Park House school


OYT South bulletin 31st May 2019

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

* Voyage news

Monday last week saw the start of a voyage with a very longstanding client, Park House School in Newbury: fifteen students aged 12 and 13, plus their teacher Nyssa Hutchings who, after building up her sailing experience as a group leader on school voyages, is now one of our volunteer watchleaders. The young people arrived full of enthusiasm, which was fortunate as we had to get moving more quickly than usual. Ocean Village had given us a special berth for their boat show the previous weekend but by Monday the space was needed for other boats, so the Park House crew got under way quickly and sailed round to Gosport.

Next morning the young people were asked to make a genuine choice: the weather meant that sailing to France was a possibility (and they all had passports) but there were also good arguments for staying on this side of the channel - more chance of sea breezes whereas the winds across the channel might have been very light. They also had to weigh up the merits of two long passages versus a larger number of short passages, visiting more places, sails up and down more often, and so on.


In the end the majority choice was to head west, so they started by fuelling up in Cowes and then sailed to Poole. They had a lovely sail in Poole Bay, and then when they arrived in Poole, Holly's boat parking manoeuvre drew a round of applause from a bystander!

Prolific had various visitors in Poole from local sea staff and trustees - Steve and Cathy Lacey and Brian Eyres all came to visit.

Next day they enjoyed a glorious sunny sail to Weymouth, arriving in the evening in time for games on the beach, then back to the boat for more games on board. Next day they went ashore for showers and set off at lunchtime for a big sail all the way back to Southampton, with the young people involved in the pilotage through the Solent. It was a late arrival and the team were in bed for 0230, only to get up again at 0730 to clean the boat and pack their gear - great effort and motivation from such a young crew!




The voyage ended after 142 nautical miles with all 15 young people earning their RYA Start Yachting certificates. Big thanks to sea staff Holly, Mark, Andy, Josh, Cathy, Nyssa and special congratulations to Amy Keightley who completed her third mate's assessment!


This was followed by another voyage with Hillingdon's virtual school for children in care - always one of the year's special voyages. Their groups are made up of exceptionally deserving young people aged 16-18, often including asylum seekers and others who have never had the opportunity to do anything remotely like this, and they are invariably affected by the family atmosphere on board.

They joined late on Friday for the start of half term, and the staff commented that they have never seen such big smiles at the beginning of a voyage. On Saturday morning they finished the safety briefings and then sailed to Poole in slightly lumpy conditions - but no-one complained. Sunday was a fabulous day - they sailed to Cowes and that evening there was lovely weather. Not one of the group had ever been to a beach before so they went for a walk and watched the sun set. Back on board it turned into an evening when it was impossible to send anyone to bed - the atmosphere was so lovely, with everyone talking and making friends, and so relaxed.

On Monday they just went for a Solent sail, and got everyone out on the bowsprit - a really big deal for some. This was followed by games on board - the banana game got a bit out of hand...


The voyage ended on Tuesday with 104 miles sailed and nine people earning RYA Start Yachting certificates. Big thanks to sea staff Vince, Holly, Andy R, Andy K, Glyn, Ian and Nyssa. The staff wrote afterwards: "Whilst each individual young person developed in different specific ways throughout the voyage, it feels important to mention that every single one of them was gracious, kind, and a total credit to everything they represent. The sea staff created a supportive environment where the young people were given room to work things through without sudden intervention, and this rubbed off on the young people themselves as they then began to help each other. The entire voyage was humbling, and a delight from start to finish. Everyone is absolutely welcome back, and should be supported in getting on future voyages if they get in touch. It was a real life- changing sail training voyage."

This was immediately followed by another voyage for children in care, this time with Kent's virtual school. This was their first group voyage, having sent four young people last year for the first time, to join another group which hadn't been able to fill all their spaces. So it was great to see them back and this time booking the whole boat. They joined on Wednesday and motored to Cowes in very windy conditions. Yesterday they sailed to an anchorage in Studland, with loads of tacking and great team work - very impressive commitment for a young group - they are all aged 11-14. Big thanks to sea staff Holly, Vince, Rooby, Cathy, Nick, Becky and Zack.

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NEW Annual Report
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. Please email the link to anyone you think might be interested, especially new potential clients and donors. 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!

In recent years there has been limited demand for printed copies as most people receive it by email, but we will shortly have a very small number of printed copies in the office - do contact if you need a copy or would like a printed version to give to someone.

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* NEW sailing video
The band The Little Unsaid very kindly gave us permission to use their song "Alive As" as the backing track for a video. Do have a look and share the link with anyone who might like it!

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Volunteers Week
Volunteers' Week 1-7 June
1-7 June every year is Volunteers' Week and we would really like to take this opportunity to thank all the amazing volunteers who make our work possible!

Just to give everyone an idea of how much our volunteers contribute:

Seventy-seven volunteers gave 1,075 days to sail on our voyages last season.

Volunteers gave 338.5 days to Prolific's 2018-19 winter refit.

We have huge amounts of help from volunteers in the office, at boat shows and other events, raising money, running local support groups and more. And of course our Trustees are volunteers too.

