Thanet community news: Litter picks, fundraisers, surprise ‘thanks for saving our lives’ gifts and more

Dane Park litter pickers from Colourful Margate Photo John Horton

Colourful Margate

Colourful Margate headed up a litter pick in Dane Park today (April 28).

Photo John Horton

Some 21 people assisted in the clean up, clearing items including a dismantled Flymo , a green metal pedal car in good condition and various items of household scrap simply discarded. A motorist was even noted driving by and throwing a McDonald’s coffee cup out of the window in the park itself whilst the litter picking was being undertaken. Everyone participating was in good spirits and a real team effort was prevalent throughout, and with a smile knowing a job had been well done.

Photo John Horton

Find out more at the Colourful Margate facebook page

Great Ramsgate Spring Clean

As Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean month draws to an end, the organisers of the first month-long Great Ramsgate Spring Clean have declared it a great success.

The final event of the Ramsgate Spring Clean took place last Saturday morning, when 12 volunteers from the East Cliff Community Group and friends cleaned up the alley between Cecilia Road and Newlands School, removing a whopping 43 bags of rubbish.

Rebekah Smith, from the group, said: “The alley was in an awful state, with litter, rubble and several inches of fallen leaves along its whole length – but we got to work with our spades, brooms and litter pickers, and an hour and a half later it was spotless!”

Tricia Hartley, Chair of the Ramsgate Litter Forum, the inter-agency group that co-ordinated the Great Ramsgate Spring Clean, said: “We’re delighted with how the Spring Clean has gone. Many of our member groups have organised events, from small residents’ clean-ups to the Ramsgate Society’s Big Chine to Chine clean where over 80 volunteers participated. We’ve tackled some real ‘grotspots’ in the town, with help from firms including McDonalds, YourLeisure and Wilko, and schools including Royal Harbour Academy, Chatham & Clarendon and Newington Community Primary School.

“We haven’t added up all the figures yet, but we know we’ve put in hundreds of volunteer hours and gathered over 200 bags of rubbish that would otherwise be on Ramsgate’s streets! We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who’s helped, and particularly to Ramsgate Town Council and its foreman lengthsman, Chris Barton, who have offered us fantastic support throughout the month!”

Keen cleaner-uppers needn’t hang up their litter pickers now the month has ended, though, as local resident and Spring Clean participant Johanne Edgington has set up a new group, Ramsgate Litter Pickers, to keep up the momentum. She said: “I run Rotten Ramsgate Tours, so I walk Ramsgate’s mean streets regularly and see the sad state that some are in. I’ve loved being part of the Spring Clean and want to carry on the good work. Anyone who’s interested in taking part in further clean-ups should join my Ramsgate Litter Pickers Facebook group. I’ve already talked to Tesco in Hereson Road who are keen to help, so the Spring Clean month could be just the beginning!”

For further information on Ramsgate Litter Forum, or to borrow equipment for individual litter picking, please contact Ramsgate Town Team on [email protected]

Broadstairs Probus Club

Broadstairs Probus Club provides a friendly forum for retired and semi-retired men over 55 who have had a professional or business working life.

Their April meeting was held on St. George`s Day at The Yarrow Hotel when the guest speaker was Mike Hawthorn whose talk was entitled `Flying for Life ` but it was all about the Mission Aviation Fellowship ( MAF ). Mike explained that MAF was an organisation which provides services of aviation, communication and learning technology to more than 1000 Christian and Humanitarian Aid agencies across the whole world. In particular, Mike illustrated the various light aircraft which MAF has been using over the last 70 years to fly over jungles, mountains, swamps and deserts to bring aid to isolated missionaries and indigenous villagers in the world`s most remote areas. The aircraft are adapted to take medical care and supplies, emergency relief to disaster areas such as flooding and earthquakes, equipment for clean water and vital supplies of food to vulnerable people in hard to reach places. Mike`s talk provoked several interesting questions and was much appreciated by the members, most of whom had not even heard of MAF before.

The blub meets for a coffee morning on the second Tuesday of every month and for a formal Lunch meeting on the fourth Tuesday of every month both at The Yarrow Hotel. If you are interested in finding out more about the Club, please contact :Rogan Montgomery Smith on 01843 603939 or email him on [email protected] for further details.

