Peta and Holly

Newsletter

OYT South bulletin 27th November 2020

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


* Welcome Holly!

Holly Vint has joined us as our new Staff Skipper!

Holly Vint (photo: Ben Wood)

We know everyone in the charity will be delighted to have Holly back again and will want to give her all possible support. For the moment, she is planning the refit, working on a refit COVID risk assessment and getting used to the admin side of the role.

Supportive as always, Peta has contributed this flattering picture, entitled “The Skipper is dead – long live the Skipper”!

The skippern is dead - long live the skipper

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* Farewell Peta

Although she will be back as a relief skipper in future, it is time to say goodbye to Peta as our Staff Skipper - today is her last day!

Peta Koczy

Over the last four years she has impressed all our clients, won admiration from across the industry, inspired young people, won awards, supported our staff and volunteers, kept Prolific safe and in fantastic condition, and above all made a lot of friends. Here’s what some people have said about Peta:

“At such a young age with so much responsibility, Peta is an amazing role model to all. She has the unique ability to mix her fun energy of a young adult with the seamanship and professionalism of an accomplished sailor. Her ability to capture your imagination and explain something difficult so simply is incredible. She clearly has a passion for sail training and everything she does reflects this.”

“She has accomplished an incredible amount, not only in her ability to expertly skipper one of the larger ships in the UK sail training fleet, but in so much more; her outstanding youth work, her ability to skilfully manage a large team of revolving volunteers, her approachable, relaxed and kind demeanour putting everyone around her at ease. What stands out for me about Peta is that she cares. Every young person who comes on board for one of our voyages with Peta is embraced with open arms, in the relaxed, laid back and accepting environment she strives to create, she cares for each of them …. She cares about the volunteers, regularly putting them before herself, ensuring that they are happy and enjoying themselves too. … She pushes young people, volunteers and friends in the industry to be the best they can be, and to achieve more than they thought possible.”

“She has a massive amount of energy and enthusiasm which she somehow passes on to her crew and the trainees she sails with. Her skills in both seamanship and youth work are superb. Somehow she has acquired the judgement and experience of an Old Salt but retains the fun and apparent spontaneity of a twenty-something.  It can be difficult to be a young skipper managing a wide range of age groups - she does it with tact, skill and a large dose of fun. It is a privilege to sail with her and learn from her. Peta is sensitive to both the group dynamic and to individuals within the group. This enables her to support people and address potential problems before they become big problems. When teaching, she makes complicated things easy to understand. If things go wrong, she recovers the situation very quickly.”

“Peta really is something special. Even in potentially very stressful situations (whether it’s difficult sailing conditions or dealing with challenging young people), she always remains composed and is calm and supportive, allowing the other staff to complete their tasks effectively to make each voyage a success … Everyone who comes aboard Prolific remarks that she is “a happy boat” and Peta is so instrumental in making that so.”

“Peta has made such a difference to my life - I suffer from quite bad anxiety issues and in the past have been very nervous on the boat, without any prompt or information, Peta recognises this and always takes her own time to spend with me and support me emotionally and professionally, and has always improved my confidence.”

“She encourages and instils confidence in those around her. She is inspirational to both the young people and the volunteers and staff she works with.”

“Peta has an open and friendly approach to leadership, combining a high level of skill and confidence with a willingness to involve all members of staff in decision-making. She is committed to delivering high quality youth development whilst ensuring that adventure and enjoyment are at the centre of the young people's experience; that movies, ice cream and a paddling pool can be as important as the number of miles sailed.”

“Peta is supremely knowledgeable and has endless enthusiasm for releasing the potential of not only young people but also of the volunteers who sail with her.”

“I am always impressed at her communication skills: she gives light-touch but thorough briefing and helpful advice and feedback, so that each member of the team feels valued and respected.”

“Peta takes everyone that comes on to the boat and treats them like family. She creates a relaxed atmosphere in which everyone is able to learn, whether it's volunteers or young people. She is so supportive of everybody and pushes us to be our best. She makes sailing fun and interesting and she takes the time to ensure that we are comfortable with what we are doing.”

