Thanet community news: swim safe, chemo bags, moon landing fun, curry night for charity and more

Swim Safe with the RNLI

Swim Safe

In a programme run as a joint venture by Swim England and the RNLI, children have the opportunity to take to the waves of Margate to learn vital open water safety skills.

Swim Safe is a community-based education programme aimed at children ages 7-14 that teaches them how to be safe in and around open water. Supervised by qualified swim instructors and RNLI lifeguards, the hour-long session involves open water safety advice taught on land and thirty minutes of in-water instruction with the instructors.

The appropriate kit – including swimming hats, wetsuits, and floatation devices – are all provided. Children only need to bring their swimming costume and a towel.

RNLI Community Safety Partner for South East and London, Guy Addington, emphasises the unique nature of open water swimming: “Children love swimming outdoors, but swimming in the sea, rivers or lakes is very different to swimming in a pool, where most children learn.

“It’s essential children learn about open water safety – where it is safe to swim, how to stay safe and what to do if they get into difficulty in the water.

“We want all children to have access to this training, so all Swim Safe sessions are funded by the RNLI and Swim England partnership and so are completely free of charge.”

The programme aims to support the UK Drowning Prevention Strategy’s aim of reducing accidental drowning by 50 per cent by 2026, to which Swim England and the RNLI are committed as members of the National Water Safety Forum.

Gail Crompton, a swim-teacher of 16 years who has collaborated with Swim Safe in Kent, said: “I think that I must have taught all of Thanet how to swim by now! With my experience, I firmly believe Swim Safe is a crucial and worthwhile programme. Living on the coast, it’s so important that the children know to swim between the red-and-yellow flags on lifeguarded beaches and understand what to do if they get into difficulty.”

The children are also taught about the RNLI’s ‘Float to Live’ campaign, which gives clear life-saving advice on what to do if people find themselves in water unexpectedly – and how to cope with cold water shock.

Finley, aged nine, who attended the session, said: ‘I really liked swimming in the sea. I found it easy and fun, even if it was cold, and now I know what all the flags mean!’

Located at the Lifeguard Tower on the Margate Main Beach, the site offers both school and public sessions. Public sessions run daily between July 22 and 30 August.

 QEQM Viking Ward chemo bags scheme

We are launching the Thanet arm of this very worthy cause. We all know someone who has undergone Chemo and these bags are to help during their session. It relies on your donations.

Please bring your items to the donation point in Ramsgate, Lovetts at 78 High Street, Ramsgate. CT11 9RX. The bags are being provided from funds given by the EK NHS Trust. We need to provide the contents. Please support this worthy cause. The first bags of goodies are to be delivered during the first week of August.

Suggested items

Soft toothbrush

Sensitive toothpaste

Hand cream

Snacks such as biscuits and boiled sweets

Travel games

Magazines/puzzle books




Soft gloves

Socy socks

Head scarves

Plastic document wallet

The Young Lives Foundation

Are you for to volunteer? The Young Lives Foundation is looking for volunteers to support young people across Thanet and Kent.

Our main office is in Maidstone but we also work out of Margate. Do you have free time, maybe a couple of hours a week to mentor our young people on a 1-2-1 basis or within a group with other mentors? Do you want to make a difference in a young person life? Be a role model, someone for them to talk to and see them grow as a person? The different areas of volunteering we do are positive activities (group mentors) 1-2-1 mentoring, befriending and advocacy. If you are interested go to our website to see what we do and sign up.

Monkton Stargazers

The Monkton Stargazers had two fantastic evenings celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing. Despite the clouds on Friday we enjoyed the Moon activities run by the STEAMette girls. They welcomed visitors with a sticker, poster and a booklet about the Moon. They explained how they had investigated some samples of moon rock at their school. They helped visitors to study how craters were formed on the Moon. We had displays showing where to look for the Apollo landing sites.

With the Observatory as a backdrop the girls performed their Art Works ‘Earth-Moonkton-Earth’ which was their version of Katie Paterson’s ‘Earth-Moon-Earth’ and ‘By the light of the Moon’ which used moonlight to control a microprocessor to play Happy Birthday.

We listened to the poetry readings on the theme of the Moon and we voted Cara’s poem ‘I am the Moon’ the best! The paintings by the pupils of the Kent Talents Art Studio brightened up the main building. On Saturday we were thrilled to watch the Moon rise and view it through binoculars and telescopes.

Curry for Carers Night at Flavours by Kumar

On Monday, July 8,  Carers Worldwide hosted a curry evening at Flavours by Kumar in Garlinge to help raise much needed funds for unpaid carers and their families in India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

The event was attended by friend, families and local business that enjoyed a delicious 3 course meal from the award winning Flavours by Kumars. Local businesses had kindly donated some fantastic raffle prizes and, combined with tickets sales, a fantastic £410 was raised!

Carers Worldwide is the only organisation working exclusively and strategically with unpaid family carers in developing countries.

Established in 2012, we implement a range of grassroots projects across India, Nepal and Bangladesh and engage in advocacy at national, regional and global level. We draw attention to the poverty, vulnerability, marginalisation and exclusion faced by carers through lobbying local organisations, NGOs, governments and international agencies for positive change. We then work to develop carer-inclusive initiatives that meet the emotional, physical, social and economic needs of carers.

Sophie Batchelor Fundraiser for Carers Worldwide says: “We are incredibly grateful for the first ever curry for cares evening that will help us fund our vital support for unpaid families and carers in India, Nepal and Bangledesh. All the money raised from the event will help us to achieve our vision of a world in which the needs of every carer are routinely met in order to achieve their physical, emotional, economic and social wellbeing. As we are a small charity you can be assured that 98p from every £1 fundraised goes directly to their carers and their families with just £5 sending a child carer to school for one month.”

