Prolific

Newsletter

OYT South bulletin 4th December 2020

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


* Raise funds for OYT South if you're Christmas shopping online!

"What a fool I was!" says Mark Todd.

"For ages I've seen in the bulletin that Easyfundraising is a good way to raise money for charity, but I never got round to doing anything about it, and when Caz told me how easy it was, I didn't listen.

I thought it might be a hassle, or that I'd have to remember to do something when I bought stuff online, or that it probably wasn't really worthwhile.

This week I finally got round to it and it turns out it's a REALLY EASY way to raise money for the charity I care about ... and I definitely should have done it sooner. I've signed my mum up already and when I can get hold of my wife's computer I'll do it for her too.

It takes a minute or two to sign up; you can do it on a desktop, tablet and/or phone, and you can install a widget that flags up when a donation is available. Once that's done, imagine you're looking to buy - say - a rainbow unicorn: just put "rainbow unicorn" in your usual search box, and the list of results shows you which sites come with donations, and how much. It's up to you what to pick and whether to accept the donation from the site, but a huge choice of sites will offer a donation - and it doesn't cost you a penny.

I don't know why I didn't do it sooner ... but if there's anyone else who has been like me and just not got round to it, PLEASE click the link now and sign up!"

Easyfundraising

OYT South is also 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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* 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.

Our newsletter in this week in 2004 reported that Skipper Wolf had qualified as a Yachtmaster Instructor! He celebrated with an interesting publicity shoot .... That year we had tried one of our cheekier fundraising approaches by writing a letter to S C Johnson (with the help of our vice patron Libby Purves) which included the following:

“On board our boat John Laing we are enthusiastic users of your delightful product, Toilet Duck.  Our young crew members participate in a daily clean-up, and it is heart-warming to see the enthusiasm with which they approach the boat’s two toilets (or ‘heads’) armed with their Toilet Duck, and the gusto with which they argue the respective merits of the blue version over the green.  Our skipper, Mark Todd, is a man who takes a particular pride in having a fragrant toilet at all times, and living on the boat full-time during the season he often says that Toilet Duck is one of the things which makes his life worth living.

Alas, though, our toilets are ageing, and we often feel quite embarrassed to be using your fine product on appliances which, frankly, are not nearly as beautiful and likeable as Toilet Duck deserves. Given that the toilets were installed fourteen years ago, and have been used by eighteen people every week (often suffering from the effects of unfamiliar food and a certain amount of seasickness) it is not surprising that they are now in no condition to show off your product to best advantage. Our morale has been badly affected by being brought face-to-face every day with our inability to live up to the standards set by our lavatory cleaner. Imagine our chagrin: squirting a beautifully designed, elegantly scented, chemically efficient substance on – well, we do not need to draw you pictures. You are men and women of the world, up there at Johnson’s. “

This approach evidently amused them enough that they kindly stumped up the cost of two revamped heads compartments. We replied with this shot of our new Yachtmaster Instructor - which adorned their staff notice board for some time:

Toilet Duck

Moving on to 2005: we were just tenting the boat for refit and rejoicing because we had endured some refits out in the open in previous years! Then tent - with a heater! - was a great improvement on the bad old days when it was sometimes hard to tell whether paint, filler etc. had gone off properly or just frozen.

One of the core team volunteers that year was Kat “Gizmo” Francis, now the writer Kathryn Nelson.

In this week in 2006 were saying farewell to Staff Bosun Julian “Dinghy Boy” Watkins who had done a year on the staff having previously sailed as a young crew member; been a core team refit volunteer 2003-4 and done plenty of sailing as a volunteer. The newsletter noted that “Apart from a great deal of work, Dings has a contributed some original and distinctive beard growth, a taste for what Wolf calls “teenage angst death mutilation music”, an impressive collection of work-related knives and a constant pressure to paint the boat black, inside and out. In the process he has lost several stones in weight and gained a girlfriend and an RYA Yachtmaster Offshore certificate.”

Dinghy Boy

In 2008 we were deep into some of the jobs that will remind those involved at the time of why we ended up selling John Laing and buying Prolific, including rust-busting the stern platform and digging out huge chunks of the deck where it was lifting. The team had been joined by the Refit Fox, who seemed to be living in the yard and came by to inspect the work from time to time. He was in a pretty fragile state, so much so that the team called the RSPCA for advice, who said that he was weak and malnourished, and that it was OK to feed him – high fat food being acceptable under the circumstances. It’s not clear whether the RSPCA expected the refit team to discover that he liked doughnuts...

