Sarah Chambers tributes: Youth centre mourns loss of dedicated boss
Tributes have flooded in for a “much-loved” Sherborne youth centre staff member after she lost her battle with lung cancer.
Sarah Chambers, centre manager at the Rendezvous, on Cheap Street, died last Sunday aged 52.
She had taken up the post just three months earlier, after former centre manager Ingrid Trill, 65, died of breast cancer in the summer.
Bob Eccleshall, chairman of the Friends of the Rendezvous, said the death had left a “hole” at the centre.
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He said: “It was such a shock to hear the news, it happened quite suddenly.
“Sarah found out shortly after she took the new role that she was suffering from terminal lung cancer and had been given six months to live.
“Then she caught a chest infection and died of pneumonia.”
Mr Eccleshall said children at the centre were paying tributes to Sarah by writing their thoughts in a card.
He said: “They are all saying what a lovely woman she was and how she helped them all to progress.
“She had great artistic flair. She was completely dedicated to the centre and was liked by everybody. She really will be missed.
“I am pleased that she knew we had confidence in her taking the job.”
Sarah, of Shaftesbury, first joined the Rendezvous 12 years ago to provide technology support.
She went on to become a key staff member at the centre, before being offered the job as centre manager this summer.
She was involved in a number of fundraising projects and schemes run by the centre, including work to refurbish the music room and the launch of a scheme to support single young parents earlier this month.
The scheme offers a variety of courses for young, single parents to broaden their skill set.
Mr Eccleshall said the deaths of two managers in a few months had been “tough” for staff and children at the centre.
He said: “Ingrid ran the centre since its birth for 14 years before she died.
“We held a big ceremony in the summer at Sherborne Abbey to remember her.
“She was a pivotal part of the Rendezvous and Sarah had taken over that role. Her death is very sad news.
“We are focussing on staying positive and moving on with the centre’s work.”
“The centre’s three trustees, myself included, are rallying together to make sure everyone helps each other and we keep the centre up and running.
“Now we will take stock at the centre and in a few months we will decide how to move forward. Our thoughts are with Sarah’s family.”
Mr Eccleshall said a people at the centre are considering how best to remember Sarah.
He said Sarah’s family is planning a private funeral, and a close friend is hoping to organise a celebration of her life to take place in Shaftesbury.