Race for Life

We need the people of Thanet to join the Race for Life at

After 25 years of being a female only event, we are excited to be inviting everyone in the area – women, men and children to join us at the start line in 2019 to help beat cancer sooner.

We’re urging mums, dads, nans, grandpas, brothers, sisters, friends and workmates to show their support by joining the Race for Life. It’s a perfect example of everyday people doing an extraordinary thing – uniting in a common cause to beat cancer.

The closest events to Thanet will be held in Margate, where you will have the choice to join Pretty Muddy or Pretty Muddy Kids on  July 20 or the 5k or the 10k on July 21.

Race for Life Pretty Muddy is our brilliant 5k muddy obstacle course which will have you scrambling over the A-frame and crawling through the mud pit. The kids love this one too, and with a supervising adult can join Pretty Muddy Kids which will see them having fun with friends, all the while helping to raise valuable funds for life-saving research.

The Margate route offers you plenty of beautiful coastal scenery. The route is reasonably flat with a mixture of terrains. This is the perfect event to bring along friends and family, as there are opportunities to support along the route.

You don’t have to be sporty to take part. You don’t need to train or compete against anyone else.  The Race for Life is anything but a race.

Every two minutes, someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer. Your support, through events like the Race for Life, is what helps us continue our ground-breaking work to see more people surviving cancer.

Here are some examples of how the money is spent….

£50 – This buys 100 petri dishes that scientists use to grow and study cancer cells

£100 – This funds a PHD student learning the skills they need to make research breakthroughs for a day

£200 – Funds one cancer nurse for one day

£400 – Funds our Cancer Chat online open forum for one day

£10 – If everyone in the UK donated £10 this would fund our Manchester institute for 20 years

Cancer Research UK spent over £32 million in South East last year, on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research. CRUK has played a vital part in discovering 8 of the 10 world cancer drugs.

Fundraiser for Evie

Margate couple Rachael and Alex Relton are raising funds to help seven-year-old Esme Toner and will be holding several events.

They said: “Our friend Gary is currently raising funds for his daughter Evie, who shortly after birth suffered a rare stroke which left her blind and later diagnosed with four limb cerebral palsy. He has been training to run the 45 miles the ambulance took from Margate to Medway, saving her life. Evie’s twin sister Esme was fine. Please check out his journey

“My husband and I have started a little web page in an effort to detail all our fundraisers in one place. Our first event is on Sunday, May 5 from 11am-3pm at ARCA Hall, Thanington, Canterbury.

“My husband Alex and Gary met whilst working as physiotherapists at the QEQM, The family live in Herne Bay but businesses from all over Kent and several further afield have donated prizes, money and resources to make this event happen. Beauty By Lucy, Margate is sponsoring the male only leg wax also happening on the day.

“Later this year we shall be hosting a fossil hunt at Betteshanger, Dover, A Mini Duck Race along the Stour, and a team will be cycling the London to Brighton in September.”

Ramsgate RNLI

Surprise gifts were left outside Ramsgate RNLI station over Easter.

Sadly there was no volunteer crew around to say thank you in person but a letter was received from those responsible for the gift.

Sonny, Nnadi and daughter Emilia wrote: “We were actually happy that no one was in as that hopefully means you all heroes had peaceful Easter .
“Last Easter you saved our lives , after that we meant to go back straight to London however still shaken and emotional sitting on Ramsgate beach my son asked me “ are we quitters or are we fighters? “ As we had planned our walk from Ramsgate to Margate for so long, I had to forget about being the worst mother ever and we began our walk again and finished  at Margate as planned ,in wet shoes, all emotional and after biggest lesson in my life.

“Thanks to you it was only a lesson and we still here, wiser with much bigger respect for the water and admiration to all of you, spreading around knowledge we have now for others to be safe .
Hopefully we will be able to repeat our walk every Easter and we will always stop at your station because it will never be forgotten what you did for us.”

RNLI funding

On Thursday, April 17, Ramsgate RNLI fundraisers were invited to attend the Neptune pub in Broadstairs to celebrate its revamp. The reason for their attendance was at such events Shepherds Neame make a donation to the charity of the pub landlord’s choice.

We are very grateful to Jonathan Neame , Chief Executive of Shepherds Neame, for presenting the cheque to our fundraisers which will be used to continue our work.

The RNLI is entirely funded by public donations and without their support we cannot continue to Save Lives at Sea.

