Thanet community news: From walking netball to a special meal combating loneliness

Walking netball with Broadstairs & St Peters WI group

Walking Netball and the Womans Institute

Following a successful launch in August 2018, Broadstairs & St Peters WI group has continued weekly training at Hartsdown Leisure Centre, Margate.

With fun, friendship and fitness as its main aim the ladies have been developing new skills, teamwork and getting to grips with the rules of netball. With the guidance and encouragement from coaches Janet Adkins and Lorna Richardson a regular group of 14 – 16 ladies ( all  aged 60+) have trained hard for their first match.

A team from Northbourne WI came along on Wednesday, February 6 for a friendly game. The teams were evenly matched -they were both fairly nervous playing their first competitive match! At half time the score was level but by the end of the third quarter Broadstairs had pulled ahead thanks to the excellent shooting of GA Lorna Richardson. Into the final quarter, with several team changes on both sides, Broadstairs kept their cool and finished with a 15 -10 win. Not a huge score but showed up the defending skills from both teams.

Although walking netball is played at a slower pace it still brings out the competitive spirit.

After the match, true to WI hospitality, the ladies enjoyed drinks and cake. Both teams are looking forward to a return fixture in the not too distant future.

Thanks to Phill Harvey, England Netball Development Officer for his continued support. Getting a WIggle On is a partnership between England Netball and the Womens Institute.

For details of walking netball and the WI please contact [email protected]

No One Eats Alone Day

No One Eats Alone Day is on Friday, February 15 and to mark the date Raushan Ara of Ramsgate Tandoori and Carl Whitewood of Salvation Army are organising a community meal at the Salvation Army Hall in Ramsgate at 1pm.

Social isolation is a growing and serious issue in our community for those without a family or a social network. Both young and old are affected by loneliness and it can have a negative impact on both physical and mental well being.
This is an opportunity for the community of Thanet  to come together and enjoy good food and live music and entertainment.
The menu will be: Basmati Pilau rice; chicken curry; mixed vegetable curry; onion bhaji; samosa; naan bread and gateau and ice cream.
Whilst admission and the meal are free we would welcome any kind of donation for example (ingredients for the meal please contact Raushan). Christmas crackers/napkin and decorations are also welcomed. We also need fresh flowers and balloons.
Raushan has run similar events over the years and they have always received great support from local businesses and the community.

Find the event page by clicking here

Pilgrims Hospices

This February solicitor firms from across east Kent are kindly donating their time  and expertise to write wills completely free of charge, in return for a donation to Pilgrims Hospices.

All money kindly donated will directly support Pilgrims to help people facing a terminal diagnosis, and their families, to live well in every moment. Last year our Make a Will Month raised an incredible £21,500 for Pilgrims, enough to fund over five months of nursing care to our patients.

Participating firms for 2019 are listed here  Appointments are limited and are filling up fast so book to avoid disappointment.

There is no obligation to include Pilgrims in your will. If you choose to, however, you’ll be doing something inspirational. It will cost you nothing now, but will help to secure the future of our services for more than 2,300 people each year.

Almost everyone in our local community knows someone who has, or could have, benefited from the excellent work of our specialist medical staff.

For more information about how you can leave a gift to Pilgrims in your Will, please call Sara Scriven on 01227 782 066 or email [email protected].

Thank you to participating solicitor firms

Rotary in Westgate and Birchington

The Rotary is inviting people to join the group for The Big Breakfast at Kearns Hall in Minnis Bay on Sunday, April 28. The event runs from 9am to 10.30am and a full English is £5.

Prior to that the club will hold a table top sale, also at Kearns Hall, on March 9 from 9an until noon, stallholders entry at 8am. The event will raise money for local charities. To book a table call Richard on 07955260598.

Find more at

Ramsgate RNLI

Rock hunting is a huge craze in Thanet! Enthusiasts of all ages and skills paint and varnish rocks and then leave them in various places around the Isle for the enjoyment of others. They can then be taken home to be enjoyed or rehidden for someone else to find. Photographs of peoples finds are posted on their Facebook page Thanet Rock Hunters which has over 8000 followers.

This lovely hobby is not just confined to Thanet, it’s all over the UK.

Just after Christmas Ramsgate RNLI station found their first rock left behind a post outside the station. The picture was so lovely that they decided to keep it, and dutifully posted a picture of their find on the Facebook site. The artist was identified as Anthony Thorne from his style and just this week a second rock was found placed in a boat outside the station again. This one was signed by Anthony and again was beautifully painted and once again after posting their find the station decided once more to keep it.

Station press Officer Karen Cox said: “The RNLI is funded entirely by public support and donations and we really appreciate the time and effort that has gone into creating such detail on such a small rock and will display it in our station for our volunteer crew to enjoy.”

