Alfreton Park voyage


OYT South bulletin 14th May 2010

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* Annual report
The OYT South annual report for the year ending October 2009 has now been published and is available here. Hard copes will be available as soon as they come back from the printer - email the office if you would like one.

The second half of the annual report contains our financial statements and accounts; but the first half includes an account of the year, with lots of useful information as well as comments from our clients - do have a look! If you are ever trying to enthuse anyone about us - a potential crew member, parent or group leader, or a sponsor, or a new volunteer - the annual report is an excellent place to find all the background information you might need.

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* Voyage news
Accidentally missed from last week’s newsletter: congratulations to Emma Burrows and Andrew Wilkes who both completed second mate assessments - an interesting illustration of how our sea staff can come to us from all sorts of different directions. Andrew is a very experienced sailor who has done some hugely adventurous passages as skipper of his own boat; but he is relatively new to working with young people in a sail training environment. Emma, on the other hand, has grown up with sail training over several years, first sailing with us as a young crew member. Both will be great second mates and help to keep up the variety and diverse backgrounds of our sea staff!

Last week’s newsletter ended with a mixed Dorset / Herts / Hants crew making their way back from Brighton in the sunshine. The voyage ended on Saturday with six RYA Start Yachting certificates earned (several crew members had got theirs on previous voyages). One great success of this voyage was the effective mixing of a crew with quite a wide age range, with the older ones taking on a very positive and mature approach - potentially good role models and trainee bosuns if they sail with us again. Thanks to sea staff James, Simon, Steve, Kirsten, Andrew and special congratulations to Rachel Wright on passing her third mate’s assessment.

This week's voyage has been the annual one for Alfreton Park Special School - six pupils with multiple moderate to severe physical or learning difficulties, with six adult carers. Their voyage is designed to be less challenging than many in terms of distance covered, but makes up for it in other ways! They started in Gosport and sailed to Cowes for the first night, followed by a gentle bimble down to Yarmouth next day. There they had a walk ashore, visits to the RNLI shop and, of course, the icecream shop.

Next day the weather and tide were perfect to go west to see the Needles and then come back again to finish in Lymington, where they had fish and chips and visited a swing park. Next day they were able to wave off the Round Britain rowing event, and also saw one of our relief skippers, Andy Bristow. Back to Cowes, with man overboard recovery practice drills under sail as they went. Next day they had a BBQ and games on the beach - kite-flying, football and paddling. Back to East Cowes that night, and the voyage finished in Gosport today. Two of the adult carers earned their RYA Start Yachting certificates. Many thanks to sea staff James, John, Geoff, Di, Angus - and Andrew who has been enjoying some first mate training!

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* Sea staff bookings 2010 - full availability - new June vacancies
The full list of voyage vacancies is as follows:

13 June day sail: 2M and 3M
14-19 June: 2M
17-24 Aug, Ipswich-Southampton: 2M
1-5 Sept, Poole-Poole: 1M and 3M / trainee mate
6-10 Sept, Poole-Southampton: 3M / trainee mate
13-17 Sept: 1M, trainee mate and bosun
18-19 Sept, marketing day sails: experienced 3M
20-24 Sept: 2M
24-26 Sept: 3M
28 Sept - 3 Oct: experienced 2M and 3M for Small Ships race
4-8 Oct: 2M and 3M
8-10 Oct: Bosun
11-16 Oct, Southampton-Portsmouth: 3M and bosun
25-31 Oct: Bosun

Email me if you are interested.

For those of you who are new to OYT South and not yet qualified mates with us, please feel free to apply for anything listed as suitable for a trainee mate.

Please note that you cannot sail until you have completed a mates' application and done a CRB check (see here for details) - and EITHER paid for a mates' training / familiarisation voyage, OR paid your annual membership and sailing donation.

NB mates are allowed to apply for bosun berths - it's good for all mates to have a grasp of some of the technical and maintenance stuff!

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Mates' training voyage
New potential volunteers, or existing mates who want more practice: book now for the September training weekend 10-12 Sept, £160 (10 places left). Email me to book.

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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:

8-12 June, Southampton-Southampton, 4 nights, £290pp - possibly 1 or 2 places left
20-25 June, Southampton-Southampton, 5 nights, £365pp - at least 6 places left
26 June- 3 July, Southampton-Ipswich, 7 nights, £395pp - 5 places left
13-17 Sept, Southampton-Southampton, 4 nights, £290pp - 2 places left
18-22 Oct, Southampton-Southampton, 4 nights, £290pp - 1 place left

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

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* Marketing day sails
We have two day sails set aside this year for current or potential supporters, sponsors and donors to come along and see what we do: Sunday 23rd May and Sunday 19th September. The May date is almost certainly full, though there may be one space available; the September date is more flexible as places have yet to be confirmed. Please let me know if you would like to be considered for one of the remaining places, or if you would like to nominate someone else for an invitation.

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John Laing
maintenance days
Help needed for any of the following maintenance days - call James on 07990 518915 to book yourself in.

Mon 7 June - Southampton
Sat 4 July + Sun 5 July - Ipswich
Tues 10 August - Hartlepool
Mon 27 Sept - Southampton

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OYT South AGM date 2010
The 2010 OYT South AGM will be held on Saturday 16th October at 1.30 or 2pm (tbc) in Portsmouth. It is open to all members and shouldn’t take very long, so people can attend before joining in our 50th anniversary celebrations that afternoon and evening.

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* Financial appeal
Huge thanks this week to the Worshipful Company of Drapers for a very generous donation towards equipment, and to John Boldero who made the application for us.

We need a regular flow of funds to cover at least three major areas: bursaries for young people who could not otherwise afford to sail; vessel maintenance and equipment; and staff salaries - please help, or pass on our details to anyone you come across who might make a grant, large or small.

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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* Kirsty and Jez - sponsorship and event updates!
Our two watch leaders, Kirsty Keith and Jez Snead, who are raising money for OYT South through half-ironman and marathon events are both doing really well. Kirsty has recently run a marathon; her next challenge is a 70.3 mile swim-bike-run in July; and she has already raised £900 towards a £1,000 target - please go to her web page and support her.

Jez, meanwhile, is doing a 1.2 mile (1.9 km) swim, a 56 mile (90km) bike ride and a 13.1 mile (21.1km) run, all in memory of his mum. Jez is almost three-quarters of the way towards a target of £3,000 for OYT South. His website is here.

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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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