These days will come again ...


OYT South bulletin 25th September 2020

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

* COVID-19 (coronavirus)
Huge thanks to everyone who has helped us in the last week by writing to your local MP about sail training. We'll be studying the fine details of the Chancellor's latest announcement to see exactly what it might mean for us but we clearly now have some more MPs who understand a little better what sail training is all about and how much difference we can make.

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 – who is coming and who is comfortable with Zoom?
OYT South’s AGM will take place on Saturday 7th November, but this year it will be via video conference.

It would be helpful if you could email 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 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 formal AGM followed by the Chief Executive’s speech as usual; 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?

We will send full details nearer the time; and of course we will ensure that anyone who really can’t manage a video call will have a chance to submit questions in advance, and members can vote by proxy.

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* Thirty years on – the impact of sail training
Our office had a phone call this week from someone who sailed with the Ocean Youth Club in around 1991, on board Spirit of Boadicea.

He said he had been in foster care and at “a school for bad boys”. But this week he was reminiscing with an old friend and remembered that sailing with us was one of the great highlights of his teenage years. He sailed from Ipswich to Belgium and Holland and thought the experience was absolutely brilliant - and he just wanted to call and tell us how happy he was to remember that trip.

He added that he’d had a tough time during the pandemic but overall he had made a success of his life and overcome the problems of his early years, and he was so glad to find that the charity is still here and planning to give many more opportunities to teenagers in future!

If you know who might have been sailing on board Spirit of Boadicea around that time, please let us know (email He would also love to see photos of Spirit of Boadicea from that time – we have very little, and he has no voyage photos of his own:

Spirit of Boadicea

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* The effect of sail training on fostered children
When we asked people last week to write to their MPs asking for support for sail training as we deal with COVID-19, we produced a draft letter - but we encouraged people to personalise it. Here's what one family added to the letter to their MP:

"On a more personal level, we decided over twelve years ago to become foster carers for Hampshire children's services, mostly working with teenaged girls who are particularly difficult for local authorities to place. I'm sure you're aware of the life challenges these young people face and be aware of the mountain most have to climb as care leavers, often with little in the way of qualifications or employment opportunities. Over the years we have made use of OYT South and the Trafalgar sailing project run by Releasing Potential for the young people in our care. Not all have taken to the idea, finding that sailing is not for them, but even here it helped to open their minds to the fact that life has much more to offer than they'd considered until that point. For others, the opportunity has been purely inspirational.

We have seen teenaged girls who struggled to attend school, believing they were destined not to achieve, start their sailing life through the Trafalgar project in Chichester (often hating it at first) learning simple skills which gave them a sense of self belief they did not know they possessed. Through this they went on to experience life on a larger craft through OYT South, sailing a yacht with other disadvantaged young people - not all fostered - on short or up to a week's voyage which involved learning some of the skills, nautical and personal, needed to sail a yacht in open water through both day and night. Some have gone on from here to sail more regularly with OYT South, and we have had a few foster children who have been so smitten that we arranged, with the help of the wonderful OYT South staff, for them to join in the annual Tall Ships Race. These young ladies gained extreme confidence, grew personal skills and found their self worth. There is simply no price one can set upon this. Not only that, they all continue to have opportunities to continue to sail today in what most would call an elite activity - opportunities and advantages which would be removed to others from disadvantaged backgrounds should these charities not survive. These charities show disadvantaged children that, with a little determination and courage, that they can achieve and thrive. That life has opportunities for them too.

For those with often so few opportunities in life, these chances can quite literally be life changing and life saving (Care leavers are four times more likely to commit suicide than other young people) for those able to grasp that chance. I'd like to think that's important to any Government. If there are to be any new measures to support businesses after the end of the furlough scheme, please can you help to ensure that these chances remain available to those who have so little?"

Huge thanks to Wendy Lewis for permission to share this!

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* Duet’s dismasting in 1958 – by Kit Power
Huge thanks to Kit Power for this tale of the early years of what became the Ocean Youth Club and later the Ocean Youth Trust.

In the summer of 1958 I had just left university where Christopher Courtauld (who would later co-found the Ocean Youth Club) was a great friend.  Chris’s father owned Duet, the beautiful 1912 Linton Hope designed yawl which would form part of Ocean Youth Club’s fleet.  Duet had been entered for a race from West Mersea to Ostend and Chris invited me to join the crew.  There were six of us, all aged about 24 and we would have with us “Navvy” Mussett.  Mussett was Duet’s paid hand, a splendid Essex seaman of vast experience who was surprised by nothing because he had seen it all before. 

