Sections which have changed since last time marked *
* New Staff Bosun announcement - and Dave's leaving present - please give generously!
Earlier this week we interviewed an excellent selection of candidates for the Staff Bosun position - so many lovely, enthusiastic and competent people that it would have been good if we could have appointed more than one person! However a choice had to be made and we are delighted to announce that our new Staff Bosun will be Harriette Smith. Now aged 26, Harri first tried sail training as a young crew member on board the tall ship Stavros S Niarchos. Since then she has been involved with sail training in a wide range of vessels, including time as a volunteer on board John Laing. Most recently she has been working for the Marine Society and Sea Cadets on board TS Royalist. Harri says: “I’m excited to learn more about boats with triangular sails and to take this opportunity to develop lots of new skills and experience. I’m also excited to have a cabin with a curtain - John Laing’s bosun’s berth is a luxury!”
Meanwhile, with David Bland’s time in the post coming to an end in November, we are starting a collection for his leaving present - see here for how to contribute. Dave has been a great Staff Bosun and more than once his vigilance and efficiency has meant that potentially serious maintenance issues have been identified in good time so we could put things right without huge expense or having to cancel any voyages. So please give generously and let’s make sure we send him off with a leaving present that shows how much we appreciate him!
* Volunteer berths in 2013 - NEW vacancies
We now have three vacancies for sea staff before the end of this season - can anyone help?
Thursday 24th October is a day sail for RYA instructors, designed to give them experience of sailing a larger commercial yacht (and also to give us a chance of perhaps recruiting a few good new volunteers!) We need one or two more watchleaders for the day - preferably at least one with good experience of sailing in John Laing. The day sail runs from 0930 to 1700 but we would like sea staff on board the night before to help make sure that everything is ready.
25-29 Oct (sea staff join on the evening of the 24th) - relief bosun needed
30 Oct to 3 Nov (sea staff join on the afternoon of the 29th) - relief bosun needed
Obviously it might be convenient if one person could do both these voyages; but that’s not essential. Ideally we’d like someone who has sailed as bosun in John Laing before; or at least an experienced sailor who knows the boat.
Email me if you might be able to help.
OYT South AGM, 13th October - THIS Sunday!
Bookings for lunch at this event are now CLOSED but other people are still welcome to join us for the AGM and Review of the Year, and to meet Ray Kipling, former head of Naomi House Children's Hospice, who is helping us plan for the New Boat appeal! The event is at the Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble. Details here. If you are a current member of OYT South, with a right to vote at the AGM, or a recently lapsed member who needs to update their membership subscription, you should have had a separate email from us in the last few weeks. If you think you should be a member and this hasn't reached you, please email email@example.com and let us know! Also check your spam or junk mail folder - a few people have found their AGM mailing there....
Lloyds Community Fund 2013 - WE NEED YOUR VOTE - help us keep the lead!
At the halfway stage of the public vote for a grant from the Lloyds Community Fund, Ocean Youth Trust South is narrowly in the lead on online and text votes so huge thanks to all those who have voted! But voting is open until 1 November, and the votes cast in-branch have not yet been counted at all, so we can’t relax yet. WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT! Votes can be cast online, in Lloyds branches and by SMS text message. Please vote, and send the link to your friends, colleagues, club members etc. It costs nothing to vote online but it could be an enormous help in keeping John Laing maintained. Go on, do it now, before it slips your mind....Many thanks!
Did you know Cherry Davis?
Cherry Davis of Bucklers Mews, Lymington, passed away on 17th April this year. Would anyone who remembers Cherry or knows anything about her please contact Richard Griffiths, Chair of the Board of Trustees of OYT South, at RichardGriffiths@12cp.co.uk. Many thanks.
