These days will come again ...


OYT South bulletin 29th May 2020

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

COVID-19 (coronavirus) update
There are three 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

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

We asked members and supporters to help us by writing to your local MP and we had a fantastic response – thank you so much to everyone who got involved. Some MPs sent brief replies or standard form letters, but a significant number were genuinely interested and engaged, and took up our cause; and several asked to meet us in due course in order to find out more.

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* Former MDL Award Winners Millie and Ciaran

Our major sponsors Marina Developments Limited run a competition every year to identify exceptionally deserving young people to sail with us. This year, as part of a campaign on all their marina social media pages, they asked us to go back to some previous winners - and their mums! - to see what impact the experience had on them.

Millie, 15 – MDL Award Winner 2019
“Before I got the MDL award, I wouldn’t have thought I would ever sail a boat, so it was quite surreal for me! But I just loved it, by the second day I was completely in love with everything. And then on the last day Mark the skipper said he was going to recommend me to come back and train towards becoming a volunteer when I’m 16 and he could arrange bursary funding so I could do more voyages. That was a very happy moment! It’s amazing to be given the opportunity to get qualifications – and all the support I get from the charity.

When I was little I was quite adventurous but somewhere along the way I had lost that and I was mainly focussed on being academic and doing written work, but sailing has given me that adventurous outlook back again alongside everything else.

Since the start of lockdown I’ve been doing lots of schoolwork – trying to teach ourselves is really hard! I was OK for several weeks but now it’s getting to me – I want to go back to school. I just want to see my friends.

When we are able to go sailing again, I will go crazy – I’ll be so happy!

I’d like to say THANK YOU – a massive THANK YOU – to the people who picked me for an MDL Award. If I met someone else who was getting an award and going sailing for the first time, I’d say don’t waste time being scared, awkward or nervous on the first day – just grab every opportunity with both hands and throw yourself into the experience!”

Millie’s mum
“Since lockdown began, Millie’s been quite self-motivated – it’s GCSEs next year so there’s quite a lot of pressure; and she’s really missing the social side of things.

But the MDL Award and sailing with OYT South has had a significant impact on Millie’s self-belief: she came back from that first voyage having had the most amazing time, so confident in what she had learned and so enthusiastic in telling us all about it. What’s great now is that it’s Millie who is the driving force in staying involved – not waiting for the family to push her or suggest ideas, but there’s a sense of empowerment and leadership in putting herself out there and trying new things. The impact on young people of the MDL Awards and sailing with OYT South is just amazing.”

MDL voyage

Ciaran, 16 – MDL Award Winner 2017
“When I heard I had won the award and would be going sailing, it was such a mix of emotions – I was extremely excited, slightly nervous and had no idea what to expect! But the best moment on that first voyage was tacking into Dartmouth with an amazing sunset, getting ready to come alongside. It was awesome. Everyone on that first voyage was really helpful, I’d never experienced anything like it, it was one of the best things in my life and I’ll remember it for ever.

Since then I’ve done lots more voyages but there have been some other great memories too, not just the sailing but also helping Ocean Youth Trust South at events, showing people round the boat and talking about the charity – like the South Coast Boat Show in Ocean Village last year. And now I’m training to be a volunteer bosun and it means I can give back to the charity.

It’s all helped open my eyes to the maritime world and given me the confidence to believe I can do things I wouldn’t have thought of before. I was thinking of marine engineering as a career but I’m also considering joining the Navy – I’m not sure! For now I’m starting A-level courses next year.

Since lockdown I have been gardening and growing vegetables and fruit and helping my mum. Missing friends is the hardest thing. It’s been getting a bit better but the first few weeks were very tough.

When I’m able to go sailing again it will mean everything to me! I’ve missed it SO much, it’s made me quite sad – it’s just indescribable and awesome, such a confidence boost, I miss everything about it.

