who have helped most at refit or in other ways get a good pick of their preferred voyages and so on. If you want to get in the mix now rather than waiting for leftover voyages that other people haven’t asked for, please email me a.s.a.p. You need to look at the voyage programme here, and give me the voyage numbers for anything you’d like to be considered for - making clear where you are bidding do lots of voyages, and where you are giving me a list of options hoping to get onto one or two.

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* Sea staff medical certificates
Advance notice: any sea staff who have ML5 or ENG1 medical certificates (skippers, first mates, others with commercial endorsements, mates over the age of 65) will be required to carry them on board when you sail with us, from the start of the 2010 season.

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* 2010 voyages for young people
Large parts of the 2010 season are already fully-booked, but we are still looking for crew members for the following voyages:

6-11 April, Southampton-Southampton, 5 nights, £365pp - possibly one space available
27 April - 3 May, Southampton-Southampton, 6 nights, £450pp - full group booking (12 people) available
4-8 May, Southampton-Gosport, 4 nights, £290pp - 2 places left
8-12 June, Southampton-Southampton, 4 nights, £290pp - full group booking (12 people) available
26 June- 3 July, Southampton-Ipswich, 7 nights, £495pp - full group booking (12 people) available
11-16 Aug, Hartlepool-Ipswich, 5 nights, £365pp - 7 places left
17-24 Aug, Ipswich-Southampton, 7 nights, £510pp - 7 places left
25-31 Aug, Southampton-Poole, 6 nights, £465pp - 3 places left
1-5 Sept, Poole-Poole, 4 nights, £290pp - 6 places left
13-17 Sept, Southampton-Southampton, 4 nights, £290pp - 6 places left
11-16 Oct, Southampton-Southampton, 5 nights, £360pp- full group booking (12 people) available
18-22 Oct, Southampton-Southampton, 4 nights, £290pp - 3 places left
25-31 Oct, Southampton-Southampton, 6 nights, £420pp - 3 places left

.If you want to sail next year, do look at the programme as soon as possible, and hurry up and reserve your berth.

The four voyages on the list which are still available for full group bookings of 12 people can be used in different ways if people have any suggestions - they don’t necessarily need to be standard youth voyages. Is there any demand for an adult cruise, or splitting the trip into a series of day sails (NOT for the Southampton-Ipswich voyage, though!), or additional staff training, or an OYC 50th anniversary reunion voyage? Email me with ideas or requests!

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* Support Jez’s half-ironman!
One of our watch leaders, Jez Snead, is doing a half-ironman in memory of his mum, to raise funds for OYT South.

A half-ironman involves a 1.2 mile (1.9 km) swim, a 56 mile (90km) bike ride and a 13.1 mile (21.1km) run. Jez already has over £500 pledged towards a target of £3,000. Please look at his website and support him if you possibly can!

Also on Justgiving you can find David Arnold hoping to raise funds for us with moustache antics.

You too can use Justgiving to raise money for a sponsored activity or an event; to make regular donations, or set up a page in memory of someone and invite donations to the charity. Have a look here.

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* Bursary scheme for individuals and new referring organisations - nominations required!
We have a few generous donors who will consider applications from disadvantaged young people who cannot afford the full voyage fee.

For individuals, we would need a supporting statement from an unrelated adult, such as a teacher or youth worker, confirming genuine need, as well as details about the young person’s age or background and why they would benefit from a reduced-price place. Bursaries will not normally pay 100% of a voyage fee unless the circumstances are truly exceptional - we will normally expect some contribution as evidence of commitment from a young person or their family, if they can possibly afford it. Email to apply. Please note that this scheme is not normally open to people who have already booked a voyage unless you can demonstrate that your circumstances have changed significantly since making the booking.

The bursary fund earmarked for new organisations (schools, youth clubs, other charities and more) is designed to give one, two or three cut-price or free places as a taster to a group which has not previously sailed with OYT South, with the aim of impressing them and encouraging them to bring a larger group the following year. All OYT South members are invited to email to nominate organisations representing disadvantaged young people who should be considered for this scheme. This could be your local school or youth club, or a youth charity representing a cause which you personally care about. Please check that the organisation might be interested in sending young people before submitting your nominations!

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Financial appeal

The major appeal at the moment is for the 2009-10 winter refit - please donate something if you possibly can.

We also need bursary funds for next season.If you would like to help some specific young people to pay for their voyages - perhaps children with physical and learning difficulties, or homeless teenagers, or young people growing up amidst poverty and even violence, or brothers and sisters of children being cared for by a children's hospice, please email me to discuss it.

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.

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* Chris Ellis Award
In the last newsletter before Christmas, we announced the winners of the Chris Ellis Award, the annual prize for diaries, logbooks or stories about an OYT South voyage, which gives the winners money off their next voyage. At the time, due to a temporary website problem, we weren’t able to put the winning entries on the site for everyone to read; but they are there now - do go and have a look. If you are under 25 and will be sailing with us in 2010, maybe you could be a winner next time?

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* Mates' training and new volunteer mates
If you are new to OYT South, you will normally need to do a mates’ training / familiarisation voyage before you can sail with young people. These voyages are also open to qualified mates looking for extra practice or experience.

Current dates are:

26-28 March, £160
21-26 April, £360
10-12 Sept, £160.

The first two have attracted a lot of interest and are likely to be full shortly; there is plenty of space on the third. Email me to book.

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London Boat Show January 2010 - special offer and OYT South team outing
The London International Boat Show will run from 8th - 17th January 2010.

There will be an OYT South team outing to the Boat Show on Friday 15 January. Meet at 3pm at the Guinness Stand.

John Goode has again kindly arranged for discounted tickets for OYT South members. If you are an OYT South member who subscribes to this newsletter by email, you will find details of how to get your dicounted ticket there - we can't put them on the website which is accessible to the general public.

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* Spiral Music Awards - vote now
Anyone who has sailed in John Laing in recent years might know that we have a number of musicians and bands who are very friendly towards us and our charitable work. Two of our friends have been nominated in the Spiral Music Awards, which are voted for by the public. If you want to support them, see here to vote for Phil Beer of Show of Hands:

And here to vote for Oysterband’s John Jones:

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OYC / OYT 50th anniversary

I have started to collect photographs and tales of the Ocean Youth Club and Ocean Youth Trust since we were founded in 1960, and in due course I will make a special section of the website where we can post all the historical material. Do please email anything to me if you think others might be interested.

Please put 16-17 October 2010 in your diary NOW for OYT South's 50th anniversary celebration weekend - more details to follow very soon!

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Keep in touch with other John Laing people
We use a number of social networking websites to allow crew members to keep in touch with the boat and with each other. People can swap stories, post photos and more. For some overseas voyages, we will even set up online groups well in advance, restricted only to people who will actually be sailing on that particular voyage, so that people can compare travel plans and arrange to travel together. See here for how to join.

Please note that OYT South has a policy that our adult staff and volunteers should not make or accept individual online friend requests with crew members aged under 18. Young crew members can use the sites to stay in touch with the boat and with each other, but not with individual adults.

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Survey - tell us what you think
If you have recently completed a voyage, please help us by filling in our web-based survey. It really helps - we use the data to keep improving our voyages, and to help us raise funds!

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 New readers' welcome and introduction
If you have recently registered your interest in OYT South, welcome to our e-newsletter, which is sent out almost every week, normally on a Friday. It 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. The 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 12-25, 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 – including Tall Ships races during the summer holidays. If you are aged 12-25 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 and bosun, 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, or with maintenance days spread throughout the year, 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.

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“To be honest I never wanted to come, but I'm glad I did because I have learnt and seen so much!" Charlotte