Thanet community news: Family fun, twinning, Lions, pirates, Lottery grants and more

Thanet Together at the Royal Harbour Academy

Thanet Together

Around 300 people enjoyed a day of family fun and the Thanet Together event in Ramsgate last weekend.

The event was organised by the Coastal Academies Trust and children’s services and took place at the Royal Habour Academy.

Live music, food, staff football tournament, mobile skate park, security bike marking, stalls, art and craft and a bouncy castle were all on offer.

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The aim of the event was to celebrate Thanet families and give information about services that can support them.

Birchington twinning event

A ceremony was held yesterday (June 22) at Dog Acre in Birchington, welcoming visitors from our twin town of La Chapelle. We signed a new twinning charter to celebrate 30 years of the twinning of our two villages. We enjoyed a barbecue and some celebratory twinning cake.

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There was an exchange of gifts between BPC chairman Cllr Neville Hudson and the Mayor of La Chapelle. We gave them a bench similar to the new ones we have installed at Dog Acre. Thank you all for coming along.

Thanet Lions

At our last business meeting we were delighted to induct Trevor as a new member to the Club. Congratulations Trevor and we all welcome you to the family of Lions.

A huge ‘thank you’ to you all for your continuing support at our boot fairs. Despite the awful weather recently we have not had to cancel any of our events. Our boot fairs continue fortnightly throughout the summer at Drapers Mills school. A percentage of our ‘boot’ takings will be donated to the school at the end of the season. See our website for further details.

Our annual Summer fete and dog show will take place on Sunday, August 25 at Victoria Gardens, Broadstairs.  Anyone wishing to book a stall please contact Bob on 0845 8339532.

Congratulations to ‘The Outlaws’ winners of our summer quiz. Funds raised from this event will replenish the Lions ‘pot’ to assist with future requests for help.

Club members attended the ‘Thanet Together’ event. An opportunity for us to promote Lions and our Message in a Bottle and Message in a Wallet projects.

Requests for help are received on a regular basis. We always look at them and do our best to respond. Our recent donations have included: £250 – to go towards travel costs for five Scouts wishing to attend the ‘World Scout Jamboree’, £120 for school uniform, £40 for a wardrobe for a young lady in Margate and £199 for a washing machine for a local family. Baby items and clothing have been donated to the club and these have been forwarded to a new Mum in Thanet.

It is not all work and no play. On the social side, Club members have got together and enjoyed cream teas, a game of crazy golf and Charter lunches.

As always if you would like to know more, Thanet Lions Club meets on the second Monday of every month at the Sir Stanley Gray Pub, Pegwell Bay. For more information or you think we can help you, please telephone us on 0845 8339532. You can also find us at or on Facebook.

Isle of Thanet Photographic Society

Steve Hewitt, Cherry Larcombe, Laura Drury, Ken Butcher

The Club’s AGM was held on June 10 and various trophies were awarded.  Cherry Larcombe won the award for the “Advanced Photographer of the Year”, whilst Steve Hewitt was “Intermediate Photographer of the Year”.  Our “Advanced Print” winner was Laura Drury, whilst Ken Butcher received the “Mick Talbot Trophy” for the best wildlife photograph.

Laura Drury was elected Chair for the next year.  She thanked the previous chairman and committee for their work during 2018/19.  Laura said: “I am delighted to take on the role of Chair and look forward to developing the club over the next year.  We have an exciting programme of talks lined up and opportunities for members to help each other develop their skills as well as have some fun!  We’d love to increase our membership and welcome applications from everyone who is interested in photography.”

The club meets at Ramsgate Football Club at 7.30pm on Mondays, with the new season starting on September 2.

For full details of membership and the new programme please visit our website: www.isleofthanetphotographicsociety,

Margate Football Club

Margate Football Club is hosting a free gig at Hartsdown Park this coming Friday, June ​28.

Five piece band ‘Play’ will be performing great funk, soul and popular tracks from the seventies through to the noughties.

Join us in the Hartsdown Bar from 7pm as Play perform live with the music starting at 9pm.

Macular Society

Macular Society 

The Macular Society is appealing for anyone living locally who would be willing to give up some of their time to attend monthly meetings for one or more of the three groups, which meet in Birchington, Margate and Ramsgate.

