Thanet community news: Pub fun day, RNLI advice, Jamboree, Ramsgate mayor and more

Evie and Lola, who were swept out to sea on their inflatable unicorn, visit Margate RNLI


When twin 12-year-old sisters Evie and Lola were swept out to sea on their inflatable unicorn last week, they knew they were in danger, and so did their dad, Ben, who swam out to try and help them – but he, too, found himself in trouble.

Margate and Ramsgate lifeboats were called, along with a UK Coastguard helicopter and Margate Coastguard Rescue Team.

Fortunately the girls remembered the RNLI’s #FloatToLive advice, so they abandoned the unicorn and alternated swimming and floating, screaming for help when they could. They were picked up by a passing boat. Margate lifeboat rescued Ben, and the family were reunited. They have since visited Margate Lifeboat Station to thank the crew.

Inflatables are best kept for pools, not the sea. If you see someone in difficulty in the water, don’t go in after them as you may get into trouble yourself. Instead, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

World Scout Jamboree

Harry Humphries, 14, of the 1st Garlinge Scouts is attending the World Scout Jamboree.

Harry has been a part of the group through from Beavers, Cubs and Scouts and has just received his 8 year badge.  He has also received his gold chief scout award.

The Chatham & Clarendon student says scouting is what he loves to do most and that he wants to become a leader one day.

He used his pocket money to save towards the Jamboree event where he has also had the chance to visit Canada and Washington.

His family would like to thank everyone who has supported Harry to give him this incredible life changing opportunity

Out with Ramsgate Mayor Raushan Ara

It was a delight to see how many community organisations joined in to support Ramsgate Carnival this year.  I would particularly like to thank  Educational Life CIC, Salvation Army , AiR (Arts in Ramsgate), Addington Street Fair, Pirates of Newington, New Horizons, Extinction Rebellion Thanet, Sabrina from Macies Bar and her staff, The Sparkles Belly Class and Vanessa and her Good Karma Ladies who made sure that the Rickshaw that we have all enjoyed for many years was able to still take part  and the amazing dancers and steel bands who came to join us from out of Ramsgate.

As always, the Carnival Courts from all over Kent participated helping us raising funds for next year.

A big thank you to the organisers and the volunteers and the huge amount of people who turned out, despite the uncertain weather, to cheer on and support the Carnival. Thank you all so very much.

I would also like to say that the visiting Mayors from all over Kent, many of whom had never  visited Ramsgate before as well as enjoying our carnival immensely, were equally impressed by our architecture, Royal Harbour and views.

I would also like to give a special mention to the unsung heroes, Joanne Edgington, Claire Smyth, Chris Barton (Town Team and Ramsgate Town Council) who followed behind litter picking making sure the route was left as clean and tidy as possible.

This week Cllr Ara has also attended the East Kent Mencap street party, Ramsgate Leisure Centre Summer fair, Ramsgate open bowls tournament and the Join Hands For Our Hospital  demonstration.

Racing Greyhound fundraiser

Fun day today (August 4) from 4pm to raise money for defibrillators at the Greyhound and The Bll Inn at Minster.

Bouncy castle, face painting, raffle, magician, tombola, games and more.

Rotary Club of Westgate and Birchington

The members of the Rotary Club of Westgate and Birchington were joined recently by members of the local Diabetes UK group. They gave a very informative talk on all aspects of diabetes and the ever increasing cost to the NHS.

We were  very interested to hear the range of symptoms associated with both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes and the treatments and life-style choices which can help alleviate the condition.

President Charlie Brightling chose Diabetes UK as one of his nominated charities and was delighted to be able to present a cheque for £1000 to Canterbury & Coastal Group Chairman Dave and fundraiser James for Diabetes UK, which they assured us would be put to good use specifically in the East Kent area.

This money was raised during our Christmas “Santa Sleigh” Collections around Westgate and Birchington. Donations from all the generous people who gave so willingly, some of whom were diabetic, enabled us to make such a large donation.

We are a club committed to helping others and welcome ladies and gentlemen who would like to give a little of their time having fun serving their local communities..

