Sections which have changed since last time marked *
* Voyage news
Last week’s voyage involved a number of young people from Southampton Young Carers as well as some individual bookings. They joined on Saturday and sailed under mizzen and staysail to Cowes that evening. Next morning they had time ashore followed by a gusty and bracing beat to Lymington. On Monday morning the weather was challenging so they had more time ashore before things eased enough for an afternoon sail to Osborne Bay where they anchored for tea and cake - after passing another sail training vessel, TS Royalist, and exchanging Mexican waves. As they left the anchorage, they were treated to a fly-past from seven military helicopters! That evening they went to Haslar where skipper Nic was beaten for the first time ever in the chocolate mousse game...On Tuesday they had an early start and went to another anchorage in Sandown Bay for lunch, with exercises including man overboard recovery drills on the way. Another Osborne Bay anchorage for dinner and then the young people took charge of a night pilotage exercise back to Ocean Village - arriving happy but exhausted! All twelve crew members earned the RYA Start Yachting certificate, and several got some sections of the more advanced Competent Crew syllabus signed off too. Huge thanks to sea staff Nic, Lucy, Patrick. Amy and special huge congratulations to Andrew Wilkes for passing his first mate’s assessment. This is a really challenging test as a first mate has to be capable of taking charge if the skipper is ill or injured, so the assessment is designed to show that someone can take responsibility for the vessel and all on board in what might be an emergency situation. It’s a demanding role and we don’t have very many qualified first mates, so Andrew is a very welcome addition to the team.
The latest voyage started yesterday with some more Southampton Young Carers plus other individual bookings and young people from local schools. Today they are heading west toward Weymouth. Big thanks to sea staff Ed, Terry, Patrick, Rob, Tom and Harri.
* 2014 voyage programme - book now, or help us fill berths!
There are some great voyages available in 2014 for young people aged 12-25.: BOOK NOW, or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to discuss voyage options or find out more.
Some voyages in the first few months of the season which still have spaces:
22-26 April - Southampton - 4 nights - 3 berths available tbc - age 12-25 - £345pp.
8-12 June - Southampton - 4 nights - 12 berths (full-boat booking) available - age 12-25 - £345pp.
17-21 June - Southampton - 4 nights - 11 berths available - age 12-25 - £345pp.
22-28 June - Southampton - 6 nights - 12 berths (full-boat booking) available - age 12-25 - £495pp.
7-12 July - Poole to Brixham - 5 nights - 12 berths (full-boat booking) available tbc (please ask for more details) - age 12-25 - £425pp.
After that come two voyages booked by schools, both of which have let us know that they may not fill all their places and could be looking for others to join them. These will both be lovely groups - keen, friendly and welcoming - so do think about whether you know anyone who might like to sail with them:
13-17 July, Brixham to Plymouth - 4 nights - £345
19-25 July - Plymouth - 6 nights - £495
Then back to normal vacancies:
1-6 Aug, Brixham to Plymouth - 5 nights - 12 berths (full-boat booking) available tbc (please ask for more details) - age 12-25 - £430pp.
7-13 Aug, Plymouth to Falmouth - 6 nights - 3 berths available - age 12-25 - £495pp.
14-21 Aug, Falmouth to Plymouth - 7 nights - up to 6 berths available - age 12-25 - £565pp.
11-17 Sept, London to Southampton - 6 nights - 9 berths available - aged 18+ (adult training voyage) - £495.
26-28 Sept, Southampton - 2 nights - 11 berths available - age 18+ (adult training weekend) - £195 pp.
6-11 Oct: Southampton to Gosport - 5 nights - 12 berths (full-boat booking) available tbc (please ask for more details) - age 12-25 - £425pp.
13-17 Oct, Gosport to Southampton - 12 berths (full-boat booking) available - age 12-25 - £345pp..
See here for updated availability.
One of the most useful things volunteers and supporters can be doing for us now is helping us to fill berths. If you have contacts in a school, youth club, sailing club, college, university etc, can you encourage people to look at our website, or put a flyer about us on a noticeboard? Or do you know anyone with children, grandchildren or other relatives or friends who might like to sail? PLEASE spread the word - every single booking really helps us. Email email@example.com if you want a draft flyer or help putting an email together.
* Sea staff bookings 2014 - berths available
Please let me know now if you can help with any of the following vacancies. These are open to all qualified OYT South sea staff and the trainee mate berths to anyone who has done an adult training voyage and been told we would like to see you again - please do get in touch! If you had previously sent in bids for sailing dates but not yet been allocated any voyages, do let me know NOW; if you have some sailing booked but would like more, now is the time to say!
2-4 May: 3M
5-10 May: 2M and 3M or trainee mate
12-16 May: 3M or trainee mate - preference given to someone who did the Prince's Trust youthwork course at the February training weekend, as this is a Prince's Trust voyage. Even better if you can help us with a pre-voyage crew briefing on 7th May in Southampton, 1pm-4pm.
19-23 May: 2M and bosun
23-25 May: bosun
2-7 June: 3M or trainee mate - this is Alfreton Park school for children with physical and learning difficulties - a very special and rewarding voyage but with less sea-time and more harbour activities than most trips.
