Young readers in Oxted start a new chapter thanks to our donation
Children at Holland Junior School are looking forward to reading some fantastic new books, following a £250 donation from us.
Our donation was all part of World Book Day, a national event which aims to encourage children to enjoy reading, and which this year celebrated its 20th birthday.
Terence Sheen, Headteacher at Holland Junior School, says: “We are very grateful to Taylor Wimpey for this kind donation.
“It’s great to be able to add to the choice of books on offer in our library for the children to read and it’s also really inspiring for them to see how much a business like Taylor Wimpey values reading.
“Our eager readers are now really looking forward to getting stuck into their new books!”
The 20th annual World Book Day took place on Thursday 2nd March to celebrate authors, illustrators and books, and to get more children reading.
Jason Stokes, Regional Sales and Marketing Director for Taylor Wimpey, says: “Reading is such an important skill, as well as being great fun, so we are delighted to be making this donation to support Holland Junior School.
“It’s a great example of the way we are committed to supporting schools and other local organisations within the communities in which we build our new homes. We hope the children really enjoy these new books!”
We help to boost Moor House School’s successful charity ball
We donated £4,200 to a charity ball which raised more than £16,000. The event was held in support of Moor House School and College in Oxted, which specialises in helping children with complex speech and language difficulties.
Scarlett Ford’s youngest daughter, Edith (10), attends the school and Scarlett felt so passionately about Moor House’s work that she decided she wanted to do something to show her support for the school, which is also a registered charity.
Scarlett says: “I started to look into putting on a ball within the local community to help raise funds for the school. I sent out a few letters asking for support and Taylor Wimpey kindly offered to pay for the food and drink for the evening. Their donation was the whole reason I was able to go ahead with organising the rest of the event.
“It was a fantastic evening and everyone who attended absolutely loved it. It all went so well and there was a really positive atmosphere around the room. There was a drinks reception, a live band and three-course dinner, while we had some amazing prizes for our live auction, including tickets to the races and a box at the O2 Arena!
“The auction itself raised more than £5,000, with a magnum of champagne alone selling for over £1,000! Grant Ford, who appears on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, was the auctioneer on the night and he did such a great job of working the room and encouraging people to get involved.
“Music was provided by The Funk Collective, a local eight-piece ensemble who really lived up to their name by playing songs by the likes of Justin Timberlake and Pharrell Williams. It was a very glamorous evening.”
The funds raised from the event have gone towards new furnishings in the recently-developed buildings to accommodate the children who stay at the school.
Scarlett continues: “Children come from all over the country to attend Moor House and the new furnishings will really help make their time there more comfortable while they are away from home.
“There was a lot to organise, but the cause is so close to my heart and I feel so passionately about the school that it was easy for me to talk to people about it and tell them how they could get involved. Everyone who contributed to the event, from those who donated to the band, played a huge part in making the evening so special.”
The event, which took place on Saturday 25th February at the Colstford Mill in Oxted, was a sell-out, with more than 100 people buying tickets within the first month of the online launch.
Scarlett adds: “I am so grateful to Taylor Wimpey for all that they have done. Their generous donation completely covered the cost of the food and drinks for the evening, meaning that more of the money raised went to the school instead of covering the costs for the event.”
Jason Stokes, Regional Sales and Marketing Director, says: “As a local housebuilder, we are committed to supporting the communities in which we build our new homes, so we were delighted to make this donation to the Moor House Charity Ball.
“The event was for a great cause and we are so pleased that the evening was a huge success – I certainly enjoyed it and we wish the school all the very best for the future.”
We snap to it and support campaign to get kids walking
We are encouraging families in Oxted to pull on their walking shoes and leave the car at home for the journey to school this autumn and winter.
To help keep youngsters safe on the way, especially in the darker winter months, we have supplied 220 high-visibility snap bands to Holland Junior School for its pupils to wear. The donation is part of a campaign that will see more than 13,000 snap bands provided to children across the country.
According to UK charity Living Streets, only 21% of boys and 16% of girls meet the current recommended daily level of exercise (60 minutes of physical activity).
A generation ago, 70% of youngsters walked to school, but now it’s less than half – and during morning peak traffic times, one in five cars on the road are taking children to school, contributing to congestion, air pollution and carbon emissions.*
Jason Stokes, Regional Sales and Marketing Director for Taylor Wimpey, says: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Holland Junior School to help encourage families to leave the car at home and set off for school on foot instead.
