At sea


OYT South bulletin 27th September 2013

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *  

* OYT South celebration lunch and AGM, 13th October - book now!
Not long left now to book for this event - please come along, support OYT South, and meet Ray Kipling, former head of Naomi House Children’s Hospice, who is helping us plan for the New Boat appeal! The 2013 celebration lunch and review of the year (plus a short AGM) will take place on Sunday 13th October at the Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble. Details and a booking link 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 this week. If you think you should be a member and this hasn’t reached you, please email and let us know!

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* Lloyds Community Fund 2013 - WE NEED YOUR VOTE!
Ocean Youth Trust South is delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for a grant from the Lloyds Banking Group Community Fund - but the next stage is a public vote and WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT! The vote runs from Monday 23 September to Friday 1 November 2013. 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!

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* Southampton Boat Show
- MDL charity auction
This was a fantastic event last Friday, raising a grand total of £54,810 for OYT South. Huge thanks to all the people and organisations who so generously donated the auction lots, ranging from a marina berth to a skiing holiday to a luxury champagne cruise; to Nick Bonham, who very kindly ran the auction; and above all to everyone from MDL, whose exceptional generosity made this such a fabulous event and whose staff, as ever, gave a great deal of time, expertise and enthusiasm to support us.

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Job advertisement - Fundraising Intern
Ocean Youth Trust South is offering an internship to support our fundraising and general administration. We are preparing for a major appeal and need support in researching prospects, producing web and printed materials, and building our appeal database. You will also be involved in tasks such as compiling voyage feedback as evidence for clients and donors, and helping arrange marketing / fundraising / volunteer events.

The successful applicant will have excellent written and verbal communication, be able to demonstrate good people skills and be competent with IT systems. You will also have an eye for detail and the ability to prioritise multiple tasks. Experience of fundraising is desirable but not essential. This would be an ideal job for a bright, enthusiastic graduate with an interest in moving on to work in the charity sector.

The internship is based at our offices in Gosport and is offered for an initial six months with the possibility of extension if successful.

Salary in the region of £10,500pa.

Apply by 4th October 2013 with CV and covering letter to

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* Voyage news

Last Friday we were joined by a crew from TS Swiftsure, a regular client over many years, with a couple of spare places taken by people who sailed in August with the MDL Award Winners’ voyage. The group included some lovely young people with masses of enthusiasm. They sailed to Cowes on Friday evening, and had some shore leave there before heading to Poole on Saturday, with drills and exercises along the way. A 6am start in Sunday brought them out into fog and they motor-sailed back via an anchorage in Osborne Bay. Those that didn’t have it already earned the RYa Start Yachting certificate, and those who had Start Yachting but not Competent Crew got some more sections signed off. Many thanks to sea staff Ed, Andy, Ben, Emma, Sam and Holly.

This week has seen a mixed crew - some from Steve Lacey’s Dorset group, some from two Hampshire schools, and one individual booking. They spent Tuesday sail training in the western Solent before heading to Poole. On Wednesday morning they again left Poole to find reduced visibility, though not as bad as Sunday, and sailed to Yarmouth. Here they had rowing practice and shore leave before dinner and games. Next day they tacked all the way up the Solent and then gybed back as far as Cowes, and then an anchorage before sailing back to Ocean Village last night. The six people who didn’t already have it all earned RYA Start Yachting certificates. Many thanks to sea staff Yvonne, Andy, Steve, Sam, Amy who has been making good progress towards her third mate’s assessment, and special congratulations to Dean Ash who successfully completed his third mate’s assessment. That makes three out of four of last winter’s full-time volunteer refit team who are now qualified mates - the only exception being Neil who clearly could have done it but has been out of the country!

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* 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.

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Volunteer berths in 2013 and 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).

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!

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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 won’t take confirmed bookings just yet, to give us a chance to correct or amend the programme as needed. We have given all our regular clients and some new group bookings a chance to tell us what they need, so if you have requested something specific we have tried to include it in the programme for you, and we will be in touch shortly to discuss details.

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 to get in touch.

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* 2013 sailing programme - voyages available!
There's only a handful of berths left in 2013, so do have a look and think about when you would like to sail this year.

The full list of vacancies for the season is:

14-18 Oct 2013, Southampton, 4 nights, £335pp - 3 places available. Age 12-25.
21-23 Oct 2013, Southampton, 2 nights, £190pp - 9 places available. Age 12-25.
25-29 Oct 2013
, Southampton, 4 nights, £340pp - 3 places available tbc. Age 12-25.

Updated voyage availability can also be found here.

Email me to reserve your berth!

Don’t forget our website full of fundraising ideas for your voyage.

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Sail Training International survey - win a holiday!
Sail Training International is looking at the different types of holidays that people take and would like to publicise this survey as widely as possible, so do complete it yourself and also pass it on to as many people as you can. There is a chance of winning a week's holiday! Deadline: Thursday 31 October 2013.

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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 and once he has ten people he can open the ordering process.

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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.

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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.

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Child Protection training - compulsory for all our volunteers

OYT South wants all our volunteers to sign up for Child Protection training. This really is VITAL - there are some donors who will not support us unless all our volunteers are trained, so it will become compulsory during 2013 for all sea staff to have done some formal Child Protection training. If you haven't yet done any, we recommend 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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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