“She always remains in control and keeps a cool head - I have seen her reverse park Prolific in a tight berth next to multi-million-pound superyachts and seem completely calm, indeed even managing parts of the deck whilst doing this. … She is always willing to have a chat or a laugh with any member of the crew, whilst still maintaining awareness of literally everything going on on board, whether that be the lunch rota, navigation, sail hoists or ropework lessons. … She is observant, talented, and utterly inspirational.”

“The role of skipper is an extremely busy one and I am often in awe of the way that Peta juggles the multiple priorities and keeps smiling.”

One final story:  Charles Wylie is a retired Royal Navy Commander who spent some years of his career training RN officers in ship handling. He was on board Prolific for a day sail when the bow thruster failed and Peta had to berth the vessel in a very tight space, very close to a €3,400,000 superyacht, with strong winds and cross tides. With the vessel safely alongside, Charles said: “In my career I trained many officers in how to handle a warship, and generally if they did all I expected of them, I would grade them ‘Satisfactory.’ Once in a while a ship’s company would impress me enough to be graded ‘Very satisfactory.’ Only a few times in my career did I see anything better than ‘Very satisfactory’, and I was able to grade them ‘Good’. Skipper, that park was Good.”

Peta, your time as Prolific’s Staff Skipper was Good.

There is a web page for donations to Peta’s leaving present: but please note that you only have a few more days to contribute – the fund closes at the end of November just so we know exactly what we can spend on her present!

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* In this week in previous years
While the charity is unable to operate, it is 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.

Back in this week in 2003 we were sending out the very first of these newsletters – a full 703 editions ago! – and the refit team of Skipper Wolf, Princess Craig, Dinghy Boy and Phoebe (who these days goes by her real name Jenny Crawford and recently featured in this newsletter to mark the birth of baby Rowan to her and OYT relief skipper Nic Crawford) were in Universal Marina desperately trying to persuade volunteers to come and help them. Sadly the current photo archive doesn’t go back so far!

In 2005 we reported that our lovely surveyor Di Roberts had been down and crawled around a lot of confined spaces before announcing that there were no shocks and the refit could proceed exactly as planned. Meanwhile the boat was being scaffolded and tented:

Refit

Refit tent

In 2006, the planned lift-out of the boat very nearly didn’t go quite so smoothly, as the newsletter related. To get to the rig berth in order to get the masts out, John Laing had to squeeze through a very narrow gap between a pontoon and a VERY shiny £2 million 67-foot Swan. We used a heaving line to measure the gap: John Laing’s beam plus six inches to spare on either side. The staff at Hamble Yacht Services actually started unbolting the pontoon. At this point, the Staff Bosun went to remove the spinnaker pole from its normal stowage place, upright against the mainmast – and got it stuck fast half-way with the end sticking out over the side, for ease of piercing large holes in £2 million Swans! We only had a few minutes to move the boat, and if we had missed our slot, the mast lift would have been delayed by a day, and the boat lift likewise - not an affordable option. Eventually, with the bosun halfway up the mast wielding a mallet, and everyone else heaving on the pole, we got it shifted, and warped John Laing into the berth with moments to spare - a perfect manoeuvre with not a scratch on anyone! The masts were removed and the boat successfully lifted:

Lift out

In 2007 we were replacing the head lining in the saloon and turning this:

Old head lining

 To this:

New head lining

In 2008 the team enjoyed some good weather before the tent and scaffolding went up:

Out of the water

In 2009 conditions were much tougher and there was some cold and miserable weather as we welcomed Dan Spurling to the winter’s core refit team and he quickly learned how much time any refit volunteers had to spend with their head in a bilge:

Bilges

In 2010 the refit was very cold – staff bosun Kirsten said she could save wear and tear on power sanders because all she really needed to do was stand next to the hull holding a piece of sandpaper and shivering.

Rust

In this week in 2012, the team including Carrie (featured in last week’s newsletter) were hard at work, fuelled by homemade soup provided by Katie Outlaw who was a refit stalwart for many years.

Refit

“This week has been all bilge”, said staff bosun Dave in 2013 as there had been a lot of rust-busting, priming and painting all the bilges, with a core team including Amy Brown (now Broderick) whose story is told below. We also announced the departure of Ben  “Sparky” Whinnett, who, having been one of the core team volunteers in 2008-9 had become Refit Manager 2012-13 and then spent the 2013 season on the staff as Operations Support Officer, in particular helping with the New Boat Project and involved with the thinking and planning which helped put us in a position to buy Prolific two years later!