Rock painting and hunting is a hobby that everyone can enjoy, it has little cost involved, ideas of what to use and how to preserve the painting are posted on their site and it brings great joy to all ages when found.

Thanet Over Fifties Forum (TOFFs)

More than 60 people turned up for the last  meeting of the Thanet Over Fifties Forum (TOFFs), held at the Trinity Resource Centre in Margate, to hear about the support available to those living with dementia and their loved ones in Thanet.

The first speaker of the day was Admiral Nurse Jade Garlick, a qualified mental health nurse for 12 years.  Ms Garlick spoke passionately about the work of Admiral Nurses, who are funded by the charity Dementia UK.

It was surprising how few people had heard of Admiral Nurses, who began their journey providing support for family carers and those living with dementia in 1994, when the idea was conceived by the family of Joseph Levy CBE BEM.  These specialist nurses are on hand throughout the trajectory of dementia, particularly during complex periods of transition for sufferers and their loved ones, and they also provide education, leadership, development and support to other colleagues and service providers within the healthcare sector.

Jade said: “Dementia can be challenging and a difficult journey for families as well as the person with dementia. I always put the person with dementia at the heart of everything I do as I strongly believe that, if you can understand the family system, and how it may impact on the person with dementia it will help us to provide the right support.  It is important to help the carer to feel equipped to support their loved one, as this enhances the quality of life for the person with dementia.

“Support can be given by providing specialist interventions and advising families on related issues that come along with dementia such as moods, anxieties, medication, positive risk assessments. We can refer to respite where a carer needs a break from the caring role, recommend groups for peer support as it is vital for carers to be surrounded by others where they can share ideas and problems helping them not to feel alone and isolated.”

Jade recommended the Dementia UK Helpline as a valuable resource and a caring ear for families.  Telephone: 0800 888 6678 – Email: [email protected]

And to get in touch with Jade directly for support, you can call her on 01843 267071.

The second speaker was Niall McLaughlin, a senior lecturer in mental health nursing at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Niall spoke about the startling links between hearing loss and the risk of developing dementia.

He said: “A study by Professor Helene Amieva in France followed 3,777 participants aged over 65 for up to 25 years. Of these, 1,289 reported hearing problems and 2,290 reported no trouble.

“The study found an increased risk of disability and dementia in those with hearing loss, and, in men only, an increased risk of depression. These associations were not found in the participants using hearing aids.”

The good news is that the same study also confirmed steps could be taken to reduce the risk of dementia for those with hearing loss and one of the simplest ways of doing so was to use hearing aids.

Niall explained: “The brain is a bit like muscle, and if you gradually lose your hearing,  those brains cells involved in processing sounds will lose blood supply and your brain will adapt. Like a muscle, if you exercise it the blood supply to that area it will improve.”

TOFFs coordinator Pauline Petitt said: “We were very pleased that so many people were able to attend this meeting and access information on a subject which affects so many individuals and families in Thanet.

“Feedback on the day from those present told us that the TOFFs meeting proved highly effective at demystifying the support available, both for people who have dementia and their families who care for them.  The link between hearing loss and dementia, and what can be done to reduce this, was also very informative.”

Many of the excellent dementia support organisations were also present at the meeting, offering a wealth of information and support for those living with dementia and their families.

These included:

EKIDS, East Kent Independent Dementia Support (EKIDS)

Age UK Dementia “Drop in” the last Friday of every month tel: 01843 223881

Memories, memory stimulation through activities, reminiscence & singing. 01843 220925

Bright Shadow, fun fortnightly creative sessions

Thanet Dementia Hub at Trinity

Thanet Community Support Partnership puts people in touch with the services they need via our simple and easy-to-use referrals service. Telephone 01843 609337

For more information call Pauline Petitt at Kent Coast Volunteering, Thanet Over Fifties Forum, on 01843 609337 or email [email protected].

The next TOFFs meeting is on March 13 at 10.30am at St Peters Memorial Hall.

Paul Gibbons of Kent Coast Volunteering will be talking on how volunteers can make a really big difference to communities, followed by Susan Elliot talking on the St Peter’s Village Tours, and the fantastic contribution made by volunteers.

Ramsgate Buddhist Group

Ramsgate Buddhist Group meeting at Small Boat Owners Association 20 Guildford Lawn Ramsgate, on Saturday, March 2, 12pm to 2pm, and first Saturday of the month thereafter. Dharma discussion and meditation. All welcome.

Westwood Cross customer services awards

Fran and Glen with Hayley Lumpkin overall Best Customer Service award winner

Westwood Cross hosted its Customer Service Awards at Grosvenor Casino, celebrating staff who have gone above and beyond, offering the very best in customer service.

