Alfreton Park school voyage


OYT South bulletin 19th June 2015

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *  

* Voyage news
A busy couple of weeks since the last bulletin! It started with an adult voyage - a number of our volunteers consolidating their skills and experience, in some cases ahead of watchleader assessments, as well as others hoping to get a recommendation to join our volunteer team. They started in Southampton on Saturday 6th June and sailed first to Port Hamble before a longer passage to Brighton - during which they got the mizzen staysail and cruising chute up. Next day they sailed back to Cowes but without enough wind for exciting sailing, and the voyage finished on Wednesday in Southampton. It was a week with fair amount of drills, skills and training, and hopefully all those who are coming back to sail with young people can approach their voyages with more confidence. Big thanks to sea staff Andy V, Andy R, Adam, Carrie, Rooby and Patrick.

Thursday saw a day sail organised by the Graham High Group, one of our sponsors, which has made some very generous grants to us in the last couple of years, both for bursaries and for new waterproofs - many of you will have seen the Graham High logo on our lovely new oilskins. They brought a group of staff and clients and we had a great day on the water in good weather, with lunch in Cowes, and concluded by feeling that not only is the Graham High Charity hugely generous and supportive, but also they are a lovely bunch of friendly people. Big thanks to sea staff Andy V, Andy R, Adam, Carrie, Phil, Caz and Dom. That evening Phil and Adam left us but the other sea staff were joined that evening by Sue and Jonathan Cheshire, Martin Lampard, Rob Harwood, Mark Grinter and Chris Woodhall who helped us to move the boat from Southampton round to Gosport where the boat had to be next day - a very enjoyable evening sail.

Friday was a maintenance day in Gosport - huge thanks to Andy V, Andy R, Carrie, Dom, Caz, Rooby, Rob, John, Martin and Chris who got a lot of jobs done including lifejacket packing, a hull scrub, rig check, winch servicing, and plenty more checks, repairs and cleaning.

On Saturday we took part in the Gosport Marine Festival - a great event which enabled large numbers of local people to look at various boats and to get out on the water in everything from kayaks all the way up to John Laing! We did two half-day sails in blustery conditions and took 23 people out to see what we can offer. We also had a stand on shore which specialised in giving out OYT South balloons which were soon to be seen everywhere - and we also gave out leaflets and talked to a lot of people. Huge thanks to the sea staff Andy V, Andy R, Brigid, Emily, Carrie, Rooby and Dom, plus the shore team of Sally, Pete, Mollie, Sam, Caz, Jenny, Sue, James and Jack. That evening there was a fantastic BBQ for people who had volunteered at the event and we all had a great time and agreed that it had been well worth doing!

Sunday was another day sail, this time for a mix of people - ranging from teachers and others who arrange for young people to sail with us, through to several of our office team and others who help the charity in a wide variety of ways. It was a sunny day with not much wind and everyone enjoyed a very relaxed time on the water. Big thanks to sea staff Andy V, Andy R, Brigid, Emily, Carrie, Dom and Caz.

After all these day sails we got back into the normal routine of residential voyages on Monday, and were delighted to welcome back Alfreton Park School, which sails every year with young people with multiple moderate to severe physical and learning difficulties plus a number of adult carers. As always, it has been a lovely voyage run at a pace the young people can cope with - short sailing and lots of activities in harbour. They started in Gosport and sailed first to Cowes and then Yarmouth, where they had icecreams and a BBQ. Next day was Beaulieu, where our staff bosun Harri - newly-qualified as an RYA Coastal Skipper after an exam at the weekend (many congratulations) - was given the chance to demonstrate how to park John Laing using the emergency steering system! That evening the team spent time ashore, and also enjoyed a sing-song and a chicken curry. Next day they sailed slowly to Warsash in light winds and had fish and chips before getting back to Ocean Village last night. Big thanks to sea staff James, Terry, Di, Charmaine, Carrie and Harri.

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* Sea staff bookings 2015 - vacancies

Current list of vacancies for the year - can you help with any of the following?

Email NOW if you are interested in any of these:

27 June-3 July - bosun or trainee bosun aged under 18
8 Sept
- one more watchleader possibly needed for client day sail
9-12 Sept
- one more qualified watchleader tbc
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. There is an outside chance that we may have a crew this week hoping to make a film of their voyage, so any sea staff who are good at using a video camera would be especially welcome!
5-10 Oct - 2M
19-23 Oct - 2M
23-27 Oct - bosun

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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* Berths available for young people
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.

20-26 June - Southampton - 6 nights - 4 berths available - £510pp. Special voyage - see below! Passports required.
27 June-3 July - Southampton to Poole - bosun or trainee bosun aged under 18
7-12 August
- Poole- 5 nights - 1 berth available - age 12-25 - £440pp.
13-20 August - Poole to London - 7 nights - at least 3 berths available - age 12-25 - £575pp. Sail up the Thames and moor near Tower Bridge! Passports required.
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 16-25 - £265pp. Ideal for students and others of a similar age - this voyage is shortly after the schools go back but might suit people at college or uni who are still on holiday!
18-20 Sept - Southampton to Southampton - 2 nights - at least 6 berths available - age 18+ (adult voyage) - £195pp.
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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* Adult voyages for training and selecting potential new volunteers

There is one more adult voyage in 2015 (18+ with no upper limit):

18-20 Sept 2015 - Southampton - 2 nights - age 18+. £195pp.

Doing an adult voyage 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 over-18 voyage, just to enjoy the sailing.

Please email to book.

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Tigger’s haircut - please give generously!
TiggerMany 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 parakeets 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 here. The big day will be 13th August in Poole when John Laing is alongside...

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Annual Report
OYT South’s latest Annual Report is now available (and printed copies are also available from the office). Do have a look - it includes some healthy financial statements but also plenty of facts and figures, stories and case studies about the 2014 season.

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* John Laing maintenance days - please help
We haven't always had as much help as we needed at recent maintenance days - PLEASE put these dates in your diary and come and help on any of them if you possibly can! Maintenance days generally run from 9am to 5pm and it is usually possible to offer accommodation on board for the night before or after.

John Laing's planned maintenance days for 2015 are as follows:
Saturday 11 July - Plymouth (QAB marina)
Monday 7 Sept - Southampton (Ocean Village)
Sunday 11 October - Southampton (Ocean Village).

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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OYT South branded clothing

T-shirts, hoodies and more are always available here - do have a look!

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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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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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Spirit of Boadicea

Do you remember Spirit of Boadicea, one of the Ocean Youth Club boats up to the year 2000? She is currently being restored in southern Spain and Chris Schollar has asked us if anyone has any archive material about her - photos, documents or anything else. Email him at if you think you might have anything!

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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
Raise And Sail is a section of this 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
OYT South has been offering basic navigation training through the RYA's Essential Navigation & Seamanship course - do have a look and sign up if you want the qualification.

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. 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.

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