These days will come again

Newsletter

OYT South bulletin 26th February 2021

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


*
COVID-19 (coronavirus) update
Our Chief Executive Mark Todd issued the following statement this week:

“Ocean Youth Trust South very much welcomes the government’s roadmap out of lockdown: it is great to have hope that we are emerging out of this very challenging and difficult period. OYT South is keen to play our part in the country’s recovery, in particular supporting young people who have been so badly affected by the pandemic and lockdown.

As always, the devil is in the detail and we await sector-specific guidance to tell us when we can go ahead with running our voyages. Specifically, we await a date for the end of the government guidance against overnight residentials for young people. We note that the Prime Minister said in the House of Commons on Monday 22nd February that he could not see any reason why outdoor education could not resume at the same time as indoor education, on 8th March; but taken in context with other guidance, it would appear that this statement may apply to day visits, while overnight stays with members of other households may not be possible before 17th May unless alternative guidance is issued for our sector. This has major implications for outdoor education, partly because of the numbers of young people across the UK who cannot access activities such as sail training, climbing or hill-walking in a day from their homes, and partly because many outdoor education projects are designed around developing confidence, team-working, resilience, communication and more through a process which depends on young people taking part across a longer residential period.

However, though the return to work may not be immediate, we are so excited at the prospect of being on the water again, sailing with our old friends and making new ones, enjoying the outdoors and the life-affirming adventure that being at sea brings.”

There are clearly implications in terms of season start date, volunteer training and volunteer bookings which are covered in the appropriate sections of this newsletter.

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* Happy birthdays Josh
and Annette
Many happy returns this week to our Staff Engineer Josh and Admin Assistant Annette, who both had birthdays this week!

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* Prolific’s Big Virtual Voyage – 663 miles pledged already - please get involved and start fundraising!

We’ve had 663 miles pledged by 13 people towards Prolific’s Big Virtual Voyage next month, with plenty of other people having said they will take part but not yet having made their formal pledge! That’s far enough to see us drinking (virtual) wine in La Coruna (but not – yet – enough to get us back again …). If we get many more pledges, the distance for the week will be longer than we could ever manage in a real week but that doesn’t matter – we will just have to imagine that someone sneakily installed foils during Prolific’s refit and the virtual voyage is achieving spectacular speeds.

Pledges so far range from 10 miles in the week to 70 miles but even if you can only pledge a couple of miles, it all counts; and if you can't contribute any miles, you can always think about sponsoring someone else (we have £1,205 in sponsorship already). Here’s how it works:

Usually at the end of March we’d be wrapping up the winter refit and welcoming young people on board Prolific for our first sail training voyage of the season. This year our trips are likely to be delayed further by the pandemic, but we’re still as keen as ever to get back to working as a team.

Given that we’re not able to get out on the water just yet, we want to set you (our volunteers, supporters and young crew) a challenge: to get Prolific ‘sailing’ again.

Over the course of a week (Monday 22nd March to Sunday 28th March) we’re going to virtually recreate a typical trip, and we want you to help us go the distance by travelling as many miles as you can, by any method you’d like. Of course we’d all ordinarily choose to sail, but for now we want you to cycle, run, walk, swim, cartwheel, skateboard… and with each mile travelled, we’ll get Prolific closer to the next port. Day by day we’ll add up everyone’s combined mileage and see how far we’ve got – maybe 10 miles towards Cowes, a further 40 miles towards Weymouth, or how about 60 miles from there towards Cherbourg?! Plus we’ll need to make it back through the Needles to Southampton again, so as the week progresses we might need even more help to cover the distance back towards home. Each day we’ll post an image of the chart with a position marked showing where Prolific has got to based on the miles which everyone contributes to the total.

In the run up to this week, we’d like you to choose your activity, pledge a mileage that you’ll aim for (whether that be in one big go on the Saturday, or a bit every day of the week), and then as you’re training to achieve your goal, get sponsored! We’d love to raise some money for the charity so spread the word of our upcoming feat and we’ll see what we can achieve together. We have set up a Justgiving page to make it easy to collect donations but of course you can set up your own page if that works better for you. Our Justgiving page is being updated with a list of confirmed pledges so you can see who you might sponsor.

