A COMMUNITY which provides support to people in crisis has been recognised for its efforts throughout the pandemic.

The Pilsdon Community, based in Pilsdon north of Bridport, has received a High Sheriff Community Award for its work in ensuring the safety of those it looks after.

The community was established more than 60 years ago to offer refuge to people in crisis. It aims to provide an environment where people can begin to rebuild their live, through a 'common life' of prayer, hospitality and work.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the community has isolated itself for the first time in its history and therefore has been unable to welcome visitors, to protect its members and guests who live there.

Reverend Sue Langdon, warden of the Pilsdon Community, said: “People come to share our life and we offer them supported housing while they get they lives back on and track; a few stay for many years making their home here. We are radically inclusive and there is no compulsion to join in with our prayer life though everyone respects our ethos.

"As some of us need shielding we have been unable to welcome new people since the end of March or give respite to those who would come for a weekend break. Occasionally tested volunteers come to help when the three of us who hold responsibility take a break. Everyone takes their turn on our rota to do the various jobs of keeping our community running smoothly.

"We live in a beautiful place and are grateful to be able to live as one household.”

There are 17 people in total living within the community, with the oldest being 79 and the youngest 28.

The team at Pilsdon were given the award by the Dorset High Sheriff, George Streatfeild.

When presenting the award, he said: “It is a privilege to be able to visit and to be able to present the Pilsdon Community with a High Sheriff Community Award. During the time of the pandemic, Sue and her team of members have worked assiduously to keep safe all those living in the community.

"She was able to use all her skills from an earlier career as a Ward Sister to ensure that protocols for safety were devised and followed. For months from the start of the first lockdown, she made sure that everything needed to keep the community running day to day was achieved and she, and all the members, took no proper time off during that period or even left the site. Everyone who lives and works at Pilsdon should be congratulated on the way that they are living through difficult times and Sue’s leadership has been a beacon of light through it all.”