Oversands voyage

Newsletter

OYT South bulletin 22nd June 2018

In this Bulletin
Sections which have changed since last time marked *


* Voyage news
The last ten days have seen a mixture of day sails and maintenance as well as a youth voyage. It all started last Thursday with a very welcome return for one of our sponsors, the Graham High Charity, who like to come sailing once a year in addition to funding places for disadvantaged young people and sponsoring a lot of Prolific’s equipment - you may have seen their logo on lifejackets, oilskins, crew handbooks and more. This year they enabled us to add AIS beacons which are fitted inside the lifejackets. It is therefore a huge pleasure to take them for a day sail and show them what their support has helped us to achieve. As ever it was a fantastic group which joined in enthusiastically with the sailing and showed a great interest in all our work. Big thanks to sea staff Peta, Holly, Mark, Charles, Josh, Nick and Caz.

Last Friday was a maintenance day - big thanks to Peta, Holly, Josh, Rob Morley, Allen Swift, Martin Lampard, Charles Kingston, Roy Hughes, Mark, Caz - and Nick Viney who came down to change Prolfiic’s anodes. The team got through huge amounts of work and we really appreciated all the help.

Saturday was another adult day sail, this time for a mixed group of guests. This included people who are currently supporting the charity in all sorts of ways, and others who did huge amounts for us in the past but hadn’t yet had a chance to sail in Prolific. This included Jeremy and Sue Ouvry who have known the charity since the earliest days and were just about to celebrate their 52nd wedding anniversary - which meant we were able to surprise them with an anniversary cake! We also had on board the renowned marine photographer Ben Wood, who took some great pictures of our staff and volunteers on the day sail and hopes to return next year to take photographs on a youth voyage. You can see some of Ben’s work on his website. Big thanks to all the guests for everything they have done for the charity and also to the sea staff who showed them what Prolific can do on a blustery day: Peta, Holly, Mark, Andy Royse, Ollie Bowden, Miranda Camping, Charles Kingston, Lauren Mackenzie, Roy Hughes and Caz.

We had an evening off after this day sail and were delighted to welcome on board a former skipper, Dave Carnson - it was lovely to see him again and to show him around Prolific.

The third of this series of day sails was for a group from Topsail Insurance, who do so much to look after all the charity’s insurance requirements. Fortunately their sailing day did not result in any claims despite the fact that a 57-metre superyacht arrived in the berth next to us overnight and added just a little stress to our arrival and departure manoeuvres! It was another excellent day on the water and a chance to tell more people about our charitable work. Big thanks to sea staff Peta, Holly, Mark, Andy Royse, Ollie Bowden, Miranda Camping, Charles Kingston, Lauren Mackenzie, Annant Shah and Caz,

Finally on Monday we returned to standard youth voyages as we were joined by a crew from Oversands, a special school in Cumbria working with students with challenging behaviours, alongside a range of other associated conditions which can hinder academic progress. It was quite windy - up to Force 7 - as they sailed down to Cowes on the first night. Tuesday was better with a good sail in the sunshine, out to the forts with some sail training exercises and a chance for the crew to get used to the boat. They went back into Cowes that night to pick up a couple of extra crew members and had showers and games before bed. On Wednesday they had a 6am start and sailed all the way to Swanage where they anchored and enjoyed fishing and a trip to the beach for paddling, a BBQ and toasted marshmallows, before returning for movie night on board. Yesterday they sailed to Lymington and had a walk around the nature reserve before having dinner ashore. This morning they were doing some work towards their Royal Yachting Association qualifications and planning to anchor in Stanswood bay before heading back into Ocean Village this evening, where the voyage will end tomorrow. Big thanks to sea staff Peta, Holly, Rooby Woods, Jack Dignan, Charles Kingston, Rosalie Sanders and Will Parker.

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* Annual Report - now available
OYT South’s Annual Report for the last financial year is just being published - do have a look. It includes much more than just the financial statements and official accounts - there are plenty of tales from last season and enough quotes from clients and young people to warm the hearts of anyone who has supported us in the last year. The printed edition will be available from the office shortly - do contact office@oytsouth.org if you would like copies to give to anyone, especially new potential clients and donors. And certainly feel free to email the link to anyone you think might be interested. OYT South and our staff, volunteers, members and supporters have achieved some fantastic successes in the last year and we rely on everyone who reads this to help us spread the word!

