These days will come again ...

Newsletter

OYT South bulletin 22nd October 2020

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


* Ten years since the OYC/OYT 50th anniversary party
Ten years ago this week, our newsletter carried a report of the OYC/OYT 50th anniversary party.

2020 has proved a very strange 60th anniversary year, with no young people at sea in an OYC/OYT vessel for the first time since 1960; but here we reproduce the newsletter report of the 50th anniversary event as a reminder of better times in the past and yet to come.

“There came a point last Saturday night when I found myself looking across a room containing 400 people who had all supported the Ocean Youth Club and Ocean Youth Trust at some time over the last half-century, and the scale of our shared achievement really hit home. The commitment, enthusiasm and determination of the people in that room and so many others like them has built something extraordinary and changed the lives of many thousands of young people. It really has been the most amazing journey from an idea in the minds of Chris Ellis and Chris Courtauld in 1960 to the glorious celebration of last weekend.

A theme for the evening emerged almost unbidden: the Club or Trust has seen many changes across our 50-year history, but the core approach, ideals and vision remains the same. Perhaps that accounts, in part, for the atmosphere at the event. A volunteer mate from 1960 and a volunteer mate from 2010 can meet for the first time and develop an instant bond: they have shared the same experiences, seen the same sights, been motivated by the same things.

For those of you who missed it, the gathering took place in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard, with John Laing alongside the original OYC vessel, Duet, open to the public in the shadow of HMS Warrior.

Duet and John Laing

Meanwhile, in Boathouse No.7, we had a tremendous display on our history, with thousands of photographs. After a quick formal AGM, we had a full programme of activities during the afternoon. This included two very special musical performances: Phil Beer, acclaimed fiddle and guitar player, reprising many of the songs he performed on board John Laing during the Tall Ships events in St Petersburg last summer; and Hughie Jones of the Spinners, who sailed with OYC in 1978 and made an album of sea shanties with OYC members singing the choruses.

Hughie Jones

We also had two well-attended and highly-acclaimed presentations: Andy Bristow, skipper of the British Army Antarctic Expedition, talking on “John Laing in Antarctica”, and Malcolm McKeand on the restoration of Kindly Light, ex-Theodora, one of OYC’s founding vessels. Meanwhile, in Boathouse No.7, we had slide shows and archive film footage constantly playing; and we were also offering discounted tickets to the dockyard attractions such as HMS Victory and Mary Rose. Through all this, hundreds of guests were gathering and gossiping, and the main drawback of the event rapidly became apparent: there simply wasn’t enough time to meet all the people we wanted to meet, or to spend enough time talking to anyone.

After 5pm the crowds started drifting into Action Stations, the Royal Naval display area filled with interactive equipment such as helicopter simulators, while Boathouse No. 7 was set out for dinner. As all the guests gathered in Action Stations for a drinks reception hosted by International Paint, the size and scale of an event for 400 people really became clear! They were greeted with a welcome and introductory speech from OYT South’s Chief Executive, Mark “Wolf” Todd, in his own inimitable and irreverent style, quoting freely from the joining instructions from 1960s OYC voyages, as follows:

“I understand your boy wants to come on a yachting holiday......
9. I do not hold myself legally responsible for the safety of the ship or her crew.
10. I hold no Board of Trade or other certificate of competence to command or navigate any vessel.
11. The crew are all signed on as personal friends of mine, are under no obligation to me, and all discipline is on a purely voluntary basis.
13. Plans may have to be changed entirely, owing to the weather or other causes. You cannot expect regular letters.
14. Boys are to provide their own clothing....suit, shoes etc for going ashore....”

Mark's speech

Then we moved back into Boathouse No. 7, transformed with elegant tables each named after an OYC or OYT vessel or premises, and decorated with balloons.

Dinner

This phase of the evening began with a speech from the broadcaster, journalist and sailor Libby Purves, who moved and inspired us with an impassioned account of the true value of sail training and OYC/OYT’s place within it.

Libby Purves

Then there was a speech from Merfyn Owen, the designer of OYT South’s proposed new boat, who introduced the design and the associated financial appeal to our members and supporters, and took questions from the floor. [Note: we had planned to design and build a replacement for John Laing because suitable vessels in good condition so rarely came on the market. These plans were all altered when Prolific became available, but the appeal launched at the 50th anniversary event was vital to the eventual purchase of Prolific.] This was followed by the raffle, an auction, more music from Hughie Jones and the band Nine Mile Ride, and as much conversation as could possibly be squeezed in before the evening ended.

