Back in the water!


OYT South bulletin 22nd February 2019

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

* Volunteer sea staff possibly needed

Big thanks to all those who have confirmed their voyage bookings for 2019.

Depending on a few things that can't yet be confirmed, we may still need volunteers on some or all of the following voyages - please email if you could help:

25-29 March, Southampton - a London school which sent a fantastic group of young people last year

1-5 April, Southampton - children in care from Southampton

22-28 April, Southampton (including maintenance day) - another excellent returning client from last year: Amber, which works with young people who have been homeless.

29 April - 3 May, Southampton - school group for young people with dyslexia.

4 May, Southampton - possible adult day sail, tbc.

5-10 May, Southampton to Gosport - Ormiston Academies voyage for girls with adult mentors. This voyage might particularly need one more volunteer who is reasonably familiar with Prolific.

11 May, Gosport - day sail as part of Gosport Marine Festival

22-23 June, Southampton - two adult day sails

30 June - 6 July, Poole to Brixham - mainstream school group. This one ideally needs another second mate or an experienced third mate.

All dates given are when young people or clients are on board so we generally need volunteers the afternoon before (or the evening before for day sails).

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* Refit news - Prolific back in the water - but help still needed

Big thanks to everyone who has been working hard this week: Peta, Josh, Georgia, Danny, Ben, Ian Sillett, Roy Hughes, Mark and special thanks to Lee Mosscrop for stepping in when we really needed a first mate.

Monday was taken up with preparations for the launch, including getting the anchor back on board and taking the scaffolding down. If anyone has a trailer which could be used to take scaffolding from Gosport back to Southampton, please email, or call the boat phone 07990 518915.

Tuesday was Launch Day, which all went well!

Refit team


Wednesday was all about the mainmast which has all been fixed with some repairs, new spreaders - and now with our website address - thanks to John O'Donnell of International Paint for the design!




Big thanks to Ben Whinnett and TCW Electrical Ltd for that last photo!

Yesterday Prolific was moved back round from Gosport to Ocean Village, Southampton, and now we need volunteers again, through to 11th March on weekdays and also the one remaining refit volunteers' weekend: 9-10 March in Southampton. All help gratefully received. As we get closer to the end of refit it is particularly useful to have more people who know the boat - how things go together and how things should be stowed!

Please can you email Peta at or call the boat phone 07990 518915 and book yourself in to help if you possibly can.

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 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 a refit weekend, please email

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* February 2019 shorebased training weekend
- report
Huge thanks to all involved with another very successful training weekend - instructors Tony, Allen, Mark, Guy, Ollie, Martyn, Jennie, John and special thanks to Nix and the team for catering.

18 people completed a first aid qualification, four the diesel engine course, three the GMDSS radio licence; and eight people completed the lifejacket packing course, nine helped with chart corrections and 27 attended an extremely interesting youthwork training day - 69 courses attended in total. 

On Saturday evening our Chief Executive Mark Todd delivered a speech which was the usual mix of entertaining and thought-provoking.

And the catering team also produced 117 meals over the weekend!



First aid

Chart corrections

One of the innovations on the first aid course this year was an anti-choke training vest - do have a look at a video here. It shows Dave learning to save Andy from choking, and Andy says he could really feel the difference once Dave had his hand in the correct place in front while slapping him on the back. It is also well worth watching this video to the end!

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* NEW Youth Trustee - speaking up for young people

Many readers will know that 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. For the last three years, between the ages of 19 and 22, Jack Dignan has done a great job in the role and has earned a lot of praise particularly for public speaking on behalf of the charity and representing us at events. Jack has now decided that it is time to move on from the role so we want to say huge thanks for all he has done for us - and of course he will still be involved in other ways in the years to come.

We are delighted to announce that the new Youth Trustee will be Lauren Mackenzie, aged 18. Lauren first sailed with us for her gold DofE and quickly started volunteering with us, qualifying as a watchleader as soon as she was old enough and then being upgraded to second mate last September. She is currently in her first year at university, studying maths at Oxford.

Lauren will be 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 Lauren. If you’re not happy with something and want to know what to do about it, you might want to start by talking to Lauren. If you want to get more involved - whether by just doing another voyage, or by training as a volunteer - Lauren can point you in the right direction. You can email her at


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Adult volunteer training voyages - current and potential volunteers, please come sailing and improve your skills!
We have two weekends in 2019 earmarked for volunteer training for adults (18+), plus one longer voyage also suitable for adult volunteer training. These are designed both for current volunteers who want to improve their own skills in sailing Prolific, on a voyage where they don't have to be supervising young people at the same time; and also for new potential volunteers who want to come along and find out what it's all about and how we work. They are also intended to be a lot of fun - please BOOK NOW, especially for the March weekend!

Dates for adult voyages are:

29-31 March, Southampton (8pm Friday to 5pm Sunday), £200 (but see below about the cost)

3-7 June, Southampton to Poole (2pm Monday to 12 noon Friday), £395. Passports required as we may sail to France if the weather allows.