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* Volunteer bookings for 2018 voyages - vacancies
Sea staff berths not currently filled are as follows - please note that dates are when young people are on board, and volunteers will generally be expected to join the day before! Some of these places could ideally use another qualified watchleader or bosun; others may be suitable for trainee sea staff - please ask.

Please email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you are available.

16 Sept - Southampton - sea staff possibly needed for new adult day sail
17-21 Sept (including maintenance day) - Southampton - pupil referral unit which always brings outstanding staff to support young people who may have some complex issues. One staff berth possibly available tbc.
8-12 Oct - Southampton - pupil referral unit - needs a couple more sea staff including one qualified watchleader who knows the boat and is comfortable working with more challenging young people.
12-14 Oct - Southampton - school group
15-19 Oct - Southampton - client tbc but may be a mainstream school group
24-28 Oct - Southampton - East London charity

Sea staff under 25 please note that you can ALSO apply for any empty berths on individual voyages - if we can't fill all berths with paying customers or disadvantaged young people with bursary funding, then it's often much better to include you than to have an empty, wasted berth - and you can still be treated as an extra volunteer and continue with your training.

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* 2018 voyage programme - availability for young people

Please see here for a 2018 sailing programme. At the moment there is a maximum of 16 berths possibly still available for young people this year (including some where we are have provisional bookings and we are waiting to see if they will be confirmed), out of more than 400 on the full programme, with most voyages already fully-booked! But please keep watching this space as we can get cancellations, or groups which don't quite fill all their spaces and are happy to open their voyage up to others.

Voyages which are currently open for individual bookings (which means people on their own or small groups of friends, but not a single client booking the whole boat for an organised group) and have spaces are as follows.

9-15 August - 6 nights - starting and finishing in Brixham, age range 12-25, price £550 per person. 1 or 2 berths available.

21-27 August, 6 nights, starting and finishing Brixham, age range 12-25, price £550 per person, 1 or 2 berths available.

These voyages are ideal for crew members who have a passport as it may well be possible to sail cross-Channel, to France or the Channel Islands. Alternatively the Scillies may be possible, or a Devon and Cornwall cruise - it all depends on wind and weather and on what everyone wants to do!

The following voyage is possibly still open for group bookings (up to 12 places):

15-19 Oct - 4 nights - Southampton - £385 per person

Contact the office to book, or to enquire about other availability for individual or group bookings.

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2019 voyage programme - any requirements?

With so few berths left to sell in 2018 (and clients completing this year's voyages wanting to book straight away for next year), we have been working hard on developing a 2019 sailing programme. A draft has now been sent to our regular clients for consultation but if anyone else is thinking of organising a group booking for 2019, please email webmaster1@oytsouth.org and we will see if it's possible to offer the voyage you would really like - bearing in mind that each voyage needs to slot together without wasting any days, so dates, start and finish ports and durations have to work for the clients on either side.

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Adult day sail 16th September
There are still some spaces on the adult day sail on Sunday 16th September. We have been offering it initially to sponsors, donors, clients etc., but if you have been supporting OYT South in any way and haven't yet had a chance to sail in Prolific then this could be ideal for you. It's a great way of enjoying a day in a fabulous boat - while finding out more about the charity. Please tell your friends and spread the word around anyone who might be interested in working with us - teachers, youthworkers etc who might like to arrange a voyage for young people; possible future donors and sponsors; or anyone who might be useful contact. These days are a great opportunity for us to impress people and make new friends.

Day sails run 0930 to 1700 from Ocean Village, Southampton, and include lunch on board.

Email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you want to be added to the list in case we have spaces.

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Adult voyages and volunteer training and selection voyages in 2018

We have one more adult (18+) training weekend and one longer adult voyage scheduled for 2018:

7-9 Sept 2018 (8pm Friday to 5pm Sunday) - Southampton - 2 nights - age 18+. £200pp
10-15 Sept 2018 (2pm Monday to 12 noon Saturday) - Southampton - 5 nights - age 18+. £480pp

These voyages would be ideal either for current volunteers who want more experience in Prolific, or for other adults who may be new to the charity and would like to get to know us, our boat and the way we work before considering joining our volunteer team.

The weekend will be really useful for current volunteers as we aim to do some intensive training with sails up and down, reefs in and out, often enough to give plenty of people a chance to run each exercise. New volunteers will be welcome on the weekend voyage if there is space but the longer voyage is perhaps more suitable for people who want to get to know us and see how we operate as we can show you everything that would normally happen on a youth voyage.

