Youth voyage and adult training


OYT South bulletin 6th May 2011

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *

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

8-12 May, 4 nights, Gosport, £305pp, age 12-25 - 1 berth
16-20 May, 4 nights, Gosport to Southampton, £305pp, age 12-25 - 1 berth
6-10 June, 4 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £305pp, age 12-25 - at least 3 berths
20-25 June, 5 night, Southampton to Falmouth, £380pp, age 12-25 - 2 berths
26 June-2 July, 6 nights, Falmouth to Waterford, age 15-25, £445pp - 4 berths
2-11 July, 9 nights, Waterford to Greenock - Tall Ships Race 1, age 15-25, £645pp plus travel - 1 berth
11-23 July, 12 nights, Greenock to Lerwick, Tall Ships Cruise, age range 15-25, girls only, £840pp - 3 berths
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 - 4 berths
16-23 Aug, 7 nights, Cuxhaven to Ipswich, Homeward cruise, £510pp, age 12-25 - 5 berths
5-9 Sept, 4 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £305pp, age 12-25 - 8 berths
10-14 Oct, 4 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £305pp, age 12-25 - 7 berths.
28-30 Oct, 2 nights, Southampton to Southampton, £170pp, age tbc - 12 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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* Volunteer sea staff bookings
The remaining vacancies list is as follows:

1-5 June - 3M or trainee mate
12-17 June - 3M or trainee mate
23-30 July (Lerwick to Stavanger) - room for one more 3M for Tall Ships race 2
30 July-7 Aug (Stavanger to Halmstad) - room for one more 3M for Tall Ships race 3
31 Aug-4 Sept - 2M
3-7 Oct - 3M or trainee mate
7-9 Oct - 3M and/or trainee mate
10-14 Oct - 3M or trainee mate
24-28 Oct - 3M and/or trainee mate
28-30 Oct - 3M and/or trainee mate

Please note that dates given are for when young people are on board - except for weekend voyages, staff should expect to join the night before, and may be needed for even longer for Tall Ships and other overseas voyages.

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 - 10 places left.

Email me to book.

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* Calling anyone in Gosport
The Gosport branch of Waitrose has picked OYT South as one of their three charities of the month - they have £1,000 to divide among the three charities based on votes from shoppers using tokens which can be collected at the checkout. If you live in Gosport, do please vote for us - even if you don’t normally shop in Waitrose, you only need to buy one item each time to get a token!

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* Team-building
In recent years we have often been too booked-up with young crew to have much scope to run adult team-building voyages, but this is certainly something we are interested in if there is ever a voyage which is not sold to young people. One of the recent crew members on our adult volunteer training voyage has a lot of experience in the field and was generous enough to give us the following assessment:

“Much of the last 15 years of my professional career over 4 different businesses has been dedicated to developing Leadership and Communication skills to enable high performance, tight knit teams to deliver better performance and productivity. In all that time of the numerous training activities, coaching, mentoring programmes and team building activities I have never experienced an activity like OYT sail training that can deliver such high standards of team work and communication to so many staff in such a short time frame. If you want a step change in your team performance or indeed that of an individual, I would not hesitate to recommend a few days on board John Laing.Shaun Ormrod, Chief Executive, Farnborough International Limited (FIL).

If you would be interested in using John Laing for team-building - possibly this year but more likely in 2012 - do please contact us to discuss it.

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* Voyage news
A final bit of good news to add to our last voyage report a couple of weeks ago: huge congratulations to Kerrin Koetsier and Emily Parker, who both passed their third mate assessments. Both started with us as youth crew - Kerrin has been sailing with us regularly over the last few years, while Emily is a keen dinghy sailor who was converted to yachting in 2002 after doing the Round the Island Race on board John Laing.

Since then, we have had an Easter weekend voyage with a mixed crew including several who had sailed with us before. They didn’t have a great deal of wind, but sailed to Swanage where they played games and then rowed ashore in the morning because the pier was shut. Then they sailed back to East Cowes. It was a good weekend but too short to make progress with RYA qualifications. However, during the weekend we had two joint winners for our competition to design a wedding card for Prince William and Kate Middleton: congratulations to Chloe de Mornay and Lucy Heseltine. Their card was delivered to the Palace a few days before the wedding.

Many thanks to sea staff James, Ben, Andy, Emma, Amy and Angus.

This was followed by our annual training week for current and prospective sea staff - some already qualified but wanting more practice, some with mates’ assessments coming up shortly, some who were new to OYT South and wanted to find out more and some who had helped at refit - including two of our full-time refit volunteers, Fiona and Elizabeth, who came along to be rewarded for their hard work over the winter with…yes, yet more hard work. We headed down to Salcombe overnight on the first night and had a fantastic fast sail. Picking up a buoy in Salcombe, we were soon joined by another sail training vessel, Leader, whose skipper and mate, Dave and Brendan, had both previously sailed in John Laing.

We spent time doing some training - Competent Crew for some people, more advanced boat familiarisation for others before an evening ashore. Next day we set off for Weymouth with sunshine but not much wind, arriving late at night. Shore leave and showers in the morning and then we headed back into the Solent as we wanted to get there before the strong easterly winds which were forecast. We had light winds to begin with but once we were in the Solent we had some great sailing, ending up in Gosport where we met our friends in Pegasus, Diggory and our own former staff bosun, Liz.

Next morning some of the more experienced crew members were given the task of delivering some Competent Crew training sessions to the others, with the brief to make it as imaginative and fun as possible. We saw some great ideas which we will be using again in future. Then we headed east for a day of sail training - lots of tacking, gybing and man overboard recovery practice - before a good sail back to Southampton. We awarded five RYA Competent Crew certificates - everyone else already had that or a higher qualification - and found several people who will make great new watchleaders for us - some straight away, others with a little more practice and experience.

Many thanks to sea staff Mark, Sparky, Caz, Chris and Tigger.

This week’s voyage has been the annual one organised by Hampshire’s Team for the Education of Children in Care. It has been a good group, with many of them having sailed with us before. They went to East Cowes on the first night and then hoped to sail to Brixham, but it was quite windy and a number of people started feeling fragile, so they stopped in Weymouth instead. After a morning ashore and some RYA training, they spent the afternoon doing tacking exercises in Portland harbour. They spent the night there and visited Chesil beach. Yesterday they had a good sail to Swanage and went ashore for icecreams before ending up with a night of games on board in Poole last night. Today they are sailing towards an anchorage in the Solent before planning a night sail to Gosport where the voyage will end - hopefully with the award of a good number of RYA qualifications.

Many thanks to sea staff James, Richard, Bill, Kerrin, Kirsten and Viki.

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* Financial appeal
Many thanks this week to Chris Lane and to Beaconsfield 41 Club for kind donations.

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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Annual Report
We now have hard copies of the latest Annual Report available, as well as the version on the website. Please contact the office if you would like one or more copies – these can be very useful for sending to prospective donors or clients. As well as the financial statements, the report also includes an account of our year and lots of interesting stories, facts and figures - do have a look!

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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