Thanet community news: Toffs. choir, rotary and civic society

Thanet Over Fifties Forum

Thanet Over Fifties Forum

Volunteering was the theme for the latest Thanet Over Fifties Forum (TOFFs), which met in St Peter’s for the first time last week.

A packed Memorial Hall heard Paul Gibbons, volunteer outreach coordinator with Kent Coast Volunteering, speak on the difference that volunteering makes both to the individual and the community.

Mr Gibbons said: “Volunteering, in its many forms, offers a direct benefit to the community, whether it be helping to keep beaches or public spaces tidy, fundraising for the purchase of equipment in your local hospital, or visiting somebody who lives alone for a tea and chat.

“But it isn’t just a one-way process, as you are just as likely to get something back: meeting new people, building yourself up, and trying things you would never have thought of doing before, are all benefits we hear about from the people we help find roles for.”

The meeting learnt that in Britain, 14 million people reported volunteering at least once a year, and while it is difficult to attach economic value to the nation’s volunteering efforts, the Office for National Statistics estimates almost £24 million worth of economic output is achieved each year by those who give their time.

Right now, in Thanet there are over 160 volunteering opportunities available!

To discover the perfect opportunity for you, visit or give Paul Gibbons a call on 01843 609338.

The second speaker was Susan Elliot, of the award-winning St Peter’s Village Tour – a very local example of a successful project run by an army of over 120 volunteers.

Started back in 1994 by just six members, the team now provides a packed programme of guided walks, featuring characters from the village’s history – with volunteers chipping in as guides, costumed characters, refreshment providers, web and social media admins, and much more besides.  The Village Tour won the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

Ms Elliot said:“Volunteering builds self-esteem.  When you retire from work, your confidence can get knocked.  You’re no longer ‘that’ person and you can ask yourself, ‘what do I do now?’.

“Making that step to do something different, with any volunteering organisation – not just ours – will change your life and you will have fun”.

To find out more, visit the Village Tour website –

Next up for TOFFs is an engagement meeting on Wednesday, April 24, 10am-12pm, at the Kent Innovation Centre in Broadstairs, to find out more about the work of TOFFs, and how you can get involved to ensure its continued success for years to come.

For more details, contact co-ordinator Pauline Petitt on 01843 609337 or visit

Thanet Male Voice Choir

Thanet Male Voice Choir will be giving a concert at St Andrew’s Church, Reading Street, Broadstairs on Saturday, April 6 at 7:30pm. Tickets are £8 in advance and can be purchased from the church office (Tel 609513 or 591605) or £10 on the door. Free refreshments will be served and all profits are in aid of church funds.

Ramsgate Rotary Club

Locomotive enthusiasts will be thrilled to know that it is possible an open weekend will be held later this year at the  Margate premises of Locomotive Storage Ltd .

The news was broken by Frank Martin when he spoke to members of Ramsgate Rotary Club.

Mr Martin, a former head of Hornby, told about how the company, owned by Jeremy Hoskins, with headquarters in Crewe, now owned the premises next door to Hornby. It acts as home to a  number of locomotives, which would be a big attraction to members of the public.

Mr Martin was introduced by President Pat Hersant and thanked  by President Elect Henry Golding.

Two members of Sandwich Rotary Club also attended.

Margate Civic Society

Continuing this year’s diverse programme of talks: Our next meeting will be held in the Ballroom at the Walpole Bay Hotel, Fifth Avenue, Cliftonville on Thursday, April 4 at 7:30pm – attendees are requested to be seated by 7:15pm.   The meeting will start with Members’ Notices, after which our guest speaker:  Jane Wenham-Jones (author, journalist, columnist, presenter, interviewer, creative writing tutor, writing competition judge and speaker) will be giving a talk entitled “A funny way to earn a living” which will be followed by an opportunity for any questions.  During the evening, Jane’s books will also be on sale for those who wish to buy.  All are welcome – nominal entrance fee is £3 for non-Members.

If you are interested in joining Margate Civic Society, or wish to find out more, please see our website for further details.

Broadstairs and St Peter’s Twinning Association

Following our winter break we have two events in April which we extend an invitation to for both members and non-members.

The first event is a screening at the Palace Cinema, Broadstairs on Wednesday, April 11 to see The White Crow – an exciting, new film continuing the drama of Rudolph Nureyev’s dramatic defection to the West in 1961.

Tickets are £5 and doors open at 2pm for a 2.30pm start.

The second event is on Saturday, April 27 with a day trip to Wattignies in France for the Spring fair. A return trip from Broadstairs is arranged and tickets are £27pp.

Morning pick ups on the day will be from Pierremont at 6.45am and outside Asda at 6.50am prompt.

Bookings for both events will be available through Maureen on 01843 865640 or Peter on 01843 862002. Cinema tickets can also be bought from the Palace on the day.