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Downe House Foundation Report 2016–20171 Foundation Report 210x210.indd 1

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Downe House Foundation

Annual Report September 2016 – August 2017

Downe House Foundation Trustees Ms Fru Hazlitt (Chair) Mrs Philippa Armitage Mr Nigel Fenn Mr James Hanbury Mr Nicholas Hornby Charity number: 1159259

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The Downe House Foundation


A time of transformation


Downe House


Fundraising activity


Centre for Learning


Downe House – the future


How to support us


Thanks to our supporters


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The Downe House Foundation Our mission is to continue to promote and implement the 10 Year Vision so that Downe House provides high quality facilities and educational opportunities in an attractive and inspirational environment in order to support and inspire teaching and learning. This can mean we fund refurbishments, education programmes, equipment or bursaries in entirety, or become a major contributor to a capital build programme. We aim to support Downe House in its vital task of being a school of excellence in every aspect, and of encouraging, enabling and preparing our pupils to play a full and positive part in the global world as outstanding young women of the future. Much of what we see today in the beautiful Downe House grounds is the result of the generosity of past and present benefactors. This has ensured that the School can continue to invest in projects that keep it at the forefront of boarding education such as the recent refurbishments of Holcombe, York and Darwin, the building of the new Lower School houses, and improvements made to the dining facilities and surrounding area on the ground floor of Willis House.

Over the past year, the Foundation Office has focused on achieving the fundraising objective for our transformational new major capital project – the Centre for Learning. We are delighted to report that construction is well underway, and we are now in the final phase of fundraising. With the Centre for Learning due to open in the next academic year, the Foundation Trustees are now ready to continue to support the School with the next phase of the 10 Year Vision which, as ever, will be developed through the views and perceptions of pupils, staff, parents and alumnae. We know that our continued success is entirely dependent on having a strong team of colleagues in place, not only within the Foundation Office, but also across the School. The relationship with Downe House; its Trustees, Headmistress, Leadership Team, teachers, students, parents and alumnae is something that we will continue to build upon and strengthen as we move into the next exciting phase of fundraising for Downe House.

Ms Fru Hazlitt Downe House Foundation Chair


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…success is entirely dependent on having a strong team… MS FRU HAZLITT


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A time of transformation Over the past year, the centre of the Downe House site has been transformed. Where once stood a collection of sheds, workshops, portacabins, the School shop, Resources and the Water Tower, is now a hive of building activity as the Centre for Learning rises proudly from its foundations to take pride of place in the heart of the School. What began as an idea for an Academic Centre almost 10 years ago, through the work of the governors, staff, parents, alumnae, and most importantly, the pupils, the concept and drivers for the Centre for Learning took shape. As one of the most fundamental elements of the 10 Year Vision, the Centre for Learning was conceived to provide current and future generations of Downe House pupils and staff with an inspirational and innovative place to learn and enjoy boarding school life through enrichment, study and social opportunities. The Centre for Learning has been the most ambitious fundraising project that Downe House has ever undertaken. With firm financial commitment from the Governing Body, the Foundation set out to raise the majority of funds to reach the £6.5 million target. The Foundation was established as a separate charity in 2014 to support Downe House in the advancement of its educational objectives by providing additional funding for capital projects and bursaries through direct fundraising from the School’s supporters.

Alongside the major Centre for Learning campaign, the Foundation has continued its work to secure funds for bursaries, the Armed Forces Fund and our Palmer Society legacy programme. This is combined with our extensive alumnae programme, which supports our girls beyond Downe House through social and professional networking opportunities. DH LINKS continues to evolve and thrive, and together with our reunions throughout the year, gives us every reason to be proud of and grateful to our inspirational and hugely supportive alumnae community. One of our key objectives this year was to ensure that every member of the Downe House community had the opportunity to support the School in some way and indeed to be a part of this very special and transformational building project. The support we have received has been tremendous. I am immensely grateful to all who have taken the time to learn about the work of the Foundation, who have attended our events, supported our fundraising efforts and given back to the School in any way over the past year. The support we have received confirms that as a community, we all want Downe House to be the very best school it can be, now and in the future.

