Children from two isle primary schools are on a mission to help the homeless

Palm Bay and Cliftonville primary pupils are involved in the project

Youngsters in two Margate primary schools have teamed up with homelessness organisation Thanet Families in Need.

The non-profit organisation was set up in 2012 by Ramsgate mum-of-four Kerry Keating and relies entirely on donations and the goodwill of volunteers to keep running.

It offers a rough sleeper outreach service, providing bags containing essentials, sleeping bags and advice, worked with the Thanet Winter Shelter project, runs a soup kitchen and gives help through the food bank.

Kerry Keating, from Thanet Families in Need

Children in Years 4 and 5 at Palm Bay and Cliftonville primary schools are getting involved with the project through their Cliftonville Active Citizenship Programme.

The group has been learning about politics, led by Tatton Spiller from Simple Politics who has been involved with Thanet Families in Need and is supporting its sixth annual Raising Smiles for Christmas campaign.

A statement from the pupils about joining up with Thanet Families in Needs says: “The problem we are trying to stop is homelessness. There are some people that sleep in the cold.

“We need to help them. Imagine if it’s you and you’re cold and wet. It is so upsetting that there are some unlucky people suffering in Cliftonville

“More and more people just sit on the streets starving and begging for help. Just think for a second and imagine this was you.

“We’re doing this because we care. We see lots of homeless people and we want to help them.

“We need an organisation to provide us with expertise and give us more information., so we decided to support Thanet Families in Need. They are local and look after everyone who needs help.

“To help them we have posters that will go up in and out of school. We’re also doing this assembly to tell you all about them.

“We’re also raising money. To do that, we’ve got lots of plans!”

The youngsters will hold a non-uniform day when they return to school after the Summer holidays. Palm Bay held a sponsored run and an ice pop sale and Cliftonville youngsters raised money with  guess the cat’s name and guess the sweets competitions.

Kerry visited the youngsters before the end of term. She said: “It was a real pleasure to attend the presentation and hand out the certificate of achievements to the children involved in this fantastic programme.  You could see the children adore being a part of this and are passionate about the cause, as their very captivating posters show.”

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Kerry said the situation with the Thanet Families in Need food bank is currently at a critical point. She said: “The food bank  is literally down to pasta and few tins of soup!

“Universal credits for families, rolled out in Thanet on the 19th, has hit harder than when it was implemented for single people in the winter of 2015. The benefit caps restricting income is also hitting families hard.

“The cost of living is rising and the squeeze is really having an effect.”

Food bank details

The food bank is based at the Thanet Families in Need charity shop at 70a Queen Street. The shop is open from 11am to 4pm.

Donations can be taken to the shop, dropped off at 4 Plains of waterloo or by calling 07472459457457   .

There is also on online link for paypal donations . Find it here

Get help

To apply for help fill in the online form here  

Call or text 07472 459459 – the charity will call you back

Email [email protected]

Find Thanet Families in Need on facebook here

Find the website, including a list of donations that would help, here