These days will come again


OYT South bulletin 22nd January 2021

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

* 2021 volunteer training - shorebased -
book now – plus link for online youthwork course
Time to let us know if you can attend any of the online sessions we are planning for our training weekend on February 20th and 21st.

More details below but it would be helpful to have an idea of numbers if you can let us know which of these sessions you hope to attend:

Saturday morning – youthwork
EITHER Saturday early afternoon – weather forecasting
OR Saturday early afternoon – navigation refresher
Saturday late afternoon – high latitude sailing
Saturday evening - social
Sunday morning – mental health
EITHER Sunday afternoon – VHF refresher
OR Sunday afternoon – Thinking about Yachtmaster Coastal / Offshore?

The sessions have been timed to allow significant gaps between each one, so that you won’t be stuck in front of a screen all day with no chance to take a break or even get outside for a walk. The morning sessions will finish so that you have plenty of time before the afternoon sessions begin at 2pm; and on Saturday one of the afternoon sessions should end around 3pm and the alternative option at 4pm so either way you get an hour or two before the high-latitude session starts at 5pm.

  • Youthwork (Saturday morning - starting 0930): how has COVID and lockdown affected young people and how can we support them on board? This will involve a short online course (max 50 minutes). Please do this at home before the training weekend. It looks at the impact of adverse childhood experiences and how young people can be protected and supported to build resilience. There are a couple of videos which don’t seem to play but don’t worry – there’s plenty of interest and value in the course without them. The course was written pre-COVID, but as you go through it, just think about COVID as another type of ACE. Then on the day of the training weekend we will have a session with Nyssa Hutchings, a teacher who has brought many school groups on voyages (and is herself a volunteer watchleader), talking about what her school has experienced in terms of young people affected by COVID and lockdown; followed by a session with Lucinda Neall looking at what we can do on board to support these young people.
  • Looking after your mental health (Sunday morning - starting 0930): with Sue Cheshire who ran a great session for us last year. This year’s session will include the implications of COVID, and is suitable for anyone whether or not you came last year.
  • Weather forecasting (Saturday afternoon 2pm): 1-hour session with Simon Rowell (author of Weather At Sea) on getting, understanding and using a forecast – where forecasts come from and how to decide whether to trust them. An ideal course for anyone who doesn’t want to find themselves in Alderney and needing to get to Poole but with an unexpected northerly Force 8 in the forecast! Invaluable for anyone involved in voyage planning. Recommended for skippers, first mates, second mates and anyone else interested in the weather. This session will run at the same time as the navigation refresher so you need to pick one or the other.
  • Navigation refresher with Dom Coleman (Saturday afternoon 2pm):  an interactive 2-hour chart chat aimed at third mates, less experienced second mates, and bosuns – basically anyone who doesn’t have huge amounts of chartwork experience and needs a relaxed and friendly refresher. This session will run at the same time as Weather forecasting so you need to pick one or the other.
  • VHF refresher with Dom Coleman (Sunday afternoon 2pm):an interactive 2-hour session aimed at people with limited radio experience. Maybe you have done the GMDSS course but you would like a reminder after not having made a radio call for a year; or maybe you’re thinking about getting the qualification next time you have the chance but for now you’re at a level where the skipper might ask you, under supervision, to make a radio call ahead to a marina, and you’d like to know more about it. This session will run at the same time as Thinking about Yachtmaster Coastal / Offshore? so you need to pick one or the other
  • Thinking about Yachtmaster Coastal / Offshore? with Andy Brown and Holly Vint (Sunday afternoon 2pm): Are you thinking about tackling a Yachtmaster Coastal or Yachtmaster Offshore qualification in the next year or two? Or have you considered it and then thought it might be too daunting or you might not be ready? What does it involve, how does it work, what skills and experience do you need before attempting either qualification, and how can you use voyages in Prolific - or any other sailing you might be doing - to build yourself up to a level where you can tackle it? Suitable for second and third mates, or anyone else who is thinking ahead about these qualifications. This session will run at the same time as the VHF refresher so you need to pick one or the other
  • High latitude sailing with OYT South first mate Andrew Wilkes. (Saturday afternoon 5pm after the weather / navigation sessions): Some of you will have seen this talk online already as the Ocean Cruising Club winter lecture, but for those of you who haven’t seen it (or would like to see it again!), Andrew is the Editor of the excellent Arctic and Northern Waters Cruising Guide published by the Royal Cruising Club Pilotage Foundation. He has sailed the North West Passage as well as remote coasts throughout the Arctic. This is an overview of Arctic sailing including the North West Passage and Scoresby Sund. Roughly 1 hour.

