Thank you for helping us to share the Take Shelter with more people

Did you know that during the war EVERY school had an air raid shelter? Today the ONLY school shelter open to the public in the UK is at Downs Junior School in Brighton.

Our vision – a new entrance

We wanted to be able to share the Downs Junior School air raid shelter experience with as many people as possible BUT there was one obstacle that we couldn’t solve on our own. Access into the shelter was via a small hatch and a steep ladder. This regularly put off, or physically prevents, visitors of all ages from entering the shelter. In particular it often prevented older people, those for whom the war is still within their living memory, from visiting the shelter.

Over the 5 years we have raised more than £50,000 from our shelter tours, gift shop sales, donations and lots of cups of tea. We would like to thank everyone who has supported us and made this possible. The new more accessible entrance was built in the summer of 2022 and opened in September the same year. A formal open was held in April 2023 with the Lord Lieutenant and the Mayor of Brighton and invited guests in attendance. Already our new entrance has allowed a greater number of people with a greater range of abilities (up to and including ambulant disabled), to access the shelter. Entering the shelter via steps has added to the existing air raid experience as it will be reminiscent of the way everyone entered during the war when they heard the unmistakable sound of the siren.

What next?

We are always looking for ways to improve the shelter and open it up to wider parts of the community. We are completely self-funded and raise all our funds from our open days and grant applications. We would like to acknoweldge and thank Downs Junior School for the generous in-kind support they provide for the project. If you are able to support the project with a donation please see our PayPal link here.

Volunteer with us

Volunteers of all ages are central to the success of Take Shelter. If you would like to be part of our growing team please click here to send us a message. We have opportunities for people interested in becoming tour guides and event helpers, and also helping behind the scenes too. We are particularly interested in hearing from you if you were a child in Brighton during the war. Please click here to contact us.

Donating wartime items

We are actively collecting wartime objects, documents, photographs and memories which relate to the home front in Brighton. These form part of our museum displays on our open days and school visits. If you have anything you would like to donate or share with us please click here.

Sponsor us

Talk to us about the different opportunities there are for your company to support the project in either a one-off or ongoing way.