Our History

Relate Dorset was established in 1974 as part of the Relate Federation.  Since then we have been supporting relationships across Dorset, South Wiltshire and South Somerset.

From modest beginnings with a few volunteer counsellors in a small terraced house in Dorchester we have developed into an organisation based in the tranquil, professional setting of the converted Middle Farm buildings in Poundbury offering a range of relationship services to couples, individuals, families, children and young people.

We can help with relationship counselling and children and young peoples’ counselling. We are also a centre accredited for Supervised Child Contact.  We offer a behavioural change programme for male perpetrators of domestic abuse and are in the process of launching a programme for female perpetrators.  The Parenting Apart Programme to help separated parents co-parent more effectively has also recently been added to the services that we offer.

All of our services can be accessed in Poundbury. We also use a number of outposts across Dorset and in Salisbury and Yeovil so people don’t have to travel too far to get the help they need.  Most of our services are also delivered by webcam, other than Supervised Contact, and telphone counselling is available too.

Relate Dorset is a charity - we don’t profit from any of the services we provide. We are mainly financed by donations from clients, grants, external funding from our partnerships and contracts. Our commitment to delivering inclusive, high quality services that benefit couples, individuals and families means that we do have to cover our costs.

Client contributions allow us to sustain our services, although we do have bursary schemes for people that find it difficult to pay, alongside local and national contracts that enable specific groups to access services for free.