“Walking is a great habit for youngsters to get into early in life, so we hope our snap bands will add some fun to the journey to school, as well as keeping them safe on the way.”
Terence Sheen, head teacher at Holland Junior School, says: “Children really do benefit from walking to school – not only is the exercise healthy for them, but it also helps reduce the amount of traffic outside school, which is safer for them too.
“We are very grateful to Taylor Wimpey for this generous donation which will help raise the profile of walking to school among pupils and parents alike.”
Scarlett and Simon find their dream family home at Meridian Square
After moving back to the UK from Switzerland so their daughter can attend a specialised school in Surrey, Scarlett and Simon Ford spent the past few years renting and relocating, until they finally found their perfect home at our Meridian Square development!
The couple used the Help to Buy scheme to purchase their brand new four-bedroom ‘Jessop’ townhouse and, along with their daughters Sofia (13) and Edith (10), moved in at the start of April 2016 after renting a townhouse on the other side of the village for 18 months.
Before deciding to move back to the UK the family lived in Switzerland for four years, but decided to return so Edith could go to the nearby Moor House School and College, which specialises in helping children with speech and language difficulties.
The Ford family are enjoying settling in to their new home.
“We first moved to Hurst Green around two years ago when Edith started at school,” says Scarlett. “She was on the waiting list for around 18 months, so before moving to the village we were renting a property in Oxted
“Our former property was too big for us and not nearly as nice – the houses at Meridian Square aren’t just bricks and mortar. The ‘Jessop’ is clean, white and modern with lots of glass and wooden panels, so it’s really light inside. It has almost a Scandinavian feel to it, which we really like.
“Both Sofia and Edith now have their own bedroom and one of the rooms has its own balcony and en-suite which is fantastic. The entire house is really spacious so we’re not all living on top of each other. The kitchen also has lovely bi-folding doors opening to the back garden, so we’ve been able to embrace outdoor living again like we used to."
“Edith’s speech and language challenges were diagnosed in Switzerland so we knew she needed to go to a specialist speech and language school in England,” continues Scarlett. “During the last 2 years most of the equity from our previous property was spent on legal fees to get Edith funding for a place at the school, so it was like we were starting from the beginning again.
“The Help to Buy scheme has made a real difference to us and we’d have struggled to buy again without it.
“We had a really personable experience with the Taylor Wimpey team. They been so organised and the aftercare has been amazing. The team continue to show so much interest in us, so it’s been a really nice journey for us all.”
The entire family is enjoying settling in at Meridian Square.
“We all love it here and we’re very happy to have finally moved into our dream home – it’s very much what we’ve been looking for,” adds Scarlett. “It was Edith’s school that brought us here but for the first time in a long time it feels like home and we plan on being here for a long time.”
Our donation helps Age Concern charity get back in the driving seat
We have given a cash boost to Age Concern Oxted, Limpsfield and District to help the charity continue providing its much-needed services to the elderly.
Our donation of £600 will help to cover maintenance and repair costs for its 12-seater minibus.
Our Sales Executive Lyn with volunteers from Age Concern Oxted, Limpsfield and District and users of the minibus service.
Age Concern Oxted, Limpsfield and District is in affiliation with leading charity Age UK, and focuses on providing the minibus service to elderly or immobile clients in the surrounding areas.
Ann Koelz, chairperson for the charity’s committee, says: “Taylor Wimpey’s donation will go towards funding the general upkeep of our minibus service, covering costs such as fuel and vehicle repairs and services, as we don’t have any funding for this.
“We cover the regions of Hurst Green, Oxted, Limpsfield and Limpsfield Chart and currently have approximately 65 clients, some of whom really rely on the service we provide as they’re unable to get around themselves, and it’s essential for them to do things such as their shopping.”
The minibus service operates five days a week providing door-to-door service for its users and is run entirely by volunteers.
Ann says: “For some of our clients the minibus makes all the difference in the world, as for them this facility is the only way they will get to see or speak to anyone all day, so it’s an extremely important service that we provide.
“We are so grateful to Taylor Wimpey for their donation, as it has alleviated some of the pressure for us, and it helps our clients to still get around.
“We provide a good bus service that picks clients up from their doorstep and takes them back and some of our drivers even carry in their shopping for them, which isn’t provided with a regular bus service.”
We offered to help the charity after Carol Leach, the Secretary for Age Concern Oxted, Limpsfield and District, appealed to us for support.