I’d say to the people who picked me for an MDL Award: thank you so much, you have changed my life and opened my eyes to what I can achieve, I can’t thank you enough, it’s wonderful. And I’d say to any future winners who aren’t sure what to expect: the staff will look after you and you’ll soon be one big family on the boat!”

Ciaran’s mum
“It’s been lifechanging for Ciaran – it’s instilled a passion in him, and the opportunities and support from MDL and OYT South have meant so much. He certainly wouldn’t be looking at the same career choices without it!”

MDL voyage

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* Happy birthday Emma Ellis!

A few readers will have memories going back to the earlier days of the Ocean Youth Club, which became the Ocean Youth Trust, and some will have known our founders, Chris Courtauld and Chris Ellis. More of you may know Chris Ellis’s daughter Emma who did so much to organise the charity’s fantastic 50th birthday celebrations in 2010. Today Emma is celebrating her own personal 50th and we wanted to wish her a very happy birthday on behalf of all at OYT South!

Emma put together a history of the charity in 2010 – very well worth a read if you haven’t seen it before! (pdf, click image to read):

50th brochure

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* Ian Campbell’s tales of early days in the Ocean Youth Club
It’s appropriate that in a week when we are thinking about the Ellis family, we’ve been sent a great contribution from Ian Campbell – an article he wrote for the Ocean Youth Club magazine about his time in Theodora, one of the Club’s original boats – said to have three miles of rope! Ian’s first encounter with Theodora was as a young Sea Scout and he ended up sailing as her skipper. You can read Ian’s article here (pdf, click image to read):


Theodora later reverted to her original name, Kindly Light, and was restored by Malcolm McKeand.

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* Does anyone have a spare laptop for Georgia?
Our Staff Cadet Georgia is currently on furlough and that means she is not allowed to do any work for the charity for the time being, but she is allowed to continue with her own training – and that’s difficult as she doesn’t have a laptop! Does anyone have an old spare laptop she could have? It wouldn’t need to be able to do anything particularly complicated but you would need to find a way to get it to her in Southampton. Email if you have any suggestions.

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OYT South Annual Report
OYT South’s Annual Report and Accounts for the last financial year is now available online as a pdf – we aren’t producing a printed version for the moment. it includes a lot of stories, photos and quotes as well as the financial statements, so do have a look. It covers the last financial year which ended before the COVID-19 crisis began, and the changed situation is reflected in the financial statements; but this doesn’t alter the fact that the sailing season in 2019, covered by this report, was an outstanding success. The report is therefore offered as a celebration of a great year, in recognition of the staff, volunteers, donors, sponsors, suppliers and other supporters and friends who did so much to help all the young people who sailed with us in 2019. It also celebrates the achievements of the young people who often did more on board than they had ever dreamed possible.

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* Financial appeal

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

See here for how to make a donation - you can contribute by cheque, phone or PayPal, but please do something if you possibly can. Don't forget that if you complete and return a Gift Aid form (pdf) we can claim back tax on your donation.

Huge thanks to all our supporters and friends who have already responded with such kindness and generosity to this appeal. We are not thanking everyone individually in the bulletin only because quite a few people have asked to remain anonymous; but we are truly grateful to all of you.

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* Prolific news
Big thanks to Holly who is looking after Prolific on a voluntary basis while Josh has a break on furlough having been working on board on his own for so many weeks.

The only excitement this week was someone letting Holly know that our biggest fender was making a bid for freedom and floating away so she had to do an emergency rescue expedition. Other than that she has been doing lots of small jobs on board, and tackling the chart corrections:

chart corrections

She’s also had a chance to do some local exploring and found this by the Itchen Bridge:


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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 reported that Dougie Walker had sailed as relief skipper on board John Laing for the first time and the newsletter noted that he was exceptionally impressed with our sea staff: “As good a team as you could have. Hats off to Helen “Hels” Acton, Craig, Dinghy Boy and Steve Harman.” It turned out that he was even more impressed than we realised at the time, as Dougie and Hels were married in 2009 (and are still both actively involved with the charity)!