Volunteers' Week is an annual opportunity to thank you all on behalf of the young people who benefit from our charitable work. Some of our volunteers have agreed to tell their stories to Volunteers' Week organisers so if we are lucky some of them will be picked up on websites and even in the media - keep a look out. There will also be volunteering stories on social media so please share, retweet etc. if you see anything - and it would be great if our volunteers could also do your own posts about volunteering!

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* Poole Boat Show 7-9 June

Prolific will be open to the public at 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 the boat. if you are in the area, do come along to the show - there is plenty to see! And we still have space for a few more volunteers to stay on board if anyone is able to come and help us on either Saturday or Sunday - email us if you can help!


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* 2019 voyages available for young people - LAST few berths left this year!
Our 2019 sailing programme is available here - just 10 berths left on youth voyages without confirmed bookings, and we have had provisional enquiries for six of those so we may have as few as four places still available out of more than 470 for the whole year!

The following voyages are available for bookings or enquiries now:

24-29 June, Southampton to Poole, 5 nights, age range 12-25, £490 per person, at least 1 berth available. Passports needed as we may have the opportunity to sail to France, weather permitting.

16-22 July, Falmouth to Brixham, 6 nights, age range 12-25, £575 per person, up to 4 or 5 berths available. 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, possibly 1 berth available depending on whether the last provisional booking is confirmed. Passports needed as we may have the opportunity to sail to France, weather permitting.

If you would like to make a booking, please email

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Volunteer sea staff vacancies
We have a few voyages where volunteers MAY need to drop out of places they have booked, for reasons such as waiting to hear about possible new jobs and internships.

10-14 June, Poole to Southampton - qualified watchleader possibly needed
15-19 June, Southampton - watchleader possibly needed
7-15 July, Brixham to Falmouth - watchleader possibly needed
14-20 Aug, Brixham - watchleader possibly needed

Email if you could help with any of these voyages. 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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Adult volunteer training voyages - open to current and new potential volunteers
The adult voyage in June is now fully booked and we have just one remaining voyage with spaces in 2019 earmarked for volunteer training for adults (18+):

11-13 October, Southampton (8pm Friday to 5pm Sunday), £200 (but see below about the cost). Up to 5 places left.

Voyages like 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. It is also intended to be a lot of fun - please BOOK NOW!

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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2020 advance planning
As we are so close to being fully-booked for the whole of 2019, we have now written a first draft of a full 2020 sailing programme, and in the next few days will be sending it out for consultation to all our regular clients. We may have to amend the programme to suit group bookings which sail every year but as soon as that's done, we'll be publishing the programme for everyone else.

If anyone isn't on the mailing list for the draft programme but would like to see it, or if anyone has special requests for 2020, please email

Please note that we need to look at group bookings first before opening voyages to individual bookings. This is simply because we can't end up with a dozen voyages with three or four individual bookings each (not enough people to sail the boat!) - we'll need to direct individual bookings to specific dates and ensure that we get enough people on each to make the voyages work. We'll ensure that individuals still get a choice of some of the best trips!

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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!

Big thanks to the Graham High Charity who sponsor our vessel tracking.


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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
Big thanks this week to Gosport Marine Festival and to Mike and Rosemary Martin for very kind donations! And we have also paid in all the donations we received in exchange for bacon rolls at the South Coast Boat Show in Ocean Village - big thanks to everyone who contributed there as we know some people were putting in much more than the value of a bacon roll.

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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Vessel maintenance days - help needed

Please make a note of the list of maintenance days during the season when we would really appreciate lots of help:

Friday 21st June - Southampton
Tuesday 13th August - Brixham
Friday 20th September - Southampton

Skilled and unskilled help needed. Over-18s welcome. 16 and 17-year olds may be allowed to help at the skipper's discretion and depending on what work needs to be done, but trainee bosuns and young people who have had sea staff recommendations should certainly ask if they can help at a maintenance day. We normally need people on board from around 9am to 5pm, and lunch is provided on board.

Email so the skipper knows you are coming and can plan jobs and meals for you, or call the boat on 07990 518915.

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2019 AGM date

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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Chris Ellis Award - win up to £500
off the price of your next voyage
Now open for 2019 entries.

If you enjoy a voyage with OYT South and want to come again (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  or posted to the office. 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.

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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 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 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 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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Eddystone* Eddystone Charity Pursuit - can you take part?
Regular readers will know that one of our volunteers, Sandy Garrity, has entered his boat Aphrodite in the Eddystone Charity Pursuit (the South West’s largest sailing fundraising event).on Saturday 15th June this year to raise money for OYT South. Sandy says:

"Aphrodite is now fully crewed and an "intensive training course" has started with topics that both OYT South's crew and sea staff will be familiar with: how to get the cooker going, how the skipper likes his tea, where the biscuits are *stored* (hidden), what is the general direction to the Eddystone (south), how to turn the boat round and general direction of Plymouth (north).  Passports are being carried just in case we make a "slight" navigation error and end up going round the lighthouse off Roscoff.  The current size of the fleet is forty-seven vessels and the crew are looking forward to participating in the event.  During the event we can be followed on Instagram and AIS (MMSI 235036786)."

Sandy would be very grateful if you could share his JustGiving page with everybody you know to help him reach his target of £500 for the OYT South.

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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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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, 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, or vulnerable adults. Crew members can use the sites to stay in touch with the boat and with each other, but not with individual staff and volunteers.

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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