* Voyage news
Last week’s voyage with the siblings group from Naomi House Children’s Hospice ended with the excitement of the ASTO Solent race against other sail training vessels...unfortunately there was no wind at all and the excitement came from seeing whether they could make any progress round the course whatsoever! Sadly the answer was no and having drifted with the tide, John Laing enjoyed the unusual distinction of actually being behind the start line when the race ended. As a result we were awarded a prize for the vessel which would have take longest to finish the race! Undaunted, the crew enjoyed the post-race party in which they gave a particularly memorable karaoke performance! Next day they sailed back to Gosport where the voyage ended with RYA Start Yachting certificates for all those who didn’t already have them.
Monday was a maintenance day - huge thanks to everyone on the Staff Bosun shortlist who came to show us how they could handle various maintenance tasks, and got through a lot of useful work!
This week’s crew came from the Polygon school in Southampton. They sailed first to Yarmouth and then on towards Portland; but at St Albans they came across a small boat with engine and steering problems and ended up towing them all the way to Portland. They had a cracking sail yesterday coming back to Ocean Village where the voyage ended last night. Huge thanks to sea staff Dougie, Dave, John, Andrew, Frederik, Beth and Harriette. Quote of the week: “Why do you want a cloth?” “To clean custard off the fenders.”
* Piano Concert in aid of OYT South - book now!
On 12th November, Helen Morris will be giving a Piano Concert in aid of OYT South at the United Reform Church, Bury Road, Gosport. See here for details and a booking link.
* Tall Ships Race 2014
In summer 2014, John Laing will be taking part in a very special Tall Ships race from Falmouth to Greenwich - an amazing chance to be part of the Tall Ships fleet in two historic British ports!
Both ports will be hosting amazing festivals for sailing vessels from all over the world. These events will be filled with activities for young crew members and so, as well as the race crew, we are looking for young people to join a West Country cruise in the week before the race, scheduled to give them time to be part of the Falmouth festival before handing over to the race crew. This provides an opportunity for individuals who are still at school to take part in the event, since the race itself overlaps the start of term!
Places open to young people aged 15-25 - no sailing experience necessary - tell all your friends!
West Country cruise: 23-30 August, ending in Falmouth, 7 nights, £565pp.
Tall Ships race: 30 August to 7 September, 8 nights, £640pp. The race itself ends off the Isle of Wight and the fleet will then cruise in company to London.
More details here and a form to register interest.
* Refit accommodation - furniture needed!
It looks as though we now have a rented refit house for the winter. It’s only about 10 minutes' drive from where the refit will be (in Saxon Wharf this year, NOT Ocean Village, owing to work going on in the marina). The refit house means we can accommodate staff and volunteers who come to work on the boat over the winter. However, we need some furniture! If you have anything you can spare, either to donate or to lend us from November to March, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We need sofas and armchairs, a fridge, three single beds, bedroom furniture such as wardrobes and chests of drawers, and a TV! We would aim to collect from anywhere within a reasonable distance, during the first week or so of refit in November.
Refit 2013-14 - including volunteer weekends!
See here for information about John Laing’s winter refit and how you can get involved. We can use volunteers during the working week, Monday-Friday, through most of the winter, as well as on some specific volunteer weekends which are arranged so that people who can only help at weekends can get involved. On other weekends the refit is normally closed so that our staff can have time with family and friends! Most people come and help for a day or two, but it is possible to come for longer and we can usually offer accommodation.
We will need a few people to volunteer for the full refit - if you are taking a gap year, not working over the winter, looking to build your skills, maybe hoping to move into a career in the marine industry - why not think about applying to join our full-time refit team next winter? Details here, including how to apply.
Some dates for your diary:
Refit starts Monday 4th November 2013
Volunteer weekends: 9-10 November; 7-8 December; 18-19 January; 15-16 March.
Refit ends Friday 21st March 2014.
Training weekend Feb 2014
We will be running our usual shorebased training weekend over the winter, on 22nd and 23rd February 2014, in the Sea Cadet Unit in Gosport. Depending on demand, we can run RYA courses for the GMDSS radio licence. Radar, Diesel Maintenance and First Aid - each of which lasts a full day. There’s also the option of the short lifejacket packing course or a chart corrections training session. Most importantly, we will have someone from the Prince’s Trust running a session. We have started doing voyages with the Prince’s Trust this year, and they have an extremely impressive level of expertise in running sail training voyages with challenging young people. Anyone who wants to sail on a Prince’s Trust voyage with us next year should do this course; but it would be of real value to all sea staff.