In 2005 the May Bank Holiday weekend trip was booked by Sunnydown School, which worked with boys with specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia and Asperger’s. The trip was nearly scuppered when a vital replacement part for the gearbox was mislaid by the delivery service, but after a lot of effort by a lot of people, the voyage was salvaged. This involved second mate Mark Boggis, then the Chairman of OYT South’s Board of Trustees, driving to the midlands to collect the part – prompting a gleeful text from the skipper to the shore team: “I’m sending the Chairman to Coventry!”

The newsletter reported that the saving grace of the whole experience was that the crew (nine boys and three group leaders) could not have been nicer and more understanding. While they couldn’t sail they divided the time between sail training sessions, fishing, trips to the beach and the swimming pool, the Cardboard Box game, the Chocolate Game, the Boat Race game and the Blindfold Rope Around the Boat game (with added water pistols and ripe bananas).

Eventually they were able to go sailing – and the bulletin noted  “some very excitable navigation from 13-year old Antonio” – possibly exacerbated by his inability to see over the steering wheel:


 The newsletter in this week in 2007 started with some sad news as we reported the death of Trevor Hewson who had been a volunteer watch leader with us for seventeen years. Trevor had been ill for several months but it never dimmed his enthusiasm for OYT South: even during his stay in Yeovil hospice in the last few days he was trying to persuade the hospice to take up bursary-funded voyages for some of their young staff! Hundreds of young people will remember Trevor as a kind and patient watch leader who also went out of his way to help train our bosuns. He was one of the volunteers who made a real difference to the transition from the Ocean Youth Club to Ocean Youth Trust South, and Mark “Wolf” Todd, now our Chief Executive, noted at the time that when he joined the boat in 2001 as a newly-qualified skipper, Trevor was one of the most vital experienced and skilled supporters, part of the core team who kept the boat going, prepared to drive miles to fix things when needed and often around to back a skipper who was very much still learning. Mark says he will be forever in Trevor’s debt.


Meanwhile John Laing was joining the fleet gathering in Torquay for the ASTO Small Ships Race to Guernsey, and there were a few social events, a treasure trail etc. The race start on Tuesday was exciting as it was blowing a Force 6 and Mark found himself heading for a gybe mark just off the harbour entrance at exactly the same time as all the other vessels, doing 11 knots with a crew who had never gybed before. They rounded the mark in the third place and were in the lead by the time they reached Berry Head, before spending much of the crossing in a tight race with one other vessel. In the middle of the shipping lanes the wind most unhelpfully died away to nothing, but a front came through and it all filled in again. John Laing crossed the finish line off Guernsey an hour ahead of her nearest rival. Once handicaps were taken into account, we finished first in class and third overall - an amazing effort for a young and inexperienced crew, who raced hard for 13 hours with almost no practice and demonstrated some outstanding helming.

Max Mudie took some great pictures at the start of the race:


And here’s the ship’s bear enjoying our trophy:


We had a popular client for the return leg with the Chichester Girls XL Club, with their teacher, Drinda Macauley-Moore, who sailed to Jersey and then 90 miles to Brixham, arriving at 3am. From then on, the favourable tides all came in the evenings, so there were a whole series of late arrivals … 2am in Weymouth and 3am in Ocean Village!


In 2008 a short voyage with a school from Midhurst was distinguished chiefly by a stop in West Bay, Bridport – possibly the only time John Laing ever went there.

Next came a voyage for the Nautical Training Corps TS Swiftsure. Some of these young people were on their fifth voyage with us, but as older ones had moved on and younger ones joined the group, it was fantastic to see some of those who used to be junior members of the group moving up, taking on more responsibility, and looking after the novices. This was the longest voyage they had ever done, and we were desperate to get them across the Channel for the first time as they had been unlucky with the weather on previous voyages. This time the weather was OK but the French ports were blockaded, a huge regatta filled the Guernsey harbour and left no space for us, and the wind direction made the anchorage in Alderney unsafe! So they went west instead: Weymouth, Dartmouth and Brixham. Swiftsure voyages were always distinguished by their enthusiasm for the After Eight game:

After Eight game

That was followed by a voyage with siblings from Acorns Children’s Hospice, Birmingham. They joined in Poole and then John Laing had to leave in rather a hurry as Town Quay was being evacuated owing to the discovery of an old WW2 bomb!