The charity is also keen to hear from anyone who would be prepared to speak on the groups’ behalf to other local organisations about the Society’s work. Volunteer speakers highlight the impact of macular disease on peoples’ lives and the range of support available to anyone affected by the condition. Full training and support will be given to all new volunteers by their local Macular Society regional manager.

Working alongside local people, the Macular Society organises and runs more than 400 support groups in the UK, which offer vital information, encouragement and friendship to people who are affected by macular disease.

Macular disease is the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK. Nearly 1.5 million people are currently affected and many more are at risk. The disease can have a devastating effect on people’s lives, leaving them unable to drive, read or see faces. Many people affected describe losing their sight as being similar to bereavement. There is still no cure and most types of the disease are not treatable. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common form of macular disease, affecting more than 600,000 people, usually over the age of 50.

Stella Black, Macular Society regional manager, said: “These groups provide a real lifeline for people living locally with sight loss. The peer support offered by the groups is absolutely vital – it’s incredibly reassuring for people to know that there are others who truly understand their situation.

“With around 300 people in the UK being diagnosed with macular disease every day, the existence of our support groups has never been more important. It’s also vital that we spread the word as widely as possible about macular disease, the importance of supporting research into the condition so that a cure can be found, and where people can currently access help and support locally if they are affected.

“If you have some free time and would be willing to help out at one or more of our groups in Thanet, we would love to hear from you. We will also be available to support our volunteers as they learn their new roles and provide any guidance they need going forward.”

The Ramsgate Macular Society Support Group meets on the second Tuesday of each month, from 10.30am-12pm, at the Royal Victoria Pavilion, 96 Harbour Parade, Ramsgate CT11 8LP. Its next meeting will be held on Tuesday 9 July

The Thanet Macular Society Support Group meets on the third Tuesday of each month, from 10.30am-12pm, at Trinity Community Resource Centre, St Mary’s Avenue, Margate CT9 3TN. Its next meeting will be held on Tuesday 16 July

The Birchington Macular Society Support Group meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month, from 10.30am-12pm, at Birchington Baptist Church, 31 Station Road, Birchington CT7 9DJ. Its next meeting will be held on Tuesday 23 July.

For more information about the groups, please contact Stella Black on 01306 644 908 / 07494 467 980, or email [email protected]

For more information on macular disease, call the Macular Society on 0300 3030 111 or email [email protected]

Stagecoach- Armed Forces Day

Bus operator Stagecoach is once again helping to support Armed Forces Day this year.

Armed Forces Day, on Saturday, June 29, is a chance for the public to show support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to Service families, veterans and cadets.

This year the bus company is offering free travel, not only on the day itself but also on the following day (Sunday 30 June), to armed forces personnel wearing their uniform, carrying a military ID card and to veterans carrying a veteran’s badge.

Chief Operations Officer for Stagecoach, Mark Threapleton said: “We are sending a clear and proud message to armed forces communities across the country that we appreciate them and are grateful for everything they do. We hope that personnel choosing to travel to a local event will have an enjoyable day and we are delighted to show our appreciation for their commitment to our country.”

In 2015, Stagecoach signed the Ministry of Defence’s Armed Forces Corporate Covenant in support of the Armed Forces Community. As a signatory of the Covenant, the company recognises the value serving personnel; regular and reservists, veterans and military families contribute to both the country and businesses across the country.

The company was also awarded the silver award through the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS). The scheme encourages employers to support defence and inspire others to do the same. The scheme encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the armed forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant.

Westwood Cross

Westwood Cross Shopping Centre has unveiled a new green initiative, Refill Me, which allows guests to easily identify where reusable water bottles can be refilled with no obligation to purchase. To mark the launch, the centre has been giving away BPA free water bottles.

As part of Westwood Cross Shopping Centre’s ongoing sustainability efforts and in a bid to cut single-use plastic consumption, visitors can now fill up their water bottle for free at any restaurant or café in Westwood Cross. The water bottles were given away from the Community Hub free of charge on Wednesday 19th June.

Visitors can pop in and fill their bottles with cold tap water with zero obligation to make a purchase from the retailer. Westwood Cross brands signed up to the Refill Me initiative include Bella Italia, McDonalds, Costa, Nando’s, ASK Italian and Caffe Nero.

