Buckingham Palace Garden Party following OYT South's Queen's Award for Voluntary Service


OYT South bulletin 1st July 2011

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* Voyages for young people in 2011
Berths available on the following voyages:

30 July-7 Aug, 8 nights, Stavanger to Halmstad, Tall Ships Race 3, age range 15-25, £610pp - 1 berth
9-15 Aug, 6 nights, Halmstad to Cuxhaven, Baltic cruise, £455pp, age 12-25 - 1 or 2 berths (depending on whether provisional bookins are confirmed)
16-23 Aug, 7 nights, Cuxhaven to Ipswich, Homeward cruise, £510pp, age 12-25 - 2 to 4 berths (depending on whether provisional bookins are confirmed)
5-9 Sept, 4 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £305pp, age 12-25 - 8 berths
18-22 Sept, 4 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £305pp, age 12-25 - 12 berths (full boat booking available)
10-14 Oct, 4 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £305pp, age 12-25 - 7 berths.

Other spaces may crop up from time to time, so do please keep checking back. Please pass the dates around among your friends, and if anyone wants a small A4 poster with voyage availability to put on a school, college, youth club or sports club noticeboard, just ask and I'll let you have the latest version.

See here for the full voyage programme, with prices, dates, details and latest availability. You can also look here for our big summer adventure - not only the Tall Ships race series but some exciting voyages either side. Contact the office with enquiries or to make a booking.

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* Voyage news
Just to finish off last week’s voyage from Southampton to Falmouth, it’s great to be able to report that all the crew completed their RYA Start Yachting certificates except for one who got the more advanced Competent Crew!

This week’s crew has been mainly organised by teacher and second mate Sarah “Tee Hee” Tredinnick, though spare places were opened up to others. They left Falmouth in poor visibility and headed straight across to Ireland, beating into winds that rose up to Force 6. So the first part of the voyage was quite challenging, but having got across there was time for a more leisurely end to the voyage. They anchored in Dungarven early on Tuesday morning; and on Wednesday planned to go to Dunmore East; but found the harbour there too busy so went straight on up to Waterford and the first Tall Ships festival of the summer, having sailed 274 miles. The crew are all having a great time at the festival. Last night they got VIP front-row tickets for a concert with Brian Ferry of Roxy Music. None of the young crew had actually heard of him but they really enjoyed the show!

This crew will be leaving tomorrow with RYA Start Yachting certificates all round except for one person who has sailed before and started getting parts of his watchleader certificate signed off.

Many thanks to sea staff Nic, Andy, Tee Hee, Kirsten, Lucinda and special congratulations to Abbey Heffer for qualifying as a third mate. With David “Tigger” Heffer, Abbey becomes part of the first father-daughter pairing of qualified watchleaders on our active list!

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* Tall Ships race series and vessel tracking
John Laing is now involved with the Tall Ships race series which will take us from Waterford, round the west coast of Ireland and ending Race 1 in Greenock; then a cruise in company to Lerwick in the Shetlands; then Race 2 across to Stavanger in Norway; Race 3 down to Halmstad in Sweden; and then two cruises homes, the first via the Kiel Canal to Cuxhaven in Germany; and finally back across the North Sea to Ipswich. You can follow our progress via the vessel tracking here.

Race positions and results will be available on Sail Training International’s website - there should be a link to the twice-daily position updates once race 1 starts and we will put that on Facebook and in future bulletins. John Laing races in Class C which puts us against other similar vessels rather than competing directly against traditional gaff-rigged vessels or the square riggers which can be five times our size - or the speedy vessels with spinnakers in Class D.

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* Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service - report on Buckingham Palace garden party
This week representatives of OYT South were lucky enough to be able to attend a Buckingham Palace garden party in recognition of our Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. We were limited to four places but wished we could have included many more of those who have been involved in building up the charity over the years - the award is for all of you and we are hoping to be able to organise another event this year which many more people will be able to attend. The Palace garden party was a fabulous experience which included a sight of Her Majesty though not close up and certainly not to speak to; a chance to wander round the Palace gardens (beautiful and much less formal than some people might expect); and possibly the best tea available anywhere. This was followed by a gathering of London-based OYT supporters in a restaurant - great to see so many people there. There are several photos of the day on John Laing’s facebook page.

