Sections which have changed since last time marked *
* 2013 draft voyage programme now available!
John Laing is now so full for this year (with the exception of just two or three voyages) that we are now publishing a draft 2013 programme and can start taking enquiries and bookings. Many thanks to all those of our regular clients who have helped with the consultation process as we put this draft together – especially those who have already pencilled in dates for provisional 2013 bookings!
Please do look at the draft, let us know if you spot any mistakes or anything you would like us to consider changing - and start making your bookings for next year!
* Sea staff needed
The current vacancies list is:
16-21 July, Plymouth - one more mate or trainee mate
22-29 July, Plymouth - possibly space for one more mate or trainee mate
14-16 Sept, Southampton - another experienced mate needed for mates' training weekend
17-21 Sept, Southampton - bosun
24-28 Sept, Southampton - 2M and bosun
12-14 Oct, Southampton - bosun
15-19 Oct, Southampton - 2M
26-28 Oct, Southampton - female 3M
29 Oct - 2 Nov, Southampton - 2M and 3M (one must be female)
2-4 Nov, Southampton - 2M and 3M (one must be female)
Don't forget that bosun berths are open to qualified mates as well - it is sometimes useful to spend a voyage reminding yourself about engine checks, maintenance etc.! But bosun berths are also open - at the skipper's discretion - to anyone aged 16+ who has recently done a voyage with us and earned a sea staff recommendation.
Please note that dates given are when young people are on board. Except for weekend voyages and other special trips, sea staff will generally be expected to join the day before. If the voyage is immediately before or after a maintenance day, priority will be given to sea staff who can help on the extra day.
Email me if you might be able to help.
* Maintenance days
We really need to make sure we haver some people on the boat for the maintenance days in Plymouth at the end of this month - call the boat on 07990 518915 if you can help!
The full list of maintenance days to put in your diary for this year:
Monday 30th and Tuesday 31st July - Plymouth (preparing for the Tall Ships race series)
Sunday 23rd September - Southampton
Call the boat a few days beforehand on 07990 518915 if you can help. Lots of jobs to do, both skilled and unskilled - there's something for everyone. These days are ideal for sea staff who might learn a bit about some part of the boat or equipment they don't always come across in the normal course of a voyage; and maintenance days are also good for new volunteers because you can see the boat and meet the skipper and some of the team. When volunteer places are over-subscribed, people who have helped with refit or maintenance days may be given priority.
Updated voyage availability can be found here or here. If you would be interested in a place on one of these voyages, do get in touch and we can tell you the latest status of any provisional bookings, if it isn’t certain how many berths are available, and also give you information such as the ages of other people booked on that trip.
Email me if you are looking for a booking or want more information.
* Voyage news
This week’s crew joined on Sunday - seven young people and three leaders from London. The young people are all either in care, care leavers, or in semi-independent living. They went to Cowes on the first night, then did lots of sailing on Monday - tacking and gybing in Osborne Bay - before ending up in Gosport in the pouring rain. The weather was so bad that they didn’t go anywhere next day but did exercises like parking practice and ropework before having time ashore in Portsmouth. On Wednesday they sailed to Yarmouth and played games in the park, and yesterday they finally had some lovely weather and sailed all the way across the bay to Swanage and a visit to the beach, before a night sail into Poole. The whole group, including the three leaders, earned their RYA Start Yachting certificates. Many thanks to sea staff James, Graeme, Jon, Miranda, Frederik and Patrick.
Adult voyage vacancies
We only have spaces on one adult voyage planned for this year:
14-16 Sept 2012, Southampton, 2 nights, £180pp.
For those who decide they are interested in joining our volunteer team, these trips can work as selection voyages: the skipper will decide who to invite back as volunteers. This can be about sailing experience, or youthwork skills; but we can also take on a certain number of people who may need quite a lot of training but who are potential assets to our team in terms of personality, willingness to learn, enthusiasm, commitment and interest in working with young people from all backgrounds.
Email me to book.