Mrs Michelle Scott Assistant Headmistress (Foundation) 7

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Downe House In 1907, our Founder, Miss Olive Willis, set out to create a school that would be different. Disillusioned by the independent education that existed for girls at the time, she held the strong belief that a school was required which would meet the needs of young women by valuing and prizing individuals and engendering a strong sense of community. Olive Willis believed that excellence, excitement and enthusiasm for the world around should be hallmarks of that school community. Consequently, Downe House was established as ‘a school where each individual within the community matters and where relationships between staff and pupils are normal’. Starting with just three pupils, the school grew quickly, and by 1918 there were 52 girls. A chapel, gymnasium and classrooms were erected in the grounds and the school rented two other houses in the village. By 1922, numbers had grown to more than 80 and the school, for academic, economic and practical reasons, had outgrown its premises. The decision was made to purchase ‘The Cloisters’, an estate in Cold Ash, Berkshire.

Now 110 years since its foundation, Downe House is home to 586 girls. The beautiful site of 110 acres retains most of the original buildings but many others have been added in the intervening years. Girls’ education has changed fundamentally and immensely, particularly during the last 60 years, and Downe House, led by a succession of inspiring headmistresses, has responded to those changes and challenges. Some of Miss Willis’s revolutionary ideas no longer operate in the way they did, but the vision that created them is still there, underpinning and strengthening a thoroughly modern school. Downe House is not a school that is rich with endowments. Although not originally established as a charitable foundation, it acquired charitable status as a natural consequence of its work in fulfilling its fundamental purpose of providing an excellent all-round education. Development of the Downe House estate and the bursary provision rely solely on fee income and on the generosity of its community – current and former parents, alumnae and friends of the School.

‘… a school must always be in a transition state, never completely organised or fully equipped and therefore never perfect, but always growing and finding fresh incentives to progress.’ OLIVE WILLIS FOUNDER OF DOWNE HOUSE 8

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Why does Downe House need to fundraise? As a charity, Downe House retains any surplus from fee income to invest back into the School to ensure that the excellent standards of teaching and facilities are maintained. Downe House does not have significant endowments and not wishing to make more than modest annual increases in fees, further income is required to ensure that we maintain our provision for pupils and also fulfil our vision for the future.

Each year, the surplus is primarily re-invested in Downe House’s capital expenditure programme. This includes regular capital expenditure such as IT equipment as well as one-off capital projects such as the Lower School Boarding project and recent upgrades to the Sixth Form boarding houses. In 2016–2017, the School’s income was allocated as follows:


Downe House School income allocation





1 September 2016 – 31 August 2017









16% To read a more detailed financial report, visit: (Downe House Foundation) 10

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Fundraising highlights Over the past three years, members of the Downe House community – parents, alumnae, staff and friends of the School have contributed an impressive

£3.2 million Whilst the majority of funds have been raised for the Centre for Learning, other appeals have raised the following: The 10 Year Vision event in 2016 raised


The Alumnae Appeal 2016 raised


Total value of Leavers’ Gift donations in 2016

In the last 12 months (ending 31 August 2017), individuals across the Downe House community have contributed £423,855.88 in charitable donations towards the Downe House Foundation. A further £2,000,000 has been pledged in donations to come in future years.

Projects supported in recent years York House and Willis Dining Room Refurbishment work has taken place in York House and Willis Dining Room. Four kitchens in York have been remodelled and redecorated and the Willis Dining Room and social space have been completely redesigned to make the most of this area of the School. Lower School Boarding In September 2015, the Lower School Boarding development opened, bringing all of our Lower School pupils and staff together in a dedicated area which was specifically designed to meet the pastoral and educational needs of this important age group. The three boarding houses: Hermitage, Hill and Darwin, were carefully planned to provide comfortable and practical bedroom facilities, homely kitchens and common room spaces. Each house includes dedicated spaces for independent study and music practice.


There have been 403 individual donations, 27 of which wish to remain anonymous 11

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Centre for Learning In 2018, we will see the opening of the muchanticipated Centre for Learning which is positioned at the top of the main driveway, right in the heart of the grounds. The rear of the building affords views over the woodland estate, which gives Downe House its secluded and rural character. This will be the largest single building on the School site.

