These days will come again ...


OYT South bulletin 1st May 2020

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

COVID-19 (coronavirus) update
There are two statements about COVID-19 on our website from Ocean Youth Trust South’s Chief Executive, Mark Todd: an initial statement from 18th March and an update issued on 15th April.

The most recent statement outlines the issues currently facing charities like OYT South and our concerns that the measures currently announced by the government either do not go far enough, or simply overlook those charities like us who have had to cease operations on a temporary basis. It also explains the role we believe we can play in the longer term, helping young people recover from the social and psychological impact of COVID-19.

One of the key ways in which our members and supporters can help us now is by writing to your MP and others in a position of authority, requesting that they consider:

  • A more flexible furlough scheme for small charities – including reduced hours
  • Ensuring that the Employee Retention Scheme is there as long as we need it – even if other sectors have returned to work
  • Financial support for charities currently unable to operate, if their services will be needed in future
  • Official public support for the value of outdoor education in helping people recover from the effects of the crisis
  • More long term funding for youth services and outdoor education generally.

If anyone is in a position to lobby on our behalf, write to an MP or otherwise make our voice heard, please contact and we can send you some information you might wish to include. We are keeping a record of who is writing and of the responses received.

We also need donations and support.

Meanwhile, all at OYT South send very best wishes to everyone connected with the charity, and to all your families and friends.

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Latest OYT South contact details
With Peta, Georgia, Sally and Annette furloughed, if you need to contact the boat team for work reasons you can get a message to Josh at Office enquiries should still go to where Jo will pick them up.

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* Financial appeal

As with all businesses and charities, OYT South is under tremendous financial pressure due to COVID-19, with a very significant loss of voyage income for an extended period. We realise that many of our friends and supporters will be facing financial difficulties of your own, but if anyone is in a position to make a donation to help with our core costs over this period, we would be more grateful than we can say.

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.

Huge thanks this week to the Graham High Charity, the Peter Dixon Trust and to Jamie Sheldon, as well as to all the individual members, supporters and friends who has already responded with such kindness and generosity to this appeal. We are not thanking everyone individually in the bulletin only because quite a few people have asked to remain anonymous; but we are truly grateful to all of you.

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* Twopointsixchallenge
Last Sunday was the twopointsixchallenge for people to raise money for charity on the day when the 40th London Marathon would have taken place. This asked people to dream up a fundraising activity based around the numbers 2.6 or 26.

Three people signed up to do this on behalf of OYT South. The biggest event on the day involved 14-year old Alex, who would have sailed on one of our April voyages. He set up a garden exercise loop with his mum involving three different activities and they both vowed to complete it 26 times in the day. They started at 0500 and finished 16 hours 20 minutes later: 26 games of table football. 26 games of Swingball and 468 (26 x 18) holes of crazy golf - and didn’t stop even when mum sustained a broken finger in an early round of Swingball! This was an extraordinary fundraising effort and the total raised is still growing.

lockdown exercise loop

broken finger!

Barry Walker did a 26 mile (socially distanced) bike ride and then tied 26 different knots while his 14-year old did 26 wheelies on the road outside their house which kept the neighbours entertained, and his 5-year old did 26 exercise burpees!

But one of our fantastic #twopointsixchallenge fundraisers is still going -  trainee bosun Nathan Kelsall is running 2.6 miles every day for 26 days for us, if anyone wants to support him: He really is making a huge effort and it’s fantastic to see a 16-year old making such a commitment. For those of you on Twitter, there’s a daily update of his route and time @Nathan85806697 and he would love to get lots of encouraging messages.


This morning was his fastest run so far!


We’ll post a final #twopointsixchallenge fundraising total once everyone has finished!

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* #declutteranddonate on Tuesday 5th May

If you missed the #twopointsixchallenge – or even if you supported it - the next opportunity to raise some money for us - without much effort! - is NEXT TUESDAY.