In this week in 2009 we reported that Ben Martin had completed his first mate’s assessment – a tough assessment as he had to prove that he could safely take command of the vessel if the skipper was ill or injured – and Ben did exceptionally well to reach this standard at the age of 21, having worked his way up from a young crew member joining us for the first time only four years earlier.

TS Swiftsure were back again and this year’s voyage was a particular pleasure as the three senior members of the group had been the 12-year olds in our very first TS Swiftsure voyage, and it was great to see the progress they had made. It was only a weekend voyage, though, so they still didn’t manage to go cross-Channel!


That was followed by a voyage for young people organised by Cardiff Rotary Club – lots of sunshine and not much wind so the newsletter mainly seemed to mention tea and cake …

2011’s newsletter in the first week of June was one of the most exciting ever as we were able to announce that Ocean Youth Trust South had won The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service! This is the equivalent of an MBE for voluntary organisations, we were the first sail training charity ever to win it, and only 130 were awarded across the whole of the UK that year. [It was officially presented to us In September by HRH The Princess Royal].

Queen's Award

Mark Todd, Chief Executive of Ocean Youth Trust South said: “We are thrilled to have received this prestigious honour for the work we do with young people in the local community. The award is a real tribute to the thousands of volunteers who have helped us since the charity was founded … This is fantastic recognition for the sheer hard work and dedication our volunteers have shown in delivering high quality, fun and safe sail training voyages. It is also a well-deserved accolade for those on shore, often in the background, whose support makes the charity’s work possible. Additionally, it is a tribute to all those who have been involved with the OYC /OYT over the years, as they set the standards for exceptional sail training voyages which led us to where we are today. May I personally thank all those who have been involved with us now and in the past for your efforts and enthusiasm.”

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Award Committee Chair, former broadcast journalist Martyn Lewis CBE said: “Volunteer groups make such an important contribution to their communities, often without praise for the incredible job they do.  In these difficult times their efforts are even more valuable.  It’s a pleasure to celebrate the achievements of Ocean Youth Trust South with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and give official recognition for the benefits they bring to others’ lives.”

Rear Admiral John Lang, President of UK Sail Training, added: “This is a fantastic recognition for sail training and the difference it can make to the lives of young people. OYT South is the first member of the Association of Sail Training Organisations to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service but there are volunteers throughout UK Sail Training who make an outstanding contribution to our efforts to give more young people the experience of a life-changing adventure.”

Later in June, Mark, Caz, Brian and Sally were invited to attend a Buckingham Palace Garden Party (and reported that the cakes and sandwiches were outstanding)!

Buckingham Palace

Meanwhile on board John Laing, it was the annual voyage for Park House School: a week of really challenging weather – no-one complained about being stormbound in Cowes after they had walked round close to Gurnard Ledge and saw another boat being rescued! But they did get some decent sailing:

Park House

TS Swiftsure were back again the following week and of course the weather was too bad for them to sail across the Channel. The winds were strong enough that they split the mainsail right along a seam and had to continue without it.

By the end of the week there was a successful crew takeover for a night passage to Poole, where the entrance proved quite a challenge for the 13-year old skipper and the navigators, one of whom was only 12, but as they got the hang of things they did a fantastic job, and were alongside and in bed not long after 2am. Next day everyone swapped roles and a different team took charge of getting back in the Solent and up to Cowes to drop off the mainsail. It was amazing to see how much responsibility such a young crew could take given that all but one had sailed with us before and knew the boat well.