Fox

In 2009 the newsletter reported that having endured one of the wettest and coldest Novembers on record, they were now being forced to de-ice the deck in the mornings. Team member Ben “Sparky” Whinnett was so disgusted by this that he took six weeks off from refit and went to Australia.

In this week in 2011 we said goodbye and very best wishes to Kirsten Mackay after two years as Staff Bosun and welcomed Dave Bland as her successor. The newsletter noted from this picture that “we have broken him already. It may have been stuffing him into the tanks that did it.”

Dave

The 2011 newsletter also included the sad announcement of the death of Helena Frost, one of our kindest and most supportive long-term donors. She had become involved with OYT South several years earlier via two routes: she supported another charity called Toynbee Hall and she helped to fund young people from one of their projects to sail with us; but at the same time she was also a friend of John Boldero from our West Sussex support group. The relationship grew and through the Patrick Frost Foundation she became one of our most committed refit donors. She had visited the refit a few years earlier and although in her eighties, insisted on climbing up the ladders onto the scaffolding and seeing everything and meeting the team. She also attended our 50th anniversary celebration in 2010, and she loved to get news of the boat and letters about the young people who were benefitting from her support. Her death at the age of 87 was a sad loss both to OYT South and to the many other good causes she supported.

At her funeral there were many tales of a life lived to the full. As a press officer at the Savoy hotel, she once got into a lift with Charlie Chaplin, only to see a bombastic newspaper proprietor demanding of his journalists: “Get me Chaplin!” He then marched into the lift, where Mrs Frost made herself look as large as possible and Chaplin huddled in the corner. Only as the man got out did they reveal who had been sharing the lift with him... just as the doors closed and left him frustrated and furious as they sailed on upwards!

Mrs Frost left us a wonderfully generous legacy in her will, which was part of what enabled the charity to buy Prolific when the time came, and the continued support of the Patrick and Helena Frost Foundation has underpinned many refits and ensures that we can keep sailing with the boat in excellent condition every year.

In 2015 it was our first winter working on Prolific and the newsletter noted that the task of sanding the hull ready for painting had taken a total of 12 person-days – compared with John Laing’s steel hull which needed endless grinding, several coats of priming, sanding, filling - we estimated that people had to work something like 70 days to get to the same stage! And that doesn’t include the massive amounts of time spent on grinding, priming, filling, sanding and painting areas like John Laing’s bilges and cockpit lockers, all of which is time that can be saved with Prolific.

Refit

We also had everything ready for antifouling, where the speed of the work may have been due to having a ninja refit team who moved so fast that any photo of them appears slightly blurred:

Refit ninjas

Here in 2020, last week’s newsletter bid a fond farewell to Peta on her last day as Staff Skipper but in this week back in 2017 we were saying goodbye to her predecessor Andy Viney:

Andy

The bulletin said: “We first met Andy in 2006 when he came on an adult familiarisation voyage for potential volunteers. At the time he hadn’t thought a great deal about sail training but was largely interested in developing his own sailing experience and getting involved with a bigger boat. However, during these voyages we occasionally run exercises for trainee watchleaders which involve a bit of role-playing by other adults to replicate some of the experiences a watchleader might face: crew members not listening or not concentrating, feeling seasick or homesick, taking phone calls when they are supposed to be pulling a rope, having a temper tantrum, asking urgently if they can go to the heads halfway through a sail hoist, asking which is your favourite Pokemon just when you are trying to get the reefing sequence clear in your own mind, clipping their harness line onto a halyard, putting a line round the winch the wrong way, letting a line go over the side, putting a line round their own neck … Observing a trainee watchleader handle all this is a great indication of how well they will do on a youth voyage, and unfortunately all recollections of how Andy coped with this as a trainee watchleader are now lost to history; but as a role-playing teenager, Andy was truly outstanding and his connection with the teenage mind was quite superb. Naturally we invited him back and over the next few seasons he rose through the volunteer ranks, becoming a first mate in 2010. Over this time we witnessed something of a transformation: having come to OYT South to further his own sailing ambitions, Andy became dedicated to the youthwork side of the role - inspired by the ability of sail training to make a profound and lasting difference to young people from all backgrounds. When he decided that he wanted to commit to this full-time, we put a skipper training programme in place and he has now completed five years in the post. During this time, he has more than fulfilled the goal of running voyages that have a positive impact on hundreds of young lives; but he also took on a challenge that other Staff Skippers have not previously been asked to face: he had to manage the refit of Prolific and bring her into service at the same time as running John Laing’s final season with the charity. This was an immense task and the fact that he has skippered Prolific through her first hugely successful season with OYT South means that he leaves a lasting legacy which will have an impact on young people, volunteers, clients and staff for many years to come. “