Do you have books, games, CDs and DVDs you don’t want? Ziffit is offering you the chance to sell them and on Tuesday 5th May any money will go to the charity of your choice. To sell things for OYT South, go to this web page. Just scan or enter the barcode number or ISBN of your products to see if they are worth anything and if so how much, and get an instant value; complete the online trade and pack up your unwanted goodies; use Ziffit's free courier or drop-off service to send your items; and the value of your items will be donated to us!

Peta is doing it - please join her ...

Peta decluttering


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* OYT South social media – please get involved
One of the simplest ways you can help us while we can’t sail is to keep looking at our social media pages and make sure you share, retweet or like as many posts as possible. This all helps to make sure other people hear about us too – and the more we can keep alive the interest in our charitable work, the more people might help us now or start to think about sailing with us in future. Maybe you’ve got a community group, a local page, even a street WhatsApp where members might like to know that you are involved with a charity that could be of interest to them?

Lots of people are working hard to keep up a flow of interesting posts but we need more of you to engage with them!

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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* Prolific news
Massive thanks to Josh who is looking after Prolific at the moment! This week he has finished the PAT testing, done a big wash of the topsides and a deep clean down below, including a bilge clean and a thorough investigation of the raw water strainer:


engine room


He has also been cycling the seacocks and doing some work on the heating system and the batteries. Other than that he has mainly been wondering this week why there seems to be hail falling in what has been, up to now, his own private tropical paradise!


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* Why we care about sail training - send in your stories!
With no voyage reports for a while, it will be good to keep reminding ourselves about the value of our charitable work, the life-changing experiences and fantastic fun and friendship on our voyages. If you have a treasured memory of sailing with us, or a tale of a voyage you will never forget, or a funny story, please send it to and we'll publish the best in future editions of this newsletter.

In the first week of May 2004 we had a fancy-dress party on board which doubly traumatised Staff Bosun Craig Dickerson – first when he discovered that shopping for fishnet tights required having his hip measurements taken by the lady in the shop, and again on the day after the party when the crew left and he found that he had nothing at all on the boat which would remove nail varnish, meaning that he was about to go on leave (including public transport to get home) with scarlet finger nails. Luckily he was able to resort to a natural macho bosun solution….. Beauty tip for feminine (and not-so-feminine) readers: always carry a sheet of sandpaper in your handbag: it really works.

In 2005 we were sailing with Naomi House Children’s Hospice – brothers and sisters of children who had been cared for by the hospice. Skipper Mark particularly remembered four crew members standing at the bow with waves coming over them, whooping as if on a rollercoaster. Group leader Jan sent a lovely email of thanks to the sea staff, claiming that the week “has left me ‘boat sick’ - searching around the house for ropes to tidy, and swaying on the loo!!!! WEIRD - how can I explain this to people......”

In 2006 we were doing an adult familiarisation voyage for new potential volunteers. One of them was initially unconvinced by the experience and even thought about going home part-way through the week, but then something clicked, and over the next few years he progressed through the sea staff ranks. That was Andy Viney, our Staff Skipper from 2013-2017 and the man who ran John Laing’s last season with the charity at the same time as managing the refit and introduction of Prolific! But back in 2006, the weekly bulletin had this to say: “We also spent some time with everyone running mizzen hoists and drops and practising putting in and taking out reefs. This is always difficult with a crew of experienced sailors, since most of them will do things properly before the "watchleader" has had a chance to explain it as they would to a novice crew. So this time we briefed a few team members to unleash their inner 12-year old and spend the session making deliberate mistakes to see if the watchleader spotted them. Crew member Andrew Viney was almost frighteningly good at this, slipping naturally into an attention span of around three seconds, able to put the wrong rope the wrong way round the wrong winch with his hands the wrong way round.”