In 2012 we had a cruise in company as one of our regular clients, Park House School, had enough young people to fill two boats! Our friends from Pegasus came to help us out and had a great week with crews swapping between the boats.

Cruise in company

Cruise in company

TS Swiftsure was back in 2013 – including a visit from the Coastguard rescue helicopter doing a practice drill and lowering a winchman who had first visited John Laing twenty years ago.


Then they had a fantastic sail around the south of the Isle of Wight, listening to The Lion King as the sun set and sailing well into the early hours of the morning before the young people took charge of getting the boat in to Gosport.

That was followed by a group of young carers, and then the Prince’s Trust sailed with us for the first time. Their programme involved a lot of really high-quality youthwork techniques and it was fantastic that Dougie, who was our skipper for the week, was already familiar with how they work. It was great for our other sea staff to learn about a different way of working, and to see how well the OYT South approach can be adapted to meet the Prince’s Trust needs.

Prince's Trust

Carrie Potter who had been part of the previous winter’s full-time refit team completed her third mate’s assessment on this voyage.

Park House School were back in 2014: ten young people aged 12 and 13, plus two staff members, one of whom (George) used to sail with us as a teenager. They had a good voyage but while going for a walk ashore around Lymington, they came across a cow chasing down a man and head butting him to the floor! They checked the man was OK before deciding NOT to walk across that particular field….

Park House School

Next we did a weekend with the Saints Foundation - part of Southampton Football Club – who brought eight individuals with physical or learning difficulties, plus four carers. Skipper Andy Brown said “The Saints crew were fantastic. They were all enthusiastic, up for absolutely everything, told (very) bad jokes and volunteered for all duties (even cleaning) with a smile.”

After that came a voyage with MACS (the Micro and Anophthalmic Children’s Society which exists to help children born without eyes and with underdeveloped eyes).


The first night the voyage went to Hamble with the crew being lulled to sleep by Little Wolf’s Book of badness (Ian Whybrow), which was read by Mark. On Tuesday they sailed to Poole after Robbie, the most visually impaired person on board, drove John Laing out between several boats. The bulletin noted that one of the young people, Jack, was particularly keen and managed to lead a mainsail hoist. That was Jack Dignan who went on to become a second mate and for several years was our Youth Trustee!

Then it was Alfreton Park special school once again – young people with multiple moderate to severe physical and learning difficulties, with lots of adult carers. The week’s newsletter ended with them in Beaulieu, sitting on the lawn, playing games, dancing to Abba, having a go in the dinghy and generally enjoying themselves!

In 2015 we reported on a Scout group organised by Emily and Will Parker’s dad, returning from Alderney. A parent emailed later: “My two lads have just come back from their week on-board John Laing and they are buzzing. They have told me more than once that they have “crossed the channel and it was at least a force 8 and you haven’t done that dad!!" It sounds like your crew were super friendly and full of fun. Please pass on our thanks for an excellent trip. “


The following week a mixed crew were able to see some beautiful vessels gathered in Cowes for the Royal Yacht Squadron Bicentenary celebrations – at one stage they picked up a buoy off Cowes in between two yachts, one belonging to the King of Denmark and the other to the King of Norway - very fitting company for John Laing!

In 2016 it was the Winchester Scout group again plus a selection of individual bookings, sailing to Brixham and Dartmouth and did a lot of crabbing before sailing back to Yarmouth in time to watch participants in the Old Gaffers Festival as they came in. Andy Kitching successfully completed his second mate’s assessment on this voyage.