Work in progress, December 2017

As well as a spacious contemporary library on the top floor, there is a 250-seat auditorium, learning pods, an art gallery, a large meeting room, a selection of offices, the much-loved School shop, an array of social learning spaces and a wonderful café area for the whole School community to enjoy.

School Council visits the site, November 2017

‘We believe the Centre for Learning will help us to continue to strive for excellence in all that we undertake. It is quite simply transformational; it will touch the lives of every girl and will give the campus the focal point it has long needed.’ MRS EMMA MCKENDRICK HEADMISTRESS


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Downe House – the future Inspirational, innovative and imaginative learning It is our aim to ensure that Downe House moves forward and remains at the forefront of boarding education. Our girls are preparing for an increasingly demanding future and we want them to have the very best preparation for life and the maximum range of opportunities. It is our hope and aspiration that Downe House should, as our Founder Olive Willis intended, continue to be a thriving community so that our girls benefit from strong parental involvement, the support of our alumnae and, of course, the highest calibre of staff. The key drivers of our vision are to: Continue to build a sense of community. Continue to provide the highest quality academic education. Continue to recruit, develop and retain the highest quality staff. Continue to enhance our pastoral care. Continue to improve the facilities for teaching and learning. Continue to strive for the School to be a place of diversity. Extend the access to our unique educational and boarding experience through the provision of bursaries.

What’s next? Once the Centre for Learning opens in the academic year 2018/19, our focus will turn to growing our bursary funds and future 10 Year Vision projects.


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10 Year Vision – the next phase The School has bold and ambitious plans to create a new Mathematics Centre and Music School, arguably providing our pupils with the best facilities of any school in the UK and transforming these two key areas at Downe House. This next phase will be a significant project for the School and both buildings will be impressive additions to our site when completed, providing world-class learning environments for Music and Maths for future generations of Downe House pupils. This development is earmarked for the south-east corner of the site, on the perimeter which is bordered by woodland.

‘There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres’ PYTHAGORAS

Future projects The Downe House site has evolved over the last century. While buildings do not define the School, as our community does, they certainly contribute an immeasurable amount to life at Downe House. Future projects under development and consultation include: Music Mathematics Upper School Boarding refurbishments and extensions Creative Arts facilities Staff Accommodation Bursaries and Legacies Many of the School’s developments have been funded by generous donations made by people whose lives have been touched by the School. The Downe House Foundation helps to channel this support to enable the School to realise its ambitions and make a real difference for generations to come.


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How to support us There are many ways you can support the School, here are just a few:

10 Year Vision Fund We want all our pupils to have the very best preparation for life and the maximum range of educational opportunities so that they can become the very best that they can be, and the 10 Year Vision sets out our strategies to achieve this aim. We have focused on strategic capital projects such as the refurbishment of Holcombe and Darwin boarding houses, the building of the new Lower School houses, and improvements made to the Willis and York houses. In 2018, we will be able to add the Centre for Learning to this list of achievements.

Supporting pupils through the Bursary Fund As a charity, the School is committed to continuing its tradition of providing a distinctive and stimulating learning environment for bright and ambitious girls from all backgrounds. Each year we support families whose daughters would clearly benefit enormously from a Downe House education, but who would not be able to attend the School without the financial assistance of a bursary. Yet each year we receive more requests for bursaries than we are able to support. By giving towards the Bursary Fund, you will be making a difference to a child’s future and being part of a philanthropic tradition that reaches back over 100 years.

Armed Forces Fund Working in partnership with Radley College and St Mary’s Calne, Downe House supports the Armed Forces to help fund the education of sons and daughters of Service men and women of all ranks killed or wounded while serving their country. Just over £1.9 million has been raised in support of the Fund over the last five years and this has enabled the group to make five carefully meanstested bursary awards. However, there are further applications and whilst every effort is being made within the Foundations of the three schools to raise funds, we estimate £5 million will be required to meet the requests for help.

