Thanet community news: An amazing volunteer, concerts, gin, awards and more

Dedicated volunteer June Waller, 87, receives her award from Martin Clinton

The Rotary Club of Thanet/ Yoakley House

The club had the pleasure of presenting their Community Service award to amazing volunteer June Waller, 87, at the Michael Yoakley Charity garden party on Friday July 12.

Michael Yoakley’s Charity was set up in 1709 and has been providing care and accommodation for the elderly for over 300 years. The founder Michael Yoakley grew up in poverty with a widowed mother on Drapers Farm in Margate and began his working life as a ship’s boy on hoy boats sailing between Thanet and London eventually becoming a ship’s captain.

From there he proceeded to make his fortune in shipping, which included early sailings to America, and in property all over the south east of England.  He became a Quaker and lived by generous Godly principles.

He had no children so in his will left his entire estate for the purposes of caring for the elderly of Thanet, in respect of his widowed mother. The first 9 almshouses, Drapers Homes, were built in 1709 and are still in use today. There are now 48 almshouse properties where those on limited income can live in a pleasant, quiet communal environment. A warden visits daily and social activities are provided for all to enjoy. In 1980, a residential care home Yoakley House was opened so that those who could no longer care for themselves could be looked after without leaving the Drapers environment. Today Yoakley House also provides a dedicated respite service so that those who are living out in the community can come for a short stay to give themselves or their carers a break. Yoakley House gardens are spectacular and are recognised by the National Gardens Scheme.

June’s husband, Ken Waller became the gardener at Drapers Homes in December 1980 and they took up residence in The Lodge, one of the charity’s properties. He was paid the princely sum of £2.60 per hour.

Being staff but also a resident June was actively involved in the Drapers community from the outset, particularly with the Friendship Club which was run by residents to organise events, activities and outings. Yoakley House care home was newly opened in 1980 so it was a busy time.

June’s formal involvement with the charity began in 1982 when she was employed as a “domestic” for 5/6 hours per week to clean Clockhouse where the then matron lived and the chapel for £8 per week. She also offered hairdressing services to residents.

In 1990, June’s husband retired and they bought 2 Drapers Close on the road adjacent to the almshouses.

In 1994 June became an employed carer for 18 hours per week at Yoakley House whilst also continuing her domestic duties. She was much loved as a carer by colleagues and residents due to her kind nature.

June turned 65 in 1997 but requested to keep working. She also supported the charity with her involvement with activities at the home, especially in relation to organising the weekly Christian services.

In 2006 at the age of 74, she reluctantly relinquished her care role but became the activities coordinator which involved making sure the church services continued and the residents were kept occupied with a variety of activities and entertainments. She has also helped in the kitchen from time to time making tea and sandwiches.

June continued in her paid role until April 11, 2008 when she “retired” from employment at the age of 76.

Since then June has continued as a volunteer running the weekly services and a weekly exercise session and quiz for residents. She also looked after her husband Ken as he became increasingly disabled in his later life.

When Ken passed away, June asked to increase her voluntary role and she now visits on a daily basis to help serve the tea at Yoakley. She also still steps in to wash and set residents’ hair from time to time. She also serves as relief warden, doing the daily round of the almshouses to check on residents when the warden is away.

June is one of the pillars of the establishment at Yoakley House and at the age of 87 outruns most of the people there. With almost 40 years of service to the charity she has helped to care for at least three generations of older folk who have passed through the doors.

Yoakley House doesn’t know what it would do without June and to acknowledge her tremendous service, Martin Clinton, Chair of the Club’s Community Service Committee, presented the award on behalf of Club President Renny Gold.

Dane Valley Woods

On Monday, August 5 at 6:30pm Dane Valley Woods is holding its Annual General Meeting at Rendezvous Day and Night in Cliftonville. The Dane Valley Woods committee would like to welcome people along to the AGM so they can find out more about the fantastic work being done at the woodland and more importantly you can find out what their plans for the future are.

Every year at the Dane Valley Woods AGM there is a guest speaker and past speakers include the Chairman of Thanet Community Forest School and The Bumble Bee Conservation Trust. This year’s AGM speaker is Roy Finch from Monkton Nature Reserve and he will be presenting on ‘Giving Hedgehogs a Help in Hand’. Luke Evans from Dane Valley Woods said: “I am really looking forward to hearing Roy’s talk as hedgehogs are one of our most unique native animals but they are in serious decline due to the impact of global warming. The more we can do to help them survive the better!” If anybody would like to find out more about helping hedgehogs then please come along to the AGM.

When Rendezvous heard that Dane Valley Woods were looking for a venue for the AGM they didn’t hesitate in offering their help to the delight of the Dane Valley Woods steering group. The owners of the trendy new restaurant in the old Frank’s Night Club building said: “Rendezvous Night & Day are pleased to have Dane Valley Woods with us for their annual AMG meeting which is being held in our private function room. We are a family run business and want to play our part in bringing our community together. Here at Rendezvous we offer a wide range of food including breakfast and lunch with vegan and  vegetarian options and our evening dining is coming soon. We also have a great selection of coffee, wine, beers and spirits. We’re open 7 days a week 7am till 4pm. For any information on our private function room please call 01843 227000.”

A spokesperson from Dane Valley Woods said, “We would like to take this opportunity to thank Rendezvous for letting us use their facilities.”

Manor Care Homes

Manor Care Homes took part in a 2.5k walk/run to raise money and awareness for Demelza Hospice.

Demelza Hospice provides care and support for seriously ill children, young people and their families.

The focus within Manor Care Homes Ltd for the year is ‘Healthy lives,  healthy minds.’ We wanted to take part to enable our service users and staff to participate in a community led event. We managed to raise £325.

