HORSA came into existence in 1983 after a group of retired staff met for the Home Office Bicentenary Celebrations the previous year. HORSA is an informal and egalitarian association of former Home Office and Prison Service staff, with the single constitutional aim of maintaining links between its members and with the Department. It gives members the opportunity to meet regularly and keep in touch with each other.
HORSA is run by a committee of volunteers who organise:
- A programme of events and activities for members, including an AGM and at least one other gathering a year.
- Lunches to celebrate festivities such as 12th Night which are normally held in Central London.
- A newsletter, the HORnet, which is issued three times a year.
- An email group of members to whom ad hoc messages are sent, to alert members to particular news and events, and occasionally to pass on messages from the Department.
- A theatre club to facilitate trips to the theatre, and other social events, at reduced prices.
- A monthly programme of walks in and around the London area.