11-13 October, Southampton (8pm Friday to 5pm Sunday), £200

The cost of volunteer training voyages is designed as a contribution to charitable funds from those who can afford it, and it includes a year's annual membership. Current and potential volunteers who still can't afford it, please apply to for bursary funding - no-one who is already a valuable volunteer interested in improving their skills should be excluded from these voyages by the cost; and new potential volunteers who seem to have a  lot to offer the charity are also welcome to apply as we will be keen to invest in getting you trained and familiar with the boat. Email to reserve a place, or for more information.

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* 2019 sailing programme - voyages for young people - including new summer voyage open to individual bookings
Our 2019 sailing programme is available here - and voyages are selling very fast!

The following voyages are available for bookings now:

6-11 April, Southampton, 5 nights, age range 12-25, £490 per person, at least 2 berths available. Open to INDIVIDUAL bookings rather than an organised group.

12-16 April, Southampton, 4 nights, age range 12-25, £395 per person, at least 9 berths available. Open to INDIVIDUAL bookings rather than an organised group

17-21 April, Southampton, 4 nights, age range 16+, £395 per person, at least 2 berths available. We are looking for crew members aged 16+ for this voyage because six berths have been booked for a group of care leavers in that age range, so this voyage would be ideal for someone doing a DofE Gold residential, or for some of our potential junior sea staff trying to gain more experience, but it might not be the best group for 12 and 13-year olds to join.

24-29 June, Southampton to Poole, 5 nights, age range 12-25, £490 per person, 12-15 berths available.

NEW INDIVIDUAL VOYAGE: 16-22 July, Falmouth to Brixham, 6 nights, age range 12-25, £575 per person, 12-15 berths available. Open to INDIVIDUAL bookings rather than an organised group. Passports needed as we may have the opportunity to sail to France, weather permitting.

29 July - 4 August, Brixham, 6 nights, age range 12-25, £575 per person, up to 6 berths available. Open to INDIVIDUAL bookings rather than an organised group. Passports needed as we may have the opportunity to sail to France, weather permitting.

14-20 Aug, Brixham, 6 nights, age range 12-25, £575 per person, up to 7 berths available. Open to INDIVIDUAL bookings rather than an organised group. Passports needed as we may have the opportunity to sail to France, weather permitting.

27 Aug - 1 Sept, Poole to Southampton, 5 nights, age range 12-25, £490 per person, 11 berths available. Open to INDIVIDUAL bookings rather than an organised group. Passports needed as we may have the opportunity to sail to France, weather permitting.

18-22 Oct, Southampton, 4 nights, age range 12-25, £375 per person, at least 6 berths available.

If you would like to make a booking at any point in the 2019 season, please email

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* Do you know a young person living in Dorset who deserves a FREE voyage?
With Ocean Youth Trust South being the nominated charity for this year's Poole Harbour Boat Show, we are delighted to announce that thanks to some very generous donors, the Boat Show organisers and Poole Harbour Commissioners have paid for 12 places on a voyage in Prolific in August for young people living in Dorset. So now they are looking for 12 young people to fill the places!

Guidelines and a nomination form, along with voyage details and dates are now available - do have a look. The criteria are very broad so almost anyone aged 12-18 and living in Dorset could potentially be eligible. Please do all you can to spread the word - tell your friends, and if you know any teachers, youth workers, social workers or anyone else in Dorset who might help, please send them the link.


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Adult voyage in June

We now have a date for an adult voyage this year: 3 - 7 June, Southampton to Poole, £395 per person.

This voyage is open to anyone aged 18+ with no specific upper limit, and is the one chance of the season for anyone who is no longer eligible for youth voyages and is not a sailing volunteer to come and enjoy a voyage in our wonderful boat Prolific.  The aim is to have a fantastic cruise and get everyone involved with sailing the boat - we will ask everyone to bring passports as it would be great to get to France if the weather allows. If you are a parent who has been enviously watching your offspring enjoy voyages in Prolific, maybe this is your turn?

This voyage is also open to people who think they might want to volunteer for us in future but want to come and see what it's all about before committing. It's also open to current volunteers who would like to work on your own skills without needing to supervise young people at the same time. Email if you are interested.

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Events needing volunteers (including young people), and the 2019 AGM date
Prolific is booked for THREE boat shows this year when we will need volunteers to get people interested in Ocean Youth Trust South!

The first is the Gosport Marine Festival 2019 on Saturday 11th May - we hope Prolific may be running a day sail as part of the festival (which will need sea staff) and we may also  have a stand on shore though this is not confirmed.

The second is the South Coast Boat Show in Ocean Village, Southampton when Prolific will be involved on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th May, working with our major sponsors Marina Developments Limited. MDL is going to provide us with ingredients to serve tea, coffee and bacon rolls on board in exchange for donations - a great opportunity to show people around Prolific and talk about our work.

And the third is the Poole Harbour Boat Show on the weekend of 7th-9th June. OYT South is the chosen charity for this event and they have raised funds to send Dorset young people sailing with us in the summer. Some of the winners should be on board during the show, which is always a fabulous event with huge numbers of visitors wanting tours of Prolific.

