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OYT South bulletin 15th May 2015

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *  

* Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation - calling sea staff and trainee sea staff aged 16-24

OYT South is very proud to announce that we are to be one of the first recipients of a grant from the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation. Andrew Simpson was a gold-medal winning Olympic sailor who was tragically killed while training for the America’s Cup in 2013, and to have been chosen in the first round of grants by the foundation set up in his name is a tremendous honour.

Their grant is to support five young people who have sailed with Ocean Youth Trust South and shown the potential to train as volunteers and potentially make real progress in sailing, but who cannot afford to do additional voyages in order to reach the required levels of experience. These individuals will initially be trained as volunteer bosuns and will progress into a watchleader role once they are aged 18+. Once this training is complete each individual will then carry out these roles and will also help to inspire and teach the next generation of young people on board.

Ocean Youth Trust South’s project was identified by the Trustees of the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation as one that truly reflects the aims and objectives of the Foundation, transforming young people’s lives through sailing.

Mark Todd, OYT South’s Chief Executive, commented “We are very proud to be associated with the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation. This grant will help to offer significant development to young people who have the potential to stay in sailing for a lifetime, not only to enjoy the sport but also to become the future volunteers in sail training or even professionals in the industry. As volunteer bosuns and watchleaders with OYT South they will also be leading, teaching and inspiring some of the 450 young people who sail with us on residential voyages every year. These come from the widest possible variety of backgrounds, from keen young sailors wanting to develop their skills, to the most disadvantaged and vulnerable young people who will perhaps only have one chance in all their lives to try living and working on board a sailing vessel. Every week we see young people developing confidence, working as a team and broadening their horizons. A voyage really can transform a young person’s life, and the young volunteers who join our team with support from the Andrew Simpson sailing Foundation can play a major part in helping us continue that work.” 

If you are aged under 25 and have been told by our skipper on a previous voyage that you should come back and train as a volunteer, please let us know if you would like to apply for a fully-funded or part-funded place using this grant. Priority voyages for this will be:

20-26 June - Southampton
20-25 July - Plymouth to Jersey (you would have to pay your own travel back from Jersey)
13-20 August - Poole to London

But other voyages may be possible! Email if you are interested.

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* Congratulations James and Clare!
This weekend sees the wedding of our former staff skipper (and now occasional relief skipper) James Boyce, to one of our volunteer first mates, Clare Thorpe. We wish them every happiness - and good sailing in the future!

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* Poole Harbour Boat Show report
Last weekend John Laing was in Poole for the hugely successful first Poole Harbour Boat Show. An estimated 15,000 people came to the event, many hundreds of whom came on board for a tour of John Laing and gave us a chance to talk to them about what the charity does and how they might get involved. Huge thanks to the team who helped over the weekend: Andy, Mark, Brian, Mollie, Sally, Pete, Sam, Miranda, Tigger, Steve, Cathy, Graeme and Caz. We talked to people who had never come across sail training as well as people who were involved with OYT or OYC many years ago. Hopefully lots of the people who came on board will be back for voyages, helping us to find young crew members, or supporting the charity in other ways.

The weekend also provided a great opportunity to celebrate the 70th birthday of OYT South’s treasurer and former skipper Brian Eyres. We had a party on board on Saturday night, attended by lots of friends as well as some members of Brian’s family - and the Boat Show event organisers thoughtfully laid on a fabulous fireworks display which may have been intended for all the visitors but which we are claiming was entirely in Brian’s honour!

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* Maintenance day THIS Sunday 17th May
- please help
We were desperately short of help on the last maintenance day - PLEASE put these dates in your diary and come and help on any of them if you possibly can!

John Laing's planned maintenance days for 2015 are as follows
Sunday 17 May - Ocean Village, Southampton
Friday 12 June - Gosport
Saturday 11 July - Plymouth
Monday 7 Sept - Southampton
Sunday 11 October - Southampton.