Prolific attended Gosport Marine Festival in this week in 2017 and gave out lots of leaflets, and then we were joined by a new client, Hillingdon virtual school for children in care: three adult leaders and nine young people including individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds and countries of origin. They were mainly quite nervous and anxious on the first day, and with violent thunderstorms forecast, the boat stayed in Haslar on the first night, and just did briefings and had time with the crew logbooks - and a bedtime story before they went to sleep! Next day they had time on Weymouth beach – at least four members of this crew had never been to a beach before, and they played football, splashed each other and didn’t want to leave. Towards the end of the week they had an incredible downwind sail back to Southampton: Mark the skipper said it was one of his best days at sea for a long time and it was excellent to share it with such a great group who really appreciated the beauty of the day with glorious sunshine. Most of the group had a chance to go out on the bowsprit and loved it. Mark says it was impressive to see how the young people were completely engaged, listening carefully and working as a team. Hannah Brown completed her third mate’s assessment on this voyage and Lauren Mackenzie was signed off as a bosun. It must be said that the sea staff absolutely loved sailing with this group and ended the voyage filled with enthusiasm about a new client. The end-voyage debrief with the young people included some particular highlights. One boy - a 17-year old refugee who has his own room in supported accommodation - made a really powerful and honest statement about how living with everyone on board had felt for him like a family - sitting together, eating together, all the things he doesn’t get in his everyday life. He couldn’t get over how a group of people who had only met on Sunday could feel so like a family by Thursday. By this point, several members of the group - and some of our sea staff - had tears in their eyes.

It was Park House School again in 2018 – at least their fourteenth year of sailing with us! They sailed to Weymouth in time for ice cream on the beach in glorious sunshine and then dinner and games on board. Next day they had a lunchtime stop in Lulworth – and more ice cream!

Park House School

That afternoon they ended up giving a tow to a small boat with engine failure, taking them right into Poole while the young people did the navigation and pilotage. The inshore lifeboat eventually came and took over the tow, leaving Prolific to berth on Town Quay.

The following week Hillingdon’s Virtual School for Children in Care were back again - one of this year’s group had walked for three months on a journey from Syria to the UK at the age of 13. They sailed to Dartmouth and back with dolphins, a fabulous sunset and then forked lightning. One evening, Prolific was spotted by a fantastic photographer, Gregg Cashmore Photography, who took these lovely images - huge thanks to Gregg for sending them in and giving us permission to use them!

Gregg Cashmore

Gregg Cashmore

The voyage ended with a special song composed by two of the young people and everyone saying they were sad to leave!

Having had regular voyages with TS Swiftsure from 2006-13, we had missed them for a few years – we had seen the same people sailing year after year and watched a number of them go from age 12 to adulthood (and in at least one case, from extra-small oilskins to extra-large!). For various reasons they had been unable to sail with us for the last four years so it was fantastic to see them back again with some adult leaders whom we can remember as 12-year olds! Finally after all these years, the wind was right for France, the ports weren’t blockaded and there was a berth for us and this week’s bulletin ended as they arrived in Cherbourg!


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

Thanks to Jon Seddon for this British Antarctic Survey link with resources for primary and secondary pupils – or anyone who likes penguins …

From the Royal Southampton Yacht Club, Captain James Maltby’s colouring books for younger children. (Caz likes the Walrus in Book 5 …)

Some great RYA resources here for all types of sailors including junior / young people section.

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

And a site about climate change.

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

The RNLI provides quizzes, colouring packs and more on their page of educational resources for young people, and there are videos and more, with categories for different age ranges: everything from lower primary (age 3-7) to upper secondary (14-18) and all groups in between.

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

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

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

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

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

Check out the RYA’s #SailFromHome which has everything from fun activities to expert advice and coaching sessions.

There is also a play list from the RYA with videos on all sorts of topics.

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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2020 sailing programme
It is not yet clear when we will be able to start running voyages again, either for young people or adults – as soon as we have any information it will be announced in this newsletter (and everywhere else – website, social media etc.)

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2021 draft sailing programme

We now have a draft 2021 sailing programme.. It’s not too late to make changes to dates, ports and durations if required – please email and we’ll see if it is possible to include a voyage on the programme to suit you. We can take provisional bookings for next year – if we get more than one enquiry in this early period for the same voyage dates, priority will be given to clients who were booked on a 2020 voyage which was unable to sail.

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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