Andy said: “I’ve had a ball, I feel really privileged! This has been an amazing opportunity and I’ve met some incredible people - volunteers as well as young people. All this started because I wanted to do more sailing for myself, but it soon became all about the young people. But now, looking back, I am struck by how much an adult can get out of being involved with this charity, and how much it has changed me.”

Sadly 2017’s newsletter also featured an obituary for an earlier skipper and one of the great Ocean Youth Club characters, Colin Lewry, who had died at the age of 80.

Colin Lewry

Emma Ellis, daughter of OYC founder Chris Ellis, said: “Most of us remember Colin for his dedication to OYC as a skipper, enabling many hundreds of young people to have an adventure under sail. But many of us also remember him for his dedication to training new generations of sea staff, not just because he taught us that in any emergency we should put the kettle on, but because he taught us concepts that stuck hard and fast in our minds. From engine failures to hurricanes, boats - and no doubt lives - have been saved through recalling words of wisdom that Colin delivered in his unique style, whether on the Robert Clark ketches or freezing to death on the Hunter Duettes in the Hamble River. Just about every one of us who sailed with Colin can recall something that has been put to good use at some stage. The Ocean Youth Club/Trust owes Colin an immeasurable debt of gratitude for his contribution to the existence of the charity, to our own individual lives and to many, many other people - both within the sail training fraternity and beyond."

OYT South Chief Executive Mark Todd said: “The charity only exists and thrives today because of all the people who have contributed so much since we were founded in 1960. Everyone who sailed with Colin Lewry will remember him; but because he trained so many other skippers and watchleaders, and those skills have been passed down through generations of people running our voyages, even the young people sailing today, who never had a chance to meet him, will have benefitted from his influence.”

Caz White, OYT South's Business Manager, sailed with Colin in the 1980s as a teenager and added: "There must be so many of us who remember Colin insisting that no-one could call themselves a navigator unless they could write down the shipping forecast and then draw a map of the UK with isobars, using the burnt end of a match on the back of a cigarette packet. This was quite a challenge for a fifteen-year-old non-smoker! But the fact that thirty-five years later I am still involved with the charity is a tribute to those early days of sailing with Colin. He inspired me as he inspired so many others. He loved the Ocean Youth Trust to the very end and never gave up trying to persuade young people to sail. And wherever OYC and OYT sailors gather, I hope there will always be someone with a Colin Lewry tale to tell!"

The bulletin in this week in 2018 brought happier news as it carried this announcement: “Our wonderful Staff Skipper, Peta Koczy, has won the title of Young Sail Trainer of the Year 2018!”

This is a worldwide award from Sail Training International for a young professional sail trainer under the age of 25, to encourage and recognise high-performing individuals who deliver sail training to young people at sea. The award was announced at the Sail Training International conference in Seville.

Peta's award

Peta's award

Peta said: “Only a few years ago I was a 15-year-old heading off for my first voyage, just like the thousands of young people who try sail training every year. Not all of them want to go into sailing as a career but what I always hope is that the experience will give them the confidence and skills to go forward in life. Sail training has given me some amazing opportunities and the best thing about being a skipper is being able to offer the same chance for other young people to change their lives.”

Mark Todd, Chief Executive of Ocean Youth Trust South, said: “We appointed Peta because we knew she was one of the outstanding sail trainers of her generation, and she has proved that by skippering Prolific through the 2018 sailing season with immense skill. Our staff, volunteers, clients, young people and other supporters cannot speak highly enough of her ability to combine a common-sense, practical approach with a warmth of personality which makes everyone feel welcome and valued on board. We couldn’t be prouder of the fact that she has now been recognised as the best under-25 sail trainer in the world."