Go for something that is going to stretch you out of your comfort zone, a distance that will push you to achieve big in the ways that a voyage on Prolific might otherwise have done. Local restrictions permitting, make it something that will impress your sponsors! For some, this may be walking 2 miles every day for 7 days. For others, this might be running their first marathon! You could even see how far you can cycle from your indoor static bike whilst catching up on Netflix after school/work. It’s entirely up to you what you choose to aim for – every mile will help propel Prolific towards the next beautiful anchorage!

If this sounds like your kind of challenge and you're keen to get involved, email hollyvint@oytsouth.org with your pledge. And if you can’t join in yourself, please sponsor someone else and encourage your friends, family and colleagues to do the same!

There will also be other ways to join in during the week. Maybe you would like to take responsibility for one of the virtual meals during the week? Your recipe can be posted on Facebook in advance and we can invite others to get the ingredients in and cook along with you. Maybe we can try some ideas that are a bit different from our regular boat meals – either things we could never do on a normal voyage, or perhaps something that might be added to Prolific’s repertoire this year!

Virtual Voyage

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* Refit plans this winter -– we are getting under way!

Josh and Georgia are about to come back from furlough to work on the refit with Holly. This is great news as we can start feeling really positive about making good progress and having Prolific ready to sail this season; but of course we still need to take all necessary precautions against Covid, and so we are keeping the refit as small as possible and we 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.

If you want to support the refit team then the occasional phone call to the boat, an encouraging message on social media or anything else you can think of to boost morale is always welcome!

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* 2021 sailing plans – light at the end of the tunnel?

Of course nothing is certain yet and the government has stressed that each stage in lifting restrictions is dependent on the success of the previous stage, and no dates are set in stone. However if all goes well then there is a chance that residential voyages with young people may be possible after 21st June, and perhaps staff and volunteer training and maybe even some day sails with young people could be an option sometime after 17th May.

We are therefore going to start contacting clients whose voyages were cancelled last year to see if we can start reserving specific voyage dates for as many people as possible.

Sailing!

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2021 volunteer bookings
- send in your bids NOW!
Big thanks to everyone who has already sent in voyage dates but we now want to move towards actually allocating voyages to volunteers from June 21st. So if you have already sent in dates but your plans have changed, or the later season start date affects what you would like to do, please let us know; and if you haven’t yet sent in any bids but would like to sail this season, please email now.

What we need to know is when youare available and how much time you can spare - but please read the rest of this section before emailing!

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 webmaster1@oytsouth.org.

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* 2021 volunteer training – on board
– probably May / June rather than April
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. We had previously advertised some possible dates for training voyages in April but clearly there will still be restrictions on contacts and household mixing at that time, and we’re looking at options for dates in May and perhaps early June instead. We’ll advertise specific dates in this newsletter in the coming weeks.

As previously stated, priority on these refresher training voyages will go to relief skippers, first mates and second mates. If there are spare places we will then look at those qualified 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!

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* 2021 online volunteer training weekend report
Huge thanks to everyone involved in an amazing and morale-boosting weekend! We had around 80 people involved at various times and for many people who have had an isolated and sometimes lonely year, it was almost overwhelming to see so many old friends all at once.

The weekend began with a fantastic session run by Lucinda Neall and Nyssa Hutchings looking at all the different ways in which young people have been affected by the pandemic and lockdown. Nyssa gave a really insightful presentation on what she has seen in the school where she teaches and how her students have been feeling, and then we had breakout groups looking at some case studies for young people we might see on board this year. It was great to see how engaged people became with thinking deeply about individual issues and circumstances and how a voyage might help young people like these. One of the best things was the widespread realisation that what we normally offer and the way we normally work is in many cases just what young people need: sail training really is a good answer to many of the issues young people are facing. Some voyages may need to be relatively gentle this year in recognition of everything that individuals have been through; but if there was one conclusion to be drawn it was that if we are sensitive towards the young people and kind to each other on board, we can run some fantastic voyages and make a lot of people very much happier.

