Sections which have changed since last time marked *
* John Laing in London (August)
John Laing is going to be in London and available for visits on
Friday 21st August 1000-1900
Saturday 22nd August 1400-1700
Friends, volunteers and supporters are all welcome to come and see us; but please also let us know of anyone else based in or around London who might like to come and find out what we do - especially potential donors, or anyone (such as teachers, youth workers etc) who might like to organise a group booking in future.
We are currently expecting that John Laing will be moored by HMS President but it is important to note that there are two HMS Presidents on the Thames: one is a ship on the Embankment (we won’t be there) and the other is a shore establishment which is where we will be: just downstream of Tower Bridge, overlooking the entrance to St Katharine Docks.
Visits will need to be arranged in advance - not least to ensure we don’t have everyone turning up at once - but please email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a visit, or to suggest other people whom we ought to invite.
* Voyage news
This week’s voyage started in Southampton last Saturday with a crew from Colet Court School. In little wind, they set off across the Channel on the first night but had to motor until the wind picked up off the French coast and gave them a chance of some tacking practice before heading into Honfleur. This is one of the most gorgeous little ports along the coast - a surprise to some of the sea staff who hadn’t been there before and a source of jealousy to all the sea staff not on this voyage who have been there and know how lovely it is but rarely get a chance to sail there!
They had plenty of time ashore to explore and play beach games as well as rowing and making great progress with their RYA training. On Tuesday they left for St Vaast - another great place to visit - this time with a good wind and a beautiful broad reach accompanied by dolphins. They made such good speed that they actually had to slow down or they would have arrived too early to get in! On Wednesday morning they left for another motor back across the Channel. As they approached the Needles, the fog closed in and Tom got to show off his radar navigation skills to get them safely into Lymington! There the crew planned the pilotage to Poole, stopping on the way to anchor in Studland Bay where they saw a Hercules fly past and dip its wings to them (it is possible this wasn’t just for John Laing...). By this stage in the voyage the staff were seeing some very good sail hoists and drops run by the young people, and they also made an excellent job of the pilotage into Poole last night. The voyage ended today with RYA Competent Crew certificates for all ten young people. Big thanks to sea staff Dougie, Ben, Charlotte, Jack Dignan who was officially sailing as bosun but also managed to get half his third mate assessment signed off, and special congratulations to Tom who had completed virtually all his first mate’s assessment on an Easter voyage and got the final few boxes ticked this week to become an official qualified first mate. As we always say when we sign off a new 1M, this is a great achievement as the first mate has to demonstrate that they would be able to take over if the skipper was ill or injured and get all the vessel and crew to a safe haven, so it is potentially a very demanding role.
* Sea staff bookings 2015 - vacancies
Email email@example.com NOW if you are interested in any of these:
8 Sept, Southampton - one more watchleader possibly needed for client day sail
9-12 Sept, Southampton - one more qualified watchleader tbc
13 Sept, Southampton - one more experienced watchleader for day sail with donors, clients etc.
14-18 Sept, Southampton - 1M
18-20 Sept, Southampton - experienced watchleaders for mates' training weekend. There are also crew berths still available for any sea staff who would like extra practice or training.
5-10 Oct, Southampton - 2M
19-23 Oct, Southampton - 1M and 2M
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
* 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.
13-20 August - Poole to London - 7 nights - 1 or 2 berths possibly available tbc - 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
19-23 Oct - Southampton to Southampton - 4 nights - 12 berths available -age 12-25 - £350pp.
28 Oct - 1 Nov -Southampton to Southampton - 4 nights - up to 4 berths available - age 12-25 - £350pp - half-term voyage.
For the full updated voyage programme, see here or here.
Email email@example.com with bookings or enquiries.
Core refit team for next winter
Are you planning a gap year, or not working over the winter for any other reason? Would you like to join our core refit team between November and March (ideally the full four and half months, but otherwise for at least a month during that time) - food and accommodation provided as well as valuable experience in boat maintenance which in previous years has helped many people move into paid sailing work. We’re obviously planning well in advance but if you think you might be interested, details and an “expression of interest” form to complete are available here. At this stage, we’re really thinking about the full-time team - if you want to come for a few days or the odd weekend then we’d love to see you but we will sort this out nearer the time, after we have the core team in place.
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. And current qualified volunteers are welcome to come for extra training and practice!
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
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 wilder...it is rumoured there may even be a nest of chaffinches 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...
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.
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.
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.
OYT South branded clothing
T-shirts, hoodies and more are always available here - do have a look!
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 NOW! 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.
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.
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.
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 - 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. And there is a video here, made by a crew from the Prince's Trust, to give you an idea of what a voyage might be like!
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.