Leaving a gift in your will Deciding to leave a gift to Downe House in your will is a very important step and a legacy is the gift of an education. We recognise that you may wish to choose to support a specific area which has been important to you through your own life, be that sport, music or any area of academic study. A will is a very personal matter and we of course understand if you would prefer to keep your intentions private. However, it can also be useful for the School to know of your plans, as it will help us plan our future developments based on particular interests. It will also assist the promotion of The Palmer Society, a group open to likeminded supporters who have pledged a legacy to Downe House, and who are invited to special events throughout the year. We would be very happy to talk to you privately about how your bequest could benefit the School.


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How to make a gift Regular gifts: these can be made by standing order on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. One-off gifts: you can make a secure one-off donation by bank transfer, adding an amount to your School bill, online via Total Giving or by sending in a cheque. Overseas giving: international donors can contribute to our fundraising efforts by completing an international bank transfer. Donors in the US can also make tax-efficient gifts through the British Schools and Universities Foundation (US).

Shares and securities As well as donating gifts of money, you can help Downe House by gifting stocks and shares. This can be a very tax-effective way of giving. However, the golden rule when it comes to gifting shares or securities is to seek financial advice from a qualified financial advisor before making any decisions.

DH LINKS offers careers-based networking opportunities for current pupils and alumnae – if you can offer support with providing work shadowing or internships, hosting a Cluster Group or giving a careers talk, please do get in touch.

Please contact the Foundation Office if you wish to discuss ways to support us. Mrs Michelle Scott Assistant Headmistress (Foundation) Email: Tel: 01635 204719

Tax-effective giving Having charitable status allows gifts to Downe House to be tax-efficient. The benefits of Gift Aid are considerable. If you pay UK tax on any kind of income, including capital gains, then the school is entitled to reclaim the basic rate of tax that you have already paid on your gift at no cost to you. Higher rate taxpayers can also reclaim the difference between standard and higher rate tax on their donation for themselves through their Tax Return, which means it costs you less to give. 17

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Thanks to our supporters With thanks to those who have given to the Downe House Foundation (up until 31 August 2017): Mr & Mrs A Adedeji Mr O Agusto Mr & Mrs I Airey Dr & Mrs T Alberts Mr G Allan Mr & Mrs N A Andrew Mrs F Argyle Mr & Mrs M Armitage Mrs Armstrong Mrs S Ashworth Mr & Mrs W Asprey Mr & Mrs J Atkins Mr & Mrs S Atkins Dr & Mrs K T Au Mrs S D S Bailey Mrs C P Baker Mr & Mrs R Bampfylde Mr & Mrs J Barbour-Smith Mrs J F H Barker Mrs J Bartholomew Mr & Mrs S Beart Mr D Powell & Miss A E Beaton Mrs A M S Beer Mr & Mrs C Benigni Mr & Mrs E Benson Mr & Mrs E Benthall Lady Biffen Mr & Mrs C Bichop Mrs J Black Mrs R Black Mr J Black Mr & Mrs A Blair Mr & Mrs M Blythe Mr & Mrs N Bonsor Viscount & Viscountess Boringdon The Hon Vere Boscawen The Hon Evelyn & Mrs Boscawen Mr & Mrs P Bosson The Bostock Foundation Mr & Mrs T Boucher Mrs A D Bovill

Mr A Gamble & Ms Bradshaw Mr & Mrs M Bromley-Martin Mr D Brown Mrs E L Brown Mr & Mrs W Brown Mrs L Feilding The Hon James & Mrs J Bruce Mrs R Bryant Mr & Mrs J Bugeja Mr & Mrs P G Burke Mrs C Burrows Miss V Byrom-Taylor Mr & Mrs J Cahill Mr & Mrs A Callender Mrs D Callender Mrs B Campbell Mrs F Campbell Mr J Campbell-Harris Mr & Mrs R Cave Mr & Mrs J Chapman Mrs M Chi Mr H Choi Ms Y S Choi Mr A Christov & Ms K Peneva Mrs R B Clark Mr & Mrs J Clark Miss E Clark Mr M Coates Mrs I P Colquhoun Mr P M Constantinidi Mrs S Cooke Mrs M Corbett Mr & Mrs I Coulson Mrs P Cowper Mr & Mrs D Craig Mrs J Craig Mr S Creedy-Smith Mr N Cremin Mr & Mrs M A J Cronk Dr E Cummins Mrs C Cunningham Professor Sir John & Lady Cunningham Miss N Da Gama-Rose Mrs G Davies Mrs A Davies Mrs G de Castella

