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On one of the hottest days of the year so far, staff from Kings Hill developer Liberty Property Trust UK had a day out of the office to paint the exterior of the Quest School, a specialist school for children with autism which has recently relocated to Paddock Wood.
They were taking part in the annual Bill Rouse Day of Caring when Liberty’s 400 staff in the UK and USA spend a day helping their communities in memory of the company’s founder Bill Rouse, who died in 2003.
The Quest School, which was founded in 2003, is an independent school which creates a specialist learning environment designed around the specific needs of pupils with autism. The school, which was started by parents of the original pupils, provides education as well as skills that are essential for the children’s personal development and well being, such as communication, behaviour and independence.
There are now 20 pupils and the school plans to continue to expand, which is one of the reasons it relocated to new, larger premises in an oast at the Hop Farm, Paddock Wood.
“Our job was to prepare the external weatherboarding and then paint it,” said Liberty’s managing director Andrew Blevins.
“As a company, we recognise how important it is to be part of the local community and contribute in whatever way we can – and the Day of Caring enables us to offer practical help to some less well known charities and organisations.”
Liberty also provided a bench, parasol and some planters to brighten up the veranda for the staff.
“We were absolutely delighted with the efforts of all the staff from Liberty,” said headmistress Anne Martin. “For a small charity, days like this are invaluable to help us provide the support and education for our very needy children and families. We cannot thank Liberty enough for choosing to support us on their Day of Caring.”
The Bill Rouse Day of Caring takes place on the Friday nearest to Bill’s birthday, June 19. Projects Liberty staff have been involved in so far include Leybourne Grange Riding Centre for the Disabled; Spadeworks; Burham Youth Club; Maidstone Centre for the Homeless; Help the Aged Day Centre in West Malling; two Scout camp sites in Loose and Sittingbourne; the Quest School in Offham, Dandelion Time in West Farleigh; Rock UK Carroty Wood Adventure Centre, Tonbridge and the Scotts Project Trust, also in Tonbridge.
Kings Hill, a contemporary garden village, is set in 800 acres near the county town of Maidstone and is just two miles from junction 4 of the M20. It was a former airfield and is now home to around 7,700 residents and more than 200 businesses employing some 4,500 people.
There are also two primary schools and a village centre with shops including Waitrose; Costa Coffee; Domino’s and restaurants as well as a surgery, dry cleaners, shoe repairers, pharmacy and opticians.
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