Navvy Mussett

He told us how as a teenager he had been employed as part of the crew of some vast gaff rigged yacht and was once sent to clear a foul topsail sheet. This involved climbing up the mast hoops, and then working his way along the gaff to the peak. They were sailing downwind and looking down he saw that the owner, on the helm, was looking up at him, rather than paying attention to the course. Mussett saw the leech start fluttering and just had time to get himself on to what would become the windward side of the sail. He managed to hang on when she gybed, all standing.

Mussett did all the cooking on board, and a feature of his cuisine was “sea boot soup”. This was served every evening and came from a stockpot into which went all the day’s leftovers and anything else which came to hand so that the flavour changed slowly from day to day. When a pigeon had landed on board and then disappeared we asked Mussett what had happened to it. He said nothing but just nodded at the stockpot. We never did discover if he was pulling our legs.

Duet made a good start to the race and for most of the day we enjoyed a nice reach in force 3 or 4.

Duet starting Ostend race 1958

At about 1800 I was on the helm and noticed a strange black cloud low over the sea and bang on our course.  “Might be some rain”, I thought, and found an oilskin. Then, incredibly suddenly, we were inside it. It was like night and in the space of a few seconds the wind increased to something I had never seen before – force 10? I just don’t know. We had everything up – full main and mizzen, main topsail, staysail and jib. Duet heeled right over and I remember seeing that most of the guardrail was under water. I tried to head up to spill the wind. The noise was deafening, the rain was torrential and lightning was striking the water all around us. Then there was a bang and I saw the jib describe an arc above the mast. For an instant it streamed aft from the masthead like some vast flag before the mast broke in half above the lower shrouds. Hanging from the remains of the rigging, the upper mast now swept randomly and viciously just above the deck threatening to wipe out anyone caught in its path. The mizzen had blown out on its own, and now at least we had managed to shorten sail, even if it had not quite been done according to the book.

We were all shell shocked and pretty frightened. At this point Mussett, who had been down below preparing supper, appeared on deck, with his beret pulled right down. Hardly ever was Mussett seen without his pipe, and now he made no exception, though he had turned it upside down to avoid the rain putting it out. As usual, Mussett had seen it all before and immediately he made his way to each of us, cupped his hands and shouted into our ears. Afterwards we compared notes as to what he had said - and found he had said the same thing to us all: “Merry old breeze!”. With that reassurance we knew that the world was not coming to an end after all.

Somehow we managed to catch the murderous topmast as it lunged across the deck and the wind left us as quickly as it had arrived leaving an oily swell and devastation on deck. Gradually we sorted out the wreckage, lashed down the broken topmast and started the engine. After a few minutes a hot smell started coming from the engine. We lifted the engine hatch, smoke poured out and dimly we could see something glowing red hot.  So we would have to sail and we set about making a jury rig. Somehow we managed to get enough canvas on the stump of the mast to make it to Ijmuiden in Holland. The harbour was full of fishing boats and it was hard to find a berth but we laid ourselves alongside a trawler – only to find that her topsides were covered with wet black paint, so now there was yet more clearing up to be done.

The engine, amazingly, did recover. A torn piece of mainsail had managed to place itself over the water intake.  We returned to West Mersea in slow time under our jury rig, having first had to deal with a pier head jumper who wanted to join us but was almost certainly a prospective illegal immigrant. Nothing’s new! The mast was quickly repaired and later that summer I joined Duet again for a cruise to Norway, with that wonderful boat now none the worse for her (and our) adventure. And I now know that it’s best to steer clear of isolated black clouds.

This is Chris reporting the loss of the mast to his father:

Chris reporting the loss of the mast to his father

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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 this week in 2004 we weren’t sailing but we held a fundraising dinner at the Royal Southampton Yacht Club, in association with CHASE Children’s Hospice. Libby Purves, now one of our vice patrons, was guest speaker, and we had a great time raising money for both OYT South and CHASE.

In 2005 we had a mates’ training weekend and found some great new people to join our volunteers. Then we had a mixed group with some young people from the Southampton branch of the mental health charity Rethink, plus two Girl Guides. They only had decent wind at the start of the voyage, and otherwise spent a fair bit of time motor-sailing in calm, sunny and warm conditions. They had a BBQ and kite-flying in Yarmouth, and a walk in the woods followed by cream tea in Hamble.

2006 saw a voyage to Cherbourg and Alderney with a crew from Devon and Cornwall branches of the Foyer Federation, a charity which supports homeless 16 to 25 year olds. It was a sociable week as they met the sea cadet vessels Royalist and John Jerwood and the Cirdan Sailing Trust’s Queen Galadriel. Many of the Foyer group had a lot of difficult issues to cope with in their lives, but by the end of the week, skipper Wolf says they were brilliant, and by the last day, even some of those who had struggled most at the start were reluctant to leave.