The Southampton and Poole events will need LOTS of volunteers - we need to supervise the gangway and all the steps to keep visitors safe; to run tours of the boat and talk about our work; to collect contact details for anyone interested in sailing with us or supporting us; and to allow for teams of volunteers to swap round so people get proper breaks!

Obviously we want to involve our usual volunteers but it would also be great to have some young people who have sailed with us (with a parent or carer if appropriate).

Anyone interested, please email us and tell us which event you'd like to be involved with and which days you are available, and we'll contact you nearer the time.

One more event for your diaries: the 2019 AGM has been set for Saturday 9th November - more details to follow, but do save the date! It will probably include the usual Curry Night...

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Adult day sails in 2019

A few times each year we run day sails in Prolific which are ideal for sponsors, new prospective supporters and clients, and anyone who has helped the charity or is interested in helping the charity or finding out more about us, but wouldn't otherwise have the chance to sail with us.

This can include family members of our volunteers - we know people give up significant amounts of time at home in order to sail with us so it might be a good idea to offer a day sail to thank the family which lets you go away - and show them what you do when you go!

Day sails this year will be:

(TBC) Sat 4 May (this is an extra date provisionally added in case there is sufficient demand)
Sat 22 June
Sun 23 June
Sat 21 Sept
Sun 22 Sept

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

If you would like to be invited or to nominate someone else for an invitation, email 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 a useful contact. These days are a great opportunity for us to impress people and make new friends!

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Eddystone* Eddystone Charity Pursuit - can you take part?
One of our volunteers, Sandy Garrity, is interested in entering the Eddystone Charity Pursuit (the South West’s largest sailing fundraising event).on Saturday 15th June this year to raise money for OYT South, and he wonders if anyone else might like to get involved? Sandy says it's "a sort of brisk sail in company from Plymouth round the Eddystone and back - a distance of 26 nautical miles."

Each boat entered is responsible for raising money for their chosen charity, but there is also a prize fund with money for entering and completing the course plus a bit for early entry; money for the largest amounts of cash earned for your charity - the skippers declare the amount of cash that they have raised at the skipper's briefing; money for your place in the fleet; and money for a team event (up to three boats, or multiples of three). Sandy says: "To maximise the money from the prize pool we need to enter early (as close to 1st March as possible), raise lots of sponsorship and ideally have a team of three plus."

So: if you have your own boat and it satisfies the entry requirements (suitably equipped to sail offshore, must be capable of reefing, have an engine (preferably inboard) and a keel, and capable, under reasonable weather conditions, of completing the course within 8 hours), would you like to enter? Could you talk to any friends with boats to see if they would enter on behalf of OYT South?

Any skippers who want to take part: you would need to enter and nominate Ocean Youth Trust South as your chosen charity. You also need to let us know that you are entering on our behalf, and we'll put you in touch with Sandy.

Then you need to think about raising funds. Sandy has set up a Justgiving page so that funds come directly to the charity - this means that skippers don't have to handle any money and it's easy to demonstrate to the event organisers exactly what has been raised. This is very easy to do for any other boat which enters.

There may also be OYT South volunteers who don't have a boat but would be interested in crewing for any skipper who needs someone - email us and we'll put you in touch with Sandy.

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Amazon wishlist!

Prolific now has an Amazon wishlist - in case anyone can be tempted to buy a present for the boat! It's full of small items which we need over the winter, such as cable ties and sandpaper, and if you would like to buy something for us before the staff have to order them, we really would be incredibly grateful.

Also, don't forget that if you order anything at all through Amazon, whether for the boat or anyone else, 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, just go to and pick Ocean Youth Trust South as your chosen charity. Then use that link every time you shop - all your other Amazon account settings remain unchanged.

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* 2020 advance planning - NEW ideas
With summer 2019 filling up fast, we are giving some thought to what Prolific might do in summer 2020! A really exciting option would be to sail down to the Tall Ships festival in A Coruna in Spain in July and take part in the Tall Ships race to Dunkirk (another great festival).

After that we might have a choice - either going on to Sail Amsterdam and cruising home via London in August, OR heading straight back from Dunkirk to Southampton in order to take part in a race to Dartmouth against other sail training vessels crewed by young people. The second option is possibly attractive to people who can't easily afford longer overseas voyages, and there may be scope for more voyages involving younger crew members (aged 12-14) as the big festivals generally have a minimum age of 15.

More details and dates are available here and you can register to take part in any of the voyages either as an individual or a group booking, or express a view on whether we should select either Sail Amsterdam or the Dartmouth Race. (This applies to clients and young people - we aren't looking for sea staff bids yet!)

No part of this programme is yet set in stone and we are also happy to talk to clients about other options.

Tall Ships race

Sail Amsterdam

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Leaflets about OYT South
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, 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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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 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 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!

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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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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 - please do give us a Like! If you were friends with John Laing on our old page ( 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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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 newsletter 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

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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