Ask for Gus campaign


A safety initiative launched last November by a Margate schoolwear retailer has recently seen an influx of people seeking its services.

The Schoolwear Centre began its ‘#AskForGus’ scheme – where young people can request to speak with ‘Gus’, alerting staff that they feel unsafe – in response to hearing that more and more children, as young as 10-years-old were being subjected to bullying in the local area.

Staff at the store have noticed children visiting the shop, and staying for longer periods of time in order to avoid bullies, which has quickly become more of a concern.

Siobhan Margetson, sales director of The Schoolwear Centre, explained why bullying is such an important issue: “I have seen a significant rise of young people being caught up in negative, aggressive and challenging incidents in our local area, I think this is down to a number of factors, one big one being the impact of social media and how easily it is used to target people and humiliate them.

“This initiative has been extremely well received with parents and schools alike and they appreciate that all our full-time staff are DBS checked. At The Schoolwear Centre we absolutely feel a huge responsibility for our young people in the community. They are practically family and we meet them as small children. They continue to visit our store until they are young adults. We watch them grow up and we want them to know there are people out there who truly care about their wellbeing and safety.”

#AskForGus, doesn’t just apply to young people, but the overall general public as well. The team have intervened in cases of domestic violence, as well as members of the public needing medical treatment and the emergency services.

The Schoolwear Centre and its team have also been heading up the ‘Every Child Is Worth It’ campaign by The Schoolwear Association, in Margate, which ensures all children have the access to quality school uniform.

To find out more about The Schoolwear Centre, and the #AskForGus scheme, visit the Facebook page at

Pilgrims Hospices

The much-loved Pilgrims Hospices Cycle Challenge will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary on Sunday 5 May 2019. Every year, the event attracts over 1,200 people to don their helmets to achieve personal targets and explore the beautiful Kent countryside while raising vital funds to support local end-of-life care.

Richard Davis, Pilgrims Hospices chairman and regular cyclist, has participated in every ride since the very first Cycle Challenge in 2010 and will take to the roads and lanes of east Kent once again this year.

Richard said: “I’m looking forward to riding alongside everyone again this year. The Cycle Challenge is a huge highlight in the fundraising calendar for Pilgrims and by far the largest of our annual events. Cyclists of all abilities, young and old, take part from all across east Kent and from much further afield too.

“I’ve enjoyed so many great experiences over the years and will be riding the 45-mile route between Canterbury and the Ashford hospice this time around. It’s always a great pleasure to meet so many dedicated cyclists who are all making an amazing contribution to end-of-life care within our community; listening to their stories of what hospice care has meant to them and their loved ones. Whichever distance you choose to cycle, you will enjoy a well signed route, full event support, renowned food stops and the amazing camaraderie of fellow cyclists along the way.

“By taking part in the Cycle Challenge you will be making a real difference to the lives of thousands of local people living with an incurable illness. Every pedal turned and pound raised will go to supporting our patients; making them comfortable, alleviating pain and enabling them to make the most of the time they have. With your help we can continue to be there for the next family who needs us.”

Over the past decade, our wonderful community of cyclists has raised more than £825,000 for Pilgrims Hospices. Now, we need your help to make the 10th anniversary Cycle Challenge the biggest yet and reach our goal of £1 million raised for local end-of-life care.

You can find information on how to register to take part  at or by calling 01227 812 609 or emailing [email protected].

The Cycle Challenge takes place on Sunday, May 5 and will start from University of Kent, Canterbury with a choice of distances:

The Classic– 45 miles

The Challenge– 75 miles

The Century– 100 miles

The Epic– 125 miles

If you or someone you know is coping with a life limiting illness and you think you may benefit from Pilgrims support, talk to your GP or Healthcare Professional about the options or visit

East Kent Mencap

Ramsgate residents Melanie and Robert won’t have far to travel to cast their votes in the local elections next week as their Polling Station has a new home at the premises of the learning disability charity, East Kent Mencap, in Foresters Hall.

Melanie and Robert both take part in day activities at East Kent Mencap so can easily pop in and vote.   Senior Support Officer, Maria Kourellias, said: “We’ve been talking about what local issues are important to people with a learning disability and how democracy gives them a voice.  It’s so important that everyone exercises their right to vote.

