Hackney Virtual School

Newsletter

OYT South bulletin 26th October 2018

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


* Voyage news
Last week's newsletter left Prolific heading back towards the Solent where the voyage ended on Friday with thirteen RYA Start Yachting certificates for the crew and three successful sea staff assessments: big congratulations to Cathy Ayres for completing a second mate's assessment, and Roy Hughes and James Potter, who both became third mates!

To make the most of half-term, we had another crew joining that same night: Hackney's Virtual School for chidlren in care.

There was only time for some basic safety briefings that night but they were then able to head straight off for Poole on Saturday morning, arriving in time for ice cream ashore and plenty of games on board. On Tuesday the young people got involved in the pilotage out of Poole and sailed to Cowes in light winds.

Hackney

They had time to explore Cowes – very quiet on a Sunday! – and also launched the dinghy for some rowing practice. On Monday everyone was up at 6am – a challenge in itself for some of these young people – and they set off to sail right round the Isle of Wight, heading through the forts and eating breakfast underway. They went all round the south of the island and then had some tacking, a bit of motorsailing to get through the Needles Channel, and then engine off again and lovely sail with beautiful views, back up the Solent. They arrived in time to have dinner alongside on Tuesday, and the voyage ended on Wednesday. This was a lovely group of young people with some excellent leaders, and all the group earned Royal Yachting Association Start Yachting certificates. Many thanks to sea staff Andy Viney, Andrew Wilkes, Adam Lane and Hannah Brown; to Sandy Garrity and Becca Shelton who were starting their sea staff training; and special congratulations to Paige Goulder who was signed off as a bosun and Nyssa Hutchings who completed her third mate's assessment!

Which brings us to the FINAL voyage of the season, currently underway! This is for Ambition, Aspire, Achieve, a charity which provides activities and experiences for young people in the Newham and East London area that build confidence and expand minds. This is a really good group - three of the young people have been with us before and all are making a big contribution to their voyage. One crew member actually said to the skipper that she was anxious about her prospects in life and could she use the voyage to add some positive things to her CV? She's now working with her watchleader to highlight some things she can write about, such as teamworking.

The group sailed to Osborne Bay on the first night and then down to Poole yesterday. Some of them were quite nervous about coming on deck but their confidence is visibly growing as they give things a go. They had a good evening in Poole with lots of games including the After Eight game. Among the sea staff this week we have Danny and Ben who are joining us for the winter as part of the full-time refit team. Neither of them had seen skipper Andy's blow football game before and consequently both got very wet!

AAA

AAA

They were just leaving Poole this morning - a lovely day but definitely getting colder so they are planning shorter watches as they head back to the Solent. Big thanks to sea staff Andy Bristow, Andrew Wilkes, Lucinda, Glyn, Josh, David, Danny and Ben.

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* OYT South's AGM and curry night 3rd November!
OYT South's AGM will take place on Saturday 3rd November - this is normally a VERY short meeting combined with a lively social evening.

The AGM itself will take place on board Prolific in Ocean Village, Southampton - arrivals from 1730, with the meeting itself at 1800. There will then be a review of the year before a curry night.

All the details about the AGM, including where to find the boat, are available here.

All still welcome for the AGM although space on board is starting to get a bit limited so we may end up giving priority to members. The deadline for booking for the curry has now passed but if you still want to join us, email webmaster1@oytsouth.org and we will see if there is any way of the restaurant adding you to the group.

Please note that Peta needs a big team of helpers over the weekend of the AGM to help move kit off the boat in preparation for the refit. Accommodation on board on the night of the AGM will give priority to people who are also helping on the boat. Please email refit@oytsouth.org if you can help on the Saturday or Sunday or both, stating whether or not you are looking to stay on board on the Saturday night.

The formal notice of OYT South’s AGM has now been sent out by email to members, with the agenda, minutes of last meeting, accounts etc. If you think you are a member of OYT South and have not received this mailing, please email office@oytsouth.org. Please also note that only paid-up members can vote at the AGM (you can join now here).

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NEW Staff Cadet
For those who missed the news last week: Georgia Watson is OYT South's first Staff Cadet!