Carol says: “After I heard Taylor Wimpey was building in the area, I decided to write them a letter to see if they would support a local charity such as ours.
“We take our clients shopping at a nearby supermarket twice a week, as well as a weekly trip to the lunch club.
“Twice a year we also take a trip to a garden centre, so all the drivers and passengers can sit together to have a cream tea and a chat. Many of our drivers also offer friendship for our clients, some who may not have anyone else to speak to.
“All of our drivers are volunteers, and they’re all like friends to our clients, but we’re always on the lookout for more people to help us fundraise and keep the service going.”
Jason Stokes, Regional Sales and Marketing Director for Taylor Wimpey South East, says: “We’re delighted to offer this donation to Age Concern Oxted, Limpsfield and District, who are providing a wonderful service which really makes a difference to local residents.
“We are committed to investing in the communities in which we build our homes, and helping the charity to continue running the minibus is extremely important.”
Matthew’s Friends charity receives a £500 donation!
We lent a helping hand to Matthew’s Friends, a Surrey-based charity that supports people living with severe forms of epilepsy and brain cancer, by donating £500 to help fund an exciting new film project!
Julie Edwards, Trustee and Deputy CEO of Matthew’s Friends (left), with Chef Mo Benn (centre) and Taylor Wimpey Sales Executive Sandra Watson (right).
Matthew’s Friends was established in 2004 by Emma Williams, whose son Matthew (now 20) was diagnosed with the rare form of epilepsy known as Dravet Syndrome when he began having seizures at just nine months old.
After years of trying different medicines, nothing seemed to help control Matthew’s condition. That is, until Emma enrolled him onto a research trial at Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2001 to try a high fat, adequate protein, low carbohydrate diet known as the Ketogenic Diet.
Within two weeks of starting the trial, Matthew’s seizures had reduced by 90% and within eight months he was off medication altogether. Inspired by her son’s journey, Emma set up Matthew’s Friends with the hope of helping other families in a similar position, and to offer guidance about Ketogenic Dietary Therapies.
Julie Edwards, Trustee and Deputy CEO of Matthew’s Friends, says: “It can be very daunting for people when they first start learning about the Ketogenic Diet, so we are here to provide support and guidance. We are the only UK charity that is 100% dedicated to this cause.
“Our next big project is to create a series of ‘how-to’ videos, including things like how to shop for a Ketogenic Diet and how to batch cook on a Ketogenic Diet.”
“We receive no government funding so we really are reliant on donations like Taylor Wimpey’s to keep going,” says Julie. “We would like to say a very big thank you – £500 will make a massive difference. If anyone would like further information or would like to support the work of our charity, we would invite them to visit our website www.matthewsfriends.org or call 01342 836571.”
We generated the £500 donation by putting £25 in the pot for every visitor at our Meridian Square showhome opening weekend which took place in January.
Jason Stokes, Sales and Marketing Director for Taylor Wimpey South East, says: “We wanted to help a charity that was local to our Meridian Square development and Matthew’s Friends seemed the perfect choice.
“This wonderful charity does a fantastic job and helps so many families across the UK so we were delighted to hand over £500 towards their exciting film project.”
We join celebrations as tree is planted to replace Hurst Green's iconic oak
A new tree has been planted to replace an iconic oak tree that was destroyed in a storm, thanks to a community fundraising appeal supported by us.
The much-loved oak tree at the King George V playing field in Hurst Green, Surrey, had to be felled after it was badly damaged by savage winds in January 2014.
Following the storm members of Holland Sports Club launched the Oak Aid appeal to fund the planting of a new tree – and we lent our support to the campaign, donating £100.
The community organised a series of fundraising events, including a gig night and a cricket match, with the appeal reaching its £1,123 fundraising target in August. This was match-funded by Tandridge District Council and the new tree was planted on Wednesday 29th October.
What’s more, because the appeal surpassed its original target, it’s hoped a new bench will be installed by the tree as well.
Jason Stokes, Regional Sales and Marketing Director for Taylor Wimpey, says: “As a local housebuilder, we are committed to supporting the communities in which we build our new homes, so when we heard about the Oak Aid appeal, we were only too pleased to help out. “We are therefore delighted to see the planting of a new oak tree, which we hope will bring much pleasure to local people for generations to come.”
Sandra Watson, Taylor Wimpey Sales Executive at Meridian Square, and Oak Aid Co-ordinator Bob Matthews prepare to plant the new oak tree at Hurst Green.