A vast number of staff and volunteers contributed to making the event such a success, and we would like to thank everyone who was involved. If I start listing individual names, it could go on for hours, so I shall just mention one: Emma Ellis, daughter of our late founder, Chris Ellis, who put in months of work as our volunteer Event Manager. But to everyone else who helped: you know who you are, and we couldn't have done it without you. “

Emma Ellis

A PDF of the 50th anniversary brochure including the history of the charity is available on our website.

50th display boards

Display

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Please contribute to Peta’s leaving present

Big thanks to the people who have already contributed!

Other readers may have seen from recent newsletters that our wonderful staff skipper Peta Koczy is moving on. We’ll see her again as a relief skipper, and Prolific will be in excellent hands with the return of Holly Vint to OYT South, taking over as Staff Skipper in November. But meanwhile there is a web page for donations to Peta’s leaving present: please help us show our appreciation for Peta’s contribution to the charity over the last four years!

Peta and Holly

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COVID-19 (coronavirus)
Current government guidance states:

“For the time being, holiday providers should not be offering overnight or residential provision for children. The Government will keep this position under review and continue to be guided by the best scientific and medical advice to ensure that the right decisions are taken at the right time."

As long as this is in place, we cannot operate and we face the loss of all our voyage income. We also – in common with other seasonal businesses – face the problem that even in a normal year, we do not earn money in winter.

There are three earlier statements about COVID-19 on our website from Ocean Youth Trust South’s Chief Executive, Mark Todd: an initial statement from 18th March; an update issued on 15th April; and a response on 11th May to a Parliamentary committee report on the crisis - which quoted OYT South

One key message, particularly as evidence grows of the lasting effect that the pandemic is set to have on young people, is about the role we believe we can play in the longer term, using our voyages to help young people recover from the social and psychological impact of COVID-19. We are determined to do all we can to get through this period, when we are enduring the complete loss of all our trading income, in the best possible state so that we can start offering voyages again and helping young people as soon as it is safe to do so.

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OYT South
AGM - all the details you need for our online event
OYT South’s AGM will take place on Saturday 7th November, but this year it will be via video conference.

The formal mailing to members went out earlier this montb – if you think you are a member and you didn't receive it, please let us know! But the meeting is open to anyone (and if you are not a member but would like to be, you can join now). Please note that only members can vote at the AGM.

The meeting will be held using Zoom: Video conference link here (Meeting ID: 915 9948 2504, Passcode: 964302).

The Zoom conference will open at 1745 to allow everyone to get the technology working before the meeting formally opens at 1800.

All the details and papers for the meeting are available here. With members’ permission we would like to record the AGM – if you have concerns about this, please contact office@oytsouth.org.

It would be helpful if you could email caroline.white@oytsouth.org to say whether you are hoping to come and whether you are familiar with using Zoom, including the chat function (which allows people to type short responses and saves the problem of 30 people trying to speak at once). If you have never used Zoom before, you can sign up for free here https://zoom.us/ but you might want to try it out before using it to join the AGM, and if we know in advance who wants to come but isn’t used to the technology, we can give you a bit more support and advice!

There will be the very short formal AGM followed by the Chief Executive’s speech as usual, giving a review of the year and plans going forward; but in normal years this would be followed by a social event and curry evening, so we’d also like to know who might stay on the Zoom call for a social event – which could include a quiz, and people ordering or making their own curry and using the evening as a chance to catch up with OYT South friends you haven’t seen all year.

So: three questions:

  • Who is coming?
  • Are you comfortable with Zoom?
  • Would you stay online for a social event after the meeting?

Anyone who really can’t manage a video call can submit questions in advance, and members can vote by proxy: in both cases, you need to email office@oytsouth.org by 1700 on Thursday 5th November with details of your question or your appointed proxy.

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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 webmaster1@oytsouth.org and we'll publish the best in future editions of this newsletter.

In this week in 2004 the newsletter reported on an adult weekend voyage to Poole, where we were moored inside Jolie Brise when a 50-foot yacht further along the quay tried to leave and immediately suffered an engine failure, ending up pinned by the tide across the stern of both the sail training vessels. Luckily her crew were able to get their fenders in place in time to avoid any damage. All efforts to restart the engine failed and she ended up getting a tow off.