Do let me know now which course(s) you might be interested in - then we can plan a schedule so that as many people as possible get to do both the courses they want without a clash on the same day. More details and prices will be available as soon as we have a better idea of numbers and of which courses need to run.
There will also be the usual social evening and meal, and cheap basic accommodation on the Saturday. Details to follow for those of you who have never been to one of those weekends - for now, just put the date in your diary!
Please note that we will not be running a Sea Survival course on the same weekend; but we will announce KTY Yachts schedule of courses for 2014 and discounts will be available as usual for active OYT South sea staff.
Also remember that we will not take ANY bookings for 2014 from sea staff or trainee sea staff who have not done some Child Protection training - if you have not done this by any other route, we recommend the NSPCC Child Protection Awareness in Sport and Active Leisure which you can do very cheaply online and in your own time. It's not complicated or time-consuming - you should be able to complete it in a couple of hours and some people are getting through it much faster. The online training page not only gives OYT South members access to child protection training at the bargain price of £10: that single one-off payment gives you access to a range of recommended courses. We would very much like all sea staff to do the food hygiene course; and there are several other courses you will find interesting and relevant. The system is very straightforward - each course is broken into a number of short modules and you just have to read each module and then answer some questions about it. 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. We can see at a glance who has signed up and who has completed a course.
If you have done alternative child protection training in the last three years, please email us with the name of the course, the awarding body, and the date of the training, and we'll add that to your records.
If you're not sure what course(s) would be best for you, here's the list of recommended / compulsory courses for volunteers:
Bosun: Compulsory: Child Protection. Recommended - diesel engine, sea survival, food hygiene.
Third mate: Compulsory: Child Protection. Recommended - first aid, GMDSS, sea survival, food hygiene.
Second mate: Compulsory - Child Protection, first aid, GMDSS. Recommended - sea survival, diesel engine, radar, food hygiene.
First mate: Compulsory - Child Protection, first aid, GMDSS. Recommended - sea survival, diesel engine, radar, food hygiene (though in practice it would be rare for first mates not to have the recommended qualifications as well as the compulsory ones).
We also recommend Powerboat Level 2 for everyone, which we won't be running at the February weekend - however, let me know if you would like to do it and if we can get a group together we will look for some possible dates.
Don't forget first aid certificates need to be updated every three years - do check when yours expires!
Volunteer berths in 2014
We are now provisionally fully-booked with volunteers for the rest of this season, but please keep an eye on future issues of this newsletter in case anyone drops out.
It might be worth explaining the process with sea staff bookings for the benefit of new volunteers. If you have had a recommendation to sail with us (usually from having taken part in a mates’ training or familiarisation voyage, or from having sailed as a young crew member and being asked to come back for volunteer training, if aged 16 or over), then we would very much like to see you sailing with us next year. Too often people get a recommendation and we don’t hear from them again! But please understand that with 80-100 active volunteers, it simply isn’t possible for us to contact each of you individually.
What you need to do is keep an eye on this newsletter. In December we will start asking people to send in any bids for voyages next season. We need to sort out the complicated stuff first: specialist sea staff for more challenging voyages; first mates (because there aren’t so many of them); women (we have twice as many male volunteers as female but we must have a female mate if there are girls in the crew, and there almost always are); and then the volunteers with restricted availability (we have numbers of teachers and students, for example, who can only ever sail in school or university holidays). But none of that should stop other people from sending in their bids - we’ll be working on possible allocations all the time. Once the more complicated places are filled, there will loads of gaps for people with more flexible availability. Our job at that stage is to try and give everyone at least one of the voyages they want, and after that to offer more to the people who can give more time. We also aim to get a good mix of people on each trip, and to sort out training / assessment voyages for new mates.