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Voyages for young people in 2012
We are just working on a draft sailing programme for 2012. We have emailed a copy to all our regular group bookings for comments and provisional bookings (do let me know if you haven’t had your copy) but if anyone else is thinking of organising a group voyage and has special requirements concerning dates and durations, please let me know now.

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Volunteer sea staff bookings - Tall Ships cruise vacancy
Thanks to all the people who have offered to fill the remaining sea staff vacancies (we still have a few places to finalise - we are waiting for a few details to be clarified, so if you have offered some dates and haven’t yet had them confirmed, it doesn’t mean we don’t need you - we’ll be in touch the moment we know). Once those places are sorted, we are potentially all full now except for one voyage - surely someone wants it? Great cruising in a lovely area with festivals at either end!

11-23 July (Greenock to Lerwick) - additional mate needed for Tall Ships cruise (possibly needed for a day either sidce of the dates given, which is when the young people are on board).

Do check back from time to time as other vacancies may well crop up if someone has to change their plans.

Don’t forget that you MUST have a CRB check before you can sail with young people - if you are booked on a training voyage and want the option of moving on to youth voyages shortly after if you get your recommendation, please start the CRB process now by completing this form.

Unless you know you are exempt (i.e. skippers, other paid staff, and anyone who has already negotiated bursary funding - e.g. if you are unwaged) you MUST make sure you have paid your annual membership and sailing donation before your voyage. Membership is £36 (£18 for under-25s) and the sailing donation has a recommended rate of £100 per year and a minimum of £70: you can choose what to pay within this band depending on your circumstances and how often you expect to sail with us this year. Call the office on 02392 602278 with a credit card to pay. If you have paid for the mates' training or familiarisation voyage, please note that this includes your annual membership and sailing fee - you do not need to pay twice.

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Volunteer training
If you are hoping to become one of our sailing volunteers in 2012, please think about coming on our September weekend training voyage starting in Southampton on Friday 9th September at 8pm and ending in the same place at 5pm on Sunday 11th September - cost £170 - 7 places left.

This is an opportunity for new potential volunteers to come along and see how we work and start developing some familiarity with the boat and our routines. Those who are successful in being selected as a result of this weekend will be able to book voyages in 2012 when we allocate places to our current volunteers. Those who wait till 2012 before seeking a skipper’s recommendation to qualify as a volunteer generally end up with a much more restricted choice of voyages as those on our current approved volunteers’ list will already have had a chance to pick their dates!

These training 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.

Email me to book.

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Job advertisements - Staff Bosun and Refit Volunteers
We now have information, job descriptions and details of how to apply - available on our website for the following positions:

Staff Bosun (2-year paid position November 2011-November 2013).

Core Team Refit Volunteers (voluntary positions for a month or more between November and March).

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Sum up what we do in a sentence!
Can you explain what OYT South does in a just a few words? We are looking to find new ways of telling people what we are all about and summing up what we do very briefly - something that can tell potential clients, sponsors and donors about the value of our charitable work and the difference we can make (and maybe at the same time make young people want to sail with us). Tell us how you would explain it - we are hoping that by involving as many of our supporters as possible, we can explore interesting, original and effective ways of telling people about our work.

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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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2011 AGM event - a date for your diaries
Please put Saturday 15th October in your diaries - it’s the date of this year’s Annual General Meeting but we also hope to link it to a social gathering, ideally along the lines of the lunch we had two years ago (last year it was all linked to the 50th anniversary party). More details to follow.

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New Boat appeal
Those who attended our 50th anniversary celebrations last October will have heard the talk by renowned yacht designer Merf Owen about our plans for the long-term replacement of John Laing - a new boat for a new generation. Details can now be found on the website here - along with a form for making donations. This is a tremendously exciting project and regular readers will be hearing a good deal more about it in the months and years to come - we are just getting started but this is the place where our members and supporters can keep in touch with progress!

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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