Mrs S Debray Ms C Delius Miss C Dewar-Durie Miss D Dewar-Durie Mr J Dikko Mrs B Dolbear Mr T Douglas-Home Mrs R Drummond Mr & Mrs P Dubens Mr C Duckworth Mr & Mrs G Dunlop Mr & Mrs J Dyer Mr E Ebimami Mr S Khalil & Mrs N El Nahas Mrs A R Elkington Mr & Mrs M Elvidge Chief & Dr I Emenike Professor & Mrs R Emery Mrs H E A Engleheart Mr & Mrs S Enoch Mrs N C Evans Ms V Exelby Mr & Mrs M Fairbanks-Smith Mrs D C R Fairfax-Lucy Mr & Mrs A Fanshawe Mr & Mrs E Farquhar Mrs D Farquharson Mr C Farrow Mrs D Feather Mr & Mrs N Fenn Mr & Mrs S Fiertz Mrs E Fleming Mr & Mrs D Fleming Mrs J Fletcher Mrs S Flindall Mrs G Ford Mr & Ms C Fordham Mrs B Fowler Mr & Mrs S Fowler Mr F Fu Mr & Mrs A P Galitzine Miss J Gamble Mr & Mrs J Garvin Ms R Ge Mrs V A Gibb Mr & Mrs J Gibbs Mr A Gordon Lennox Mrs P Gossage

Mr & Mrs J Gossip Mr Grafftey-Smith Mrs J Grant Peterkin Mr & Mrs P Green Mr N Green Lady Greenaway Mrs D Grieve Mrs N R Griffiths Mrs K Hack Mr S Halden Mr N & P Hall The Hon Mrs Benjamin Hamilton Mr & Mrs C Hancock Mr & Mrs T Harrabin Mrs S Harries Mr & Mrs D Harrison Mr B Harwood Mr & Mrs G Hayward-Cole Ms F Hazlitt Mr P Hearn Mrs P Henderson Mr & Mrs R Henry Mr & Mrs J Hewitson Mrs J H Hicks Mr T Higgins Mrs M N Hill Mr & Mrs C Hill Mrs C Hill Mr & Mrs S Hinds Mrs N Hinxman Dr K Ho & Dr D Ai The Lady Hobhouse of Woodborough Mr D Hollamby Mr & Mrs C Holmes Mr & Mrs N Hornby Mrs J Horner Mr & Mrs B Huby Mrs R G T Hulbert Mrs F N M Hulbert Mr J Ide Mr & Mrs Q Ings-Chambers Mrs H Inskip Miss G James Sir Andrew & Lady Jardine Mrs E Jenkin Mrs H E A Johnson

Mr J & The Hon Mrs Kane Mr & Mrs B Karoly Mrs H Keate Mr M Kelly Mrs C G W Kennedy Mrs C Kenny Sir David & Lady Kinloch Mr M Kirk Mr & Mrs P Kirk Mrs A Kirk Mr & Mrs P Kirkby Sir John Knox Dr T Kwok Mr E Kwong Mr & Mrs J Laidlaw Ms V Lam Mr W Lam & Mrs C Yeung Mr & Mrs K Lambo Mr & Mrs O Larminie Mrs J Le Grice Mr & Mrs P & A Lea Mr & Mrs J Leahy Mr & Mrs W Ledger Mrs A Lee Mrs M C Lewin-Harris Mr & Mrs S Li Miss L Li The Hon Robert & Mrs Donna Lloyd George Mr & Mrs J Lorimer Mr M Loveridge Dr K Low Mrs T Lubienski Mr F Lui Ms K Lynch Mrs A P L Mack Mrs A Mackarel Mrs C Mactaggart Mr & Mrs J Manson Mr & Mrs R Mathews Mrs S McClymont Mr & Mrs I McKendrick Mrs D McEuen Mr L McIlwee Mrs N G McNair Scott Mr & Mrs A McWhirter The Hon J C Michaelson Mr & Mrs A Miller


