About us

“Thank you for being there for me, for guiding me and showing me the way.  Thank you for having patience when it was hard knowing what to say.  Thank you for supporting me.  You are an inspiration in my life.”

We work with young people (13-25) to help them improve their emotional wellbeing and mental health, resolve practical problems, gain qualifications and help them plan and work towards a positive future.

We work closely with all the services and 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.  Our centre has its own coffee bar and also 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.

“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’ve given up on myself.”

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

Social Emotional and Mental Wellbeing
This makes up more than half of the work we do and is the reason that the majority of our service users are now of school age.  We support young people on a one to one basis at the centre and in other settings including the Gryphon School and in the homes of young parents.  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 youthworker and housing specialist, Jemma, is well known for her work in this area and is responsible for providing the support for young people living in Oborne House (a housing with support scheme in the Castleton area of Sherborne managed by Magna Housing Association.)  You can find out more here.

We are an accredited OCR training centre for young people who need Functional Skills qualifications but are too old for school.  Twice 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 Level 1 and 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 2016-2017 FINAL (pdf)
>>  Annual Accounts 2016-2017 (pdf)
>>  Annual Report 2015-2016 (pdf)
>>  Annual Accounts 2015-2016 (pdf)
>> Annual Report 2014-15 (pdf)
>> Annual Report 2013-14 (pdf)

Staff team

Helen Da Silva Wood, Manager
Jemma Turner, Senior Youth Worker – Advice, Information and Support
Sarah Childs, Youth Worker – Personal development
Julie Bartle, Learning and Employment
Tony Smith, Youth Support Worker
Jaz Miller, Youth Support Worker
Richard Lund, Alternative Curriculum & Activities delivery
Joanna Lowndes, Finance & Business Administrator


Andrew May (Chair) – Magistrate
Prof Bob Eccleshall (Vice Chair) – Professor of Political Philosophy (retired) + Chair of Friends
Linda Bygrave (Vice Chair) – teacher (retired)
Penny Graham (Treasurer) – HR specialist
Carol Johnson – SEN specialist
Pempy Wallington – Youth worker (retired)
Julie Warren – Marketing specialist
Jim Gower – Assistant Head, Gryphon School
Roy Catchpole – retired clergy

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
Magna Housing Association
Shadows/EDAS – Dorset’s young people’s and adult alcohol and substance misuse service
SPACE – Dorset wide group providing support to LGBT+
Tinneys – Youth and Community centre, Sherborne
West Dorset District Council