Author Archives: Helen Da Silva Wood

Cinema and skateboarding top the leader board…

Cinema and skateboarding seem to be the most popular things that young people want access to in Gillingham. Over 400 people have filled in our survey so far and if you’ve not filled it in – then why not?! There might be other things that you are interested in but we need you to tell us.

You can let us know what you think here – it really does take only two minutes.

We might not be able to actually build a cinema but it’s got us thinking and we are exploring the possibility of holding outdoor cinema nights. We could also arrange for regular skateboard lessons for those who’ve never been on one before but fancy a go as well as those who want to master their next trick.

Meanwhile others have suggested free yoga classes, art clubs, cooking, bike tracks. We want to make sure that there’s room for smaller activities too so don’t be shy in coming forward with ideas.


“The funnest day of my year” was how one young person described the day as he got out of his sumo suit after flattening his opponent and headed off to have a go on the giant inflatable ‘Hungry Hippos’.

The first GY Collective event took place on the first day of the holidays. Completely free, there were pro scooter, bmx and skate demos and open competitions, inflatables and the chance to have a go at graffitti art, plenty of free ice pops and cakes made by Gillingham Young Parents group.

The weather wasn’t great but it held out and everyone had a great time.

It’s a good starting point to build on but we need your help and input to make sure it’s the event of your dreams – so get in touch!

Free event for young people!

Come along and celebrate the start of the holidays. With a skatejam run by Team Rubicon, free inflatables and the chance to try your hand at some graffitti art, if you’re 11-19 then this is a day for you.

The skatejam will run from 11-4 starting with demos. Inflatables will be available until mid-afternoon.

If you’re a skater under 11 then you’re welcome to join in but other activities are aimed at older people, 11-19.

Do you agree?

We asked what you would like to do in Gillingham – for FREE! and so far these are the results. (The bigger the word the more people said the same). Do you agree?

There’s still time to get your suggestions in… Fill in our simple survey and tell us what activities you’d like to see happening for young people in Gillingham.

When the results are all in we will then do our best to make as many of them happen as possible.

Zoe joins the team

Zoe our Communications and Project Administrator

We are delighted to announce that Zoe Matthews has joined the team as our young part-time Communications and Project Coordinator. Zoe is hugely community-minded and we are thrilled to have found someone who is local to Gillingham and a Gillingham School alumni to help us develop the project.

Zoe brings with her a wide range of experience and is already proving herself to be the go-to person for the project, keeping everyone organised, informed and in line.

Until the official project phones arrive, you can get hold of Zoe using the general project email –

Do remember that she is part-time and will be working flexibly so please be patient. For anything more urgent you can leave a message for her by calling the Rendezvous – 01935 814486 or ask to speak to Andrea (Rendezvous Administration) or Helen (Chief Exec).

Orienteering in Gillingham

A short ‘how to’ film

Urban orienteering…

Did you know that Gillingham, Dorset is one of the few towns to have its own urban orienteering trail? In fact, do you know anything about orienteering? And, what’s it got to do with Gillingham Youth Collective?

If “Covid & Me” was the film that kickstarted the use of media in youthwork in Gillingham then “Find Your Way” is the film that sent it on our way. The making of the film helped us formulate our ideas around the use of film and was a key part of our application to the National Lottery Community Fund for the Gillingham Youth Collective project.

But if you don’t know anything about orienteering (and some of us didn’t) take a look at the short film made by the Rendezvous outreach team. Working again with film-maker Marianne King and a group of young people from the town it explains what orienteering is and how to take part.

The film was a long-time in the making owing to the ongoing interruptions caused by Covid-19. But, we got there in the end and several of the young people involved had so much fun that they are now involved in the Gillingham Youth Collective and we plan for many more to join them over the next five years.

Gillingham Orienteering

Keep fit, have fun, challenge yourself – race your friends or set your own personal best on the town’s urban orienteering trail.

Age: all ages
Cost: Free
What you need:
Trail map available at the library, Waitrose
Smartphone – download the free app Oriento

Project goes live…

We have now officially launched and the project is public.

On Monday 22 March we invited members of local community groups and organisations such as the Rotary and Lions to come together in the Studio at the Slade Centre and find out about the project and how they can get involved.

As someone commented afterwards, “there was a real energy in the room” and people left excited and enthusiastic with plans for further meetings and discussions about how we can work together.

But for now, it’s time for us to focus on spreading the word amongst the young people in Gillingham and recruiting members to the Media Makers group and Young Leaders.

For a full write up about the evening, you can check out Gillingham News you can check out an article by Michael Streeter here and a pre-launch announcement here.

Join our fun, friendly and FREE media project

We’re looking for enthusiastic young people (age 14-19) to join the Media Makers team of Gillingham’s biggest project for young people.

Enthusiasm and the willingness to get involved as part of a team is really important and whilst media experience will help it’s not essential.

If you’re interested, there is more information here – but why not get in touch to find out more and register your interest?

You can use the form on this page to get in touch – please be aware we are part-time and so might not be able to get back to you immediately.

Rendezvous Outreach

Come see a youth worker, out and about in the streets and parks of Gillingham – occasional pizza nights, advice and information and always a friendly face

Age:  13-19

When:  Thursdays

Where:  Parks and public spaces of Gillingham

Cost:  FREE (funded by Gillingham Town Council)

Youth Club Sports nights

Photo: woodleywonderworks

Sports nights focusing on a different sport every week including cricket, football, handball

Age: Year 6 up

When: Tuesdays – 7pm -8pm

Where: Riversmeet Leisure Centre

Cost: £1