On Saturday evening we’ll aim to have an online social event starting at 6.30pm - including a quiz – provide your own drinks!

The idea is that people can dip in and out – you might attend just one session in the whole weekend, or you might sign up to a full programme across both days – it’s up to you.

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* Prince’s Trust survey of young people
This week the Prince’s Trust published their report of a survey of 2,180 young people, looking at their happiness and confidence levels across a range of areas, from their working life to their physical and mental health. The report warns of the "devastating toll" on young people’s mental wellbeing as a result of the pandemic, with one in four young people (26 per cent) admitting they feel "unable to cope with life" since the start of the pandemic, increasing to 40 per cent among those not in work, education or training (NEETs). Half of 16 to 25-year-olds say their mental health has worsened since the start of the pandemic and 56 per cent "always" or "often" feel anxious, rising to 64 per cent for NEET young people. The full report can be downloaded here and is well worth reading if you are working with young people or will be volunteering on our voyages once we are up and running again.

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* Changes to OYT South’s Board of Trustees

Huge thanks this week to Shaun Ormrod who has resigned as a Trustee after serving since 2019. He is currently working abroad in a time zone which has made it almost impossible to attend meetings or be actively involved in the Trust; but he remains a friend and supporter and we are very grateful for all he has done for us.

At the Board meeting yesterday, two new Trustees were proposed and co-opted until they can stand for election by the members at the next AGM.

John Hicks has a background of 40 years of working in global construction, infrastructure, housing, and property sectors, leading teams that have successfully delivered complex public and private sector capital projects around the world. He has been volunteering for OYT South for a few years and has sailed as a watchleader, and in the last year has been extremely helpful in keeping us informed about government plans and decisions affecting our sector.

Roger Bolton continues our long tradition of having representatives of some of our key sponsors on the Board. Roger has worked for International Paint AkzoNobel since 2003 and has provided technical support for both John Laing and Prolific over the years. He comes from a sailing and boatbuilding background and is thoroughly familiar with our work and with what we need.

We are delighted to welcome both John and Roger to the Board: they both bring really useful experience and skills and we look forward to working with them as Trustees.

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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 and at our vessel refits and other activities. If you have a treasured memory of sailing, working or volunteering 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.

The refit team at this time in 2005 were feeling slightly terrified by the fact that there were only seven and a half weeks to go to the start of the season, but were slightly consoled by a visit from relief skippers Dougie and Hels who cooked them an enormous meal.

At this time in 2006 we were reluctantly saying goodbye to Kerry “Special K” McMillan, who was on her second refit as a member of the full-time team as well as doing huge amounts of sailing with us: she had got a job as first mate of the Gordonstoun school boat, Ocean Spirit of Moray. She coped very well with the John Laing team’s suggestion that refitting Ocean Spirit (a significantly smarter and more modern vessel) merely involved the occasional spot of light polishing and nothing like so much of the hard graft she had enjoyed with us:


The refit team in 2007 uncovered something which successive skippers had tried to prevent becoming common knowledge: that there was actually a shower in the skipper’s cabin! Unfortunately a nameless relief skipper had stepped in the shower tray, which gave way; and it turned out the wood underneath was rotten – exposing corrosion in the mizzen mast step … so there was substantial work to do and the secret was out. Meanwhile bosun Laura was being educated: we had two high-level experts on board (Fraser Old on metals and John Parkin on electronics). Between them they managed to overload her brain to the point where she accidentally shrink-wrapped her angle grinder by running it too close to a loose sheet of plastic. Meanwhile the tent around the vessel was surviving horrendous winds – the metal scaffolding was flexing – and the newsletter contained a special credit to IMS Shrinkwrap who had built it all.

The newsletter in this week in 2008 carried a long list of jobs completed, claiming that all but one of them had been productive and inviting readers to spot the error – which turned out to be: “the depth sounder has been painted” … In between all the work, the team found time to come third (probably - the scorer got a bit tired and emotional) in a Hamble pub quiz; to eat lots of panettone; and to spend a lot of time thinking up Star Wars nicknames for each other.