In the afternoon we split into two groups, with some people attending a session with Simon Rowell, author of Weather At Sea and others with Dom Coleman of Dorset Marine Training for a navigation refresher. We were all in awe of Simon’s expertise and the depth of his knowledge; while Dom’s session was carefully pitched to build confidence among our less experienced sea staff.

Next came Andrew Wilkes’ presentation on his voyages through the North West Passage and up to Greenland. With fabulous evocative photos, this was the session which left us all yearning for the sea and for adventures afloat – and armed with some fascinating facts about ice at sea for good measure. We’ll need to watch Prolific’s vessel track on this season’s voyages to make sure some enterprising crew doesn’t start heading north and not coming back again!

On Saturday evening our Chief Executive Mark Todd gave us a presentation on where the charity stands and prospects for the coming year, and then Peta organised a quiz which was a lot of fun.

On Sunday morning Sue Cheshire delivered another thought-provoking session on mental health – looking both at the young people we might encounter on board but also at how the pandemic and lockdown has affected all our staff and volunteers as well. There were some great strategies and tools for supporting our own and each other's mental well-being.

In the afternoon the group split again, with Dom Coleman running a VHF refresher for some of our less-experienced volunteers, while another group joined Holly Vint and Andy Brown to look at how they might work towards a Yachtmaster exam. Having done my own YM years ago, I was almost sorry that I wasn’t twenty or thirty years younger with it ahead of me and feeling inspired and excited by what Holly and Andy were describing!

Feedback forms have been emailed to participants; but the general feeling seems to be that an online training weekend exceeded all expectations. Clearly we will need to return to face-face training when it is possible, for practical courses such as first aid, diesel engines and sea survival; but now that everyone is so comfortable with Zoom it would be very easy to arrange occasional one-off sessions on particular topics without all the complications of asking everyone to travel to one location. We’ll start thinking about the vast and varied expertise among all our friends and contacts and if anyone has ideas for a future evening or weekend online session that we might offer, we can try to make it happen.

We recorded a few of the sessions and we have notes and slides from some of the others, so we’ll make those available in due course, but you have probably gathered that this week has been somewhat too busy to sort it all out!

In the meantime huge thanks once again to everyone who brought so much enthusiasm at the weekend and helped to make the event a real success.

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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 webmaster1@oytsouth.org and we'll publish the best in future editions of this newsletter.

The refit back in this week in 2004 seems to have been experiencing a little stress. Regular readers of this section will have seen in recent weeks that the skipper had been emphasising the need NOT to take anything else apart; and by this stage we were reminding people “quite how many things on board John Laing can be unscrewed, untied, disconnected, dismantled, or in moments of particular stress ripped apart with teeth and nails and big hitty things from the workshop …  The real art of the project is to keep the process under control, and particularly not to lose track of any of the bits. Everything has to be meticulously labelled and carefully stored (that’s why there was a space in the refit house known as the “pissy-if-we-lose-it-cupboard.”). And it’s all been going fine. Until now. Something important has been mislaid. Yes, ladies and gentlemen: Wolf and Craig have lost the plot. The moment finally arrived this week when they found themselves painting the hull at night illuminated only by Craig’s land rover headlights. They now insist that they’ve definitely lost the plot, they can’t find it anywhere, and it must have been taken off the boat by accident…”

Back in those days we had a great refit team but there was a certain air of concern at the possibility that with this refit we might have bitten off more than we could chew! In later years we got better at planning how long each job would take and ensuring we had plenty of extra volunteers. Big thanks to all the people who have turned up to help at refit over the years and ensured that the staff team stayed (relatively) sane!

Volunteer Phoebe had been living in the cockpit locker for months but finally this week it was all rust-busted, primed and painted and she was so relieved to be let out that she immediately decided to get away as far as possible, and boarded a flight to New Zealand.