Anyone wanting to sail as a volunteer on our youth voyages must be recommended as suitable by our skipper, and while under-25s can earn their recommendation on a standard youth voyage, these training voyages are the opportunity for adult potential volunteers to decide whether you like what we do and hopefully earn your recommendation! Voyage prices include a year's annual membership so there is no further cost for anyone returning as a volunteer in the subsequent 12 months. See here for more details on joining the team.

If the only thing putting you off doing an adult training voyage is the cost, please do email webmaster1@oytsouth.org as we may be able to arrange bursary funding - especially for people who can sail regularly and might have the potential to reach second mate standard or above reasonably quickly.

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Prolific
maintenance days - help needed
Prolific has in-season maintenance days scheduled as follows - please come along if you can.

Wednesday 8th August - Brixham
Monday 17th September - Southampton

Help always welcome - skilled or unskilled! Food provided on board; and we can sometimes offer accommodation for the night before or after a maintenance day. Email refit@oytsouth.org or phone 07990 518915 if you can help with any of these dates.

Maintenance helpers should normally be aged 18+ though it may sometimes be possible to include 16 and 17 year olds - especially those who are training as bosuns - with the skipper's permission. Please ask!

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Vessel tracking
Don’t forget you can always have a look and see where Prolific is sailing.

If you discover she is in a harbour somewhere near you, please go and say hello. If we’re not too busy with activities with young people, then visitors are generally welcome. You can always call the boat beforehand (07990 518915) to see if there is time for a visit - and sometimes you may be just what we need if you have local information or a bit of time to spare to help with something, or a car for running a quick errand!

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Sea staff training material - NEW and updated!
There is a lot of revised and updated content in the Sea Staff section of the website (email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you don’t have a password). This includes an updated version of the Voyage Handbook (sometimes known as the baboon file) which covers a huge range of the activities on board, from sail hoists through to muster stations in emergencies. There’s still more to do on this document but there is plenty of new stuff based on our experience of sailing Prolific last season, so do have a look. The text is colour-coded so you can see exactly what is new.

Also on the same webpage are new revised videos on the fire system; the fire pump; the bilge pump and the anchor windlass; as well as revised versions of sea staff assessment forms and more.

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Chris Ellis Award - win up to £500
If you enjoy a voyage with OYT South and want to come again next year (and are aged 12-25), please think about entering for this award. You can win up to £500 off the price of another voyage, by sending in an account of a voyage you have already done with us. It can be a logbook, diary, story, pictures, video - anything which gives the judges an idea of why you had a good time and would like to come again. The prize is judged at the end of each season and the award can be spent on a voyage the following year. Entries should be emailed to webmaster1@oytsouth.org  or posted to the office to arrive by Christmas. See here for more details of this award, which was set up in memory of the charity's founder. You can also see some previous winning entries.

The 2018 Chris Ellis Award is now open for entries.

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* Financial appeal
Huge thanks this week to the Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation for a very generous pledge towards replacing Prolific’s electrical system, a major task planned for the winter.

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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RYA courses with SeaRegs

Occasional OYT South relief skipper Simon Jinks's company SeaRegs is now offering RYA practical coursers on a regular basis. This year they have a monthly programme of both Sail and Power Yachtmaster weeks and Day Skipper weeks, as well as both classroom based and online theory courses. A 10% discount is available for booking both a theory course and a practical course.

Contact Vicky Jinks admin@searegs.co.uk if you are interested - please DON'T reply to the OYT South staff via the bulletin for this one!

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2018 AGM - a date for your diary
A long way off but you might like to make a note that our 2018 AGM will be on Saturday 3rd November - it will probably involve the usual curry night and we may well also be encouraging people to come that weekend to unload masses of kit from Prolific.

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Colin Baxter prints and postcard of Prolific for sale
We have a limited number of A4 prints and postcards of Prolific by the renowned marine artist Colin Baxter for sale - postcards cost £1 each and prints £6 each, including postage and packaging. Email molliecrawford@oytsouth.org to order.


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Easyfundraising - raise money for OYT South when you shop online
OYT South is now registered with Easyfundraising - you can raise money for the charity when you shop online. Easyfundraising says: “It doesn't cost you a penny extra. When you shop the easyfundraising way with one of our 3,241 shops and sites they give us a commission for your purchase. We turn that into a donation and give it to your good cause. Easy!”

If you ever shop online, do have a look!