In 2006 we had a group of girls from St Gabriel’s School who sailed to Yarmouth:

Crew

At sea

In Yarmouth they brought out a set of body art pens and proceeded to decorate themselves – and then to hold down our Staff Bosun Julian “Dinghy Boy” Watkins and decorate him. It was unclear whether this experience brought an added urgency to Dings's impending retirement from sail training, or whether he came close to reconsidering his resignation!

In 2007 the newsletter reported on the ASTO Small Ships Race. That year we had an experienced crew of John Laing regulars who were determined to take the race seriously, right down to emptying the fresh water tanks beforehand to lighten the boat. In the middle of the night, however, third mate Stuart Raynsford heard a trickling noise and went to investigate – and found two of our own volunteers, Vikki Maxwell (first mate) and Andy Royse (watchleader and at that time an OYT South Trustee) who had entered the race in another boat, surreptitiously filling our tanks again!

It was a light wind race – not ideal for John Laing:

Racing

Racing

The next week we had a mixed crew including several people from Devon and Cornwall Foyer, a homelessness project, plus the Prince’s Trust – and some excitement as the BBC was making a documentary about one of the girls in the crew came on board to do some filming.

The next trip was a weekend voyage for TS Swiftsure from the Nautical Training Corps. This involved ten young people most of whom were on their fourth voyage with us. The group included David Merison and David Fox who have since been back on board as adult group leaders!

David

Foxy

The crew’s familiarity with the boat and ability to work together as a really effective team from the outset meant that we were able to tackle some more advanced training exercises, with lots of interesting navigation and other tasks which could be completed despite the lack of wind. We had young crew members organising sail hoists and putting reefs in and out; they took charge of some pilotage in and out of Beaulieu; some of them were trained in tidal height calculations and the use of clearing lines and clearing bearings; they learned all about light characteristics for buoys and other vessels and then sailed round the Bramble Bank in the dark, identifying lights as they went; and some of them practised boat handling by driving in figure-of-eights around mooring buoys.

This time in 2008 we were sailing with a group of young people who were all in care in Hampshire. They were a lively, enthusiastic and very noisy group, bursting with energy and chatter but definitely rewarding to sail with providing the staff could get a word in edgeways from time to time. They had a good week including a fast sail right round the Isle of Wight.

In 2010 we had a crew from the Naomi House Children’s Hospice siblings’ programme for the ASTO Small Ships race – a terrific day, with all the young people fully involved and having great fun, capped by coming second in class and doing a lot of singing at the crew party!

Crew

Racing

The next crew were all pupils at Bourne College, who sailed John Laing to Brighton and spent a day in harbour there while a southerly gale blew, before heading back to the Solent on the following day. Andy Viney completed his first mate’s assessment on this voyage.

Crew

TS Swiftsure were back the next weekend - some of them knowing the boat almost well as the staff after two voyages a year since they were 12 years old.

In 2010, OYT South was the President’s Charity for the 41 Club, which was raising money for us, so we were delighted to be able to offer a week’s sailing to some Club members. They were very anxious to go to France so John Laing crossed the Channel in tough conditions and then gave everyone a day in Cherbourg to recover - with time for some RYA training. The crew also took the sea staff out for dinner - a rare treat! Their voyage finished in Portsmouth where it was time for the OYC/OYT 50th anniversary party.

The following week, OYT South had two boats at sea, as we once again borrowed Thermopylae Clipper from the Discovery Sailing Project in order to accommodate a client we couldn’t fit on board John Laing. The two boats ran a cruise in company, with JL’s crew including nine from Mike Bassett’s Kent youth group plus three individual bookings, while TC’s crew included two leaders and nine girls from East London charity Community Links.

At sea

Crew

John Laing and Thermopylae Clipper

In 2011 we were sailing with the new Gosport Marine Skills Centre at St Vincent College, which was running courses to give people the skills to work in the marine industry. They did lots of training and exercises on board. Skipper Wolf decided to throw a cabbage into the sea to give Ben “Sparky” Whinnett – who was working towards his first mate assessment -  practice at recovering it, as a man overboard exercise; but unfortunately he didn’t throw it very accurately so it just drifted down the side of the boat where Sparky very smugly fished it out with a bucket.

