Sue Cheshire and Jenny Hayward


OYT South bulletin 5th June 2015

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last time marked *  

* Annual Report
OYT South’s latest Annual Report is now available (and printed copies will also shortly be 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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* Gosport Volunteer Awards
Gosport Voluntary Action and Gosport Borough Council make awards each year to people living in the area who give up their time as volunteers for various causes. Among this year’s Gosport Volunteer Award winners were Sue Cheshire and Jenny Hayward, who have both given regular volunteer support in OYT South's office for a number of years, as well as helping out with events. They have both been huge assets to the charity - not just in practical terms but also adding greatly to office morale (and often bringing in refreshments!) They are both thoroughly deserving of their awards which were presented last night at the Gosport Masonic Hall by the Mayor. We’re delighted for both of them!

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* John Laing maintenance day next week - 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 - starting next Friday!

John Laing's planned maintenance days for 2015 are as follows
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
Last week’s Scout group had a windy return passage across the Channel from Alderney to Gosport. Next day they stopped in Cowes for icecream and an early dinner before the young people took charge of the vessel and navigation to get back to Southampton - something they did very well and thoroughly enjoyed. This crew left us on Sunday with some great reports as well as RYA Competent Crew certificates for everyone. One parent then emailed us to say: “My two lads have just come back from their week on-board John Laing and they are buzzing. They have told me more than once that they have “crossed the channel and it was at least a force 8 and you haven’t done that dad!!" It sounds like your crew were super friendly and full of fun. Please pass on our thanks for an excellent trip. “ Also Imogen Wood was successfully signed off as a bosun, and meanwhile Harri the staff bosun had a good week of first mate training - her first week of trying this and she performed well.

This week’s crew has been a mixed group, mainly from a number of local schools and education centres. It has been a challenging week which began on Monday with an evening passage to Cowes in winds gusting up to Force 8. Under the circumstances an uneventful passage would have been nice but instead they had to wait for two tankers off Fawley, and then as they approached Cowes, they had to wait for the Red Funnel ferry which was leaving early with a blue light ambulance on board bound for Southampton.

On Tuesday they were stuck in Cowes with strong winds. They had shore leave and went down to the Royal Yacht Squadron which is having a week of Bicentenary celebrations and there were some very beautiful vessels to be seen - as well as some big waves so that John Laing’s crew were glad not to be at sea! They also spent some time on RYA training. Next day they woke up to much better weather and light winds, which turned into a cracking sail as the wind built and they headed out through the North Channel and down to Poole, doing drills on the way. A very early start yesterday saw them motoring back in no wind, aiming for lunch in Newtown Creek - until the wind built again and they had to anchor in Thorness Bay instead. Later they picked up a buoy off Cowes in between two yachts, one belonging to the King of Denmark and the other to the King of Norway - very fitting company for John Laing! They got back to Southampton last night and finished the voyage today with 8 RYA Start Yachting certificates earned. Big thanks to sea staff Andy, Terry, Emily, Patrick, Lucinda and Helen Middleton-Stewart - who was successfully signed off as a bosun having first sailed with us many years ago and also had a daughter who was a regular crew member for a while.

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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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11 June evening boat delivery Southampton to Gosport
On 11 June we will be finishing a client day sail in Southampton at 5pm, and then that evening we have a team of sea staff to move John Laing round to Gosport ready for a maintenance day and then the Gosport Marine Festival. If anyone else - sea staff, other supporters and friends - would like to join us for a relaxed evening on the water, please email We don’t particularly need lots of extra help but this may be a chance for a few people who don’t often get out in the boat!

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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:

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 and watchleader or trainee watchleader. 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
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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* 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.
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!
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.
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 - 4 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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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.

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

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* Martyn's Nightrider fundraising THIS WEEKEND

One of our volunteer watchleaders (and newly-qualified first mate), Martyn Powe, and his daughter Katie are taking part in Nightrider - a 100km cycle around London and its major landmarks over the night of 6/7 June, to raise money for OYT South. Here’s Martyn’s fundraising page  - please do support him! Martyn has in fact done incredibly well and already beaten his fundraising target - but that doesn’t mean the fundraising can stop there!

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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 partridges 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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OYT South branded clothing - including SLAM jackets
Slam jacketT-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

After this week there is one more adult voyage in 2015 (18+ with no upper limit) are:

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 of these voyages, just to enjoy the sailing.

Please email to book.

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* Financial appeal

Lots of small and medium donations this week! Huge thanks to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation; Peter Kellner; Wembury Sailing Club; Judge James Hanratty (thanks to sea staff Sam, Imogen and Andy who met him during a voyage when he needed help to go up the mast of his boat and fit new flag halyards); and to the family of the late John Batt.

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
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