Downe House Seniors Association (DHSA)

A link that lasts for life.

The next deadline for applications for the DHSA Grants and Mather Travel Awards is 31 August 2022.

Apply here

 

Keeping Old Seniors in touch with activities and events at School and with each other

Whether through the publication of its biennial DHSA magazine, hosting of events and reunions, or offering financial grants towards further education, retraining or travelling with a purpose, the Association is another way for Downe House girls to stay in touch with each other and remain part of the Downe House Old Seniors community.

Please click here to read the DHSA Constitution.

DHSA Magazine 2021

DHSA Magazine 2020-21

The latest edition of the DHSA magazine is now out and hopefully, you have received a copy. The magazine incorporates features and sections including News from the School, Member’s News, photographs shared by Member’s and also reports from those who have received DHSA Grants, as well as articles about the DHSA Short Story Competition and Reunions.

You can enjoy reading this edition over on the Downe House Foundation page here. 

The DHSA Short Story Competition 2022

The annual DHSA (Downe House Seniors’ Association) Short Story Competition is a wonderful opportunity for our students to flex their creative writing muscles and share their thoughts on a given theme. This year, Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee was the inspiration with each school section writing on a theme take from one of Her Majesty’s personal qualities. The story content did not have to relate to the Queen, the themes were purely to spark ideas. The Sixth Form were given the theme of Dignity, Upper School had Endurance and Lower School wrote on Wisdom.  

The stories submitted showcased a passionate interest for a wide variety of literary genres. The shortlisted work was judged by a panel of DH alumnae with careers or interests in the world of writing and publishing. Mrs Boswell, one of our English teachers, who began the competition, and 2021 winner, Poppy Scales, also joined the panel.

In each category (Lower School, Upper School and Sixth Form) there is one winner and two runners-up. The highest scoring story overall wins the Clare Balding Prize for Excellent Writing. This year we held a celebration to honour all our talented finalists. We were delighted to be joined by Poppy Scales, who is currently studying English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. Poppy led a spirited and motivational creative writing workshop where the finalists were tasked with various writing and thought exercises to conjure up new characters, worlds and plot lines which they took to with enthusiasm and imagination.  

A celebratory lunch followed, with the Catering Department providing a delicious spread in the Boardroom, including cupcakes for all the winners. We were thrilled to be joined for lunch by some familiar faces from the judging panel as well as the English Department. It was wonderful to see everyone bonding over a love of literature. 

We congratulate all participants and are delighted to announce that the overall winner of the Clare Balding Prize for Excellent Writing 2022 was Annabel.

Congratulations to our well-deserving 2022 finalists: 

Sixth Form winner: Lauren 

Sixth Form runners up: Lottie and Mary  

Upper School winner: Annabel  

Upper School runners up: Isabelle and Effy 

Lower School winner: Sophia  

Lower School runners up: Rosie and Aryana

 

Reunions and news

Enjoy news from our latest events as well as updates from the DHSA Chairman.

Hurlingham Club Lunch Party, DHSA Reunion

On Friday 19 September 2021, the DHSA held a Lunch Party at the Hurlingham Club for members who left in 1970 or before.

The Lunch was extremely well attended with 63 guests, with each decade from the 1940s to 1970s represented.

Read more

Alumnae reunion in Scotland

The second in a series of regional reunions planned by the DHSA and the Foundation Office took place in the beautiful Inveraray Castle and Gardens in Scotland. Read more about the reunion.

Discover

A message from the DHSA Chairman

The Downe House Seniors’ Association (DHSA) was established in 1946 to build and maintain strong and lasting bonds between former pupils and the School. On leaving Downe House, a girl will become an ‘Old Senior’ and a member of the DHSA providing a link which lasts for life. The DHSA operates through regular printed and electronic communications, which help girls to stay in touch with each other, maintaining existing friendships and forging new ones, all the while keeping in contact with the School.

The DHSA aims to:

  • provide contact and regular news updates for members
  • empower members to maintain existing links and develop new contacts
  • support individuals and year groups through regular communication, reunion events and grant giving

We are very proud of the DHSA’s work, values and close links with members of all ages and the School.

DHSA Grants

The DHSA is also a grant giving body, providing support for its members who undertake “worthwhile projects” at any stage in life; traditionally this has been to support those doing medical electives, overseas placements or re-training in order to make a career change or retraining after a career break. The Committee awards Grants according to the merits of each application and a report is requested in return to inform future leavers of how the DHSA can support further educational initiative and activities. DHSA members can apply for grants at any stage in life e.g. retraining after career break etc. During the last 25 years over 100 grants have been awarded to members aged 18 – 90 years of age.

Read the DHSA Grant Application Criteria.

Complete the online Application Form for a DHSA grant.

Following receipt of a DHSA Grant, individuals are required to submit a report and supporting photographs illustrating the use of their monies. Please note that a member is only eligible to receive one grant award from the DSHA.

Applications are reviewed twice a year by the Committee. Applications will be considered individually and on their own merits if submitted by the following deadlines:

  • 31 January
  • 31 August

No grants are considered or awarded outside of these dates.

The new Mather Travel Award

This year we are delighted to be launching an additional opportunity for members, the Mather Travel Award, which is designed to help facilitate the opportunity for members to travel abroad in order to meet people of other nationalities and cultures. Individual initiative, venture and clear cut projects and competent planning will be viewed favourably as well as volunteering opportunities to help in communities (UK included). It is hoped that this Award will encourage and support members in their pursuit of a sense of adventure, keen independence and a readiness to serve.

The award is inspired by Jennifer Murray (nee Mather, DH 1957) who successfully circumnavigated the globe aboard a Robinson R44 helicopter, a distance of 36,000 miles in 97 days in 2000, earning her the Guinness World Record for the first helicopter circumnavigation by a woman.

Read the Mather Travel Award application criteria.

Complete the online Application Form for a Mather Travel Award.

For further information please contact dhsa@downehouse.net