Call the boat phone 07990 518915 a few days beforehand so the skipper can plan jobs and buy food for everyone who is coming. All over-18s welcome - skilled and unskilled, there are jobs for everyone. If you are aged 16 or 17, then check with the skipper - we'll generally have you at maintenance days if we can but it slightly depends on who is there and what needs doing.

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* Voyage news
This week’s voyage has been sponsored by HMS President - London’s Royal Naval Reserve Unit - and involves young people from a local college who have an interest in possibly joining the armed forces or the reserves. They joined the boat in Poole on Monday and sailed first to Weymouth, where they planned an overnight passage to Guernsey. However, they quickly encountered big seas and the off-watch crew discovered that even lying in their bunks was difficult as they were airborne for half the time! So they had a rethink of the plan and turned east instead for a glorious sail off the wind. They saw the sun go down in a clear night sky and saw it come up again in the morning before arriving in Cowes at 6am.

That day there was no wind so Vince the skipper took the crew on a 5km run, which turned out to be an interesting exercise in teamwork – the aim at the start was to keep together but the quicker runners kept wanting to forge ahead. Eventually they agreed to run behind the people who were struggling and they all got back to the boat together. Then they spent much of the rest of the day training towards their RYA certificates and making great progress. Next day they went out into the Solent for lots of sailing and tacking before ending up in Lymington last night. Again today there isn’t much wind but the team are planning exercises and activities to keep everyone busy before the voyage ends in Southampton tomorrow.

Big thanks to sea staff Vince, Harri, Terry, Sam, Dom, and Andrew Porter from HMS President.

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* Sea staff bookings 2015 vacancies - including Jersey voyages!

Current list of vacancies for the year - can you help with any of the following? We particularly need a couple of experienced sea staff for Jersey voyages (we already have some new and trainee mates on those voyages so we must add sea staff who are familiar with the boat and our routines).

Email NOW if you are interested in any of these:

11, 13 and 14 June - one more watchleader or bosun for day sails with donors, clients etc. Happy to take someone for the whole period (including 12 June maintenance day), or for one or two days at a time.
20-25 July - 2M or 3M for Plymouth - Jersey voyage
26-31 July - 2M for a voyage starting and finishing in Jersey
30 Aug - 4 Sept - 1M possibly needed tbc
9-12 Sept - one more qualified watchleader
13 Sept - one more experienced watchleader for day sail with donors, clients etc.
18-20 Sept - experienced watchleaders for mates' training weekend
21-25 Sept - bosun and trainee watchleader.
26-29 Sept - 2M or experienced 3M
30 Sept - 4 Oct - 2M for ASTO Small Ships Race
5-10 Oct - 2M
12-16 Oct - additional 3M or trainee mate
16-18 Oct - 2M or 3M for weekend voyage
19-23 Oct - 2M and bosun
23-27 Oct - experienced bosun
28 Oct - 1 Nov - 2M

This list is changing a lot as people drop in and out, and others are doing assessments or first voyages early in the season which will dictate what they can do later on. There are also voyages where we don't yet know who the client might be and that will affect the levels of experience we might need among the staff. So we may not be able to confirm new bookings straight away, but if you are interested in any of these dates please email me now.

Don't forget that any qualified or new trainee mates are also eligible to sail as bosun, and this can be a great way of getting to know the boat and how things work. New volunteers please note that your DBS and Child Protection training must be completed before you can sail in any capacity.

Please send bids or questions to

If you are aged 25 or under, please also look at the berths available for young people - there are plenty more spaces available and young volunteers can be treated as an extra member of staff and get training and experience by sailing in a crew berth. Funding help is often available for young people who have been recommended as volunteers and would benefit from the experience so a crew berth may not cost you anything.

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Calling sea staff aged 18+ who would like more training or experience
The adult training voyage 6-10 June is not quite full, so we are prepared to offer free or cut-price places to a few sea staff who are paid-up members and would like to do the voyage in order to have some good sailing and perhaps develop your own skills without the responsibility of supervising young people at the same time. If you want to devote more attention to navigation, boat handling or anything else, this could be the voyage for you. Email if you are interested.

