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Day of Caring

Day of Caring

A charity-run outdoor adventure centre in Tonbridge now has newly-painted buildings and improved landscaping 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 USA 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 Liberty’s Kent, London and Birmingham offices took time off work to spend a day doing maintenance jobs at the Rock UK Carroty Wood Adventure Centre. Set in 58 acres of mature woodland off Higham Lane, the residential centre accommodates up to 190 people and offers a wide range of outdoor adventure activities, has an indoor heated swimming pool and floodlit all-weather sports pitch.

Liberty’s team painted the pool’s changing rooms; put sleepers around the main reception areas and accommodation blocks to stop soil erosion; planted native woodland plants; laid down mulch and repaired the outdoor barbecue, for which the company had a bespoke grill tray made in readiness.

Building contractors Strata, who are refurbishing an office building at Kings Hill, provided the team with bacon sandwiches for breakfast; Michael Kilgour Architects, who have designed some of the buildings at Kings Hill, provided a sausage and chip lunch; Kings Hill landscapers Coblands provided the plants, sleepers and mulch and Ian Williams, a Kings Hill supplier, provided the paint.

“Luckily it was one of the few dry days we have had recently and we got a lot done,” said Andrew Blevins, Liberty’s managing director. “It was an exhausting, but very enjoyable, day and we were delighted to be able to help such a deserving organisation. It was also a fitting way to remember Liberty’s founder, Bill Rouse, who encouraged all Liberty offices to support the communities in which we are developing.”

Rock UK (www.rockuk.org) is a Christian charity providing exciting outdoor adventure for church youth groups, schools, local authority groups and adult training organisations. It was established 90 years ago by a group of London Sunday school teachers who took schoolchildren who had never had a holiday to the South coasts for a healthy and adventurous time. Bear Grylls is one of its ambassadors.

Malcolm MacLean, the centre director at Carroty Wood said that he was delighted to have had some extra help. “As a charity we are always delighted when people offer practical or financial help,” he said. “The Liberty team worked incredibly hard and have made a real difference to the centre – and I know the children will be especially pleased about the improvements to the barbecue!” 

The centre is currently fundraising to build a multipurpose sports hall and anyone who would like more information on this should contact Malcolm on 01732 361361.

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 and Dandelion Time in West Farleigh.

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