We have been aware for some time that it is not easy for young people without experience and qualifications to get a foot on the ladder with paid sail training work. In John Laing we used to have a Staff Bosun role open to young people, but with Prolific having a Staff Engineer instead, that door has closed. Right across the industry there is a shortage of entry-level roles for young people who cannot afford to volunteer for extended periods. So we have decided to create a new paid role of Staff Cadet, as a two year post designed to give someone the experience and qualifications to allow them to apply for paid work as a Mate with other organisations when they leave us.

As well as being a sign of our commitment to investing in young people, this role also means that Holly's departure doesn't leave us with only two staff to manage a boat that is clearly more demanding than John Laing. The Staff Cadet will be an invaluable support to the Skipper, taking on routine tasks to leave Peta free to focus on other things; and because the Staff Cadet will be on board so much, they will also be a great help to volunteers who don't sail so often, simply by knowing where everything is, being throughly familiar with systems and routines, and keeping on top of any changes which the volunteers may not have seen before.

We are delighted to announce that Ocean Youth Trust South's first Staff Cadet will be Georgia Watson. She is aged 20 and we have known her for many years as she first started sailing with her school. Last winter she was part of our full-time refit team for several months over the winter, and this summer she won an ASTO International Exchange to sail in Canada. She has sailed regularly as a bosun and trainee watchleader but this full-time role gives her the opportunity to gain qualifications and climb the ladder. Georgia was selected as our first Staff Cadet because she is phenomenally hard-working, reliable and conscientious – she really deserves this opportunity to start a career in sail training. She will be joining us in November at the start of the winter refit.

Georgia

Huge thanks to some very generous donors who have made it possible for us to create the post of Staff Cadet.

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Mollie Crawford leaving present
It is almost time to say goodbye to our fantastic Operations Assistant Mollie Crawford, who is moving on after four years in the office - her last day will be Friday 2nd November. She has provided support to Sally as well as to our clients and volunteers, while helping to keep Caz and Mark sane. Everyone who has been involved with the charity will know how reliable, efficient and effective Mollie is, and how utterly committed she has been to the charity.

She will be hugely missed, and we really want to send her off with a nice leaving present, so please give generously! Details of how to contribute to Mollie's leaving present can be found here.

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Holly Vint leaving present

Our Sailing Support Officer, Holly Vint, was appointed on a one-year contract from December 2017 and so will be leaving us at the end of this year.

The post of Sailing Support Officer was created when we first brought Prolific into service, to help us through the first couple of seasons of getting the boat running smoothly and supporting our volunteers in learning to manage a larger and more complex vessel.

Holly has played a tremendous part in the success of the 2018 season and the charity is in a much stronger position now because of all that she has done for us. She is a great sailor with a fantastic talent for working with young people, and she has contributed so much to OYT South in so many other ways this year. And skipper Peta says "She's my rock - I wouldn't have got through the season without her."

This certainly won't be the end of her time in Prolific - she is much in demand with other sailing organisations but we are certainly going to ensure that her busy schedule continues to include voyages with Ocean Youth Trust South.

 However, she will be hugely missed as a full-time member of the team, and we really want to send her off with a nice leaving present, so please give generously! Details here for how to contribute.

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February 2019 shorebased training weekend

OYT South’s usual February shorebased training weekend will take place in Gosport on Sat 16th and Sun 17th February 2019.

We can’t formally confirm bookings for any instructors until we know we have enough people to make each course cost-effective, but we are looking at options including the RYA First Aid course, RYA diesel engines, GMDSS assessments (for your radio licence), youthwork, chart corrections and lifejacket packing. Please email webmaster1@oytsouth.org if you would be interested in any of these courses - it would be great to get some quick answers so we know which instructor bookings we can confirm. If you can only manage one of the days that weekend, let us know which; and if you want to do two courses let us know - then we’ll aim to allocate each course to a day so that the maximum number of people can do their chosen courses without a clash.

Prices to be confirmed but the GMDSS assessment (to get your radio licence) is generally the most expensive at £100 or a little more – it involves an online course which you have to do in advance, and fixed exam fee payable to the RYA. Other RYA-certificated courses such as First Aid and Diesel tend to come in at around £75-£80, and other things will generally be cheaper. We can offer very basic accommodation (mattresses on the floor of the Sea Cadet unit) and affordable meals over the weekend.

In case you’re not sure which courses are right for you:

RYA First aid is recommended for ALL sea staff, and compulsory for second mates and above, with updates required every three years.

