About us

Covid-19 Update |  Still here – still supportive

We may have stopped working face to face but we are still doing our best to support any young people in need during these difficult days.

“The Rendezvous have been there for me every step of the way, seeing me at my weakest and at my strongest, not once giving up on me when I could have given up on myself.”

So, don’t be a stranger.  If you’re (13-25) and in need of a listening ear or advice and guidance to resolve practical problems.

Get in touch with Jemma, Sarah or Sam jturner@therendezvous.org.uk / 07521 178920
Or contact other members of the team from here

Our team have been helping young people (13-25) improve their lives for over 20 years.  We provide:

  • emotional wellbeing and mental health support through therapeutic counselling and informal support
  • advice and guidance to help resolve practical problems – housing, benefits, debt, health, sexual health, substance misuse etc
  • tutoring leading to accredited L2 examinations in English and Maths
  • careers and employment support

If we can’t help then we will signpost or make a referral to someone who can.

We work closely with all the services so whether it’s health, housing, benefits, education, employment or relationships we can bring in the right people at the right time to provide specialist support when needed.  We have our own coffee bar and a music studio offering a relaxed atmosphere for young people to hang out as well as getting advice, information and support on any issue that is troubling them.

Some young people may drop-in regularly for years, others may come only in times of crisis whilst others just come in to chat and hang out. How the young people use the centre is up to them. Young people trust us and are secure in the knowledge that they will neither be judged nor turned away.  Because of this, we are often able to
 achieve where other statutory agencies fail.

The work we do doesn’t always see immediate results but the young people themselves recognise the role the Rendezvous plays in their lives.  One young man who relied heavily on the staff team at the Rendezvous when he was younger came back to see us recently. Now in his late twenties, he told us,

“I’m now a trainee Housing Officer in Bournemouth.  I did it because I know what Jemma and the Rendezvous did for me and I want to be able to help other people in the way they helped me. .”

Another young person has just celebrated his 21st birthday.  His mum told us that she hadn’t expected him to live to see it and believes that the Rendezvous was key to him being able to get back on track.

Our support

Wellbeing – Counselling and Emotional Wellbeing
This makes up more than half of the work we do.  Our counsellors and youth work team support young people according to their level of need on a one to one basis at the centre and in other settings including the Gryphon School and in the homes of young parents.  We have recently launched a Counselling Placement service.  You can find out more here.

Advice and Information
We can help young people manage debt, resolve benefits issues and help them with housing.  Our senior youth worker and housing specialist, Jemma Turner, is well known for her work in this area and Sarah Childs has knowledge and expertise in supporting young parents who are referred to us by the Health Visitor Team.,

We are an accredited NCFE training centre for young people who need nationally accredited Level 2 Functional Skills qualifications.  Three times a week through ‘The Learning Zone’ (Mondays and Fridays, 2-4pm) we offer informal drop-in learning sessions and on a one to one basis our volunteer learning mentors and tutors work with young people to help them gain their Level 2 Maths and English qualifications.  You can find out more here.

If you’d like to find out more about what we do then take a look at our annual report.

>>   The Rendezvous – Annual Report – 2019-2020 (Colour Version)
>>   The Rendezvous – Annual Report – 2019-2020 (Home Printer Version)

Staff team

Helen Da Silva Wood, Chief Exec
Jemma Turner, Lead – Mental Health & Wellbeing
Sarah Childs, Lead – Young Parents, Advice & Information
Julie Bartle, Lead – Volunteer and Training
Joanna Lowndes, Finance & Business Administrator

Sessional Staff:
Bekah Witt-Tower, Youth Support Worker
Lou Donovan, Youth Worker – Gillingham
Sam Dawes, Support Worker


Stephen Uden (Chair)
Sue Prescott (Treasurer) – Finance specialist
Carol Johnson – SEN & Education specialist
Pempy Wallington – Youth worker (retired)
Julie Warren – Marketing specialist
Roy Catchpole – Clergy (retired)
Linda Bygrave – teacher (retired)

Our partners

These are just a few of the people we work with on a regular basis:
Ansbury Guidance
Children and Adolescents Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
Consortium, Dorset
Dorset Youth Association
Dorset District Council
Gryphon School, Dorset
Health Visitors, Sherborne and surrounding villages, Gillingham
North Dorset Family Partnership Zone
Reach – Dorset’s young people’s and adult alcohol and substance misuse service
SPACE – Dorset wide group providing support to LGBT+
Tinneys – Sherborne Youth and Community Centre
West Dorset District Council


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>> Equality and diversity policy (May 2019 – May 2021)

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