Thanet community news: Birchington stands with Shirley, East Kent Mencap, bangers and bingo and a Seaside Shuffle

The I'm with Shirley event in Birchington

Birchington Medical Centre fundraiser

Throughout November and into December, the community of Birchington showed its support for resident Shirley Ridge as he underwent treatment for breast cancer.

An information and fundraising event called #I’mWithShirley was held at Birchington Medical Centre in support of health care assistant Shirley.

Shirley was keen for any funds raised to go to support local people living with cancer and their carers and chose the Macmillan Crossroads Volunteer Service as the beneficiary.

Shirley and her family have been supported by Macmillan Crossroads and know many others throughout Thanet and beyond have been helped by them too.  There was a raffle, tombola, cake sale, a puzzle sale and jewellery for sale.

Marnie Enever, county lead for Macmillan Crossroads, said: “It’s so important for people living with cancer and their families to know what help and support is available locally.  This was as much an information event as it was a fundraiser with leaflets and guidance on how to access help and find out how to volunteer.

People have continued to donate with the total standing at an incredible £2,873.25.

Donate here:

Shennet from Santander helped out on the cake stall. Santander pledged to match fund the £500 raised by the sale of cakes on the day.

Andrew, the medical centre’s pharmacist, bit down on a wooden tongue depressor and had his legs waxed! He did very well and kept a smile on his face throughout.

Four brave ladies took on the National Macmillan challenge of ‘Brave the Shave’. There was an air of anticipation as the four ladies lined up to take it in turns and have their hair shaved off! The clippers buzzed, the hair fell, the laughter sounded as this part of the event raised over £500 for Macmillan nationally.

Shirley said: “I’d like to say how amazed and overwhelmed I am with all the support from Birchington both from individuals and the businesses. Thank you to every one of you that donated to Macmillian Crossroads a charity that we never know when we will need them.”

Hannah Price, Birchington Medical Centre Practice Manager said: “It was wonderful to see so many people come together to show support to Shirley, Birchington really is a great community.”

To find out more about Macmillan Crossroads Volunteer Service call Marnie Enever on 03450 956701.

Macmillan Crossroads Care Kent & Medway Volunteer Service helps and supports people living with cancer to live as well as possible. They do this by recruiting and training people who give their time freely as volunteers.

People are helped practically, emotionally and with companionship support.  For more information, call 03450  956701, email [email protected] or find them on Facebook here

East Kent Mencap

Kickstart 2019 by turning your unwanted presents into prizes. Did you know that 58% of people have given an unwanted Christmas present either to a charity or to someone else? With Christmas long behind us, local learning disability charity, East Kent Mencap, are calling on you to donate those unwanted gifts.

East Kent Mencap provides opportunities for adults and children with a learning disability in East Kent. The fundraising department regularly hold raffles to generate funds for the charity. Research by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) showed that 44% of people agreed that they had ‘too much stuff’, so by donating your unwanted gifts to East Kent Mencap, the charity can repurpose them into potential prizes for the upcoming year.

Fundraising manager Jane Brooke said: “Raffles are such a simple way to raise money for our charity, making over £1,500 last year. We really appreciate any donations of unwanted gifts to use as prizes, keeping our costs to the minimum so that all the funds go towards our services for people with a learning disability.”

Why not join the re-gifting trend and help raise funds for people with a learning disability? To donate your unwanted gifts contact [email protected] or phone 01843 224482

St Thomas Church, Minnis Bay

Are you keen on Bingo? Do you fancy delicious sausages and mash to eat? Please join us at Kearns Hall, Minnis Bay, CT7 9NN on January 27 for ‘Bangers and Bingo’. BYO drinks.

Eyes down at 6.30pm. Tickets £10. Contact Margaret on 01843 840878 or the Parish Office on 01843 840777 to book.

Seaside Shuffle

The Doolally Tap Jazz Band at Christmas will be a hard act to follow, but the band now booked for the January shuffle  at noon, Saturday, January 26 is the Black Cat Jazz Band – another band we know and love, with band leader Tony O’Sullivan on trumpet and vocals, Ian Turner on clarinet and vocals, Keith Blundell on trombone, Colin Martin on piano, Bill Stotesbury on banjo and  Ian Rogers on bass. (Perhaps we can persuade Tony to sing ‘All of me’ in French!).

It will be at the usual fully licensed venue, Ramsgate Small Boat Owners Club, Guildford Lawn, Ramsgate. Entry at the door – £12 for guests, £10 for members which includes a buffet lunch. Annual membership is £10

Members hoping to be the first correct crossword puzzle entry can present it at the door.  The winner collects a free pass to the next month’s gig. The puzzle can be found in the monthly newsletter sent to members.

There will be the usual raffle with around 12 worthwhile prizes, some donated by members. The money raised at the monthly gigs help fund the Annual Seaside Shuffle Weekend in July.  This year is the 9th year and grateful thanks is due to the hard-working organisers who often face what to some, would be unsurmountable difficulties.


  1. Lone guests have no need to worry. The atmosphere is friendly. We are pleased to share our enjoyment of original jazz and there is usually a sale of second-hand CDs etc..

  2. Lone guests have no need to worry. There’s a friendly atmosphere. We are happy to share our enjoyment of original jazz. There are usually second-hand CDs etc. for sale and an orderly queue for the buffet !

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