Your guide to Summer Kitchen 2 free events,food and community scheme to combat child hunger

Sharon Goodyer gets ready for Summer Kitchen episode 2 Photo Caroline Dyal

Sharon Goodyer, who created Our Kitchen On The Isle Of Thanet, in 2017, is making it her mission for Thanet to ‘feed itself better’ as she heads up the second Summer Kitchen scheme from Monday (July 29).

The Summer Kitchen is for anyone in Thanet who wants to rebuild the community, who wants to eat better and who wants to have fun and meet new people.

All children eat for free and adults can choose what they pay. There will be red collection buckets in the restaurant. Donations of £2 – £3 will cover  the cost of an adult’s meal and help keep the children’s meals free all summer.

Last year, at the first Summer Kitchen scheme, Sharon had a team of four professionals and a small army of volunteers helping out in the project which was funded by Cllr Barry Lewis and Cllr Karen Constantine.

During the scheme some 1,642 meals were served.

Sharon Goodyer at last year’s Summer Kitchen

It was thought to be the first of its kind in the UK, and was run by Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet -headed by Sharon Goodyer – with Drapers Mills school, Get Out Get Active (GOGA) Thanet, Fareshare, Asda, Windmill Allotments, Geoff Philpott’s farm, Your Leisure and county councillors Barry Lewis and Karen Constantine.

The Isle of Thanet News is one of the community supporters of the scheme. Others include Sainsbury’s Westwood, who are donating 600 hours of volunteer staff time, Truprint Media,Thanet Academy FM, Ramsgate Town Team, Ageless Thanet.

The scheme is also joined by isle children’s centres, The Little Art Cart and the Street Games Fit and Fed programme.

More can be found on the new Our Kitchen on The Isle of Thanet website here

When and where

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday 2pm-8pm at Dame Janet Primary Academy in Ramsgate (community hall, Highfield Road entrance) and Drapers Mills Primary Academy in Margate.


Photo Caroline Dyal

Fun, games and sports for all, arts and crafts, and a place to sit and chat. There will  be hula hooping, belly dancing, flower arranging, crochet, sour dough bread , board games to play, cookery lessons. singers and a Talking Shop. Last year topics included racism and child abuse. People are invited to get in touch if they would like to lead a talk or share a skill or craft, play an instrument or entertain.

Zena will come and read stories and a One You  trainer from the NHS and Regain Hearing will be doing health checks.

Summer Kitchen now also has a resident artist. John paints abstract pieces and will be encouraging everyone to pick up a paintbrush. The scheme needs donations of brushes, paints or canvases.

Inclusive Sport will be delivering a wide range of sports, games and activities to 14 plus age students.  A pair from the team will be at each site for 2 hours every day 2.30pm-4.30 pm.

There will also be free places to train to level 2 food handling.

Eating at the Summer Kitchen

Photo Caroline Dyal

From 5pm-8pm the restaurant opens, with delicious homemade meals.

Food is coming from local allotments and farms, Kent gleaners, Fare Share, Thanet Earth, Gina’s bakery , Principals and Sainsburys.

Sainsbury’s Westwood staff will be rolling up their sleeves at the kitchen, working in Margate on Mondays and Fridays and Ramsgate on Wednesdays from July 29-August 9 and then Margate on Mondays and Ramsgate on Fridays during August 12-28.

All children eat for free and adults can choose what they pay. There will be red collection buckets in the restaurant. Donations of £2 – £3 will cover  the cost of an adult’s meal and help keep the children’s meals free all summer.

Tackling child poverty

Thanet has the highest rates of child poverty in Kent – with Newington now the most affected ward.

Data for 2017/18, compiled by Loughborough University on behalf of coalition End Child Poverty, says 35% of children on the isle live below the poverty line (after housing costs) – equating to 11,474 youngsters- with Newington estimated to have a shocking 51% of youngsters in poverty.

The wards with the second highest figure of 46% are Cliftonville West and Dane Valley followed by 42% in Northwood, Margate Central and Salmestone.

Lowest rates are recorded in Cliffsend and Pegwell at 19% although this may be skewed by the area having an older population.

The data reveals a change from the 2016/17 with Newington – rather than Cliftonville West- being the hardest hit ward. Overall the figure has reduced from last year by 4%.

Local Authority% of childrenPercentage point change since 2016/17
Ward% of children
Dane Valley46%
Beacon Road38%
Birchington North25%
St Peters28%
Central Harbour41%
Cliftonville West46%
Birchington South27%
Sir Moses Montefiore37%
Margate Central42%
Cliftonville East25%
Thanet Villages27%
Cliffsend and Pegwell19%

Last year Margate Central and then Newington were second and third most affected areas but this has changed with Dane Valley now coming in the top two alongside Cliftonville West and Salmestone appearing in the top three most hit wards alongside Margate Central.

Where it all began

Cllr Barry Lewis with Sharon Goodyer of Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet

Sharon set up Our Kitchen On The Isle Of Thanet in July 2017, initially from the former Cliffsend Village Stores and now based in Ramsgate.

The kitchen offers meals ranging from 70p, £1.40 and chef’s specials at around £4. It also holds pop up sessions across Thanet.

All meals are low in salt, sugar and saturated fats, concentrating on using local veg and fruit.

Sharon was a teacher for 26 years until she was forced to leave education in 2000 because she had  Parkinson’s disease.

It was then that she took her first venture in the food industry selling old-fashioned sponge cakes on Kent market stalls. Within three years Sharon’s business had a turnover of £5million, three shifts of employees and contracts that amounted to 10,000 cakes a day.

During that time Sharon also provided 400 cakes for the Skoda Fabia TV advert where a team of people transformed the cakes into a life-size replica of the new Skoda.

When the recession hit Sharon lost everything. She said: “I was an inexperienced businesswoman and the bank didn’t give me time to move the factory into a different product so I lost it all. I didn’t go bankrupt and everyone got paid but I lost everything.”

Sharon spent several months sofa surfing while saving up enough money to start again.

And she did, setting up a new business selling Bar15 – a no added sugar cereal bar with 15 natural ingredients.

With more business experience that venture was a success which Sharon eventually sold on before retiring.

Sharon, 67, was prompted to shelve retirement and set up the kitchen scheme after hearing a mum on a bus tell her child tea would be hotdogs and alphabet potato shapes. Sharon said: “That meal is about 50p per head. It’s ok but you can’t always feed kids like that and expect them to be alert. The kitchen helps with healthy, good meals that are affordable and easy to cook.”

Find Our Kitchen On The Isle Of Thanet on facebook.


  1. I couldn’t be more pleased to support this project and to volunteer. Child poverty is unconscionably high in Thanet. Much much more needs to be done to stop poverty impacting our children. Hunger should be a thing of the past. The right to a healthy diet should be a human right. Please support the project anyway you can!

    • Thanks to Margate football club, flamingo crazy golf,Barnet fair hairdressers and theatre royal for giving us free tickets worth over £3000 in August to give to the children of Thanet.our aim is to help create unity in the community,

  2. Newington has the highest number of children living in poverty in Thanet. As the RTC councillor for Newington I will be supporting Sharon’s project as I have in the past. I would like to thank her and all her volunteers for the work they do.

  3. I’m very much looking forward to coming to the Summer Kitchen at Drapers Mill to help out.

Comments are closed.