“The polling station at Foresters is not only very convenient for our members, but has good disability access which is important for residents who use motability scooters or wheelchairs, so we’re thrilled that the council approached us to hire the space.  We’ve already agreed to hire it out again for the European elections on May 23.”

Having purchased the building from the council in January, the charity has just finished refurbishing the building ready for use by their own groups as well as other local organisations.  The democracy team will be their first booking.  Any enquiries about hiring the space can be made to [email protected].

Broadstairs & St Peter Bowls Club

What a start to the season.  Broadstairs & St Peters Bowls Club joyfully flung open their gates for their 103rd summer and the first match of the season.
Many of our players turned out to play a friendly match on Saturday, April 20.
They kicked off with a spider game just for fun, two trial ends, then 6 ends and in for tea, and back out for another 6 ends finishing at 4pm. There was much chatter and laughter as members met up again for a catch up before the game.  Photos were taken, teams were drawn and Captains welcomed members once again.
The Greens played beautifully and we couldn’t have wished for better weather.  The sun shone all afternoon, with a light breeze and a warm atmosphere.

The members were delighted once again to be playing the game they love, on the Greens they know so well in the club they feel at home and welcomed.
It truly was a great way to begin the season, and here’s hoping the rest of the summer will be as beautiful as their first day.

Ramsgate Arts Primary PTA

A new multi-purpose stage has been added to the main hall at Ramsgate Arts Primary School.

The modular system was bought following fund raising by the RAPS Parent Council.

Members held a variety of events to generate the £4,500 needed for the large stage, including a raffle, quiz night, fair and comedy show.

The stage is latest piece in the ongoing development project at the specialist art centre that was opened to pupils on its newly-built site in September 2017.

Head of School Nick Budge said: “The stage was a missing part of our performance space and hall.

“Previously pupils have performed on the floor which was not satisfactory – to have a proper raised stage really helps with productions and it means that performers can be better seen by the audience and better lit by our technicians for more impact.

“The stage was first used during last term’s literacy festival when performers including children’s author Sandra Agard ’christened’ it to really dramatic effect with a storytelling session.”

The raised modular carpeted unit can be laid out in a number of different systems which is useful. It will be used for shows, displays and exhibitions, school visits, community usage, important events like speech day and presentations.

Mr Budge added: “The work of our Parent Council in providing this resource has been fantastic. They have worked so hard and enthusiastically to ensure that the final piece of equipment needed for our hall was provided. The school, pupils and parents owe them a huge thank you.”

Minster Surgery 10th spring fair

During the financial year ending March 2019 we are able to purchase nearly £3000 of new equipment for the surgery, equipment that would not normally be available within a GP Practice.

Our very first fund raising event was our Spring fair in May 2009 which raised just over £400!

Since then – over the past ten years – we have raised some £35,000 and been able to present several items of specialist equipment  and provide additional facilities to Minster Surgery.

This would not be possible without the support of all our patients and friends, so would like to thank you all for your support and encouragement.

A full list of the equipment we have purchased this year can be seen on our notice board in the surgery.

So please, if there are any suggestions that you may have for further facilities or equipment you might like to see, do not hesitate to let us know.

Our 10th Spring fair will take place on Saturday, May 11 at “ Old Schools” hall Minster as usual, and of course, as always – free entry! Tables remain at £8 for small and £12 for large and are selling fast, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Tickets for our “Grand Spring Raffle” with many excellent prizes, are on sale now at the surgery and will be drawn at our Spring Fayre.

Carlton Cinema Westgate

Subtitled, baby, and supportive environment screenings (SES) are on offer at Carlton Cinema Westgate to help people who wouldn’t normally be able to attend the cinema access to the latest releases. The subtitled shows are normal shows with English subtitles at the bottom, baby shows have the lights left on and the sound is lower and our supportive environment screenings are the same but aimed at people with autism/aspergers instead. Our baby shows are every Tuesday mornings except for school holidays, and the SES shows are the first sunday of every month.

Thanet Roadrunners

Adrian Smith of Thanet Roadrunners AC gave a cheque for £212 to Louie’s Helping Hands charity. £1 was donated by each of the runners who entered the Thanet Ricki Savage 20 Mile Race on March 17.
Louie’s Helping Hands helps offer schooling to some of those affected by the closure of the Royal School for the Deaf. This is a great cause, the children may have more complex difficulties than deafness alone and the charity do a marvellous job giving these children help along the way with many things that we all take for granted.