If you are interested in finding more about the charity, what you can do to support us or even hosting your own Curry for Cares event please do get in touch: [email protected]

The Rotary Club of the Isle of Thanet Sunrise

A fantastic two years of leadership by Kevin Winzer as President of The Rotary Club of The Isle of Thanet Sunrise was celebrated at a Handover Meeting at Westgate and Birchington Golf Club, whereby the new President Robert Yates was installed (pictured below).

At the meeting, the club presented Kevin with a ‘Paul Harris Fellowship Award’, named after Rotary’s founder, it is the highest award a member of a Rotary Club can achieve, and acknowledged his tremendous contribution. During his Presidency, with support from Rotary members and the public, many local, national and international charities have benefitted.

The main fundraising event the club holds is an annual ‘Big Knit’, and this year saw its 10th anniversary in March 2019, being attended by a record 160 sponsored knitters. The result of this special day was a presentation of £1250 being donated to each of the charities: EK Strokes, EK Mencap, QEQM Dementia appeal and Demelza Childrens Hospice. A big thank you to everyone who took part, helpers and cake providers.

Events in the near future include ‘Line Dancing’ on Friday, August 2 at St Peters; ‘EKIDS/Alzheimers/Parkinsons afternoon tea with entertainment by Blend’ on Monday, October 21; ‘Quiz – Rotary’s Big Night In’ on Friday, November 8; ‘Big Knit 2020’ on Saturday, April 4.

If you are interested in further details of future events or think that you would like to know more about Rotary, please contact secretary Caroline Winzer on 01843 842882, visit or Facebook (for lots more news and pictures): The Rotary Club of The Isle of Thanet Sunrise.

Rotary Club of Westgate and Birchington

Richard O’Sullivan, the recently inducted President of the Rotary Club of Westgate and Birchington was delighted to undertake his first formal duty just one day after taking over from Past President Charlie Brightling at a Handover ceremony at St Augustine’s, Westgate-on-Sea.

Richard visited both St Crispin’s Infant School and St Saviours Junior School to present cheques to the pupils so that new books can be purchased for their School Libraries. The Rotary Club is very keen to maintain a close relationship with our local schools and has also supplied each of them with presentation shields to be awarded to pupils as prizes for achievements nominated by the schools.

Ramsgate Rotary Club

There was a good turn-out of members to witness the annual Arthur Rogers Cup competition held at St Augustine’s Golf Club and organised by Ramsgate Rotary Club of which Arthur Rogers had been a member.

The event was organised by Past President Derek Brown, who also went on to win the impressive cup.

He had a score of 94 followed by current president Henry Golding  on 120 and John Searles on 104.

The golf was followed by a meal at the club, and the President had a special word of thanks for those who had prepared and served the meals as well as the work put in by Derek Brown.

Westgate and Birchington Inner Wheel

Westgate & Birchington Inner Wheel held an Ascot Ladies Day at our International Officer, Gill Condron’s home and garden in Birchington, to raise money for our International Charity ‘Women and Girls Livinguard Technology’.

This important small charity provides sanitary essentials for children and women in the Third World, enabling women to work and girls to attend school. We were delighted to welcome ‘HM the Queen’ and ‘HRH Prince Philip’ who helped with pouring champagne and generally bestowed a regal ambience to Gill’s garden! Any lady who arrived without a hat was fined, as in true Ascot fashion, no lady is allowed into the Royal Enclosure without a hat!

Gill provided Champagne and Buck’s Fizz, and afternoon tea complete with scones, and strawberries and cream, and the sun shone brightly! It could not have been a more perfect afternoon! To enhance the occasion £400 was raised for our charity.

Inner Wheel is one of the largest women’s voluntary service organisation in the world. The objects of Inner Wheel are to promote true friendship, to encourage the ideals of personal service and to foster International understanding. We usually meet on the third Thursday of the month for a two-course meal at St Augustine’s in Westgate. Any like-minded lady who would like to be involved in ‘fun, friendship and fund-raising’ would be warmly welcomed at any of our meetings. If you would like to know more about it, please contact Janet on 01843 841043.

Fashion show

Recently, the Westgate & Birchington Inner Wheel Club held a charity Fashion Show in aid of The Minnis Community Hub, President Lily Doody’s chosen charity for the year.  While guests enjoyed Prosecco and Canapes, six brave members of the club strutted their stuff on the ‘red carpet’. Brand new, designer and pre-loved fashions were shown, as well as a bargain stall of handbags, priced competitively at £5 for a clutch bag, and £10 for larger handbags. There was also the opportunity to purchase items from the sale rail at between £5 and £20 of which many people took full advantage.

Fashions were shown in four scenes, ‘Out for Afternoon Tea’, ‘Cruise Wear’, ‘Evening Wear’ and ‘A Wedding’.

Our MC for the evening was Vice President Jacquie Agnew, who had sourced the items for sale, introduced the models and described the fashions being shown.

On display for sale during the evening were some beautiful items of jewellery made by Daniel Wilds of Birchington. Daniel had previously very kindly donated a gold ‘Rose’ pendant (worth £85) as a raffle prize, and it was raffled during the evening. The lucky winner was Ann Holmes of Birchington.

A wonderful evening was enjoyed by about one hundred guests. The resulting amount raised was an impressive £1,238.73. This was added to the money raised during the year for the charity from a Quiz, and other smaller fund-raisers, making a wonderful donation from the club of £2,403.84, which will be handed over at a future meeting to the representatives of the Minnis Community Hub.