Whatever leads anyone to the point where they have nowhere to live, we all deserve a helping hand to get back on our feet, and it is a privilege for the Downside community to do what little we can to help. 

Downside teachers Mr McLean, Mrs Murphy, Mr Bryson and Mrs Ball are helping with a local project to give safe accommodation to homeless people who usually live on the streets of Frome. The Elim Connect Centre is a fantastic local charity in Wells that provides many services to the homeless and others in need throughout Mendip. One of their projects is the Dairy House, a ‘Direct Access Community’ on a farm in Stratton-on-the-Fosse. The project provides initial accommodation for rough sleepers while plans can be made for more permanent accommodation. Unfortunately, the government’s present social distancing advice means that the house can accommodate fewer people than usual. Luckily, the Ammerdown Centre, based a few miles from Downside and a regular venue for our school retreats, has donated a cottage on the estate to house the others, giving them a stable and welcoming environment to live in. Their lunches are provided by the Downside School kitchens care of our award-winning caterers Holyroyd Howe, kindly driven over to Ammerdown by Head Master Mr Hobbs, and other food has been generously donated by a local Morrisons supermarket.