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Branded clothing
OYT South branded clothing available - please see here. You can buy hoodies (in a wide range of colours), fleeces, short- and long-sleeved t-shirts, baseball caps, beanie hats, drill shirts, polo shirts and more, all with OYT South's logo!

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From youth crew to volunteer
Have you recently done a voyage as a young crew member, enjoyed it, and been told by the skipper or any of the other sea staff to think about coming back as a volunteer on board? This is how many of our watchleaders and bosuns started, and it’s a great opportunity for getting years of very cheap sailing, plus something impressive to add to your CV, college or job applications. If you start volunteering with us and do well, you could gain invaluable experience in leading and motivating teams, looking after safety issues, taking responsibility and more - especially if you end up volunteering on some of our voyages with highly disadvantaged and vulnerable young people.

If you’ve had a recommendation from the skipper, it’s still really up to you to decide whether you are keen and ready to take this step - moving from being a young crew member who can be looked after and supported by the sea staff, into a position of responsibility where you will be looking after other people and responsible for helping to deliver a successful voyage to others, and accepting that this can involve hard work - though we hope our volunteers also have plenty of fun! Junior volunteers will still get support and advice from more experienced sea staff, but you really have to be ready to get stuck in when there are things to do and your effort can help make the difference to keeping the boat working smoothly and ensuring that another group of young people has the best possible experience!

But the next stage is really up to you. There are plenty of young people who impress us on voyages each year, but the ones who get to come back for more voyages, training and qualifications are the ones who show a real interest and make the effort to keep in touch - we simply don’t have the time to chase all of you individually if we don’t hear from you. Reading this weekly newsletter is vital - you will see when we are advertising for trainee mates or bosuns, or offering courses, or asking for help with maintenance or other events. You may also sometimes see that we have a short-notice vacancy for a crew berth - if we can’t fill the place with a paying customer, offering it as a cut-price or even free place to a new potential volunteer whom we know will be an asset to the team is much better than sailing with an empty berth. So if you are keen, PLEASE read the bulletin and don’t be afraid to reply and ask questions - if you’re not sure whether an opportunity is suitable for you or not, or if there might be age restrictions, just ask. We really do want to hear from you!

If you read this newsletter regularly, you will see that the key period for sending in bids for volunteer berths tends to be November to early January. Every year we get a few people who haven't read the newsletter and don't start thinking about summer sailing until the new year is well underway - only to find that volunteer berths in school and college holidays are already booked up.

And one more thing ... if you are mature enough to be thinking about making the step up into volunteering, then you should really be contacting us yourself. It doesn't quite create the same impression if you get your mum to do it ...!

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Youth Trustee - speaking up for young people

OYT South has a rule that at least one member of the Board of Trustees - which runs the charity - should be in the same age range as the young people who sail with us. The current Youth Trustee is 21-year old student Jack Dignan, who did his first voyage with us a couple of years ago. Jack is in a position to speak up for young crew members, suggest changes in the way the charity operates or to do anything else which will improve the experience of the young people who sail with us. If you are a young person and you have ideas or suggestions for how we can do better, and you want to talk to someone close to your own age, you can contact Jack. If you’re not happy with something and want to know what to do about it, you might want to start by talking to Jack. If you want to get more involved - whether by just doing another voyage, or by training as a volunteer - Jack can point you in the right direction. You can email him at jackdignan@oytsouth.org.

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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 OYT South people
We are on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/oytsouth - please do give us a Like! if you were friends with John Laing on our old page (https://www.facebook.com/johnlaingsailing please do move to the new page now.

We are also on Twitter @oytsouth so please follow us!

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 newsletter, which is sent out almost every week, normally on a Friday, and is also copied onto the website.

If you have just started receiving this newsletter by email, it is because we believe you have signed up and consented to receive it - perhaps by emailing us to ask for it, completing a form on our website, or adding your email address to the book on board where people can sign up to receive news, as well as leaving comments. If this was a mistake or you simply decide you want to stop receiving the newsletter, just press “reply” to the email and write UNSUBSCRIBE at the top, or email webmaster1@oytsouth asking to unsubscribe.

Each week the newseltter 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. 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 engineer, 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, 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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Receiving this newsletter by email
Many thanks to all those who have given consent to receiving this newsletter by email. If you are not currently getting it by email and would like to, please just click here Newsletter Subscribe and press "send", or email webmaster1@oytsouth.org.

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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

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