John Laing passes a selection of Portsmouth landmarks (photos: Liz Hanson)

Newsletter

OYT South bulletin 29th October 2010


In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *


* OYC/T 50th anniversary follow-up
A new page has been created on our website following our hugely successful 50th anniversary event two weeks ago. See here to download a copy of the event brochure - including a wonderful to history of the Ocean Youth Club and Ocean Youth Trust; or a copy of the leaflet about OYT South’s proposed new sail training vessel, details of which were launched at the event; or to order a 50th anniversary t-shirt; or a copy of the 50th anniversary commemorative print by marine artist Colin Baxter; or copies of event leaflets on how to get involved with us.

We hope to add more information to this page in due course, including copies of speeches, photos (if you were at the event, do please send in any good pictures), and perhaps the chance to buy DVD copies of some of the archive films shown on the night.

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* Voyage news
A short trip for a school group last weekend - a nice bunch of young people who had an early start on Saturday and a beat to Poole in bouncy conditions, followed by another early start and a nice downwind sail to come back again on Sunday. Many thanks to sea staff Nic, Mattie, Andy, Kirsten and Vikki.

On Monday we started the annual voyage organised by Marion Heming and our Isle of Wight support group. All but one of them was a dinghy sailor - a very enthusiastic group whom the sea staff found extremely rewarding. They sailed to Gosport, Osborne bay, Cowes, Poole and back to Ocean Village during the week, with lots of hard sailing and high-level activity - so much so that they gave themselves a night off last night, having got into Ocean Village in time to go to the cinema! The whole group earned RYA Start Yachting certificates, and all want to come back - including several who are keen to try a Tall Ships race when they are old enough. Many thanks to sea staff Nic, Mattie, John, Andy, Lucinda and Sparky.

Only one more youth voyage to go in 2010, this weekend, and then a couple of adult day sails for RYA instructors, and that’ll be it for the year - how did it all go so quickly?

Meanwhile, here’s a slideshow of the adult voyage we did for the 41 Club a couple of weeks ago.

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Furniture needed
We have once again rented a refit house for staff and volunteers this winter, but it is unfurnished - we are looking for any furniture at all that can be donated or lent between November and March. If you have anything at all to offer, please call James on 07709 346216 or email JamesBoyce@oytsouth.org.

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Enjoyed a voyage this year? Want ££s off the cost of sailing again?
If you have enjoyed a voyage this year, are aged under 25 and would like to sail again in 2011, don't forget the Chris Ellis award. Chris was one of the founders of the OYC in 1960 and he left a fund to be used to encourage crew members to produce a piece of work based on any OYT voyage. This can be a logbook, a diary, a picture, a story, computer art or whatever. OYT South can award up to £200 a year (to one entrant, or split between two or three individuals) in the form of a discount for a future voyage. Entries need to be in by the end of November - either emailed to me, or by post to the office, marked "Chris Ellis award entry".

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Shorebased training February 2011
We are planning to run our usual shorebased training weekend on February 5th and 6th 2011, in Gosport. If you would like to do any of the following courses, please let me know soon, as we will book instructors as soon as it looks as though there will be sufficient interest:

First Aid (NB these certificates need renewing every 3 years – check when yours expires)
GMDSS radio
Radar
Food Hygiene
Diesel Engines
Lifejacket packing
Youth work

You will only be able to do two courses over the weekend, and unless we get a lot of interest, many of the courses will only run once, so it is possible that some people will want courses that end up being scheduled at the same time. We’ll try to minimise this but the sooner you let us know what you want, the better the chance that we will be able to organise things to suit you!

We may also run other courses – more details to follow.

Email me to let me know what you want.

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Volunteer refit weekends
We will be needing volunteers at the refit from November to March - help always needed on weekdays, but also on specific volunteer weekends. Proposed dates are:

6/7th November
4/5th December
15/16th January
5/6th March

Email JamesBoyce@oytsouth.org to book yourself in for a refit weekend or to discuss weekday volunteering. Accommodation and food provided!

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* Voyages for young people in 2011
We are now taking bookings for 2011 - do have a look at our plans, dates and details - including Tall Ships 2011 (Waterford - Greenock - Lerwick - Stavanger - Halmstad). Lots of great voyages available but parts of the programme are already selling fast. Contact the office to discuss sailing next year.

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Free this winter? Taking a gap year, or not working for other reasons?

As in previous years, we are looking to recruit a small number of full-time volunteers to work on our winter refit between November and March. We hope all sea staff will turn up for a weekend or a few days, as normal; but it really helps our professional staff to have a small number of long-term helpers who are there for periods ranging from a month to four months, developing real experience and skills (which can often lead to careers in the marine industry, for those who want). See here for more information. Volunteers receive food and accommodation as well as valuable experience. If you would be interested, please email me.

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Financial appeal
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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Volunteer training 2011
Volunteers' training voyages for 2011 are:

1-3 April 2011, Southampton, £170
26 April - 1 May 2011, Southampton, £380
9-11 September 2011, Southampton £170

Email me to book.

These voyages are suitable for qualified mates who want a bit more practice; for new volunteers who are hoping to join our sea staff; and for any other adults who just want to see how we work and what is involved in sailing with us.

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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

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