In 2009 we were welcoming Ellis and Reggie, joiners who had been very kindly lent to us for the rest of the refit by BVT (the joint project set up by VT Group and BAE Systems). They had already built new galley drawers and were in the process of building a new nav station. Meanwhile there was a lot of work happening on deck, in very cold conditions: the pipes on the boat and in the yard were frozen and there was only one place available to get water. Nonetheless, this was a rare newsletter which wasn’t begging for more helpers: both the boat and the house were full to the point where any more people might actually have reduced efficiency because there would have been no room to work! This was a phenomenal response and we were so grateful to everyone involved.


This time in 2011 we had just had a vast volunteers’ weekend involving 25 people on the boat and four more people returning items from work completed at home. We managed to sand the entire deck, coachroof, cockpit, saloon and galley; clean up all the dust; and then get all those areas masked up for painting, using miles and miles of blue masking tape:





The refit team in this week in 2013 were spending a lot of time in the scuppers and working on the hull:




The newsletter in 2014 began with very sad news as we had to announce the death of Chris Courtauld, one of the two founders of the Ocean Youth Club.

Kit Power wrote the following for our newsletter: The Ocean Youth Trust was founded (as Ocean Youth Club) in 1960 by Chris Ellis and Chris Courtauld who both loaned their boats, Theodora and Duet, to the new charity. Chris Ellis died in 1997 and now, with the death of Chris Courtauld on January 11th 2014, OYT has lost the last of its “Founding Fathers”. Chris remained a Trustee of OYT from its foundation in 1960 until 2000 when the new regional charities were established. He was passionate about the value of sail training and took a deep and continuing interest in everything that the OYT was doing.

Chris was the elder son of Augustine Courtauld, usually known as “August”, who had been a member of the British Arctic Air Route Expedition to Greenland in 1930-1. August was manning a weather station on the Greenland icecap, when blizzards buried it in snow and he was stranded there alone for five months until eventually the relief party were able to find him. He passed his time developing ideas for the boat which he would buy when he got home. He found the boat, at Burnham - a beautiful 1912 50-foot yawl. She was called Gaviota II, a name which was quickly changed to Duet, and Chris made many childhood cruises aboard her, later taking command himself during his university years on cruises to the Mediterranean, the Baltic and to Scotland. When August died in 1959 Chris inherited Duet. He owned her for the rest of his life and the boat and her welfare was a continuing passion over his 54 years of ownership.

After University, Chris was ordained and was the Chaplain of the London Hospital and later Vicar of St Paul’s Knightsbridge in London. When he retired, he and his wife Elizabeth lived at Levington on the Orwell river in the house which had belonged to Arthur Ransome. Through all this time Duet was on loan, first to OYT and later to the Cirdan Trust, which still operates her. In 2012 she celebrated her centenary with a round Britain voyage and an entry in the Fastnet Race.

Chris had the misfortune to contract polio while he was at school and all his life he suffered from the effects of this. There can scarcely be anyone who has more successfully ignored such a crippling and increasing disability. He was always positive. There were never any complaints. He never lost his marvellous sense of humour. His pleasure in exchanging anecdotes and his interest in the doings of others, especially if they involved boats, never faltered. Few people who knew him have not been inspired by his ability to overcome adversity with such unfailing and infectious cheerfulness.

Emma Ellis, daughter of Chris Ellis, adds: Thanks to the dedication and generosity of Chris and the Courtauld family, Duet is the longest continuous-serving sail training vessel in the UK. For over half a century – including 33 years as the flagship of the OYC - she has been providing life-changing experiences and has introduced literally thousands of young people to the sea who might not otherwise have had the chance. The difference that Chris Courtauld made to so many young people is a tremendous lasting legacy for which we are enormously grateful.

Here's a picture of the two OYC founders (Chris Courtauld on the right) in 1988:

Chris Ellis and Chris Courtauld

In 2015 we had a week to go before the paint was due to be delivered so it was all hands to get ready for painting!



The newsletter in this week in 2016 was exciting because it carried the following announcement:

“Ocean Youth Trust South wins Sail Training Vessel of the Year Award!

We are delighted to be able to inform you that this morning, Ocean Youth Trust South and John Laing were announced as the Sail Training Vessel of the Year by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO).

The trophy was presented by Sir Alan Massey KCB, the Chief Executive of the MCA, who said: "John Laing receives the award today in recognition of 25 years of outstanding service to sail training, reflecting also the great care that OYT South has taken over the years in ensuring the highest standards of safety and quality in what they do for sail training."

This was a fantastic tribute in John Laing's final season with the charity.