We are keen to promote the physical and mental wellbeing of both our staff and those that use our service and are always seeking fun and innovative ways to promote exercise and healthy eating.

Charity open tennis tournament

Tennis players from across Thanet came together to support a charity tennis tournament at Spencer Square Ramsgate in aid of Demelza House children’s hospice.

The event was organised by head coach at Ramsgate Tennis, Amie Tonkiss. She said: “Some excellent tennis was played, it was a great day, well attended and well spirited but most importantly, we are really pleased to have raised £450 for Demelza Hospice.”

Category winners

Ladies doubles winners: Carol Defilippis and Liz Gallivan.

Ladies doubles runners up: Susan Surgey and Jay Hayter.

Men’s doubles winners: George Thomas and Tony Williams

Men’s doubles runners up: Terry Dryden and Martin Wicks

Mixed doubles winners: Carol Defilippis and Martin Wicks

Best Performing Players from Ramsgate tennis club; Jay, Spencer, Lee and Brian!

Thanet Male Voice Choir

Thanet Male Voice Choir presents the first of its 2019 ‘Proms by the Sea’ concerts on Wednesday, July 31, 7:30pm, at Broadstairs Pavilion. This event, particularly popular with visitors, has been going for over 20 years and still remains fresh and enjoyable as the choir introduces new songs and sing-a-long challenges. The evening ends in a great atmosphere as flags are provided for the traditional Prom favourites. Admission is free but seats are limited and prom devotees are advised to arrive early.

Ramsgate Rotary Club

Ramsgate Rotary Club and the Inner Wheel, joined forces to provide a chance for those who do not often get out and about to do just that!

More than 30 local residents  enjoyed   rides  through the countryside and ended up at Minster Village Hall, where a tea was waiting for them.

Among those who enjoyed the occasion was  Kathleen Powell, who celebrated her 100th birthday earlier this year and  Denis Scott (pictured with President Henry Golding),  who was 90 the week  before.

They were all welcomed by Rotary President Henry Golding, who also expressed thanks to Rotarians and Inner Wheelers who had  worked hard to  make the occasion such a success.

Mad Hatter Tea Rooms, Margate

The Mad Hatter Tea Rooms  is proud to present an evening of gin  in association with  Anno Gin Distillers of Kent on Thursday, July 25 at 7.30pm-9.30pm

Come and enjoy an evening of sophistication, find out the history of gin and the history of Anno distillers.

Enjoy tasting all products of Anno gin (5 gins and 1 vodka), with an explanation of botanicals used

The evening will begin with a welcome drink  of Anno Kent dry & Fever Tree three indian tonic, followed by the history of gin and gin tasting.

The evening will conclude with   The Mad Hatter Platter of fine cheeses, cured meats and warm bread.

Price is £30. Tickets are limited, and places will be confirmed on purchase.

The Mad Hatter Tea Rooms, 9 Lombard Street, Old Town. Call 01843 232626 or email [email protected]

The Laughing Barrel

The Laughing Barrel micropub and The Co-op held a family fun day on Saturday, June 29 and we raised enough money to purchase a defibrillator for the local community. The rest of the money will be going to The Rainbow children’s ward at QEQM Hospital in Margate,

Ramsgate Buddhist Group

Ramsgate Buddhist Group are happy to offer free guided meditation sessions on Sundays 10am to 11am in the wildlife area of Ellington Park opposite the pond where there is some seating area. Sessions start Sunday, July 21 and are every Sunday until August 25.

We are only prepared to offer these free meditation sessions if people express an interest and commit to attending. Meditation is good for managing stress, tiredness and for developing more focus to daily living. No prior experience of meditation necessary. All welcome.

Thanet Sunrise Rotary Club

Kevin Winzer, of Thanet Sunrise Rotary Club, donated £500 to Margate, Birchington & Districts RNLI Fundraising to celebrate his year (2018/19) as its President. In the photo, Mr Winzer is making the presentation to David Lawson, Branch Chairman on the left. Paul Hodson, Margate’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, is on the far right.


With so many people tragically losing their lives to drowning recently, if you’re heading to the coast this weekend please stay safe and #RespectTheWater. Remember to:

✅ Always go to a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags
✅ Acclimatise to the temperature of the water slowly
✅ If you do find yourself in trouble in the water #FloatToLive
✅ Dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard if you see someone in trouble in the water

To find out more about how to stay safe at the coast, visit:

RNLI Thanet Community Safety

Swim Safe in Margate is starting on  July 22 until August 30 and there are still a few spaces available to book. Once they’ve gone they gone. It’s a fantastic opportunity for children aged 7-14 years to receive FREE swimming lessons in the sea by some fantastic swimming teachers with years of experience and stacks of knowledge. Make sure you book yours before it’s too late. Go to

Kent Health and Beauty Awards

Palm Bay mum-of-two Lucy Swann has scooped two Kent Health and Beauty awards.

The 37-year-old was a merchandiser with Debenhams, moving to the isle from Cambridge 13 years ago when the Westwood Cross store opened. But a decade ago Lucy decided on a change of direction and trained in beauty therapy in Canterbury while still working.

She now runs Beauty By Lucy and has won awards for the third year in a row.

At an awards held in Ashford Lucy gained a bronze for Kent makeup artist and gold for Kent beauty therapist.

The previous two years Lucy scooped the gold award for best ‘mobile business’ and a bronze award for best ‘beauty therapist’.

The Northwood Singers

The singers and guest performers invite you to their Summer Serenade Concert on Wednesday, July 17, 7pm, at St Mark’s Church, Pyson’s Road, Ramsgate.

Admission by donation with all funds going to Help for Heroes and the St Mark’s Church Building Fund.

Refreshments will be available.

Email  [email protected] for more details