In this week in 2005 we were reporting on a training weekend in which 34 volunteers had passed GMDSS, first aid and radar exams, or taken part in a chartwork class which managed a successful virtual voyage to Alderney, or completed a session on youthwork and crew welfare.

Meanwhile refit was continuing and Chris Morris had come over from Northern Ireland to join the core volunteer team for the final month.

In 2006, 22 people completed first aid, radar and GMDSS courses at the training weekend, and meanwhile the hull had had its third and final coat of paint and was looking fantastic. Everything else was being painted, though one volunteer commented “I don't think this antifoul is working - I've been cursing all afternoon".

In 2007 we had just had our AGM and elected two new Trustees, Trevor Hewson and Jenny “Phoebe” Swatton. Meanwhile the refit team were busy painting absolutely everything, but did manage a day off for a trip to Dorset where Brian Eyres showed them round Lulworth Castle; and they were taken up one of Dorset’s hitherto undiscovered mountain peaks (Wolf says it was very steep and at least a hundred yards up) by Steve Lacey, who explained how great the view would have been if it hadn’t been so foggy.

At this stage in 2009 we had nineteen days until the launch and the hull was ready for the topcoat:

refit

There was excitement in this week in 2011 as our Chief Executive Mark Todd headed off to London to appear on BBC Radio 4’s Midweek programme. It’s still available to listen here – he’s on for around the last ten minutes of the programme. Apparently 2 million people heard the programme on the day. We had more hits on our website on that day than we had ever had before on a single day – the record wasn’t comprehensively smashed until the day in 2015 when we announced that we had bought Prolific.

However, back in 2011, John Laing was a few days away from launching – the tent was down, the scaffolding was being removed and we were appealing for people to come and help put all the gear back in the right places on board.

At the 2012 training weekend we had run sea survival, GMDSS, first aid, diesel, child protection and lifejacket packing courses, and a total of 70 courses were completed.

training

training

training

Meanwhile on board John Laing, the refit tent was being dismantled.

refit

In 2014 we were still painting:

refit

In 2015 we had just two weeks before the boat was due back in the water, and a team of ten people from our very kind sponsors at the Graham High Charity came along to help paint the topsides, while we had great support from our volunteers for painting everything else:

refit

refit

In 2016 we were reporting on another training weekend with courses in first aid, diesel engines, chart corrections, radar and youthwork.

training

training

training

training

Meanwhile at refit, this was the winter when we were refitting John Laing for her last season with us as well as continuing with the major refit and modifications to Prolific. We were just wrapping up the work on board Prolific for the moment, so that the entire team could move across to focus on John Laing for a few weeks before she started sailing: we had exactly a month before the season began!
 
At 2018’s shorebased training weekend, we filled 83 places on courses - first aid, diesel, GMDSS, bridge team management, youthwork and charts.

We also had a presentation and farewell party for Andy Viney after five years as Staff Skipper:  he got a beautiful framed aerial photo of Prolific which was taken during one of the previous season’s voyages:

Andy's leaving present

In 2019 we had just had Re-launch Day for Prolific:

refit

refit

The mainmast had all been fixed with some repairs, new spreaders - and now with our website address:

refit

refit

The 2019 training weekend saw 69 places filled on first aid, diesel, GMDSS, lifejacket packing, chart corrections and youthwork:

training

training

training

One of the innovations on the first aid course this year was an anti-choke training vest - do have a look at a video here. It shows Dave learning to save Andy from choking, and Andy says he could really feel the difference once Dave had his hand in the correct place in front while slapping him on the back. It is also well worth watching this video to the end!