22-28 June: 1M
13-17 July: bosun
7-13 Aug: additional 3M or trainee mate
14-21 Aug: 1M and additional 3M or trainee mate
26-28 Sept: 2M or experienced 3M
1-5 Oct: 2M and 3M or trainee mate
6-11 Oct: 3M and bosun
13-17 Oct: 3M and bosun
17-19 Oct: 3M
24-28 Oct: 2M
29 Oct - 2 Nov: 2M and 3M and bosun
I've had offers for some of these dates, but usually from people who are flexible about when they sail, so we still have a chance to give other people a voyage. In some cases I am trying to fill the 18th berth so if you see a gap advertised for a 3M and think "hang on, I thought I was 3M that week!" we are probably just looking for someone extra - though do feel free to contact me and confirm.
Dates given are when young people are on board so please bear in mind that sea staff will normally be asked to join the night before, except for weekend voyages.
NEW potential volunteers: please read this information first.
No-one should send in any voyage bids unless you have done some Child Protection training.
* Food hygiene course - important
Owing to new regulations, it is now important that every voyage should have one or more people on board who has done a food hygiene course. Any sea staff who haven’t done this: please note that we offer a cheap and straightforward online food hygiene course via the same provider as the Child Protection training - in fact, if you paid for the child protection training in the current licence period, all the other courses on the list, including food hygiene, are already paid for! If not, then it’s still only £10 – so please can we encourage all sea staff to get on and do it. If you already have a food hygiene certificate that we don’t know about, please email a copy to the office and we will add it to your records.
If you have already had a skipper ’s recommendation to come back as a volunteer then you are welcome to join one of these voyages for extra experience, but otherwise your next steps are described here.
Sea Survival course
Anyone interested in an RYA Sea Survival course on 26th April, please contact Yvonne Taylor a.s.a.p.: 07785 335189, firstname.lastname@example.org. If we get enough people it might be possible to get the price down as low as £85 for OYT South members. This is an excellent course covering all sorts of things you hope you will never need but if you do, you’ll be really glad you practised - such as use of flares, and a liferaft session in a swimming pool. Highly recommended. But do contact Yvonne direct rather than replying to this newsletter.
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.
Chris Ellis Award - win £££s off sailing
If you enjoy a voyage with OYT South and want to come again next year (and are aged 12-25), please think about entering for this award. You can win up to £200 off the price of another voyage, by sending in an account of a voyage you have already done with us. It can be a logbook, diary, story, pictures, video - anything which gives the judges an idea of why you had a good time and would like to come again. The prize is judged at the end of each season and the award can be spent on a voyage the following year. Entries should be emailed to email@example.com or posted to the office to arrive by Christmas. See here for more details of this award, which was set up in memory of the charity's founder.
New boat funding ideas
Matt Dewhurst is doing great work in the office researching funding ideas for the new boat, but he needs all the ideas he can get! We are asking everybody to think hard about who we should approach for donations. We are building up lists of companies, wealthy individuals, organisations - and anybody else! - who are potential donors. Please help us with this by thinking as widely as possible and giving us your ideas.
We also need to think of all the people we know and write them down. If there's an important contact and we don't know them, we can probably find somebody that does. Once you start thinking about who you know, and who your families, friends and work colleagues know, a big list can be built. Please build up your list and let us have it. We won't actually approach any of your contacts unless you give us permission.
Sometimes people start this exercise by saying: "I don't know anyone wealthy", but with a bit of thought they realise that their brother-in-law works for a company that sponsored a major event, or that they have a friend from college whose uncle runs a big business. So if you can't think of any good contacts straight away, please don't give up - keep thinking, and keep asking people. When you have an idea, email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't worry for the moment if the connection seems to be quite tenuous: it may be that your idea jogs someone else's memory, or that one of our other supporters knows that person better than you do. We just need the ideas!
At the moment, how we approach people is not important. We've got lots of ideas, from letters, to special events such as day sails for high level donors. We will work this out as soon as our lists are built.
Our campaign will take a long time - perhaps two or three years. If we all put our hearts and souls into it, we will succeed. Please help - we can't do it without you.
See here for more about the New Boat Project.
Child Protection training
All sailing volunteers must have done some Child Protection training before booking any voyage.
If you have done a course 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 still need training, 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.
Volunteer berths in 2014
It might be worth explaining the process with sea staff bookings for the benefit of new volunteers.
If you haven't yet started the process of becoming a volunteer member of sea staff, you need to get a recommendation from one of our skippers. If you are aged 18+ you can do this on an adult voyage; if you are aged 12-25 you can do it on a standard youth voyage (so if you are 18-25 you have a choice - though it is possibly better to try a youth voyage as this gives the skipper a chance to assess how you work with younger crew members, which puts you one step ahead in the process).
If you have already 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 this 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 send in any bids for voyages, ideally by the end of January each year. 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 are 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. By the time we get into February each year, lots of volunteer berths will be filling up, so it's always worth getting your bids in early. After February, there may be a few spaces left - they will be announced in the newsletter as they arise.
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!
OYT South clothing range
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 they are cheaper in bulk, so they aren't on the webpage just now - if you wanted to order one, email email@example.com. If we only order one or two, they will cost £110 plus postage, but this will be cheaper if we can order five or more at the same time.
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.
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.