RYA Marine Radio Short Range Certificate GMDSS assessment - recommended for third mates, required for second mates and above. You must be aged 16+ to do the assessment.

RYA Diesel engines - recommended for bosuns plus second mates and above.

Chart corrections - recommended for second mates and above, plus anyone else with a real interest in navigation, especially people who tend to be around on Prolific's maintenance days.

Lifejackets and youthwork are both recommended for everyone who sails with us.

If you have ideas for other shorebased courses which might be useful to our volunteers and which can be run in a day or half a day, please email webmaster1@oytsouth.org.

If you want to do the RYA Sea Survival course including use of flares and a session with a liferaft in a  swimming pool), we recommend booking with http://www.ktyyachts.com/.

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NEW Musto jackets

Some of you may have seen our staff recently in smart new Musto sailing jackets. These are now available with OYT South logo for £130.

Musto

Musto

We are going to order another batch late in November so if you would like one, please call the office on 02392 602278, pay with a credit card and choose your size, by Friday 23rd November.

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2019 sailing programme
A draft of our 2019 sailing programme is available here - and voyages are selling very fast!|

The programme shows where clients have already been in touch to request specific dates, and voyages that have been reserved for them, but otherwise the rest of the programme is still available - but not set in stone: we are still happy to discuss changes of dates, ports and durations to suit clients, if we can do so without causing major problems for anyone else or leaving too many unused, wasted days between voyages, which would cost us money.

If you would like to make a booking or discuss programme alterations at any point in the 2019 season, please email caroline.white@oytsouth.org.

Please note that we are NOT looking for volunteer sea staff bids yet!

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Winter refit dates and refit weekends

Peta is deep into planning Prolific's winter refit, including some weekends when we will need loads of volunteer help. Please make a note of these dates in your diary and there will be more details in this newsletter nearer the time:

3-4 November - a chance to get masses of kit moved off the boat (as well as attending the AGM and curry night on Saturday). Anyone wanting to stay on board after the curry night please note that priority will be given to those who are also helping on board during the weekend!
8-9 December
19-20 January
9-10 March

There won't be a refit weekend in February as we will have the usual weekend of shorebased training courses on 16-17 February - see above!

Apart from the refit weekends, we will want as much volunteer help as possible on weekdays.

Refit volunteers should normally be aged 18+ but it is sometimes possible to include 16 and 17 year olds who have had volunteer recommendations and hope to be sailing as trainee bosuns next year. It depends on what jobs are available and whether we have people to supervise under-18s.

We won't be able to have people sleeping on board Prolific for most of this refit because there will be no power while we replace the electircal system. We have a refit house for the staff and the full-time volunteer team but accommodation for others will depend on space available. If anyone living in the Southampton area is able to offer a bed or two, or even a sofa or floor space for camping mattresses during any of the refit weekends, please email refit@oytsouth.org.

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Furniture needed for refit house - can anyone help?
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Huge thanks to Jo Clark for donating some essential items for the rented refit house but we could still do with some more furniture. If anyone has any beds, sofa, chairs or a table you don't need, please email refit@oytsouth.org.

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Leaflets about OYT South
We have done some updates to some of our publicity material and there are leaflets here which you can print - please do use them to spread the word among anyone who might be tempted to sail with us, volunteer for us or support us in any way.

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Online fundraising - raise money with minimal effort! 

OYT South is now registered with Amazon Smile which makes donations to us when people shop - Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price on eligible purchases. If you ever shop with Amazon, do have a look - once you pick Ocean Youth Trust South as your chosen charity and start using https://smile.amazon.co.uk, you don’t need to do anything further, and all your other Amazon account settings remain unchanged.

We also receive donations through Easyfundraising - this one works for all sorts of online shopping, not just a single site like Amazon. One of our volunteers says “I booked a Citybreak weekend away on Expedia and car parking on Holiday Extras through Easyfundraising and that produced £18.28 for OYT South at zero cost to me.” 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 all our supporters got into the habit of raising money for us when shopping online, it would soon mount up. If you can persuade your friends and family to do it, even better. And if you work for a business which spends significant sums online, who knows how much you could raise?

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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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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 - closing date 31st December.

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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 (pdf) 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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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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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!

This is separate from the Musto sailing jackets above.

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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 in 2014. 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!

And Instagram @oyt_south

And LinkedIn Ocean Youth Trust South

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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