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Christmas Snapshots 2021

Merry Christmas! 
Although there is again some uncertainty as to how we will all be able to celebrate this year we hope you have a happy and healthy Christmas and a positive start to 2022. 
Once again we thank all our friends and supporters, partners in the education,  health and social care sectors and of course our amazing volunteers - we really couldn't do it without you.  
Whilst things have felt a lot more ‘normal’ in recent months it has continued to be a  challenging time with an increase in referrals for mental health, learning, and young parents support - we've helped more than 175 young people so far this year. We are particularly grateful to the Friends of the Yeatman Hospital for helping us with funding to help us support more young people struggling with their mental and emotional wellbeing.
With very best wishes for the festive season.  
Helen and the Rendezvous Team

Making the difference...

X decided in July that she was not going to go back to school in the autumn – her GCSE year - so her parents referred her to Jemma who worked with her on a weekly basis. Sher still refused point-blank to go back in September but Jemma persevered and by involving her parents and liaising with the school successfully managed to support the young person back into full-time education by November.  X has now just scored a 9 in her key tests.
M was a care-leaver and anxious about transferring into adult social care at 18.  She had no English or maths qualifications and no plans for the future but she spotted our advert for tuition and joined our learning sessions in Yeovil.  It was evident very quickly she was capable but lacked self-belief.  Working with a volunteer tutor she gained confidence, passed her English and Maths qualifications and is now at college, with friends and hopes for the future.
A was told there was no job for him once his apprenticeship had finished.  He was in a low place, his self-esteem had taken a knock and he could see no future for himself.  He came to us primarily for emotional support and we then arranged for him to meet our employability volunteer.  What a transformation - he is now flying! He’s rediscovered his motivation and confidence and within a matter of weeks started a new job at a well-respected joinery firm, under the watchful eye of one of our ex-learners who is himself thriving, and has just bought his first house.   
Smoved into the area with her baby.  She knew no one and was feeling alone and overwhelmed.  She was referred through the health visitor and we first helped her sort her finances before encouraging her to come to a group session.  She was hesitant at first but was made to feel welcome by the group and enjoyed taking part in the crafty Christmas activities, creating decorations using her babies hand prints.  She's making friends and has started to meet them outside group sessions.


Doodling Christmas Stocking Fillers – the need to doodle regularly gets one young person into trouble at school so we were as excited as she was to see her work used to decorate Rendezvous aprons and tea towels.  Our very own Beckah has hand-printed the designs onto organic cotton tea towels and aprons to raise money for the Rendezvous –  they make great stocking fillers so if you would like to buy your own then please get in touch with Andrea at the centre via the usual email form or give her a ring on 01835 814496.   
Keeping busy - The Discovery Group Social Project and Bekah’s Kitchen have produced exceptionally good outcomes for the young people involved – they have talked, laughed, listened, learned to respect others, reduced their anxiety and gained confidence by trying new things ranging from taking part in podcasts to cooking supper for their teachers.  New invitation-only groups will begin in January...

News snippets…

New appointment – our search to find the ‘new Sarah’ to run the Young Parents project is over.  Grace Barnett who is Sherborne based and has experience as a Family Support Worker in Somerset start on Wednesday 5 January.  We’re very sorry to see Sarah leave but delighted to welcome Grace to the team…  Julie took to the airwaves in October to talk about our learning programme and the work we do across the organisation.  Do listen if you can… Our Yeovil learning hub has a new base in Morley House in the centre of town on Tuesday mornings and is thriving with 11 young people signed up for English and Maths tuition.   Alison Hoffman joined the Board of Trustees in November. Alison has been volunteering as a tutor for over two years and before retirement spent many years as a classroom teacher so is well known to many.

Rendezvous in the community

In addition to our work with young people in school, in the centre, in the streets and parks, we have also been involved in a number of community initiatives…   
Jazz concerts - we were delighted to be able to help Raymond Wood deliver the jazz concerts that have taken place since the pandemic began and grateful to Beckah’s kitchen and the young parents who baked the cakes for the interval….  
Christmas tree festival – after last year’s break it was lovely to be part of the festival again and a huge thanks go to the amazing effort put in by the volunteers to make it happen and to Becka and all the young parents who made the fantastic decorations for our tree….
The Pod we’re hugely grateful to Lynn Heaton and the team at the Pod in Sherborne for their kind support of the Rendezvous, promoting our activities, telling people what we do and also whenever they can, offering opportunities to some of our young people – there is even talk of a photography exhibition of one of our young people’s work…
West End Bingo you would never imagine that Sian had never organised a community fundraiser before.  Her bingo night went with a real bang and raised more than £1,300 for the Rendezvous. Sian organised the evening as a thank you to the Rendezvous after her son successfully took part in our learning programme   and will now be off to college.  
Festive Shopping day – it was lovely to see lots of old faces and meet some new ones at the Christmas shopping day in Sherborne.  A huge thanks to everyone who dropped by and donated or bought an ‘Izzy’ tea towel or apron and congratulations go to Caitlin who won 'Ronnie, the Rendezvous Tiger'. 

Thank you to our funders... 

Thank you to all those funders, businesses and organisations who have given us grants this quarter or made donations including:
Aspire Competitions, Battens, Dorset Council (Youth Fund), Faith in Action Committee, Friends of the Yeatman Hospital, Gladys Watson Trust, Sherborne Golf Club, Sherborne School for Girls, Wessex Water & Dorset Community Foundation.

And last, but certainly not least… a huge thanks go to all those kind and generous individuals who continue to support us or make one off donations.  We do our best to thank everyone personally but for those who donate anonymously by text or online if you are reading this now, then please know that we truly appreciate your generosity.   

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Our mailing address is:
Under Cheap Street Church, Cheap Street, Sherborne Dorset,  DT9 3BJ 
Charity no: 1162722   Company no:  07592624

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