At the beginning of May 2007,  a crew from Southampton charity the Wheatsheaf Trust took the boat across to Cherbourg on what the skipper describes as a "lively" sail - meaning that the seas became rougher and the winds were stronger - and staying strong for longer - than the forecast had indicated. It was a really challenging trip and all credit goes to the team for coping so well. Off Barfleur on the way home they passed a yacht called Raparee, and one of her crew, Geoff Bell, took some photos of John Laing, and then very kindly tracked us down and sent us copies:

John Laing

In 2008 it was an adult training voyage again, featuring a couple of names of people who have since become regular volunteers – Lucinda Neall and Jon Seddon. The crew also included David Baker, who last sailed with the Ocean Youth Club in the 1960s and, having discovered that we do occasional adult voyages, came to see how things had changed. It must have worked as he didn’t stop grinning all week, and wrote this account of his experience:


At one point the team on deck spotted a life-ring in the water, and skipper Mark “Wolf” Todd organised a perfect man overboard recovery demonstration. We got the life-ring on board and reported it to Portland Coastguard. Fortunately they were later able to tell us that it was not linked to any distress situation, but had fallen off a Spanish war ship passing that way in April. By an odd coincidence, the ship was named after a Spanish Admiral, Blas de Lezo - whose biography is called “The Life of a True Sea Wolf”. So one Wolf recovered a life-ring belonging to another Wolf.

A further distraction during this passage was a call from Jolie Brise, another sail training vessel, asking us if we would come close enough to take photographs as she was trying out a new sail and wanted to see what it looked like. So we were treated to the sight of a 1913 gaff pilot cutter flying the most enormous headsail – a very odd sight:

Jolie Brise

We also had a visit from former relief bosun Laura Brayshaw, who had taken a break from sailing to have a baby, Tyler – the bulletin said Tyler “came to inspect John Laing in preparation for the voyage she has booked in 12 years’ time, when she will be old enough to sail with us.” Where are you now, Laura and Tyler? Once we can start sailing again, it’s time for that voyage!

In 2009 we were sailing with the Winchester Home Education group. The first mate in this picture is Nick Power who has gone on to a great career as an artist:


That was followed by a voyage with Toynbee Hall, a Tower Hamlets-based charity, which was doing a whole series of voyages with us as part of the year-long Aspire Project, for disengaged young people who were not getting the full benefits of formal schooling. The project as a whole reported significant improvements in confidence and in school engagement. Jane Fletcher, Toynbee's Education Programme Manager, wrote: "The sailing trips our young people took part in were a fantastic culmination of the skills and experiences they had throughout their year with Aspire … Many of our participants do not leave London very often (or indeed ever), certainly have never been on a 72' yacht and mostly have not cooked and taken responsibility for themselves and a group in this way ever before." A 15-year old girl said of her voyage: "It was a whole new life experience and was inspiring for us youths who get called yobs!"

First mate on this voyage was Andy Bristow, whose last extended trip on board John Laing had involved skippering her to Antarctica in 2001-2. In 2009 he was a very senior army officer, so the sea staff took great glee in reporting on his skills at bedtime reading (Dr Seuss with all the voices), which had everyone in stitches.

In 2010 we were sailing with Steve Lacey’s Dorset group and others:


In 2011 we reported on a new third mate who had passed her assessment – Emily Parker, who first sailed as a young crew member in 2002 and is still one of our regular volunteers:


The 2011 adult training week, sailing to Salcombe and back, included Shaun Ormrod, now a Trustee, but then the Chief Executive of Farnborough International Air Show – who wrote us this endorsement: “Much of the last 15 years of my professional career over 4 different business has been dedicated to developing Leadership and Communication skills to enable high performance, tight knit teams to deliver better performance and productivity. In all that time of the numerous training activities, coaching, mentoring programmes  and team building activities I have never experienced an activity like OYT sail training that can deliver such high standards of team work and communication to so many staff in such a short time frame, If you want a step change in your team performance or indeed that of an individual, I would not hesitate to recommend a few days on board with OYT South.

The trainee volunteers also included Adam Lane, now a first mate but clearly not having changed a bit:


In 2012 Andy Brown was making one of his regular appearances as a relief skipper and wrote a lively account of a weekend of games interrupted by sailing in terrible weather – including “the messiest chocolate mousse game I have ever witnessed!”