If you would like to consider becoming a Rotarian, do come along and sample one of our meetings at St Augustine’s, Westgate, where we enjoy, fun, fellowship and a great dinner. Please contact Dave Alker, our Club Secretary for more information on 01843 845783 and tap into our website to see masses of information and photographs illustrating our activities.

Isle of Thanet Photographic Society

The club’s new season kicks off at 7.30pm on Monday, September 2 at our usual venue, Ramsgate Football Club.  Members will be showing photos taken during the summer break and discussing the new programme that takes us through to June 2020.

The club is keen to attract new members.  It doesn’t matter what type of device a person uses – it could be a DSLR or compact camera, mobile phone or tablet – and whether experienced or a complete novice, the club is open to everyone with an interest in photography.  Club members have a wealth of knowledge and expertise to share and we have an excellent programme of talks planned.  For those who are more competitive, we have some great print and digital image competitions lined up.  These are independently judged.  Club members welcome the judges’ comments as feedback helps them to improve their skills.

Full details about membership and the programme are on our website at and remember that the club’s annual exhibition of members’ photographs is at York Street Gallery, Ramsgate from October 16-23.

Thanet Good Neighbours Scheme

We currently have over 80 matches, but approximately 60 people waiting for a volunteer from the Thanet Good Neighbours Service.

The Thanet Good Neighbours Service matches older people (over 60 years) with volunteer befrienders to have a chat, a cup of tea, go out for a walk, go shopping, and more. Each match is unique and can fit around the schedules of both people involved, and we will always try to match people who live within walking distance of each other.

Volunteers must be over 18, friendly, reliable, and be good listeners. We will do an enhanced adults DBS check on them (anything uncovered by this DBS check does not necessarily mean they will be rejected from volunteering), and they will need to provide two character referees (from people they have known for two or more years and are not related to them by blood or marriage). Volunteers can take on roles such as:


Assisted Shopping


Event Organising and Support

Telephone Befriending

(Dog walking and De-cluttering are also options but not in so much demand by clients at the moment)

There will be a brief, informal, interview in the Kent Innovation Centre to fill out the required DBS and application forms, and then once the DBS is cleared we will ask them to come back in for an induction, after which we will get them started in their chosen volunteer role(s) as soon as possible.

Call 01843 609335 or go to

The Big Latch On

Mothers and babies in East Kent Hospitals took part in a synchronised breastfeeding session on Friday (August 2) to mark World Breastfeeding Week.

The women joined others in 120 countries across the globe to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and promote the support available to families.

At the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate and William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, midwives and maternity support workers were on hand to offer help and advice, and all the women who took part received a commemorative certificate.

Kate Lynch, infant feeding co-ordinator for East Kent Hospitals, said it was a fantastic way to start a conversation around breastfeeding.

She said: “The maternity wards are a great place to hold events like this Big Latch On, as there are experts on hand who can help if people are struggling.

“But it’s also a really important opportunity to let mums know where they can go for help once they leave hospital.

“There is so much support out there but it’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you are at home with a crying baby who is struggling to feed. We really want to make sure everyone knows where they can turn to help get breastfeeding off to a great start.”

The World Health Organisation recommends mothers breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of their baby’s life to reduce the risk of health issues such as heart disease, osteoporosis and some forms of cancer. Research also suggests that babies and children who were not breastfed are at increased risk of adult obesity and diabetes.

The infant feeding service at East Kent Hospitals is overseen by specialist lactation consultants, with support on the wards from midwives and maternity support workers.

Thanet Lions

July saw the beginning of the new Lionistic year and to celebrate, Thanet Lions Club members held a garden party. However the President’s chain did not have to be handed over as our current President Steve, will remain in ‘office’ for the coming year.  The position of Vice President will be held by Carol Lawson.

The garden party gave Club members an opportunity to practice setting up our gala tents in readiness for the summer fete.

Our annual Summer Fete and Dog Show will take place on Sunday, August 25 at Victoria Gardens, Broadstairs. Pitches are still available for anyone wishing to book. Registration for the dog show commences at 1.30pm, judging will be at 2.30pm. There are 12 classes. Entries are £1 per class.

As well as our usual stalls and games, this year we are running a cake competition in conjunction with the Broadstairs and St Peter’s WI. The classes are sponge cake, fruit cake, loaf cake and cup cake. Entries are £1 per class and can be taken from 10.30am on the day. Judging will commence at 1.30pm. For further information please contact Bob on 0845 8339532.