Mark Todd, Chief Executive of OYT South, said: "We are enormously proud to have received this award and it is a huge tribute to the work of all our volunteers, sponsors, donors and staff. Our sail training vessel John Laing has spent 25 years offering voyages to thousands of young people from all backgrounds - some of them very disadvantaged or vulnerable. The boat completed a voyage around the world in 1995-7 with young people as crew, and has since spent numerous seasons based in the Solent. It's wonderful that John Laing has achieved such recognition as she nears the end of her time with the charity and we move on to our new boat Prolific. The future for OYT South is very exciting and we look forward to offering safe, high-quality and fun voyages to thousands more young people in the years to come."

Here’s Andy, Mollie and Mark with Sir Alan Massey and the trophy:



By this week in 2017 there was still refit work happening on board Prolific, but we had reached the stage where we could also start doing some sea trials! We motored down to Cowes and then next day had some parking practice before moving into our first sail hoists and tacks with the new gear:

Sea trials

Sea trials

Sea trials

Regular readers will know about the Chris Ellis Award for the best piece of work based on a voyage with OYT South, and in this week in 2018 we were announcing the winner from the 2017 season. This year’s award went to Pearl Harris, who was aged 19 when she sailed on a voyage organised by MACS, the charity for children born without eyes or with underdeveloped eyes. MACS conditions are often linked to other developmental issues including learning difficulties. Pearl's account of her voyage in a fabulous tactile scrapbook, made with the help of her carer, Ruth, can be seen here:


Also in 2018 we had another well-attended volunteers’ refit weekend and 30 people got through huge amounts of work. We were very grateful to International Paint who played a huge part in proceedings:




In 2019 we were again thanking plenty of volunteers but also Alfie the refit cat who lived locally and came on board regularly to inspect the work:


Meanwhile Andy Gissing had taken Georgia, Danny and Cathy Ayres off for some small boat training:

Small boat training

Which brings us to this time last year – once again it is hard to look back at a busy refit team who were still unaware of what 2020 would bring and were putting in huge efforts getting ready for sailing that never happened. But all this work remains immensely valuable because we have been able to keep Prolific in good condition all year – and she’ll be ready to go as soon as it is safe to sail again:




Choosing photos for these newsletters is a reminder of quite how many people have helped us with boat maintenance over the years – it really is an extraordinary level of commitment and support towards keeping the charity going and we are tremendously grateful to each and every one of you.

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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* Prolific news

Big thanks to Holly who is looking after Prolific at the moment. She has done a few coats of paint on the underside of the floor boards; some more rust busting in the chart room before it can be primed; and some emptying and cleaning of bilges:




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* Jake’s research – can you help?
One of our second mates, Jake Clark, has been studying Outdoor Education and is doing a research project focusing on the interpersonal relationships between sail trainers and their participants, as well as looking at the pedagogical/holistic development benefits of this – and he needs sail trainers to help him!


He’s looking for sail trainers to interview - a maximum 30-minute story telling interview around the end of January/February. He’s particularly interested in skippers and first mates but others are welcome – ideally people holding the minimum qualification of day skipper as well as being an active member of a sail training organisation based in the UK, with a minimum of 5 years’ experience. If you fit the bill and would like to help Jake, please email

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* Passports – be prepared

Since 1st January 2021, British passport holders travelling to the EU will need to ensure that on the day you travel, your passport has at least 6 months left, and it must also be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left). If you’re planning to sail with us once we get up and running again, do make sure your passport is in order in case your voyage might be able to sail to France. You might find it convenient to get it renewed while travel isn’t possible so that you don’t have to send it off for renewal later on!

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* News from Sweden of former Prolific crew members
You may recall that our boat Prolific was built and initially operated in Sweden before moving to Norway where we bought her. This week we had an email from Sweden headed “A greeting from a parent of a former student on Prolific”.

Ted Nydegger lives on an island north of Gothenburg and his son, Daniel, was a student in the Maritime school on Orust when Prolific was the school’s training ship. Ted says: “I had the opportunity to sail with Prolific as a parent from Orust to the UK via the Kiel canal in 2005. It was a memorable experience for me and I will always remember that with a smile. It’s good to see that Prolific is in good hands, it was a little depressing to see her after the incident in the Baltic sea [under previous ownership, Prolific had been damaged in a collision]. A year ago I got hold of the drawings for Prolific and decided to build a half model for my son:”





This picture of Prolific which we often use in our publicity turns out to have been taken by Ted:

Prolific (photo: Ted Nydegger)

And this is Ted sailing Prolific in Denmark:

Ted Nydegger

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First aid certificates
If your three-year RYA first aid certificate is expiring while a full face-to-face course is impossible due to COVID, the RYA is currently allowing a one-year extension (not a full three-year renewal) via video conference. This is a much shorter course (around 2 hours) and you can see further details and a list of centres offering the course here. If you do one of these courses, please let us know how it goes so we know what to recommend to others!