Here’s a rare picture of Wolf on the foredeck touching a rope:

At sea

In 2012 we did the ASTO race with a crew from the siblings' programme at Naomi House Children's Hospice – which ended in triumph as they beat two Challenge boats (also steel vessels but designed for round-the-world racing), one on the water and one on handicap. The voyage ended with special thanks to TMI who had been sponsoring our hospice voyages for many years – their fund was exhausted so this was their last voyage, but they really had done a huge amount for some very deserving young people.

Crew

Next day we were joined by a crew consisting of nine young people from Steve Lacey’s youth group in Dorset, plus two young men who are about to enter the merchant navy as cadets - one as a deck officer and the other as an engineer - who were sent on the voyage by their company. The former was asked to help with passage planning and logbook entries, the latter with daily engine checks, and despite being new to it all they did well.

Then we had a day sail for one of our sponsors, Quilter - two of their own staff plus some of their contacts from a range of other finance companies. It was a really good and enthusiastic group of people who all wanted to join in with the sailing and find out more about our charitable work.

Next we had a mixed group for a short trip to Chichester and Cowes – featuring Gina Seller returning to our sea staff after many years away, plus Sam Rawlinson starting his third mate assessment!

At sea

Another mixed group included people from Mike Bassett’s youth group in Kent, Brune Park school, and the Scoliosis Association. They had amazing luck with the weather as there were plenty of gales and rain but only when they had planned to be in harbour: whenever they wanted to sail, it was fine, although windy. This was the last voyage for James Boyce as Staff Skipper, as he was heading off on a voyage to Antarctica – quite a change after four years with us based in the Solent!

Voyage planning

We still see James on board as an occasional relief skipper but otherwise nowadays he is very busy working as a paramedic.

In 2013 we were doing one of our regular day sails for RYA Instructors, designed to give them experience of a larger commercial sailing vessel but at the same time as giving us a chance to get them engaged with sail training - perhaps as future volunteers for us, or perhaps so they can help spread the word when they are instructing and make sure other sailors are aware of what we do and perhaps how they might also get involved.

Then a mixed group involving people from Mike Bassett’s group plus three Hampshire schools had a good week with a lot of training which enabled each watch to take charge of the vessel for a timed course near Bembridge, which proved quite exciting and competitive!

At sea

At sea

At sea

In 2014 we were finishing a Vyne School voyage on which Val Hague completed her third mate’s assessment and the school staff told us: “The trip was an amazing success. The staff on board were truly inspirational...Our students really excelled in everything they did, gained confidence and learned to deal with adversity. We cannot express how beneficial this trip was. The new-found confidence in some of our students is so clear to see now that they have returned to school.”

Crew

Next came a group including some Surrey young carers and people from three local schools. They sailed to Yarmouth and one of our Vice Patrons, Jamie Sheldon, came on board with his wife Susie to meet the crew and very generously gave everyone vouchers to buy souvenirs in a local shop.

Crew

In 2015 we did a voyage organised for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation, including young people who have been working as apprentices with local charities. They lost a water fight with another sail training vessel, Lord Nelson (it’s easier to drop water bombs down from a larger vessel), anchored in Chapman’s Pool, found some fossils, ate a lot of cake and ice-cream, and by the end of the week had learned enough to take charge of the final passage from Yarmouth back to Southampton with minimal intervention from sea staff.

At sea

The Vyne School was back that weekend and managed to get John Laing off her berth backwards under sail! Watchleader Jack was evidently having fun:

At sea

Then came a mixed crew which took charge of navigation and sailing on the leg from Swanage into Poole - in 28 tacks, all the way up the harbour! Andy Gissing was signed off as a third mate on his first voyage with us, with a warm recommendation that he should sail more and climb higher within OYT South (he’s now a first mate), and Staff Bosun Harri Smith completed her first mate assessment.

At sea

It was the Vyne School again in 2016 and as ever they all really bought into the experience and worked hard to achieve as much as possible. They had some great sailing in the sunshine, lots of tacking, and a night in Cowes.

At sea

Crew

The following week it was a mixed crew, and skipper Vince reckoned they spent one whole day gybing and another whole day tacking!

At sea

Cathy Ayres stepped in at short notice when we needed a female member of staff and used the opportunity to complete her third mate’s assessment.