At sea

In 2014 the bulletin was reporting on Holly Vint completing her third mate assessment, before a voyage with Compass School, Southampton, which works with students unable to attend mainstream school for a variety of reasons:


It was Compass School again in this week in 2015 and skipper Dougie said that Compass was a shining example of how a school can engage with sail training - they really understand how to support a voyage and work with sea staff to ensure that the young people get as much as possible from the experience. “Perhaps even more than the sailing, the best bits involved young people supporting each other and helping each other, solving problems together. “

In 2018 we were running a couple of our regular day sails for people who have supported the charity in the past or might like to do so in future: sponsors, suppliers and donors; staff from schools and other organisations who have referred young people in the past or are hoping to do so in future; people with lots of useful ideas and contacts; and people who are contributing to the charity’s success in all sorts of ways. One of the guests on Sunday was Peter Tracey, seen here at the helm of Prolific 66 years after he first sailed with Ocean Youth Trust founder Chris Ellis - you can read Peter’s hugely entertaining account of that voyage here.


This time last year we had just finished a voyage with the Amber Foundation which aims to help homeless, unemployed young people move on to positive, independent futures.


It was fantastic to see how much progress the Amber residents made and how well they were all engaging with the voyage experience by the end. On that voyage Ian Sillett – a regular member of the refit team - was signed off as a third mate exactly ten years after his dad did the same thing, and Chloe Portrey - another one with family connections to the charity - was signed off as a bosun!


The Amber crew was followed by a group aged 11-13 from Bruern Abbey School for boys with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties. They had a cracking sail to Weymouth where they had a dolphin escort into the harbour, football on the beach and finally fish and chips on deck!

Bruern Abbey

That was the voyage where our fantastic Staff Cadet Georgia Watson completed her Third Mate assessment!

Which brings us almost up to the present day. Please send in your contributions for future issues.

We hope these forays into the past are entertaining you while we cannot sail at the moment – and reminding everyone of the value of what we do!

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* NHS bags from Prolific sheets!
When OYT South first bought Prolific she came with a set of mattress covers which we never used. These have now been turned into laundry bags for the NHS!

Polly Clark, mother-in-law of our Admin Manager Jo, has been keeping herself busy during lockdown sewing laundry bags for ‘Team Scrubbers’ and for the John Radcliffe Hospital. She has made 356 laundry bags in total, of which 46 were made from the donated OYT South fabric. The bags are approximately the size of a pillowcase with a drawstring closure, large enough so that NHS staff can take off their uniforms, stuff them into the bags, handling as little as possible, and then throw the whole thing in the washing machine.

She is now busying herself making sets of scrubs for Team Scrubbers:

Polly Clark

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* New music from OYT South Trustee Eddie Bishop
Many of you will know that our Trustee Eddie Bishop plays in the band Police Dog Hogan, who have just posted a new song. That's Eddie at the bottom with the mandolin, appearing after the intro from James ...


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Useful links for young people, parents and others 
We've been posting a series of education resources for parents, grandparents and other carers who are currently educating young people at home.

The Met Office site for discovering maths and science through weather and climate, with resources for 7-11 year olds and 11-14 year olds.

And a site about climate change.

There are also educational and environmental activities for young sailors here from The Green Blue - the joint environmental awareness programme created by the Royal Yachting Association and British Marine.

The RNLI has launched “Water Safety Wednesdays” on Facebook, so young people can continue to learn essential and lifesaving water safety for when the time comes when people can safely visit beaches again. Water Safety Wednesdays are aimed at parents, guardians, grandparents or teachers, providing a selection of fun, free and engaging activities to help children learn at home or in the classroom how to stay safe in, on and around the water. Water Safety Wednesday includes a live chat at 1015am. The RNLI also provides quizzes, colouring packs and more on their page of educational resources for young people, and there are videos and more, with categories for different age ranges: everything from lower primary (age 3-7) to upper secondary (14-18) and all groups in between. And for adults as well as young people, there is even a video described as “60 minutes of Ambient Relaxing RNLI Lifeboat Footage & Music for Winding Down, Meditation, Study.” (Big thanks to OYT South volunteer Willoughby Matthews for this).

