Refit tent - now gone!


OYT South bulletin 26th February 2010

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* Refit volunteers’ weekend 6-7 March
Please note that the last volunteers’ weekend of the refit is almost here: 6-7 March. James needs as much help as possible, so book yourself in NOW. Please call James (07990 518915) rather than emailing me! He's looking for a really big push to get masses of work done over that weekend.

If you can’t make that refit weekend, he’s still looking for helpers on weekdays until late March – please call him if you can help for a day or more. See here for more about what is involved.

We hope that all sea staff who plan to sail next season will come and help for at least a day or two. Those who don’t make it down may find themselves lower down the list when voyage places are allocated, unless you can help in other ways - introducing us to potential donors or new clients can be just as good!

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* Refit news
Kirsten the bosun has been on a course this week with the ASTO cadets, sailing round in a small yacht being instructed by Martin Clough. At the refit we’ve had James, Sparky, Dan, Rooby, Michael Murphy, and Chris, Tristan and Pete from Contact Marine.

Key jobs for the week have been finishing all the deck painting and taking down the tent. They have also rebuilt the stern platform and lashed on the kedge anchor; taken out the heads floors and made new ones, which are being fitted today; varnished the bosun’s cabin, and done a lot of the smaller fiddly bits and pieces of jobs. Pete has been working to improve the fresh water pressure; Chris and Tristan have been fixing the heater. Thanks to everyone for all their efforts.

See here for more detailed refit plans and estimated costs.

James and Sparky did manage a night off this week (apart from the one they spent in the refit house watching “Glee” on television) to join Caz and Wolf for dinner with Hels and Dan, skippers with OYT Scotland, who were down in our area doing a course. It was lovely to see both of them. Many of you will know Hels as a former first mate and skipper in John Laing, so it is great to see her doing well with her job in Scotland (as well as enjoying married life with Dougie, another of our former skippers!)

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Sea staff bookings 2010
If you haven't yet put in any requests for voyages, please do so as soon as possible - many voyages will be full already, but I will try to fit you in if I can. Email me a.s.a.p.

Please note that this also applies to new people doing training and familiarisation voyages at the start of the season. Any subsequent voyage bookings are provisional until you have got a skipper's recommendation, but if I don’t know when you might be available and keen to sail, you may find that the dates you wanted have all been filled by other people.

New potential watch leaders must also complete a mates' application form so we can start the process of getting CRB (Criminal Records Bureau clearance) for you - see here for the form.

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* Mates' annual membership and sailing donations - DUE NOW
Sea staff please note that your annual membership and sailing donations are due now, and must be paid before you can sail, unless you have specifically agreed any exemption. The membership donation is £36pa (£18 for under 25s). The annual sailing donation has a recommended rate of £100pa, and a minimum of £70pa - it is up to you to think about what you can afford and how often you are going to sail. So an adult paying the full rate is due to pay £136 now; the minimum total for under-25s is £88. If affording this is enough of a problem that it might actually stop you sailing, please contact us to discuss whether bursary funding might be available.

The sailing donation allows you to sail as often as you can - there is no further charge for any voyages on which you sail as a member of sea staff with young people on board.

Please note that if you have paid for a mates’ training or familiarisation voyage this year, we will take your annual membership and sailing donation out of the price of the voyage (which is always higher than the membership/sailing donation), so you do not need to pay again.

See here for ways to pay.

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* Mates’ training and familiarisation voyages
New potential volunteers or existing mates who want more practice, please note the following training and familiarisation voyages this season:

26-28 March, £160 (1 or 2 places left)
21-26 April, £360 (2 places left)
10-12 Sept, £160 (10 places left)

Email me to book. The longer voyage is strongly recommended for new volunteers - the weekends don’t give much opportunity for everyone to practice an exercise or manoeuvre when there are 18 people on board!

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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 - 1 space available
27 April - 3 May, Southampton-Southampton, 6 nights, £360pp - full group booking (12 people) available
4-8 May, Southampton-Gosport, 4 nights, £290pp - 2 places left
28 May-1 June, Southampton-Southampton, 4 nights, £290pp - 2 places left.
8-12 June, Southampton-Southampton, 4 nights, £290pp - 8 places left
26 June- 3 July, Southampton-Ipswich, 7 nights, £395pp - full group booking (12 people) available
11-16 Aug, Hartlepool-Ipswich, 5 nights, £365pp - 1 place left
17-24 Aug, Ipswich-Southampton, 7 nights, £510pp - 1 place left
25-31 Aug, Southampton-Poole, 6 nights, £465pp - 1 place left
1-5 Sept, Poole-Poole, 4 nights, £290pp - 4 places left
13-17 Sept, Southampton-Southampton, 4 nights, £290pp - 3 places left
18-22 Oct, Southampton-Southampton, 4 nights, £290pp - 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.

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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* Financial appeal
Huge thanks this week to the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights for an extremely generous donation. Many thanks also to John Boldero and Kit Power for their help in securing this donation 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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Laptop needed
The office is on the lookout for a secondhand or reconditioned laptop that they could take with them to events and exhibitions - can anyone help?

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* Penny Buckley
Yesterday, David and Carol Salmon represented OYT South at the funeral of Penny Buckley, former Trustee and volunteer, who sadly died last week. Fraser and Cathy Old were also there, as was another former Trustee, Denis Blenkinsopp.

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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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41 Club
Are any OYT South supporters involved with their local 41 Club? The Ocean Youth Trust is working with the President-elect, Malcom Lockey, and we would love to get involved with local branches in our area as well. Email me if you have any 41 Club connections.

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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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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 almost £1,000 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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OYC / OYT 50th anniversary - 16th October 2010 - very special event!
Plans are really taking shape for OYT South’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Ocean Youth Club in 1960. Our celebration day is Saturday 16th October and we shall be announcing details and starting to sell tickets very soon.

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.

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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