In 2017 the Vyne School was enjoying their first experience in Prolific. This year their voyage was very generously sponsored by the Royal Cruising Club - huge thanks to Andrew Wilkes for arranging it. When they were told that the RCC would pay for their trip, the young people had been overwhelmed that "strangers" would care about them. Group leader Mary Pavey said: "Again, we cannot thank the sponsors enough. If it wasn't for them these children would never have had such an experience. I was so proud of our students this weekend."

Crew

That was followed by a mixed group involving 12 and 13-year olds from a local school plus some young and trainee sea staff, so it was a great opportunity for the older ones to practise their teaching skills.

At sea

Crew

Steve Lacey completed his first mate assessment on this voyage!

In 2018, Prolific was unexpectedly in Cowes as the arrival of Storm Callum had caused us to end the previous voyage there rather than in Southampton. We had a new client joining on Friday night: Millfield Prep School, eleven young people aged 11-13 accompanied by three school staff. A couple of members of our team took the ferry to Southampton to meet them and escort them to Cowes to join the boat for what looked like being an incredibly stormy weekend. It really wasn't ideal weather, especially with such a young crew, but the enthusiasm and energy of the young people meant that it turned into a superb weekend. They had all the basic briefings on Saturday morning plus an excellent session on the weather which watchleader Patrick ran with the aid of model boats in the ship's paddling pool. By the end of the session everyone understood the Beaufort wind scale and how it would affect a vessel at sea.

Training

A break in the weather that afternoon allowed everyone to put this knowledge to good use as they went out for an absolutely stunning sail, reaching around 12 knots as they sailed in the western Solent, with all the young people working incredibly hard at sail handling and steering. Everyone had a chance to go out on the bowsprit, and skipper Peta commented that they put so much effort into the day that they achieved more in a few hours than some crews do in a week!

Crew

At sea

They went back into Cowes that night for games and loads of Disney music. Sunday was much windier but they all worked hard at their knots and managed rowing races in the dinghy, in sheltered water but against the wind:

Rowing

The sea staff had an early start on Monday to move Prolific back from Cowes to Southampton once the wind had dropped. A new crew joined that afternoon and had a good sail to Yarmouth and then Weymouth, initially motoring in light winds but with a good sail after rounding Anvil Point.

Crew

This crew was particularly keen on navigation:

Navigation

This time last year we had a mates’ training weekend including several new people who should have been joining our volunteer team this season. The mood on board seems to have changed dramatically depending on whether it was raining or not!

Crew

Crew

Next we were joined by a group from Limes College pupil referral unit in London for a lively voyage and a lot of fun:

At sea

At sea

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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* Prolific news
Big thanks to Josh for his work looking after the boat this week. He has run up the engine, generator and heater, checked the mooring lines, cleaned the fenders, done a deck wash with the pump engine and rinsed it off with fresh water, and tackled the rust-busting under the deckhouse floor!

Josh

Josh

Rust-busing

There seems to be plenty left on his jobs list – here’s hoping the dragons don’t give him too much trouble:

Jobs list

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Financial appeal

Huge thanks to all our supporters and friends who have responded with such kindness and generosity to our appeal this year. 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. Everyone who has contributed and is still contributing is playing a huge part in getting us through this long period with no voyage income, and ensuring that the charity will be strong enough to do important work with young people who will need us more than ever, as soon as we can safely sail again.

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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* 2021 draft sailing programme

We have made some revisions to our draft 2021 sailing programme, partly because we now have dates for some races and events which will require changes to the original draft, but also because we want to make sure there is extra time for thorough cleaning of the boat between voyages, which has ruled out those occasions when two voyages were scheduled in quick succession without much of a gap between them. We’re just at the start of the process of contacting everyone who lost a voyage this year to see what we might be able to rearrange for you next year and how it can work  – please bear with us as it will take a while to contact everyone!

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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 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?

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

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

And Instagram @oyt_south

And LinkedIn Ocean Youth Trust South

Please note that OYT South has a policy that our adult staff and volunteers should not make or accept individual online friend requests with crew members aged under 18, 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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Online training courses for volunteers - why not get qualified and improve your skills now?
If you can't get involved in your normal activities at the moment, maybe it's a good time to think about some qualifications and training? 

Our friends at SeaRegs Training 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 - including vital courses on Safeguarding and Food Hygiene, as well as things like 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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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 https://smile.amazon.co.uk, 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 webmaster1@oytsouth.org.

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“To be honest I never wanted to come, but I'm glad I did because I have learnt and seen so much!" Charlotte

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