7 reasons why Thanet is fabulous this winter

Brrr-illiant New Year's dippers at the Westcliff Photo Maxine Morgan

For people who don’t live on the isle, Thanet is a place for Summer, to enjoy the beautiful beaches and the packed schedule of events from carnivals to folk week and more.

But us locals know that the isle is brilliant all year round and here are just seven reasons why Thanet has shone this winter:

Thanet Winter Shelter

The team preparing for this year’s Thanet Winter Shelter

This brilliant scheme runs from December 1 to February 28. Thanet District Council has put £20,000 into the shelter scheme, which will be operated by the Salvation Army and looks to continue the success of last year’s initiative in helping rough sleepers off the streets during the harsh winter months.

As well as providing bed, clothes and food, a key aim is to better equip some of the district’s most vulnerable people to help them secure and retain longer-term accommodation There is also help with training and employment.

The Winter Shelter is again to run alongside Glo Gen’s Aspire Homelessness programme and the homeless charity, Porchlight. The co-ordinated response means that individuals won’t simply leave after breakfast as they are provided with practical help throughout the day. Guests can access support, including training and skills, from one place, helping them to make the difficult move from homelessness to rehabilitation back into the community.

Find out more about the shelter volunteers here

Ramsgate harbour lights

Photo Leysi Kent

The only Royal Harbour in the UK is given an extra shine when boat owners light up their crafts for the festive season.

It is a beautiful display that has been done for the past four years.

Find a gallery of this year’s lights here

Dreamland ice rink

Photo Dreamland

Woo hoo. The ice rink is 450-metres of real ice.

The rink will be open every day from now until January 3 (except Christmas Day) and  will have room for 150 people to skate at one time. The winter weather won’t affect the fun as the rink is undercover, with a clear roof and walls for taking in the sights at the winter-themed amusement park. Tickets available here.

Find out more about The Frosted Fairgound at Dreamland here

The Cecil Square tree

People power made sure, for the second year running, that Cecil Square has a Christmas tree and a fabulous lighting up event next Friday, December 8.

The Margate mayor chose this year to have the tree in the Old Town but a fundraiser was launched last month to make sure Christmas came to the square.

Falcon Electrical & Security Limited CommunityAd Web Ltd  and Off The Hook Productions have stepped in again – raising funds for the tree, lights and installation.

The crowdfunder  page, created by Rachel Hamlin, Louis Mayhew and Kelly Stacey and supported by Mandi Tang and CommunityAd, surpassed its  £1,200 target.

Find the full programme for the switch on event here

Special Stars at Christmas festive party

Princess World UK is hosting the special Christmas party

More than 60 children with disabilities, who are young carers or are living with life limiting conditions attended two  special Christmas parties organised by Princess World UK and supported by The Isle of Thanet News.

The party included gifts for the children, food and drink, games and a special visit from Santa.

Princess World UK also carried out a present run on Christmas Eve to the children’s Rainbow Ward at Margate’s QEQM Hospital.


Find out more about the party here

Brrrrrr-illiant New Year’s Day dips for charity

Photo James Pringle

We are a bonkers lot, rushing into a freezing cold sea at New Year to raise funds for various causes.

Dips take place all over the isle, including Viking Bay, Ramsgate main beach and at the Westcliff.

Find out the reason why one Ramsgate dad will be running into those icy waves here

Big-hearted Thanet people

Kim(left) hands the replacement Christmas money to Betty

Thanet people are the best for rallying together when help is needed. They made sure Cecil Square got its Christmas tree but also came to the rescue when nan-of-ten Betty Hodges lost her purse with all her Christmas present money in it on the Loop and when Newlands pupil Emily Harris lost a special teddy bear during a visit to QEQM.

The youngster suffers from Hirchsprungs disease which affects the large intestine (colon) and prevents bowel movements.

She underwent emergency surgery in January to fit an ACE Stoma, which enables waste to be flushed from the system. Following the procedure the Breakaway Foundation, which supports children with bladder and/or bowel dysfunctions, referred Emily to A Bear Named Buttony charity.

The project sends children Buttony, a special bear with a stoma on its abdomen, just like the toy’s young owners.

When Thanet found out the teddy had gone missing there was a literal bear hunt to find it, with QEQM staff searching the hospital in the small hours of the morning! Emily and her siblings are now also guests at our Special Stars party.