Refit fuel

In 2014 we had half a tent with the rest on the way:

Refit

And the refit team of Andy, Harri, Holly, Joe, Dom, Aga and Amy were getting used to crawling into confined spaces again:

Refit

The newsletter in 2015 didn’t start with refit news as instead we were very proud to announce that Brian Eyres – former skipper, our Treasurer for many years, and still a Trustee – had wone a Lifetime Commitment Award from the Royal Yachting Association!

Meanwhile Staff Bosun Harri was moving on after two years in the role and having passed a first mate’s assessment. Harri turned out to be our last Staff Bosun as she was succeeded by a Staff Engineer …

We already had Josie Griffith and Lou Wildblood as core volunteers for the winter but this week we welcomed the third member of the team, Ben Mahoney.

Refit

Ben, Josie and Lou, alongside the staff (Andy and Josh) became the team which carried out major work on our new boat Prolific as well as essential work to keep John Laing in service for one last season. All three volunteers became regular members of the seagoing team during the subsequent season.

November 2016 was a very different year as a refit was just ending rather than just beginning: Prolific was coming into service after more than a year of work and the team of Andy, Josh, Peta, Sophie, Matt and Tom were getting her ready to start staff and volunteer training!

Refit

In 2018 Danny Ballantyne and Ben Mousseaux had joined Peta, Josh and Georgia for the winter:

Refit

Refit

And this time last year Oran Ronald had become the first full-time volunteer to join the 2019-20 refit team:

Refit

This week last year was also the time when we announced that Staff Skipper Peta Koczy had been Highly Commended in the Women of the Future Awards!

That 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 how much effort so many people have put in over the years to ensure that we can keep helping young people develop the skills to succeed in life!

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* How refit changed my life - Amy’s story
Every winter we take on a few full-time volunteers to join the staff and form a core team who work together for the whole winter. The core team volunteers get food and accommodation as well as useful experience and hopefully a lot of fun and friendship. Some core team volunteers end up sailing with us and staying involved long-term; others move on. We thought it would be interesting to catch up with a few previous volunteers and see how they look back on their refit winter – and find out if the experience has made any difference to their lives. It’s often fascinating to see how involvement with the charity doesn’t just make a lasting different to young people on our voyages, but also to people who are involved with us in different ways.

Last week we heard from Carrie Potter (core team 2012-13). This week Amy Broderick (formerly Amy Brown) from the core team 2013-14:

“I did the refit after Carrie, having joined John Laing nearing the end of the Tall Ships Race for a two-week-long interview for the refit which quickly turned into trying to get on every voyage I could for the rest of the season as bosun.

I did that refit, spending an awful lot of time upside down in water tanks, unable to see anything despite the light right next to my head, as I was the smallest person in the team.

When that refit ended, for the next season I spent as much time as I could onboard, at one point nearing the end of the season working out I had done more voyages than either the staff bosun or staff skipper, as well as sailing as much as I could with other sail training organisations. At the end of the sailing season I was left at a loose end so what better to do than do another refit! This time round though I was successful in gaining employment with the Sea Cadets as mate on their 35ft yachts. I sailed as mate for two seasons before being offered the skipper position which I was able to take up for half the season, unfortunately having to leave due to some difficult personal circumstances.

Since then I haven’t been able to sail anywhere near as much as I would have liked, and haven’t been able to volunteer with OYT South at all. I got married, had two gorgeous girls, and family life doesn’t leave much time for the sea or work for that matter. My original plan, back when applying for bursaries for sailing qualifications, when asked “Where do you want to be in 5 years’ time”, my answer was “Skipper of John Laing”. When I am able to go back to work, I want to do something in youth work, so I know the time spent both sailing and at refit with OYT South will help me with that ambition.”

Here’s Amy, sixth from the left, with other refitters:

Refit

We'd be interested to hear from everyone who has been part of a winter refit core team – whether or not you are still actively involved with the charity – to find out what you are doing now and what effect joining the full-time refit team has had on your life.