A fantastic set of resources from the 1851 Trust, the official charity of the British America's Cup campaign, on STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) for 11-16 year olds.

Trinity House, which looks after the safety of shipping and the well-being of seafarers: "Buoys, beacons and bananas" education resources to help pupils learn about shipping, seafaring and safety.

And Childline's webpage with information for children and young people about coronavirus. The page includes information about: what coronavirus is; where children and young people can find help if they are worried; coping if they are staying at home; and what to do if they are feeling unwell - all written to be accessible for children.

If you spot any other useful links which we might include in future editions, do please send them in.

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* Online training coursesfor volunteers - why not get qualified and improve your skills now? NEW LINKS
If you can't get involved in your normal activities over the coming weeks, maybe it's a good time to think about some qualifications and training? 

NEW LINK this week: a play list from the RYA with videos on all sorts of topics.

Our friends at SeaRegs Training have a schedule of sessions which people can book on subjects ranging from collision regulations at sea to what to do in the event of a disaster at sea - you can see the dates of courses and which ones still have spaces available here. They also have online distance learning systems for the theory courses for Day Skipper, Coastal/Yachtmaster and Yachtmaster Ocean. And OYT South second mate Dom Coleman also runs an excellent sea school offering RYA online courses fully supported by phone, email or video.

OYT South offers basic navigation training in-house through the RYA's Essential Navigation & Seamanship course - and we can also arrange the PPR course (RYA Professional Practices and Responsibilities) for sea staff. 

Please do ask for advice if you are not sure which courses are right for you.

We also offer a range of courses outside sailing and navigation, for our volunteers. Three of these courses are essential: Child Protection in Sport and Active Leisure, Food Hygiene and Safety, and Safeguarding Adults. But if you've already done those, there's a list of other courses at the bottom of the page, including  Mental Wellbeing in Sport and Physical Activity, Preventing Bullying, Online Safety, Concussion Awareness and all sorts of other things - do have a look. Just one £10 payment (special price available only to our volunteers and prospective volunteers) gives you access to ALL these courses.

It would be great if we could get back up and running with lots of our volunteers having additional skills and knowledge!

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2020 sailing programme - voyages for young people AVAILABLE NOW
It is not yet clear when we will be able to start running voyages again, but we would like to encourage bookings as much as possible so that as soon as it is safe to sail again, we can get as many young people as possible on board. We realise that the current uncertainty makes it difficult for people to plan, so we can announce that from 20th March, any NEW deposits received for voyages will be held and if your chosen voyage is unable to go ahead, you will be able to transfer that deposit to any suitable later voyage, even if that happens to be in 2021, and if this proves completely impossible, your deposit will be refunded in full. This means that you can book voyages now with complete security.

The situation is more complex with bookings agreed before COVID-19 and we are in discussions with clients on a voyage-by-voyage basis as it becomes clear which voyages will not run.

We are also looking to bring forward the publication of a 2021 voyage programme so that people unable to sail this year will be able to make advance bookings for next year.

For those wishing to make a booking this year, places available on 2020 voyages have been divided into four types:

Voyages in blue: ideal for 11-17 year olds and potentially suitable for those needing a gentler introduction to sailing. Open to older and more confident crew members as long as they understand the nature of the group and are happy to join in - and maybe support others.

Voyages in green: ideal for age 15 - 25 unless otherwise specified, DofE gold residentials and others looking for an exciting, adventurous voyage. Younger crew members can be included if they would fit with this sort of group.

Voyages in red: currently open for group bookings (max 15 places) rather than individuals. These voyages may be released for individual bookings later on if they are not booked by a school, youth group, charity etc.

Voyages in purple: specific age ranges or other details given on a voyage-by-voyage basis

Places currently available:

29 June - 3 July, Southampton, 4 nights, age range 12-25, £405 per person, 15 places available. The first few bookings here will influence the shape of the voyage - once we have some crew members signed up and know the age range etc., we will advertise for others who will fit with them.
Mon 6 July – Sun 12 July
, Poole to Brixham, 6 nights, £595. Passports required. Up to 8 places left. This voyage was previously listed as Poole to Brixham but is now scheduled for Southampton to Brixham instead.