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* Berths available for young people - including this half-term, and NEW summer holiday availability
Please spread the word and help us find people who might like to come sailing this year! Bursary funding MAY be available on application for people who can't afford the full voyage fee.

22-24 May - Southampton to Southampton - 2 nights - 5 berths available - age 12-25 - £195pp - half-term weekend!
1-5 June - Southampton to Southampton - 4 nights - 4 berths available - age 12-25 - £350pp.
6-10 June - Southampton to Southampton - 4 nights - adult voyage (age 18+, no upper limit) - 5 berths available - £350pp.
20-26 June - Southampton - 6 nights - 6 berths available - £510pp. Special voyage - see below! Passports required.
7-12 August - Poole- 5 nights - 1 berth possibly available tbc - please ask - age 12-25 - £440pp.
13-20 August - Poole to London - 7 nights - 8 berths available - age 12-25 - £575pp. Sail up the Thames and moor near Tower Bridge!
4-6 Sept - Southampton to Southampton- 2 nights - 1 berth available - age 12-18 - £195pp.
9-12 Sept - Southampton to Southampton- 3 nights - 12 berths available - age 12-25 - £265pp.
18-20 Sept - Southampton to Southampton - 2 nights - at least 8 berths available - age 18+ (adult voyage) - £195pp.
21-25 Sept - Southampton to Southampton - 4 nights - 12 berths available - age 12-25 - £350pp.
5-10 Oct – Southampton to Southampton – 5 nights - 12 berths available - age 12-25 - £435pp
12-16 Oct - Southampton to Southampton- 4 nights - 11 berths available -age 12-25 - £350pp.
19-23 Oct - Southampton to Southampton- 4 nights - 12 berths available -age 12-25 - £350pp.
28 Oct - 1 Nov -Southampton to Southampton- 4 nights - at least 4 berths available -age 12-25 - £350pp - half-term voyage.

For the full updated voyage programme, see here or here.

Email with bookings or enquiries.

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Special June adventure voyage for crew members aged 16-25
This voyage would be perfect for anyone with an adventurous spirit, or maybe for a Duke of Edinburgh Gold Residential  - but perhaps not the ideal first voyage for a nervous novice....

20-26 June - Southampton - 6 nights - 7 berths available - £510pp.

This trip has been half-filled by Hull York Medical School's Wilderness Medicine Society, who say: “We're all hardy outdoorsy types and would like to cover a lot of miles which might mean some slightly tough sailing, and trying to get somewhere interesting (France/Channel Islands) if the conditions are right! All the crew so far are keen to get their competent crew certificates, and a 7-day voyage is a good chance to do this without having to squeeze it in. Being into wilderness and survival, we'd maybe like to do a little bit more man overboard recovery practice and some more sea-survival teaching! The voyage starts on Saturday 20th June in Southampton and ends on Friday 26th June in the same place. Cost £510. Who wants to join us?”

Email for more information.

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Adult voyage 6-10 June
Is there anyone aged 18+ (no upper limit) who would like to join our adult voyage 6-10 June 2015 - Southampton - 4 nights - £350pp? Ideal for sea staff who want to practise their skills without the pressure of supervising young people at the same time; or for potential new volunteers who want to come along and find out what it’s all about. Also great for small-boat sailors who want the experience of sailing a 55-tonne, 72-foot commercial vessel - or for anyone else who just wants some good sailing in good company. Please bring passports as we may be able to get to France. Email if you are interested. And please spread the word among your friends, family and colleagues!

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* Gosport marine festival 13 June - help needed!
Can anyone help with our stand at the Gosport Marine Festival on 13th June? We need a few more volunteers on the day. Contact the office, 02392 602278 if you can help.

IJohn Laing will be there! Details and booking information here and here.