Francesca Donovan, Centre Manager at Westwood Cross Shopping Centre, said: “We are delighted to bring the ‘Refill Me’ project to Westwood Cross. With plastics high on the agenda, we hope the initiative will encourage even more visitors to bring reusable bottles, safe in the knowledge they will be able to refill them across the centre.”

“We are passionate about supporting sustainability initiatives and we know this is important to our customers too. In addition to the Refill Me initiative, this week we have been giving away free bee-friendly plants to customers to help spread the word about the importance of bees.”

The British Beekeepers Association spent time talking to customers about the impact of bees. It is estimated that one third of food is pollination dependent, making bees vital to food production all over the world. Many visitors left with bee-friendly plants including beautiful smelling lavender – one of the best plants for pollinating insects.

For more about Westwood Cross’ sustainability initiatives, visit

The shopping centre also enjoyed a day of family fun on Saturday, June 15. Visitors to the centre got involved in One Great Pirate Day – a fundraising event for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and Demelza Hospice.

Francesca Donovan, Centre Manager at Westwood Cross in Broadstairs said: “One Great Day is an incredible charitable initiative that changes the lives of thousands of children, so we did not hesitate to get involved. Our pirate-themed event brought families together with exciting activities, competitions and entertainment for an unforgettable family day out.”

Entertainment throughout the day included an appearance from ‘Captain Jack Sparrow’ and Bella the new mascot from the Little Bears Kids club.  Other entertainment included pirate school, magic shows, party games, dance competitions and balloon modelling workshops as well as fairground games, storytelling and more competitions with the kmfm street team.

The centre is aiming to reach £2,000 through events and donations at the centre’s wishing well and online until the end of June.

To donate to Westwood Cross’ One Great Pirate Day, visit

Lottery funding for Thanet

Thanet’s community organisations are celebrating after being awarded over £69,000 in National Lottery funding for the quarter. The money, raised by players for good causes, is being distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

Among them was the Margate Bookie, which will use £9,302 to boost reading and writing in a year-long programme called Write UP! The project aims to offer people of all ages and backgrounds a chance to meet others through regular friendly and fun book-related events. The project aims to address social isolation and support young people to fulfil their potential. The project will begin with two days of creative writing workshops and a poetry slam at the end of July. Other inclusive events include book shares, author talks and literary walks.

Andreas Loizou, founder of the Margate Bookie, said: “Thanks to the generosity of the National Lottery we can inspire even more people to read books and make new friends. This funding means Write UP! will connect new local audiences with books and with one another in Margate’s booming literary scene.”

Ralph Hoult leading the first trail walk

Thanet Community Development Trust received £10,000 of National Lottery funding to expand its History Club, providing a space for people to share stories, learn about local history and go on excursions. The group, which is based in Ramsgate, was set up to tackle social isolation and create more opportunities for local people to socialise and develop strong relationships. The funding will be used to expand the group and increase volunteering opportunities so more local people can attend. The group will also continue to update and maintain the Ramsgate Military & Heritage Trail, which provides an in-depth look into Ramsgate’s history for both locals and visitors whilst preserving important places and spaces.

Andrew Morris, Thanet Trust’s Heritage Manager said, “The National Lottery grant has allowed us to help dozens of locals learn something new about their community and at the same time make new friends. I can’t thank them enough.”

Festability at Quex

Another project to receive National Lottery funding in Thanet is Festability, which received just under £10,000. The festival, which began last year, returned to Birchington in May to provide a safe and fun family festival that is inclusive of people with disabilities. Festability provides an opportunity for people to come together and enjoy a full festival experience, without fear of being judged. The festival, which is run by a group of mothers who all have children with a disability, includes suitable facilities such as changing suites, British Sign Language interpreters and a ‘chill area’, and offers the same feel good elements of a festival but in a supporting and understanding environment.

Thanet isn’t alone in enjoying the good news – Kent as a whole is receiving over £1.2million, which is being distributed across 70 community projects and organisations.

The National Lottery Community Fund is responsible for giving out money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Last year it awarded over half a billion pounds and supported over 11,000 projects across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes.

The total pot being made available to groups across England this quarter is just under £88million.

To find out more visit