Award categories recognised all aspects of customer experience at Westwood Cross including Best Dressed Christmas Window Display, Cleaning Operative of the Year, Contribution to Charity and the coveted Best Customer Service Award.

Hayley Lumpkin, team leader at Outfit, was the winner of overall Best Customer Service Award – she received several nominations for being ‘Someone who always goes above and beyond what is expected’.

The nomination stood out in particular as a customer had written to Outfit’s Head Office to let them know ‘What a great colleague you have in Hayley from your Outfit Westwood Cross store’.  ‘She is courteous, friendly and very helpful and she delivered outstanding customer service’. Hayley was awarded with a £100 Westwood Cross gift card and crystal trophy.

The awards were co-presented by Francesca Donovan, centre manager and Janis Buckley, Chair of Cheerful Sparrows, a Westwood Cross charity of the year.  As well as sharing the Cheerful Sparrows’ story, Janis was delighted to be able to personally thank Westwood Cross for collecting bedding for disadvantaged children in Thanet last Christmas.

Francesca said: “People are at the very heart of the centre and we feel it’s important to recognise the fantastic job staff at our shopping centre do on a daily basis, ensuring our customers have a truly wonderful experience.

“Working in retail and leisure can be very demanding with the long hours, shift changes and constantly replenishing stock.  It takes motivated, talented individuals to juggle these various requirements and to connect with customers.  Tonight, is a chance to celebrate these valuable individuals and reward them for their consistently good customer service”.

“We received so many fantastic entries to our Customer Service Awards, it was a tough decision to select the overall winners.  The nominations showed countless examples of how staff at Westwood Cross raised thousands of pounds for charity, and ensure all customers get the best experience possible when visiting the centre.”

Westwood Cross Customer Service Star Awards – 2018 winners

Best Christmas Window Display:

1st Place                      Next

2nd Place                     Monsoon

Security Guard of the Year                Ilaz Dema, Security Officer, ABM

Cleaning Operative of the Year          Ron Burton, Cleaning Operative, ABM

Retailer Customer Service                 Major Shop, Melissa Goacher, TK Maxx

Mini Major, Kiera Brunger, Chiquito

Shop Unit, Ruth Lane, Holland & Barrett

Manager of the Year                          Karen Long, Manager, Next

Contribution to the Environment:

1st Place                      Janice Juett, Administrator, Savills

2nd Place                     McDonalds

Contribution to the Community:

1st Place                      Wendy Pidduck, Manager, H Samuel

2nd Place                     Boots

Best Customer Service Award           Hayley Lumpkin, Supervisor, Outfit

Weight Watchers open house

WW, the new Weight Watchers, will be hosting an open house on February 10-16, offering residents the chance to experience a WW Wellness workshop for free.

Thanet Wellness coaches will be showcasing how residents can build healthy habits for life. Residents will have the opportunity to hear about the programme, participate in prize draws and try WW products and snacks.

The WW programme, which has just been named the Best Diet for weight loss nine years in a row, builds on the highly successful and effective SmartPoints system, making it the most flexible and livable programme ever. It encourages you to enjoy food with freedom, find what moves you physically, and gives you the skills to shift your mindset so you can focus on what really matters on your weight loss journey – taking care of yourself and living your life the way you want to.

WW Coach Cilla Muxlow said: “Unlike fad diets and quick fixes, WW is a livable programme, which means that life doesn’t have to stop while you lose weight. It provides a flexible and balanced approach to leading a healthier, happier lifestyle, while working towards your individual wellness goals.”

“In 2018 alone, residents in Thanet have seen a positive impact on their mindset, marking the beginning of their new healthy lifestyle. I’m looking forward to welcoming any local residents who visit the Thanet WW Wellness workshops at:

Kent Gardens, Birchington, Harris and Hoole Tesco Extra Broadstairs, The Portland Centre – St Peters, St Annes Church Hall Devonshire Gardens Cliftonville, St Lukes Church Hall Ramsgate, Palm Bay Avenue Cliftonville, St Ethelberts Church Hall Ramsgate,

We will be showing the people of Thanet an Enhanced Digital Experience with More Holistic Focus on Wellness.”

To become a true partner in wellness, WW is evolving all aspects of how it is integrated in people’s lives. As a technology experience company, WW is continuously innovating and has made several enhancements to the digital experience, from partnerships in voice and mindset to new and enhanced tools focused on activity tracking and community building, with the following updates:


To inspire healthy habits, WW announced the launch of WellnessWins, a new program that rewards members for small, everyday behaviours that are proven to lead to healthier habits. Members earn “Wins” for tracking meals, activity and weight, as well as for attending WW Wellness Workshops. Wins can be redeemed for exclusive products, services and experiences designed to inspire members on their wellness journeys.

