Alfreton Park Special School voyage


OYT South bulletin 17th June 2011

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

* Tall Ships prep 18-19 June - help needed
On 18th and 19th June - this weekend - we have two days in Southampton to get ready for the Tall Ships race series - maintenance, plus buying and stowing all the non-perishable food for two months out of the country. James needs all the help he can get - call the boat on 07990 518915 to volunteer!

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* Camera needed
Does anyone have a camera you no longer need that you could donate to us? The boat camera has died! We don’t just need pictures to remind ourselves about voyages: it is often about collecting evidence for clients, supporters and donors whose continued enthusiasm is vital to keeping us going. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, but a simple heard-wearing digital camera would be much appreciated. Email if you can help.

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* Do you use Twitter?
OYT South makes extensive use of Facebook which is very effective at keeping us in touch with young crew members; but although we have a Twitter account (JohnLaing_OYT) it has never been much used and we don’t get much reaction to anything we say there. It has been suggested that using Twitter effectively could bring us to a new audience - including perhaps some potential clients, sponsors and donors. Do you use Twitter? Can you help or advise us on how to get the most out of it? Email if you can help.

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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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* Voyages for young people in 2011 - including bursary funding
Berths available on the following voyages:

26 June-2 July, 6 nights, Falmouth to Waterford, age 15-25, £445pp - 3 berths (bursaries available - see below).
11-23 July, 12 nights, Greenock to Lerwick, Tall Ships Cruise, age range 15-25, girls only, £840pp - 1 berth
23-30 July, 7 nights, Lerwick to Stavanger, Norway - Tall Ships Race 2, age range 15-25, girls only, £520pp plus travel - 1 place left
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 - 2 berths
16-23 Aug, 7 nights, Cuxhaven to Ipswich, Homeward cruise, £510pp, age 12-25 - 4 berths
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.

Bursaries: We potentially have bursary funding for 2 places on the voyage 26 June to 2 July, Falmouth to Waterford (Ireland). You would need to pay your own travel costs and make your own travel arrangements. To apply for a bursary, email us stating how much you can afford towards the voyage after travel costs (full price is £445) and why you think you might be the right person to get this limited funding help. Age range 15-25 (this is not flexible, I'm afraid). Waterford is the first festival of the Tall Ships race series and John Laing will be there in time for you to see the other vessels and join in the celebrations.

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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* 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 2011
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. There is just one more adult training voyage this season:

9-11 September 2011, Southampton £170 - 7 places left.

Email me to book.

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* Voyage news
Last Saturday we had a day sail for sponsors and friends - it was great to see people from International Paint and BBC Children in Need, both of whom contribute a huge amount in very different ways to our charitable work. It was an excellent sail with good weather and John Laing going at her best speed. Many thanks to sea staff James, Ben, Sparky, Vikki, Andy and Caz (a skipper and five first mates!)

Unfortunately the weather deteriorated dramatically on Sunday and the next crew joined amidst a torrential downpour. This was the annual voyage for Alfreton Park Special School - six young people with multiple physical and learning difficulties sailing with six adult carers. They had a slow and gentle sail to Cowes on Monday with time to wander ashore and go on the chain ferry. Next day they went to Yarmouth for a BBQ, and then to Lymington on Wednesday, where they had fish and chips. Yesterday they had a lovely downwind sail against the tide so they didn’t get anywhere too fast, anchoring in Osborne Bay before going into Cowes. They got back to Southampton this morning having sailed 53 miles, good going for young people with these difficulties. Four of the carers earned RYA Start Yachting certificates - and the sea staff said that the young people were absolutely lovely and they all had a great time! Many thanks to James, Monica, Terry, Di, Marcus and Alex.

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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