Tues 14 July – Mon 20 July, Brixham, 6 nights, £595. The first few bookings here will influence the shape of the voyage - once we have some crew members signed up and know the age range etc., we will advertise for others who will fit with them.
Tues 21 July – Sat 25 July, Brixham, 4 nights, £405. The first few bookings here will influence the shape of the voyage - once we have some crew members signed up and know the age range etc., we will advertise for others who will fit with them.
Sun 26 July – Fri 31 July, Brixham, 5 nights, £505 - tbc
Sat 1 Aug – Fri 7 Aug, Brixham, 6 nights, £595. Passports required. 6 places left.
Sat 8 Aug – Fri 14 Aug, Brixham to Southampton, 6 nights, £595. Passports required. 5 places left.

Sat 22 Aug – Thurs 27 Aug, Dartmouth to Poole, 5 nights, £505. Passports required. Up to 6 places left.
Fri 28 Aug – Weds 2 Sept, Poole to Southampton, 5 nights, £505. Passports required. Up to 7 places left.

Mon 12 Oct – Sat 17 Oct, Southampton, 5 nights, £505
Mon 19 Oct – Fri 23 Oct, Southampton, 4 nights, £405
Fri 23 Oct – Tues 27 Oct, Southampton, 4 nights, £390 (Friday evening start to allow for people who are at school during the day). 1 or 2 places left.

To make a booking for any of these voyages now, please email

See here for the full 2020 programme.

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2020 adult voyages - including training for current and potential volunteers
As with youth voyages above, from 20th March, any NEW deposits received for adult voyages will be held and if your chosen voyage is unable to go ahead, you will be able to transfer that deposit to any suitable later voyage, even if that happens to be in 2021, and if this proves completely impossible, your deposit will be refunded in full. This means that you can book voyages now with complete security.

There is an adult weekend currently on the list for later this year:

9-11 October 2020, Southampton, 2 nights (8pm Friday to 5pm Sunday), age 18+, £205 per person.

Open to anyone aged 18+ but particularly suited to volunteers who want a chance to practise your skills without having to supervise young people at the same time, or to anyone who might be interested in joining our volunteers and wants to find out more, or any other adults who just want good sailing in good company.

Email to reserve a place.

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2021 draft sailing programme

We have started work on a draft 2021 sailing programme, initially to enable us to offer new voyages to clients who have already lost voyages this year. If anyone else has particular requests for 2021 voyages, in terms of dates, ports and durations, please email and we’ll see if it is possible to include a voyage on the programme to suit you.

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Events needing volunteers - dates for your diary!
The Poole Harbour Boat Show 2020 has been cancelled but Prolific will aim to be there in 2021. 

The South Coast Boat Show in Ocean Village which was due to take place in May has been provisionally rescheduled for 3-5 July and if it can go ahead safely, Prolific will be there. We would be open to the public and needing volunteers to show visitors around. Ideally this will include volunteers of all ages and with different levels of experience but we will certainly want to make sure we have some young people on board.

For now, please just put the date in your diary; but a bit nearer the time we will let you know if we have more information.

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Online fundraising - are you helping us raise funds?

OYT South is 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've also been mentioning Easyfundraising in this newsletter for a while but we know a lot of our supporters haven't tried it, so we just wanted to highlight how easy it is! All it takes is to go to Easyfundraising and sign up (which is extremely quick and simple). If you want (it's entirely up to you) then you can even install a donation reminder on your web browser so that whenever you do a search for online shopping, you'll see whether each seller offers donations and how much (it's still up to you whether to make a donation for any particular transaction) - and it won't cost you a penny. If, instead of doing a search, you go direct to a seller's website, you may get a popup showing that donations are available.

There are really significant donations available for some larger purchases, and it still doesn't cost you anything. Some charities are making substantial amounts of money through easyfundraising, so please try it if you can.

There's no cost to you, and all it does is remind you of donations available so you can't forget it when you shop online - you can still opt out any time you like.

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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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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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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