In 2009 we were doing a training weekend with a group of potential first mates – lots of parking, man overboard recovery drills, anchoring, storm sail hoists and a practice session with a Jon Buoy which is one of the options for supporting and recovering a man overboard:

Jon Buoy

Then it was the annual voyage with CHASE children’s hospice, for brothers and sisters of life-limited children. They made it all the way to Poole on the first afternoon – a long way and a late arrival for a new crew, many of whom were only 12 years old. Next day was Weymouth, sailing at more than 10 knots for much of the way. A sunny and calm broad reach to Swanage was enjoyed by everyone except second mate James who was doing a fog navigation exercise, stuck in the chartroom with all the windows covered so that he could practise for what would happen if we were caught out at sea with minimal visibility!

Fog navigation exercise

They finished with a night sail up the Solent – a full and challenging trip with another brilliant crew:


In 2010 we did a couple of day sails for current and potential supporters:

At sea

Then it was CHASE Children’s Hospice again, with excellent group leaders who made it very clear how important it is for these young people to have a chance to make friends with others sharing similar experiences. The voyage began with a Facebook announcement:  “John Laing is going on an ice cream tour of the south coast!”; but they did manage to pack in a lot more besides ice-cream, including a passage from Weymouth to Poole which involved leaving the berth under sail and not using the engine all the way except for the tiniest bit to counteract the tide when parking on the wall in Poole.  Miranda Camping passed her third mate’s assessment on this voyage and Andy Royse successfully completed a first mate’s assessment. Both had started sailing as young crew members – in Andy’s case, back in 1995.


In 2011 we had another day sail for supporters and sponsors, while enjoying the home baking which our office volunteer team (Sue and Jenny) had very kindly brought along. Also with us on the day was Jon Reeve from the Daily Echo in Southampton, who wrote a lovely piece for the paper about the day, but also made this video featuring a youthful-looking Mark Todd talking about the charity's latest award.

Next we had a crew from the Army Welfare Service for the children of service personnel, funded by the Royal British Legion. They had a busy week including a passage round the south of the Isle of Wight during which one of the young crew members was on the helm as John Laing’s speed reached 13 knots, greatly upsetting the first mate John Snowden, who had been very proud to get just 10.9 knots the previous day!

However, the great events of 2011 were not all on the water as this week saw the official presentation to OYT South of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. We were the first member of the Association of Sail Training Organisations to receive this award, which is equivalent in status to the MBE.

Our sponsors, Marina Developments Limited, very generously hosted a reception for us at the Southampton Boat Show, where HRH The Princess Royal met an invited audience of OYT South volunteers and other supporters before making the presentation of a certificate and trophy. These were accepted on behalf of OYT South by Ben Martin, volunteer first mate and Youth Trustee.

HRH and Ben

The certificate gives the formal citation:

“Elizabeth the Second, By the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Our other Realms and Territories Queen, Defender of the Faith, to Ocean Youth Trust South, Greetings. We being cognisant of the said group’s outstanding voluntary work in the community, and being desirous of showing Our Royal Favour do hereby confer upon it The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award for voluntary service by groups in the community 2011, for such period as the group continues to provide its current service and do hereby give permission for the authorised emblem of the said Award to be displayed on the group’s letterhead and other public material. Given at Our Court of St James’s under Our Royal Sign Manual this second day of June 2011 in the sixtieth year of Our Reign.”

This was - and remains - a tremendous tribute to everyone who has supported OYT South over the years - all our volunteers and helpers should feel very proud! We had as many supporters as possible at the event and HRH The Princess Royal went to immense trouble to ensure that everyone felt included:

Queen's Award presentation

Queen's Award presentation

Queen's Award presentation

In this week in 2012 we had a voyage for a mixed group of individuals – and Brigid Stoney successfully completed her first mate assessment! Then it was another mates’ training weekend with more new prospective volunteers, followed by CHASE hospice siblings again. They had some great sailing and a lot of fun including a beautiful clear night on a buoy outside Yarmouth with a great view of the Milky Way. Lee Mosscrop passed his first mate’s assessment on this voyage: two new first mates in two weeks was a fantastic achievement!


In 2013 we had a day sail for an adult crew consisting mainly of teachers and youth workers who had been sending young people to sail with us. The idea was to give them a better understanding of what young people do on board, but also for us to get to know them better and learn from their expertise. Many of them had years of experience of working with challenging or vulnerable young people. Some had been working with OYT South for years but others were new to us that season so it was a really useful day with lots of tales and ideas exchanged.