This date will also see the inaugural Gosport Peninsula charity pursuit, a sailing regatta aimed at raising funds for your chosen charity. You could take part with your own vessels, or forward the details to any supporters with yachts who might like to take part. The event is run along similar lines to the successful Eddystone Pursuit out of Plymouth, and awards prizes not for the fastest boat but the crew that has raised the most for charity. The event is organised by Gosport Marine Scene to coincide with the Gosport Marine Festival that will offer free ‘try watersports’ activities to locals. For full details, go to the Gosport Marine Festival website, or contact with any questions.

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* Tigger’s haircut - please give generously!
Many of you will know one of our volunteers Dave “Tigger” Heffer - and may have noticed that in recent years his hair has been growing is rumoured there may even be a nest of blue-tits living somewhere at the back...Anyway, the time has come and Tigger is going to have a haircut, to raise money for OYT South. Depending on how much money is donated, he could have a number two cut, a number one, or a complete shave. Full details and a hair-raising photo here. The big day will be 13th August in Poole when John Laing is alongside...

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* OYT South branded clothing - including SLAM jackets
T-shirts, hoodies and more are always available here, but the one thing you can’t buy as an individual order is a SLAM jacket (modelled here by Mark):

The SLAM jackets are much more affordable if we order a batch of several at a time. We have five orders but if we can get another five, everyone gets 30% off! Retail price £126.

Email if you are interested.

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* Powerboat Level 2 course
Does anyone want a Powerboat Level 2 qualification (needed to drive John Laing’s dinghy with an outboard engine?). One of our volunteers who is a Powerboat instructor has offered to put together a course just for us but it needs three participants available for a 2-day course. Let me know if you might be interested and I will put you in contact with each other in the hope that you can sort out suitable dates between you.

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* First aid course available in June
Yvonne Taylor, who runs many of our medical and sea survival courses, is offering an MCA Proficiency in Medical First Aid course (and perhaps First Aid at Work) 25-28 June at £40 for OYT South members - possibly slightly more for First Aid at Work. Email for details.

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Adult voyages
for training and selecting potential new volunteers
Adult voyages in 2015 (18+ with no upper limit) are:

6-10 June 2015 - Southampton - 4 nights - age 18+. £350pp.
18-20 Sept 2015 - Southampton - 2 nights - age 18+. £195pp.

If you are interested in doing a voyage with a view to seeing whether you might enjoy volunteering with us, we strongly recommend the longer voyage. With a group of potential new volunteers on board, there just isn't time in a weekend for everyone to have a go at leading exercises such as sail hoists; but the longer voyage gives you time both to learn and then lead every exercise which you would have to do if you come back as a watchleader. Also the longer voyage allows for plenty of great sailing: where you go depends on the weather and on what people want: France, the Channel islands, the west country?

This is the route into sailing as a volunteer if you are aged over 25. If you are aged 18-25 then you can choose whether to aim for your volunteer’s recommendation on an adult voyage or on any standard youth voyage - just book a voyage from the list but make sure you tell your watchleader when you join the boat that you are hoping to earn a sea staff recommendation - they may be able to give you some extra responsibilities and training during the voyage. This may be a better option than an adult voyage for many potential volunteers in the 18-25 range as we get to see how you work with other young people from the outset.

Adults who are not looking to join our sailing volunteers are welcome to join any of these voyages, just to enjoy the sailing.

Please email to book.

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OYT South is delighted to have been chosen as the nominated charity for Swim2Bestival in 2015 - a lovely group of people are going to raise money for us by swimming across the Solent. On condition that a 55-tonne ketch with a distinctive red hull, erratically steered by teenagers, doesn’t come too close to swimmers’ heads in the water! Please like Swim2Bestival on Facebook or have a look here: More news on this epic swim when we have it!

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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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Child Protection and Food Hygiene ttraining

All sailing volunteers must have done some Child Protection training (updated every three years) 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 Child Protection 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. This includes Food Hygiene: we are moving towards making this a compulsory qualification for all sea staff so we STRONGLY RECOMMEND that people get on and do it before the start of the season! 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.

The system for these online courses 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.

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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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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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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 - sometimes 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