Peta's award

Meanwhile at the refit that year, the new Empirbus electrical system was going in:

Empirbus

And the refit team seemed to be enjoying themselves:

Refit

This time last year we were reporting on two fantastic teams of volunteers from the Office for National Statistics in Titchfield, who came along to help at refit thanks to their company volunteering policy. At that stage no-one could have guessed what the year ahead might hold, but it’s worth noting that the ONS has had a huge task this year trying to collect reliable statistics on COVID-19, in a fast-moving environment where having accurate information helps to save lives.

Refit

Also in this week last year, we published a summary of some of the highlights of the 2019 season, with pictures and quotes from young people. At the time we said: “It all makes very clear how much impact our work can have on young people's lives and how much it means to people - many of them very disadvantaged or vulnerable. Every who has been involved with the charity or supported us in any way over the last year should be very proud! Huge thanks you all.” Now this document serves as a reminder of what we have achieved in the past and a promise of what we will be able to do again in future.

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 - Patrick’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.

In previous issues we have heard from Carrie Potter (core team 2012-13) and Amy Broderick, formerly Amy Brown (core team 2013-14). This week: Patrick Kelly (core team 2011-12):

“I was 18 and just out of school when I was invited back to volunteer for OYT South by James Boyce at the end of a Tall Ships race from Waterford to Greenock on John Laing - I think that makes this the summer of 2011. I was about to embark on an enforced gap year (oh, the hardship!) having been unsuccessful in my application to university, and was feeling a little lost and directionless, so this introduction into the OYT family came at the perfect time in my life. Within a few minutes of chatting I had put my name down to be a refit volunteer for the winter; I promise there was no shilling slipped into my drink!

My time in Southampton working on the boat was life-changing in so many ways. It was my first time living away from home and the sweet taste of freedom paints this time indelibly in my memory.

I was with a really good bunch of volunteers, and the refit-social life was a huge part of that winter. The refit house in Shirley became a hub, especially on busy weekends, and countless nights were passed getting to know everyone like old friends. I remember one day watching (bosun) Dave cleaning his car out front from the living room window, and proceeding to plot with Yves to squirt ketchup and mustard out of the top window all over his masterpiece. Confession: it was my idea, and Yves took Dave's fury while I hid. I feel guilt about it to this day.

I was introduced to proper beer and, as many of the newsletter's readers will be able to confirm, this sparked a long love affair with real ale.

I learnt so much working on John Laing. My highlight was being taught to varnish, and I took immense pride in this meditative task, and wouldn't let anyone else do it. A less enjoyable, but equally memorable, job was the week I spent hanging upside down in the water tanks, grinding the sticky-when-warm paint off and repainting them. Every day I'd have to use Swarfega as shower gel, and it still looked like I was wearing eyeliner for weeks to follow. This wasn't an optimum week for an interview, but it seemed the Hull-York Medical School liked the look, as I was offered a place to study there and graduated 3 years ago! Aside from the abundance of angle grinding I learnt to use countless other exciting power tools rust-busting, to work with wood, metal, paint and canvas, and even the basics of electrical work.

I've recently used a lot of these skills - namely rust-treatment, metalwork and electronics - to convert an old VW crafter into a campervan. I've just completed a year off hospital work driving around Europe climbing, avoiding the pandemic, writing and adopting dogs (three abandoned shepherd pups have made it back to the UK with us), and this would have been an impossibility without all the experience I gathered refitting John Laing

Learning to service all a working sailing boat's systems helped me slide into being able to bosun the following season, in any free time I could muster. I learned to sail, and was soon sailing as a watchleader as well, learning youthwork, interpersonal and organisational skills on board that also fed into my medical career, not to mention the resilience, the teamworking, and the being-able-to-have a-laugh-at-the-worst-of-times that have got me through a few really tricky shifts.

Needless to say, refit changed my life, and this introduction to sail training made me the person I am today (beyond just my taste in beer.)”

Here’s Patrick (on the left) with members of his refit team:

Refit team 2011-12

And later, as a watchleader on board Prolific:

Patrick

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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* Prolific news

Holly spent part of this week doing her MCA master 200 tonnes preparation course. But since she’s been back she’s been getting to grips with the ship’s paperwork. Peta has taught her how the boat’s budget works and she’s about to tackle her first test run. There has also been a big “Friday tidy” and clean, and she’s been sorting through our lifejackets:

Lifejackets

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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

Huge thanks this week to Jamie Sheldon for a generous donation and to the Pears Foundation for a fantastic donation in memory of Howard Gross.

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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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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