Club members continue to be busy throughout the summer with our Boot Fairs running fortnightly at Drapers Mills School. Our next quiz will take place on Saturday, September 14 at St Peters Church Hall. 7.15pm. £6 per head. Please bring your own food and drink.

This month we donated £282 to the Birchington Traders Forum. The funds were part of the profits from our Murder Mystery evening held a few months ago and will go towards the Birchington Christmas Fair to be held on Sunday, December 8. £153 was donated to a local man to purchase specialist aids for the bathroom.

On the social side, Club members have got together and enjoyed a tour of St Augustine’s Abbey and lunch. Five club members attended the Lions International Convention in Milan. A fantastic opportunity to meet other Lions from around the world. We may not all speak the same language and come from different backgrounds but we all follow our motto, ‘We Serve’.

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 number 0845 8339532. You can also find us at or on Facebook.

 Merchant Navy Day

September 3; is National Merchant Navy Day when seafarers remember the sacrifices made by our Merchant Navy and merchant seafarers in wartime.  We recently witnessed the “D” Day commemorations in Normandy where hundreds of merchant ships and merchant seafarers were involved in WW2, some being local seafarers.  We should never forget that, without the efforts of our Merchant Navy and merchant seafarers our country would not have survived WW2 as all food, goods, oil etc; were brought in by them.  The Merchant Navy suffered a greater percentage of casualties than the Armed Forces, over 33%, in WW2 and it is on this day every year that we remember them and we hope the general public will remember also.

Locally the Ramsgate Mayor will raise the “Red Ensign” from the East Cliff flagpole at approximately 8.30am, at approximately 10am the Birchington Mayor will raise the “Red Ensign” from the village square flagpole and at 7.30pm the Margate Mayor will hold a short open air service in the “Old Town” area when the “Red Ensign” will be lowered.  Our Independent Vindicatrix of East Kent Association – M.N. will be taking a full coach from Thanet on Sunday, September h; to the National Merchant Navy Memorial at Tower Hill in London for the major parade again. Please remember the debt owed to our Merchant Navy and merchant seafarers on September 3.  Thank you.
Phil Hughes, (Secretary),  Ind; Vindicatrix of East Kent Assoc;  –  M.N.

Ramsgate RNLI

Since the 1970’s the volunteer crew of Ramsgate RNLI station have been attending the annual event at their neighbouring town Broadstairs. This year was no different and even though it was too rough to take the public onto the All-weather boat Esme Anderson the arrival of the boats still drew the crowds in.

Usually the inshore lifeboat would moor alongside the all-weather but with a heavy sea it was deemed too dangerous so they moored up against a fishing boat closer to shore which meant that the inshore crew had to swim ashore much to the amusement of the public. With one of the life jackets inflating it was a good opportunity to explain to the watching crowd how they operated and spread the message to fight your instincts and float if you found yourself in the water.

The crew came ashore and answered questions from parents and children alike, with one mother commenting how it was lovely to see that there were still good people around willing to give up their time to help others. The crew were then treated to lunch by the local sailing club as a sign of their appreciation.

Coxswain Ian Cannon said: “We are so pleased to be invited each year to attend this event as it helps us spread a vital message. The seaside is a great place to take the family, but you must always respect the water as annually one hundred and fifty people die by accident in UK waters. So know what do, visit our website and always swim on lifeguarded beaches.”

SSAFA The Armed Forces Charity Thanet

SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, has been providing lifelong support to our Forces and their families since 1885. Every year our team of volunteers help more than 120 people in need in Thanet, from Second World War veterans to young men and women who have served in more recent conflicts, and their families

SSAFA understands that behind every uniform is a person. And we are here for that person – any time they need us, in any way they need us, for as long as they need us.

If you wish to contact us either for help or are interested in becoming a volunteers then please call on 01622 792363.

Kent Baby Matters

Join celebrations of National Breastfeeding Week at  the community hub, 23 Margate Rad, Westwood. Talk to experts, get free maternity and nursing bra fittings, recycling, colouring for little ones and more from 10.30am to 4,30pm.