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Refit plans this winter - postponed

We had hoped to be running Prolific’s winter refit at the moment but no-one will be surprised to hear that we have postponed bringing the team back together on board. Obviously we don’t want to put our staff at risk and it’s important to help protect the NHS.

This year’s refit will be as small as possible and won’t need to take very long, and we won’t be calling for the usual army of volunteer help. Once we can start the refit work, 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

We are determined to do everything possible to sail this year and not spend another full season 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 to the draft programme: 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
We don’t yet have anything like enough sea staff bids to be able to start allocating voyages but despite all the uncertainties, we DO want to hear from you!

Because we hope to be sailing in 2021 and we know that volunteer sea staff need to have dates in your diaries so you can also make other plans, we want 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 rather than struggling to put teams together at the last minute.

Therefore, if you want to sail as a volunteer in 2021, PLEASE 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. If you really need an answer quickly 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

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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 at the start of the season.

Obviously plans can change and things may need to be postponed but we’re currently looking at the possibility of sailing with volunteers on the following dates (with youth voyages starting after that):

A) Friday 2nd April 8pm – Sunday 4th April 5pm
B) Tuesday 6th April 8pm - Thurs 8th April 5pm
C) Friday 9th April 8pm to Sunday 11th April 5pm
D) Tuesday 13th April 8pm to Thurs 15th April 5pm
E) Friday 16th April 8pm to Sunday 18th April 5pm

We may not be able to sail with a full boat so places are likely to be limited. First priority will go to relief skippers, first mates and second mates. If there are spare places we will then look at those third mates and bosuns who are applying to do quite a few voyages; and only if there are spare places after that will we allocate them to occasional 3Ms, bosuns and trainee mates. This is simply because if we get the more senior team and the regulars happy and comfortable on board again, they will be in a good position to supervise and support others as needed on youth voyages. Skippers, 1Ms and 2Ms need to be ready to take on their usual responsibilities as soon as we start sailing with young people - others can more easily get extra help if you are a bit rusty!

However, none of this should stop people at any level from applying for these voyages – we might as well know who would be available and keen if there are spaces. We just want to be clear that we may not be able to fit everyone in and we don’t want you to be disappointed if you apply for something and don’t get it.

So please email now to say which of the training voyages A to E you could do, if they go ahead on those dates. If possible please give us some flexibility so we can fit others around anyone who has limited availability. And if you can sail on weekdays then please do offer, in order to free up weekends for those who have limited annual leave and would like to take it later in the year to sail on youth voyages.

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* Financial appeal

Special thanks this week to Mike and Rosemary Martin and to Paul Christophers, for very kind donations.

Big thanks also to all our supporters and friends who have responded with such kindness and generosity to our appeal over the last 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 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.

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!"


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, you don't need to do anything further, and all your other Amazon account settings remain unchanged.

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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 - please do give us a Like! If you were friends with John Laing on our old page ( please do move to the new page now.

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

And Instagram @oyt_south

And LinkedIn Ocean Youth Trust South

Please note that OYT South has a policy that our adult staff and volunteers should not make or accept individual online friend requests with crew members aged under 18, or vulnerable adults. Crew members can use the sites to stay in touch with the boat and with each other, but not with individual staff and volunteers.

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

Our friends at SeaRegs Training have online distance learning systems for the theory courses for Day Skipper, Coastal/Yachtmaster and Yachtmaster Ocean. And OYT South second mate Dom Coleman also runs an excellent sea school offering RYA online courses fully supported by phone, email or video.

OYT South offers basic navigation training in-house through the RYA's Essential Navigation & Seamanship course - and we can also arrange the PPR course (RYA Professional Practices and Responsibilities) for sea staff. 

Please do ask for advice if you are not sure which courses are right for you.

We also offer a range of courses outside sailing and navigation, for our volunteers - including vital courses on Safeguarding and Food Hygiene, as well as things like Mental Wellbeing in Sport and Physical Activity, Preventing Bullying, Online Safety, Concussion Awareness and all sorts of other things - do have a look. Just one £10 payment (special price available only to our volunteers and prospective volunteers) gives you access to ALL these courses.

It would be great if we could get back up and running with lots of our volunteers having additional skills and knowledge!

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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