That was followed by an excellent crew from the Prince’s Trust with some cracking sailing interspersed with time in port to avoid bad weather – while in Cowes they built a scale model of John Laing!


2014’s newsletter for this week began in Boulogne with an adult crew including plenty of new prospective volunteers. They had hoped for Fecamp next but the weather deteriorated and it made more sense to come back across the Channel instead and do lots of training in the Solent: cruising chute up, reefs in and reefs out, tacking, anchoring, a birthday party for one of the crew and a lot of valuable training from relief skipper and experienced youthworker Vince:



At sea

Next came our annual voyage with Parkside School - a group of 12 and 13-year olds from a school which had over several years built a reputation for grabbing a short OYT South voyage with both hands and making the most of every single second, taking on some passages which might have daunted an older crew! 2014 was their eleventh annual voyage and the group was as energetic as ever. Setting sail on Thursday night (and needing to be back by Sunday lunchtime) the voyage managed to fit in visits to Alderney, Beaucette in Guernsey, and Cowes. In the case of Beaucette, “fit in” has a double meaning - with less than half a metre between John Laing and the rocky walls of the entrance!

In 2015 we were doing another mates’ training weekend with an excellent session of “good watchleader, bad watchleader” where we go round the table asking people for alternating examples (“A good watchleader lets everyone have a turn at every job”, “a bad watchleader doesn’t plan ahead”) and then we talk about examples of what works well and what causes problems. On the Sunday we got the mizzen staysail and cruising chute up.

That was followed by a crew of young people from local schools and pupil referral units. They had a cracking sail down to Poole and next day came off the wall under sail and had a great passage back to Sandown Bay where they spent a night at anchor.  The final highlight of the voyage was taking part in an exercise with Solent Coastguard’s helicopter, doing hi-line transfer practice.



This was also the edition of the newsletter in which we announced that Josh Caudery had been recruited to join the full-time staff team on board and would be starting in November that year!

In 2016 there was another mates’ training weekend with a fantastic group of new potential volunteers with a wide range of backgrounds, skills and interests. We lost count of the number of man overboard recovery exercises that were carried out, alongside sail hoist and drops, fire drills, navigation and pilotage, tacking and general watchleading skills.

Then it was Shooting Star Chase Children’s Hospice again, for their second voyage of the year – a couple of weeks earlier they had brought a group who were new to the boat, while this week was all about returners who had sailed with us previously and were looking for something a little more challenging. They reached 10 knots on the passage to Weymouth where they discovered that the ice-cream shop offers just about any flavour you can think of, except – as it turned out on request – Spam. Allen Swift successfully completed a third mate’s assessment on his very first youth voyage, and it was immediately clear that he had the potential to go further!


2017’s newsletter reported on two day sails for sponsors and donors and other friends of the charity: excellent sailing with some lovely people., including one of our youngest crew members ever:

At sea

Next came our annual voyage with Alfreton Park Special School - their first time in Prolific! They bring students with multiple moderate to severe physical and learning difficulties, along with one-to-one adult carers. They had a great week and welcome a lot of visitors to the boat – and Allen Swift successfully completed his second mate’s assessment!


It was also in this issue of the bulletin that we announced that Peta Koczy had been appointed as our next Staff Skipper, while Holly Vint would be joining us for a season as Sailing Support Officer!

This time last year we reported on a voyage with a crew from the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, who sent our Staff Cadet Georgia ashore so the crew could decorate the boat for her surprise 21st birthday party - lots of tacos and caterpillar cakes!

The next crew came from New Forest Academy - just 12 to 14 years old but they managed a really ambitious voyage, beginning with a sail to Yarmouth and then a 5am start so they could get all the way to Dartmouth next day, enjoying both and amazing sunrise in the morning and a stunning moonrise in the evening! In the morning they had time to go ashore and buy pasties ... some people found a perfect place to eat them:

At sea

They returned to the Solent via an anchorage near Tucker's Rock and then a visit to Portland, completing 259 nautical miles - a fantastic achievement for such a young crew!


At sea

This was a great week for the staff as Georgia completed her Second Mate's assessment and Peta was announced as a finalist in the Women of the Future Awards!

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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Financial appeal

Huge thanks this week 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 are just in the process of making 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. Once that is finalised, we’ll send it to everyone who lost a voyage this year so that clients who want to can pick replacement dates.

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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?

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’re currently running quizzes, a poetry section and regular takeovers where different people take charge of adding things to our Facebook page for a couple of days. Fundraising runner Nathan Kelsall has done a takeover, as has Charles Kingston who played the piano for us, and the Brown and Parker families; and there are some great new things in the pipeline – big thanks to our Youth Trustee Lauren Mackenzie who is organising it. PLEASE do have a look!

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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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, 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