School helped in memory of popular developer

School helped in memory of popular developer

A school for autistic children is spic and span in readiness for the next academic year thanks to the hard work of staff from Kings Hill developer Liberty Property Trust UK Ltd.

They were taking part in the "Bill Rouse Day of Caring", when the 400 employees of Liberty Property Trust in the UK and America spend a day helping their communities in commemoration of the life of the company's founder Bill Rouse, who died in 2003.

Twenty staff from the UK offices in Kings Hill, London and the Midlands, spent the day painting walls and polishing floors at The Quest School in Offham, which was founded in 2003 by a group of parents and therapists to meet the need for individualised education for children with autism.

Quest uses an intervention called Applied Behavioural Analysis and places great emphasis on equipping the pupils with functional skills and developing their full potential. Starting with three pupils in Offham Village Hall, Quest has grown dramatically and now operates from two sites and currently has 13 pupils. It is a not for profit organisation with charitable status.

The group were refurbishing the barn at the school, which will be used as a place where the older children can learn life skills to enable them to be as independent as possible in adulthood.

Peter Mepsted, one of the founding parents and trustee said: 'As a small local charity it is fantastic to receive support from a major organisation like Liberty Property Trust UK Ltd.

The concept of the Bill Rouse Day of Caring is perfect for a charity like ours ­ being able to carry out work that would otherwise use financial resources, which could be better focussed on our pupils. The whole team did a fantastic job and really enjoyed the day!

We now have a redecorated building ready for the new school year in September, when we intend to extend and improve our OElife skills¹ and OEvocational training¹ provision. All of us at Quest School are extremely grateful to everyone at Liberty and extend our sincere thanks.'

Other companies from Kings Hill also contributed to the day¹s activities, with building contractors Strata helping out with the intricate "cutting in" of the paintwork and supplying bacon rolls and new arrivals on the park, Domino's Pizza, providing lunch.

'Bill was such an inspiration to everyone he met and very community-minded so it is a privilege for us to be able to give something back to our community in honour of his memory', said Andrew Blevins, managing director of Liberty Property Trust UK Ltd.

'The Quest School does such marvellous work and is a very worthwhile cause.
It was hard work but we had great fun and we rounded off the day with a barbecue and a toast to Bill ­ who would have loved the day.'

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 and two Scout camp sites in Loose and Sittingbourne.

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