Downe House Seniors Association (DHSA)

A link that lasts for life.

DHSA Magazine 2021

The DHSA Magazine 2021 is due out in the Spring. Please share your news and recollections of 2019/2020 for the magazine. Let’s make this edition full of Members’ News from as many as possible wherever you are in the world.

In order to submit your news, please use the link below. The copy deadline is Sunday 31 January 2021.


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.

Short Story Competition 2020 sponsored by the DHSA

Organised by Mrs Jenny Hill, the Learning Resources manager, the DHSA Short Story Competition was launched to the whole school at Easter, with titles relating to War and Peace to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. We are delighted to report that more than 80 girls entered and judging proved extremely challenging. We are extremely grateful to this year’s panel of judges who generously gave of their time and expertise: Robina Pelham-Burn (1984), Kate Duke (Wright-Morris, 1995), Georgina Blackwell (2004), Katharina Dixon-Ward (2014), Jess Boswell and Jennifer Kingsland.

We congratulate all participants and are delighted to announce that the overall winner of the Clare Balding Prize for Excellent Writing was Katie. Clare has made a recording of Katie’s wonderful story entitled ‘Victory’. You can watch Clare’s recording here.



Winners of the competition were:

Lower School

1st  Lara2nd  Issy3rd  Tatiana

Upper School

1st  Katie2nd  Katie3rd  Amy

Sixth Form

1st  Madison2nd  Poppy3rd  Eniayo

Reunions and news

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

1980 – 1990 DHSA Reunion

Thursday 14 November is a date that won’t be forgotten for a very long time! The DHSA hosted a reunion for the members at Downe House between 1980 to 1990. It was a fantastic event with one hundred and twenty Old Seniors enjoying a memorable night at the Savile Club. If the success of a party is measured in decibels, this reunion was off the chart! The atmosphere fizzed with excitement, warmth and sheer joy in seeing old school friends once again.

Thank you to everyone who came and for the lovely emails.

Alumnae reunion in Northern Ireland

The first in a series of regional reunions planned by the DHSA and the Foundation Office took place in the spectacular Grey Abbey House and Gardens on the beautiful Ards Penninsula in County Down. Read more about the reunion.


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