Partnership with Headspace

Mindset is an essential part of overall wellness, and WW has formed a partnership with Headspace, a global leader in meditation and mindfulness, to help develop customised content for WW members.

WW has launched a healthy habits focus for members, which will make the program open to those who want to build healthy habits without focusing on weight loss.

Healthy Habits Focus in App

WW has launched a healthy habits focus for members, which will make the program open to those who want to build healthy habits without focusing on weight loss.

Royal British Legion Industries centenary ride

Royal British Legion Industries is calling on the people of Kent to be one of 100 cyclists to ride alongside injured veterans through the battlefields of the First World War in an emotive celebration of the charity’s 2019 centenary.

Taking place between July 12-14, the RBLI centenary ride will set off from the charity’s village in Aylesford and finish at Belgium’s Menin Gate war memorial in Ypres in time for the iconic Last Post, played as part of a solemn service of remembrance.

RBLI was established in 1919 to support wounded servicemen on their return from the battlefields of the Somme, Ypres and Passchendaele. Today, it continues to work with former military personnel and people with disabilities by providing accommodation, care, support, training and employment.

This year’s event comes after 30 people from across the county undertook the same journey in 2018 raising more than £25,000 for ex-servicemen and women through RBLI’s services.

Steve Sherry CMG OBE, Chief Executive of RBLI, said: “Hundreds of thousands made the journey from Britain through mainland Europe during the Great War.

“Many did not return, and for those who did with physical and mental disabilities, the daily battles continued.

“This year’s RBLI Centenary Ride, built on the great success of last year’s inaugural ride, is a unique opportunity to show our respect for those who served their country 100 years ago, those who returned with life-changing injuries and also those of more recent conflicts, many of whom still desperately require our support.”

Every penny raised will go directly to helping former military personnel RBLI works with and will help build RBLI’s new Centenary Village at Aylesford. The riders will also be supporting RBLI’s employment support programme LifeWorks, or supporting its social enterprise, Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, where 70% of staff are either veterans or individuals who have a physical or hidden disability.

People can take part by raising a minimum of £750, or donating the same amount, which covers the cost of two nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation, one evening meal in a hotel or restaurant in Ypres, two lunches, the ferry crossing from Dover to Calais, and an accompanying medic.

To sign-up to take part contact [email protected] or visit

Privy Council

North Thanet`s MP, Sir Roger Gale, will be sworn in as a member of Her Majesty`s Privy Council at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday, February 13.

Sir Roger, whose appointment was announced in the New Year`s Honours list, said: “ I regard this as a significant Parliamentary honour which will have the practical effect of allowing me to receive briefings on Privy Council (confidential) terms. That, in my capacity a Leader of the UK delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, will be of immense assistance in my work .”

POW! Festival

As part of the POW! 2019 Festival, 8th-17th March, there will be ‘pop-up’ libraries in locations across Thanet.
We are looking for donations and loans of books that are by, for and about women to help stock the libraries.

If you have any books you are willing to offer please bring them to Pie Factory Margate, 5 Broad Street, on Saturday, February 16, between 11am and 3pm.

The libraries will be ‘self service’ which means that books may not always be returned, please do not donate books you cannot bear to part with! If you would like your books returned after March 17, please put you name inside them and we will arrange a day and location where books can be collected. Any books not collected after that date will be given to the OASIS Domestic Abuse Charity Shop.

We’d like to thank our friends at Margate Festival for making this possible during their launch event at Pie Factory Margate – find out more about the Margate Festival Launch and Open Call here. Margate Festival begins in September 2019.

New starter award

A top award has been presented to a Ramsgate woman at the annual national conference of Chandlers Building Suppliers.

The Best New Starter award and £500 was presented to Georgia Tidey who works at the builders merchants’ Thanet branch. Georgia joined the branch, in Ocivan Way, just over a year ago to work as a sales assistant. She was nominated for her exceptional ‘can-do’ attitude and excellent customer service.

John Rose, branch manager of Chandlers Building Supplies Thanet, said: “Georgia has demonstrated the key attributes required to win this award including excellent attitude towards her colleagues and customers. She has a ‘can do attitude that is infectious and a natural ability to provide excellent customer service.  Congratulations Georgia.”

Introduced in 2014, the award for Best New Starter and a separate award for Outstanding Contribution have developed into a highlight for staff and managers, with growing anticipation for the winners reveal. Next year, an award for Driver of the Year will also be introduced. With over 200 staff spanning its network of 13 branches from the South East to the West Midlands, nominations are submitted by managers throughout the Chandlers Building Supplies network and are judged by the managing director, finance director and HR manager.

Hornby reunion

A reunion is being held for those who worked at Hornby Hobbies in the 70s-90s.

The event takes place on March 2 at the London Tavern in Margate from 7pm-11pm.

There will be music from DJ Crippsy.