Also in this week’s newsletter in 2019 we announced that Lauren Mackenzie would be our new Youth Trustee, a role she still holds. OYT South has a rule that at least one member of the Board of Trustees should be in the same age range as the young people who sail with us. At that time Lauren was in her first year at university, having first sailed with us for her gold DofE and quickly started volunteering with us, qualifying as a watchleader as soon as she was old enough and then being upgraded to second mate in 2018. Lauren is in a position to speak up for young crew members, suggest changes in the way the charity operates or to do anything else which will improve the experience of the young people who sail with us. If you are a young person and you have ideas or suggestions for how we can do better, and you want to talk to someone close to your own age, you can contact Lauren. If you’re not happy with something and want to know what to do about it, you might want to start by talking to Lauren. If you want to get more involved - whether by just doing another voyage, or by training as a volunteer - Lauren can point you in the right direction. You can email her at laurenmackenzie@oytsouth.org.

Lauren

In 2020 the shorebased training weekend was trying some new venues as the Gosport Sea Cadet Unit which we had used for many years no longer existed. But we were still able to run courses on first aid and mental health; Lee Mosscrop ran a session on teaching techniques and Holly Vint gave us some brilliant ideas for engaging young people on board with environmental and sustainability issues. This includes a pack of games that can be played with crew members - the fish stocks game and the orca game were particularly popular.

training

training

refit

training

Meanwhile the refit was going at full blast:

refit

refit

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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The welcome journey for new OYT South volunteers – help needed NOW!

Let’s try to do this before we get busy with sailing again!

One thing that this pandemic has given us is the time to consider how to best welcome, set up and support new volunteers to the charity.

It’s fair to say that whilst we’re a friendly, willing and helpful bunch of people – eager to get volunteers settled in, we do know our volunteer welcome process could be better and there’s an awful lot of paperwork, form-filling and general admin.

So, we’re investing some time and resource to improve the overall process for volunteers joining the team.

What we think we should focus on:

  • The volunteer welcome needs to feel like more of a joined up “journey” with a clear view of what’s ahead and when, rather than a series of (seemingly) disconnected admin / form filling tasks.
  • There are legal / mandatory steps and formal training elements for all volunteers which cannot be avoided and/or may be “fixed” in their format or timings.
  • We can make better use of technology to speed up / smooth out some processes.
  • There are many routes to joining OYT South, and volunteers will have a variety of roles (onboard or shore-based), so our approach must have broad appeal.
  • The Sea Staff Handbook can probably be simplified and refreshed (e.g. putting more content on-line) – it hasn’t been reviewed since 2018.

It’s important to emphasise that some of what we do already, works well – we should identify, then keep that.

Other aspects need challenging to see if there’s a better approach which both benefits the individual volunteer and is manageable for the charity.

Here’s the plan…

We’d like a small working party to contribute ideas to this project. This will mean doing some stuff, but we’re not looking to turn this into a huge, unmanageable project. First Mate Adam Lane will be coordinating our approach and efforts, but we’ll take a piece at a time, work on it, test it and then build from there.

So, whilst your ideas are definitely needed, you may be asked to work on a small element too please.

A number of you have already come forward – thank you.

Next steps: email laneline2@gmail.com to let Adam know you’d like to be involved. He will then arrange a Zoom call for the group to set the scene and kick off the project.

It would be great to have contributions from a wide range of people - those who are just starting out as volunteers as well as others who know the charity really well; those who joined us as experienced adult sailors or with a background in youthwork or in other voluntary work as well as those who earned their sea staff recommendation while sailing as a young person and had probably come on the voyage as an adventure without the slightest thought that it might lead to volunteering ... and so on!

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* Financial appeal

Big thanks this week to Chris Lane, Penny Scott-Bayfield and Tim Porter for very generous and kind donations.

Huge 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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Privacy and data protection
We have recently reviewed all our data protection and privacy policies and you can read them on the website here. These policies look at information we might hold about you – from contact details for those who subscribe to this newsletter by email, through to details including medical information for people who sail with us – and lay out how we use your data and how we keep it safe.

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Sixteen years of feedback

Normally at this time of year we would have a compilation of comments from young people and group leaders who sailed with us last year. Because we have no new comments from 2020, we’ve been looking through comments going back to 2004 when we started keeping a record, and we’ve put together a “greatest hits” page – do have a look!

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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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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!"

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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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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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 webmaster1@oytsouth.org.

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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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