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* Sail training changes lives – Ollie’s story
This week were delighted to hear from former relief bosun Ollie Carr Navin with some great news about his future career. Ollie first sailed with us in May 2013 when he was 13 years old and he has been a cheerful and enthusiastic presence on voyages and at refit over the years, and he’s always kept up his love of the water. This week he wrote to say: I wanted to say again thank you for all the opportunities, I am now going to be putting my bosunning to good use as I am joining the army in January and I will become a fully qualified marine engineer after all my training.” Army marine engineers are essential for the maintenance of the British Army’s seagoing fleet, and Ollie will be based at Marchwood, just across the water from Ocean Village, during his training. We’re delighted that his experience with OYT South has helped him to settle on his plans for the future, and we wish him the best of luck!

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* Solent crossing leads to more than 54 years of marriage - an OYC tale
A 1962 story from Jeremy Ouvry:

“In the early days of the Ocean Youth Club we enjoyed the great support of Charles Nicholson who was also one of our Governors. He allowed us to berth both Equinoxe and Duet in the Camper and Nicholson’s mud berth in Gosport alongside the empty hull of a WW2 motor gunboat (MGB) which served as a meeting/sleeping space for Club members. Aboard the MGB much fun was had and nonsense spoken. A “line shooter’s medal” consisting of a bottle top on a piece of string would be awarded (passed on) by the holder to any other member deemed worthy of the award. The medal changed hands frequently to popular acclaim.

In 1962 the Club had reached an agreement with the Central Council for Physical Recreation (CCPR) to take over a share of Shamblers yard on the south side of West Cowes which had ceased trading. In its heyday the yard had handled some of the largest yachts and offered more than enough accommodation for the Club and many other outdoor activities envisaged by the CCPR. We were to be the trail blazers.

Accordingly on a beautiful sunny day in June with the MGB strapped alongside Equinoxe as our motive source we motored slowly out of Portsmouth harbour and set off for Cowes. In 1962 the number of yachts was a small fraction of those we see in 2020 but it remains a mystery how we got permission from the Queen’s Harbourmaster (QHM) to exit Portsmouth Harbour in a vessel of such dubious seaworthiness. Perhaps Charles Nicholson had convinced the QHM that we would be more appropriately berthed in Cowes. Portsmouth Harbour has seen many famous ships come and go; we were one of the more bizarre.

In command was Organising Secretary Jo Habens with Skipper Jim Drewett at the wheel/controls on Equinoxe. By the time we reached Cowes the tide had begun to flood so there was no stopping us as we proceeded up the Medina. Jo Habens was displaying a certain anxiety as we approached the chain ferry which tended to demand right of way ahead of oncoming vessels. Fortunately the Ferrymaster saw the wisdom of not doing so on this occasion and minutes later we secured to the river bank at Shamblers yard. We had successfully moved base!

As Equinoxe’s Mate for the weekend it was left to me to organise the visiting crews mostly aboard the MGB. Among them were a group from Reading University Sailing Club, one or two of whom were not entirely amused that they were not sailing as promised aboard Duet. There was little or no wind (though they all had a cracking sail next day aboard Equinoxe).

Among their number was Sue – little did she know that she was meeting her husband-to-be for the first time – she was not at first entirely impressed by him but we have now been married for 54 years. Sue did also become a much-valued editor of Spunyarns, the OYC magazine.”

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* Tanki toilet paper

OYT South is delighted that next season we will be using a revolutionary new toilet paper on board Prolific. Tanki has just won the Maritime UK Innovation Award for a product which is much better for the environment and much less likely to cause blockages in marine toilets! It's available here if anyone wants to buy it for their own home, boat, caravan etc.

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* Prolific news

Holly has been busy de-rigging the boat!

Refit

Refit

And Josh ran up the engine etc. and did a deck wash:

Deck wash

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Refit plans this winter

As we explained in more detail at the start of November, we are doing a refit this year but for reasons of cost and COVID-safety, we are keeping it as small as possible and won’t be calling for the usual army of volunteer help. If anything comes up where we do need help and can manage it safely, we will let you know; but in the meantime we want to thank everyone who has worked so hard on Prolific in recent years and ensured that the boat is in such a good condition that we only need to tackle the bare essentials this year.

