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Hello from Helen!

It's been a rather wet and windy summer so far but we hope that everyone is keeping themselves safe whilst making the most of the new 'freedoms'. 

As the results come out we hope that young people across the county have done as well as they'd hoped.  We are certainly delighted for the young people who've been learning with us who have passed 50 exam papers between them.  As the new term starts in September some will continue to learn with us but for others it means new beginnings - courses at college, courses at university for two and for others apprenticeships.  We wish them all well. 

We're really looking forward to new team members helping us make more use of the centre in the autumn with more learning, more mental health and new invitation-only cooking sessions on Fridays.  The building has been left to its own devices over the last 18 months and so in preparation for our return to normality we are doing a huge clear out, going through cupboards and having a really good spring clean.

Fundraising continues to be challenging – there are far fewer grants available this year and we are again facing a significant shortfall.  But we remain ever-optimistic and despite the general absence of community fundraising we are delighted that the Jazz concerts will be returning in the autumn.  If you think you can help in any way – be it financial, gifts in kind or by donating your time to become a volunteer tutor then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Thank you!

With best wishes
Helen Da Silva Wood & the Rendezvous Team

Finding your way 

Presenter Alisha Hill

Did you know that Gillingham has one of the few urban orienteering trails in the country?  It’s a new trail that’s fully accessible and takes in an winding route through the streets and parks and riverbanks of the town. 

We were delighted to be invited to make a film to promote it to the local community but we had to confess we didn’t really know how to use the trail ourselves.  The Gillingham team, a small group of local young people and Marianne King, the film-maker thought there would be many other people in the town in the same position and that became the starting point which is resulting in not one but two films…

The first is a short and snappy “how to” with lots of humour and fast editing showing people what you need to go orienteering – and what you don’t!  The group had lots of fun on Saturday mornings getting familiar with the theme of the film, story-boarding it and gaining hands on experience with the film equipment. 

The second film was delayed because of periods of self-isolation but after lots of Covid-related delays - they're going to be out and about filming in August. 

We look forward to sharing it with you later in the year.

PS: If you haven’t seen the film we made last year in Gillingham then why not take a look – Covid and Mewas made at the end of the summer and with young presenter, Alisha Hill,  explored the various responses young people had to the pandemic.

The Rendezvous in Autumn

We want to do our bit to restrict the spread of the Delta variant so, whilst we are definitely moving towards ‘normal’, we are taking a cautious approach to opening up fully.  We will continue to keep up-to-date with the latest guidance and recommendations, encourage people to accept the vaccination and use masks and maintain social distancing where it is prudent to do so.

To reflect the changing needs of young people and the increase in one to one work, we are also making some changes to the building in order to give us more dedicated space for individual work. 

You can find details of the programme plan here.

Jazz concerts

We now have not one jazz concert booked in for the autumn but FOUR….
All are taking place in Cheap Street Church in Sherborne and tickets will be available to buy through Eventbrite in September or at the Rendezvous during normal hours in September (not Tuesdays).  Sadly tickets will no longer be available from the Sherborne TIC which sadly closed earlier this year owing to lack of funding.   See the line-up and dates below and keep an eye on the website and social media for ticket details.

COVID-19:  The event will be run in line with national guidelines and the guidelines laid out by the Cheap Street Church.


News Snippets

New volunteers are needed for Gillingham Young Parents Group....  Martin Singer joins the Board…..  Young Parents meet again in new venue in Gillingham with grand plans for a garden.... our long-standing volunteers Judy and Hugh were featured in the press….  Our first street collection in 18 months…We said thank you to our wonderful volunteers with a cream tea...

Thanks to our recent funders

Friends of the Yeatman Hospital, Sherborne Town Council and all those kind individuals who have supported us including those who have donated by text or directly through our website  

New Faces

We’re delighted to have some new faces who’ve recently joined the team for sessional and cover work.  Alisha Hill, young presenter extraordinaire and volunteer at Gillingham Youth Club joins the team to provide additional support for work in Gillingham.  Josh Terzi a volunteer tutor in Sherborne is joining the ‘Bekah’s Kitchen’ team and you might also get to see him with Jemma Turner during outreach sessions in Sherborne.   Meanwhile, Zoe Matthews, a member of our young parents group and also a long-standing volunteer of the Gillingham Youth Club joins Rebecca Jobling who leads the pilot Shaftesbury outreach project.

Joining us from the 6th September we have another two team members….  Andrea Airey will be joining us as Centre and Learning Administrator, 24hours a week (Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays) to help the smooth running of the centre, the charity and the learning and exams programme.  

Also joining us is Lucy Catley-Dyson who will be taking on one to one support and coordination of referrals for our mental health and wellbeing programme. Lucy is a trained ELSA (emotional literacy support) with over ten years of experience working in a Somerset secondary school.  Lucy’s one year post is kindly funded by the Friends of the Yeatman Hospital.



Trustees from L-R: Sue Prescott (Treasurer), Carol Johnson, Pempy Wallington, Stephen Uden (Chair), Bob Eccleshall (retired trustee), Martin Singer and Linda Bygrave.

It is with great sadness that we bid farewell to Pempy Wallington who has been involved in the Rendezvous for over 20 years.  Pempy will be known firstly as a much-loved Rendezvous youthworker and more recently as a hugely valuable member of the Board of Trustees.  Pempy has decided to step down after more than seven years as a trustee and her calmness, kindness and the insight she brought to the board will be greatly missed.  She is a great advocate for young people and we take heart that although she is stepping down in a formal capacity she will be keeping in touch.

We are also going to have another pair of big shoes to fill  in the New Year when Sarah Childs sadly retires as Young Parents Lead after nearly ten years at the Rendezvous.  If you know someone who may be interested in taking on this role  (2 days per week) then do ask them to get in touch.  We'll be advertising from early September.     

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Did you know it's easy to donate by text message? It's a new thing for us! Just send a text with RVSHERBORNE and your amount to 70085. That’s all it takes!

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