Assessment voyages for new people who have recently had a recommendation should run over at least four or five nights. We tend to avoid booking brand-new volunteers on weekend voyages: when time is so short, we need more experienced watchleaders who know the boat and are up to speed from the moment the young people step on board. Not all longer voyages are suitable for assessments, either; but we do aim to fit in as many people as possible. Where there are multiple bids for the same voyage, preference is given to people who have helped out in other ways (at the winter vessel refit, raising money, finding new young people to sail). It also helps if you come to the February training weekend - see above!
We hope that is a useful guide, but the key message is to keep in touch - if you have been told that we would like to see you on board, then we really mean it!
NEW 2014 voyage programme - DRAFT
A new draft voyage programme for 2014 is now available. Very little of this programme is set in stone so do tell us if you would like something with a different duration or dates. Please also tell us if you spot any mistakes! We are just starting to take confirmed bookings and amending the programme as needed to give people what they want.
The summer period leading up to the Tall Ships race from Falmouth to Greenwich is currently very flexible indeed: we have pencilled in some voyage dates between 24 July and 30 Aug but the ports are still to be confirmed and if you want anything specific, do please discuss it with us. We don’t want to be in the Solent at that time of year but could look at crew changes in different West Country ports, or the Channel Islands, or Brittany - just ask! Voyage durations are also open: we just want to be able to divide the summer up into decent voyages with no wasted days in between, so please talk to us about what’s possible for your group! Email email@example.com to get in touch.
OYT South clothing range
The new range of OYT South clothing - hoodies, t-shirts, polo shirts, fleeces, caps, ties and more - is all available through this webpage. A donation will be made to OYT South for every item they sell. The Slam jackets (which you may have seen sea staff wearing) are also available but there needs to be a minimum order of ten, so they aren’t on the webpage just now - if you wanted to order one (£121.50), email firstname.lastname@example.org and once he has ten people he can open the ordering process.
Recycle print cartridges and mobile phones for OYT South!
OYT South has signed up to a recycling scheme that means money is donated to us for any printer cartridges (excepting Epson in general) or mobile phones which are recycled.
You can bring small numbers of cartridges to the boat or the office; but if you know of a company that may be willing to recycle for OYT South then please get in touch! It's really very low effort on your / the company's behalf: Essentially, all we need is an address and an approximate amount of recycling per month and a recycling box will be delivered directly to the company. Once the recycling bin is full, call the number on the box and it's collected for you. More details here.
Raise And Sail - website for anyone looking to raise money to come sailing
OYT South has recently launched Raise And Sail, a new website full of ideas, information and support for young people who would like to raise money in order to come sailing with us. Huge thanks to Fiona Keen and Emma Burrows for putting Raise And Sail together. We hope you will find it useful - let us know how you get on as we can add success stories and new ideas to the site in due course.
Online navigation training for volunteers and young people
For some time now OYT South has been offering basic navigation training through the RYA's Essential Navigation & Seamanship course. Now for those of you who want something a little more advanced, one of our relief skippers, Simon Jinks, is offering online distance learning systems for the theory courses for Day Skipper, Coastal/Yachtmaster and Yachtmaster Ocean. Simon is a great sailor and a top instructor so this is very highly recommended. He is very generously offering a 15% discount for OYT South members and volunteers, so do mention your role with us if you get in touch. Details here. He is also offering a one-day Weather for Sailors course. Please note that Simon's website also includes Essential Navigation and the PPI course, both of which OYT South can offer in-house.
Simon has also very kindly offered one course a year as a prize for a promising member of sea staff who genuinely can't afford to get their next qualification. If you are really keen to climb the sea staff ladder and hoping to do lots of sailing with us, email us or talk to the skipper on your next voyage to see if you can enter for this prize.
With our own courses and Simon's we now have navigation courses to suit everyone from total beginners right up to the most advanced level - please give it a go and do ask for advice if you are not sure which course is right for you.
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.
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.