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2021 sailing plans

As we explained in more detail at the beginning of November, we are determined to do everything possible to sail next season and not spend another year with Prolific in harbour. There are still a lot of unknowns about what might be possible with voyages in 2021 and there will need to be some changes: but we DO hope and expect to be needing volunteer sea staff in 2021!

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2021 volunteer bookings
- send in your bids now
Because we hope to be sailing in 2021 and we know that volunteer sea staff need to have dates in your diaries, we plan to take sea staff bookings as normal. We obviously have to accept that not all voyages will necessarily go ahead exactly as planned, but it is much better to have a team of volunteers provisionally booked and available for each voyage period – it would be quite impossible to put teams together at the last minute.

Therefore, if you want to sail as a volunteer in 2021, you can now start sending in details of when you are available and how much time you can spare, just as you did last year - but please read the rest of this section before doing so!

If you have had a skipper's recommendation (which means that EITHER you have sailed on a youth voyage and been told at the end that you have been recommended to come back for bosun or watchleader training, or you have done an adult voyage and been given a recommendation at the end) but are not yet an assessed and qualified member of sea staff, your next step is to sail on a youth voyage of four nights or more, for further training and assessment. Not all voyages are suitable for this but please send in details of your availability and we'll aim to match you with an appropriate voyage.

Qualified sea staff (anyone who sailed with us as a watchleader, bosun or engineer in 2019 or previously) - ideally please give us voyage numbers of anything you would like to do (see here for voyage numbers); or give us names of any regular clients you'd particularly like to sail with. But if you have really flexible availability, the easiest thing is to tell us the maximum number of days you can offer in 2021.

Please note that we DO need you to send in details of when you can sail (whether specific voyage numbers, or an idea of the times of year you can or can’t do - e.g. if you can only sail in school/college/uni holidays - in which case do give us exact dates) and/or how much time you can offer - please DON'T email to ask what voyage dates are available. The reasons for this are complicated but it’s basically all about the need to put together teams of sea staff with the right blend of experience, qualifications and skills, rather than booking people one-by-one.

We really need to get bids in from as many people as possible before we can start the allocation process and it can take until January before we can start confirming bookings for every voyage. If you really need an answer more quickly than that then please tell us your deadline and we will do our best for you!

Once the main round of allocations is completed we will advertise any remaining gaps, but you may find there's not a lot of choice at that stage. Please send bids or questions to webmaster1@oytsouth.org.

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2021 volunteer training – on board

Because none of our volunteers have sailed Prolific for a year, we will aim to run some refresher trips before the start of the season. 

For those of you who were with us in winter 2016-17 when Prolific was new to the charity, we have something similar in mind: short voyages including weekend options, just so that watchleaders, first mates and skippers are comfortable, confident and safe before we start sailing with young people again. We will publish dates for pre-season training voyages in this newsletter as soon as we can.

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2021 volunteer training – shorebased

We are not planning the usual face-to-face February shorebased training weekend in 2021 but we are looking at options for a weekend of online training via Zoom – if you have any ideas for training you could offer or courses you would value, do let us know.

Meanwhile we are going through the list of active volunteers to see who has expired qualifications or anything that will need renewing during next season. Because we won't be able to run a first aid course as we normally do in February, we'll aim to let people know in good time so that volunteers can hopefully arrange to do a course locally.

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* Financial appeal

A happy week this week in the fundraising department, with huge thanks due to the Patrick and Helena Frost Foundation for a very generous donation towards Prolific’s refit; John Hicks and the team at Alinea Consulting; the Peter Dixon Trust; the Lambert Trust and Eddie Bishop; Bursledon Outside Yacht Club in memory of Mr John Madin; Jeremy & Sue Ouvry; and Alexia Jenkins in memory of Bruce - all for fantastic contributions!

Big thanks also to all our other 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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* Raise funds for OYT South if you're doing Christmas shopping online!

There are several ways in which your online shopping can add donations to charity without costing you anything!

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. 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.

Caz says: "I just ordered a present for my brother from John Lewis and was impressed to find that it produced a significant donation while I still paid the normal price!"

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.

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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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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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“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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