Sections which have changed since last time marked *
* Sea staff bookings 2015 - URGENT early-season vacancies!
If you sent in bids for voyages this year, then almost all of you should have had an email offering you some dates - if you haven’t heard anything do let me know!
We are quite over-subscribed for some periods of the season but we do have a few early-season gaps which we are struggling to fill - can anyone help?
23-27 March - second mate, or possibly an experienced third mate
30 March - 3 April - relief bosun
3-7 April - third mate or trainee mate
8-12 April - one more watchleader
13-19 April - extra third mate, trainee mate or experienced bosun
27 April - 1 May - first mate (tbc), plus second and third mate or trainee mate
4-8 May - second or third mate, and relief bosun
(There are other vacancies later in the season but we need to fill these first).
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.
* Refit news - help needed URGENTLY
We've got TWO WEEKS to get all the work done! And John Laing is being launched next week!
Huge thanks to everyone who has been working this week: Andy, Harri, Joe, Ivor, Dave Bland, Chris and Josh, John Parkin, Naomi Lee, John Niven, Ross and Laura, Katie Outlaw, Josh Folkes and David Thompson.
The deck is painted, the cockpit is finished, the coachroof and forehatch are finished, the dorade boxes are finished, the lettering is on the hull and the bilge pumps are back in. The crew quarters and saloon are sanded; the electronics are back and installed (massive thanks to Raymarine for servicing everything); and equally massive thanks to International Paint who have been keeping us supplied! The tent and scaffolding are coming off tomorrow and we have a big team of people coming for the volunteers’ weekend and lots of interior painting.
We’ve probably got as many people coming tomorrow as we can fit on the boat; but it’s always worth calling 07990 518915 if you really wanted to help - just in case anyone else needs to drop out! After that we really need people on Monday and Tuesday next week, especially those with a working knowledge of the boat, to help get everything ready for the launch. The launch itself is now planned for Wednesday, which probably means the masts in on Thursday and John Laing should go back to Ocean Village on Friday, so we are not quite so desperate for help on those three days.
We had thought about an extra volunteers’ weekend 14-15 March but not many people were able to come so it looks as though that won’t happen - not least because it’s the last chance of a rest for our staff before the sailing season starts! But that means we’ll have a really busy week 16-20 March and we need all the help we can possibly get on those days.
Please email email@example.com NOW or call 07990 518915 if you can help on any of the days when we need people. Food and accommodation can be provided. We really need anyone we can get - from skilled volunteers and people who know the boat and can help put kit away in the right places, to unskilled volunteers who can help with things like carrying kit and cleaning - we need you all!
* Berths available for young people
Parts of the sailing season are very much booked up now, but we do have a few early-season gaps, some of which fall in the Easter holidays, and various gaps or possible gaps later in the season depending on whether or not provisional bookings are confirmed. Please spread the word and help us find people who might like to come. Bursary funding MAY be available on application for people who can't afford he full voyage fee.
30 Mar- 3 Apr - Southampton to Southampton - 4 nights - 2 berths available - £350pp.
3-7 April - Southampton to Gosport - 4 nights - 1 berth available - £350pp
13-19 Apr - Southampton to Southampton - 6 nights - 3 berths available - £510pp.
20-25 April - Southampton to Southampton - 5 nights - at least 6 berths available - £435pp.
22-24 May - Southampton to Southampton - 2 nights - 10 berths available - age 12-25 - £195pp - half-term weekend!
1-5 June - Southampton to Southampton - 4 nights - up to 12 berths available - age 12-25 - £350pp.
20-26 June - Southampton - 6 nights - 7 berths available. Other places have been booked by university students so it would be ideal to find people of a similar age to join them - £510pp.
7-12 August - Poole- 5 nights - berths possibly available tbc - please ask - age 12-25 - £440pp.
30 Aug - 4 Sept -Southampton to Southampton - 5 nights - 12 berths available tbc - please ask - age 12-25 - £435pp.
4-6 Sept -Southampton to Southampton- 2 nights - 12 berths available - age 12-25 - £195pp.
21-25 Sept -Southampton to Southampton - 4 nights - 12 berths available tbc - please ask - age 12-25 - £350pp.
12-16 Oct -Southampton to Southampton- 4 nights - 11 berths available -age 12-25 - £350pp.
16-18 Oct -Southampton to Southampton - 2 nights - 12 berths available - age 12-25 - £195pp.
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 voyage programme and vacancies later in the season, see here or here.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with bookings or enquiries.
* Adult voyages
Adult voyages in 2015 are:
27-29 March 2015 - Southampton - 2 nights - age 18+. £195pp (possibly 1 place available - please ask).
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 email@example.com to book.
Big thanks to Port Hamble Marina for a generous donation from their Valentine’s Day Raffle Fundraiser!
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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.