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Mr & Mrs J M V Mills Mrs M Mohamed Miss J Moir Mr & Mrs M Moir Mr & Mrs R Montgomerie Mr J Moon Mr & Mrs M L Moore Mrs P Morley Ms L Mortlock Mr A Muir Mrs P Mullins Mr & Mrs J Muncey Mrs H R W Murray Mrs A Nash Mr M Neville Professor & Dr J Newton Mr S Niarchos Mr & The Hon Mrs Diana Nicholson Mr & Mrs N H Nicholson Brigadier & Mrs G Nield Mrs P Nott Mrs L Ogilvie-Jones Mr C & I Okwuosa Mr & Mrs S Orpen Mr & Mrs R Palmer Mrs J Pardoe Mr R W Parry Mrs R Patrick Mr & Mrs W T Pattisson Mrs J C Peake Mr T Peat Mr Q Peng & Ms N Li Mrs N Perkins Mrs C Perkins

Mr & Mrs J Pernthaller Mrs J Pettit Mrs S Phipps Mrs C Ponsonby Mr & Mrs R Pope Lady Portal Mr & Mrs R Prest Mrs J Proctor Mrs G Qi Mr & Mrs C Quillen Mr C Radford Mrs C Rakestrow Mr R Rayner Mr J A Redford Mrs J M Rees Mrs T Reeve Mr G Reimann-Dubbers Mrs C Rich Mr & Mrs R Richards Mrs N Riddle Mr M Ridley Mr S Robinson The Lord Roborough Mrs J Robson The Hon Mr J Rollo The Earl of Ronaldshay The Earl of Rosslyn

Mr C & S Rumbold Mrs J L Russell Mr G Salter Miss C Sarsfield-Hall Mrs M Scott Mr & Mrs N Seaton Mr A Sells Mr Y-S Seol & Mrs S-Y Min Mrs A Shannon Mrs D Shaw Mr & Mrs P Sheaf Mrs G C Shepherd-Cross Mr J Shi & Ms C Shao Mr R Shittu & Mrs Razak-Shittu Mr J Showering Mr R Skrine Mr & Mrs W Slack Miss J Slater Mrs C M Smith Mr & Mrs A Spearman Mrs K Springthorpe

Mrs J Steger Mr & Mrs J H Stephen Mrs M Stevenson Ms M Stimson Mr H Stirrat Lord & Lady Strathclyde Mr & Mrs G Subiotto Lady Suffield Mrs H Summerfield Mr & Mrs D Szlapak Mr & Mrs N Tan Mr X Ding & Ms M Tan Mrs C Taylor Mr & Dr S Thavisin Mrs P Thellusson Mr & Mrs M Thistlethwayte Mr & Mrs A Thomas Mrs T Threlfall Mrs H A C Tidbury Dr M Tong Mrs C J Treadwell Mrs J Trustram Eve Mr M Tubby & Mrs A Anastassopoulos Mr & Mrs W Tudhope Mr M Tung & Ms J Wong Mrs R Van Musschenbroek

Mr & Mrs J Vazquez-Sanchez Lady Verney Mr A Walker Mr & Mrs A Walker Dr J Wang & Dr L Jin Mr & Mrs A Ward Mrs C R Warde-Aldham Mrs H Watson Mr & Mrs P Weatherall Mr & Mrs M Webber Mr G Weldon Mr & Dr O Wessely Miss N Westropp Mr & Mrs R Wheeler Mr & Mrs M Whitehead Mr & Mrs T Williams Mr J Williams-Bulkeley Mrs J Willis Mrs F Wilson Mr & Mrs M Wippell Mr P Wolton Mr J Wong & Mrs C Wong Ho Miss T Y Wong Mr N Woo & Mrs W Woo-Lake Mrs O Wood Mrs C Wood Mr & Mrs J Wood Mrs S Woodhouse The Hon Mr & Mrs Robert Yerburgh Mrs R Young

Downe House would also like to thank a number of our supporters who wish to remain anonymous who have given generously to the Downe House Foundation.


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an adventure in education

Downe House, Cold Ash, Thatcham, Berkshire RG18 9JJ T: 01635 200286


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Profile for Downe House School

Foundation Report 2016-2017  

An update on the Downe House Foundation activities and achievements in 2016-2017 including fundraising highlights, project updates and futur...

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