Cornerstone is pitch perfect at new community event with a difference

PC Andrew Baldry

An innovative learning project for disadvantaged students has won the inaugural West Kent Eat Vote Give (EVG) event at Tonbridge Juddians Rugby Club.

A large audience voted for Cornerstone Tuition after several organisations pitched their schemes in the hope of winning the £300 generated by the £5 entrance fee for the evening.

The other projects included Free Cakes for Kids Tonbridge, which involves volunteer bakers making cakes, and West Kent YMCA’s Re-Cycle Bike Project, training volunteers on a bicycle maintenance course.

Guests heard a presentation from each project and then had the opportunity to question the presenters on the finer points of their scheme.

A two-course light supper was created and served by the Eat Vote Give team from produce donated by Haywards Butchers and the Co-Op, both from York Parade. The venue was provided free of charge, which ensured as much money as possible for the winning cause.

Winner Tom West, 20, from Tunbridge Wells, founded his venture last year with his friend Sam Carter, also 20, as a registered charity.

Tom said: “We have been tutoring English and maths since March. It was a huge honour to win the donation from Eat Vote Give and we are very excited by the support we received. The donation will give us the platform to launch a new programme next year.”

Fred Long, a volunteer for the event, said: “All three contenders were very worthy of the ‘prize money’ but, in line with the EVG ethos, there could only be one winner – in this case it was Tom West for the Conerstone Tuition charity, which offers one-to-one learning.

“They told us the money will go toward expanding their operation geographically and also setting up a Summer School where children who are eligible for free school meals, will also receive free maths and English tutoring.”

Mr Long added that Eat Vote Give is to continue every three months alternating between, initially, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells. The next event will be in Tunbridge Wells in September or October. It is currently looking for a location suitable for 70 to 100 people.

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