CUSTOMERS of one of the Tunbridge Wells’ most prestigious establishments hit the fairway last week, raising £60,000 to help fund the education of children with autism.

The clients of G. Collins & Sons, the Queen’s jeweller situated on the High Street, took part in the fundraiser at Dale Hill Golf Club near Ticehurst.

The proceeds from the event, which included a prize draw, went to the Quest School in Paddock Wood.
One member of staff at the independent specialist school – registered to take pupils from age 5-19 years, across the autistic spectrum – said they were ‘in shock’ at the generosity of those who participated in the golf day.

Event organiser Zoe Collins was ‘delighted’ by the positive reception the fundraiser received from her clients, with available spaces running out straight away.

“We were unsure how many of our clients play golf and unbelievably the first 70 people all said yes,” she said.

Raffle prizes included an overnight stay and golf at Loch Lomond, a box at Newmarket Racecourse for the day and a week’s golfing holiday in Portugal.

Carly Templeman, Administration Manager at the Quest School, said: “We are a small, independent school, which relies heavily on charitable donations to be able to give our students a specialist learning environment, which is designed around the specific needs of pupils with autism.

“We are so thankful to have been taken to heart by the Collins family and we are so proud and humbled to have been the chosen charity for their Golf Day.

“The amount which has been raised is outstanding and we are in shock at the generosity of the Collins family and all of those who came along to support us. The impact that a donation of this amount will have for our students is so significant and we cannot begin to put into words how grateful we are to everyone
involved.”

The Quest school was founded in 2003 by a group of parents and Applied Behavioural Analysis professionals, seeking to create a specialist learning environment, designed around the specific needs of pupils with autism. It is based at the Hop Farm near Paddock Wood.