Staff skipper news - job description available
As most of you will know by now, our wonderful Staff Skipper James Boyce has exciting plans for a voyage to the Antarctic and sadly therefore will be leaving us at some point next season. OYT South is therefore looking for an outstanding new Staff Skipper, and we have published a detailed job description. We are keen to give ourselves every opportunity to meet the right person and give the best candidates a chance to sail in John Laing before James leaves. We are looking for someone with a background in sail training, with a commitment to excellence and to delivering high-quality, safe sail training voyages. You should be a Cruising Instructor or capable of achieving that qualification before appointment, and you must have a minimum of 15,000 miles logged offshore, a Commercial Endorsement and an ENG1 medical. If you want to discuss this further, please contact our Chief Executive Mark Todd on 07771 771864 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Children’s hospices - voyage funding
Regular readers may remember that we started working with various children’s hospices a decade ago, offering voyages for brothers and sisters of life limited children and of children who have died. These voyages are hugely important, allowing young people to have a break while making friends with others who are going through similar experiences. In recent years, we have had one major donor supporting the children’s hospice voyages, but this autumn’s voyages will exhaust that fund and we are looking for new sponsors who can help us keep this project going in the long term. £3,000 supports 24 places each year; £125 (or £10 a month) supports one place. It is really important that we keep the project going, and anyone who hears the stories these young people have to tell couldn’t help being moved - if you can help them in the coming years it would be a certain way to feel good about yourself. Email me if you can help.
OYT South AGM and lunch 20th October
OYT South will be holding our annual lunch gathering and a short AGM on Saturday 20th October in the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hamble. Do please put the date in your diary - tickets for the lunch will go on sale later in the summer.
OYT South has printed some leaflets describing how people can support our charitable work through legacies. If you might want to remember OYT South in your will, please ask the office for a copy. We would also like to ask solicitors, accountants etc. to take a few leaflets - if you could give some leaflets to offices in your local area, contact the OYT South office for copies.
Cultural Awareness days
Our friends at the Wheatsheaf Trust have asked us to advertise places on a Cultural Awareness Day they are running in Southampton on Wednesday 18th July. The day includes a series of visits to a Hindu temple, a mosque and other cultural and community centres, and aims to improve understanding and raise appreciation of minority cultures of those communities that have been settled in the UK for a number of years. Speakers from various established communities will provide an insight into their community’s culture, faith and customs. The course is suitable for those working in public, private and voluntary sectors. The day runs from 08.45 to 16.30 and includes lunch at a venue serving local ethnic cuisine (includes a vegetarian option). Cost £95 per head (£60 for those from voluntary organisations). To book a place or to make an enquiry either visit www.wheatsheaftrust.org (select Diversity), e-mail email@example.com, or call Liz Kerr on 023 8023 7662.. Our Chief Executive Mark Todd did one of these days and found it extremely useful and interesting.
Skippers, first mates and anyone else applying for or renewing a Commercial Endorsement: please note that Mark Todd is now an instructor for the Professional Practices and Responsibilities course which you will need to do - see here and here for details. You won’t see OYT South on the list as we are only doing it for members - just let us know if you want to do the course and we will set you up with a username and password.
Online sea staff training - please note this will become compulsory!
OYT South is now able to offer a range of online courses for our volunteers, including Child Protection (the NSPCC course), which we want to make compulsory for all sea staff in 2013 unless people have done some other Child Protection course, plus a range of other youthwork courses and a few other important things such as food hygiene. These can all be done online, in your own time: you can save a course at any point and come back later to where you left off. They are all recognised courses and you will get a certificate for each one you complete successfully. OYT South volunteers will pay a bargain price of just £10 for access to this system - that single payment allows you to do up to ten different courses, though you can choose just to do one or two. See here for details and a link to sign up and pay. The Child Protection course won’t be compulsory until we start taking sea staff bookings for next year but it’s so cheap, it’s well worth getting ahead with it.
Online navigation training for volunteers and young people
OYT South is now able to offer online navigation training through the RYA's Essential Navigation & Seamanship course. This is an introductory-level course and is ideal for new sea staff or anyone who has done a little navigation but is a bit rusty; for young people looking to make the step up into volunteering; for young crew members who really want to stay involved with sailing and would like to build up their skills; and for those who have done several voyages and want to stretch themselves a little and understand more next time they come on board. It's a proper qualification, it takes around six hours to complete online but you can do it in your own time as it suits you, with the support of online course tutor Brian Eyres, a former John Laing skipper. The course costs £100 (including course pack) to non-members but only £75 to members, including anyone who has paid for a voyage with OYT South this year.
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.
New Boat appeal - including YouTube video
Check out the video of our new boat design on YouTube!
Those who attended our 50th anniversary celebrations in 2010 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 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!
Keep in touch with other John Laing people
We have tried a number of social networking websites to allow crew members to keep in touch with the boat and with each other - Facebook is by far the most active and popular, so that’s the one that now gets updated regularly. 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.
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!
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.