Thanet community news: Events, awards and donations

DEFIB DELIVERY: Left to right is Sarah Hicks (Hairology), Johnny Joyce, Shirley Tomlinson, Shop Manager & Mayoress of Margate and Christine Appleton, Charity Shop Supervisor

League of Friends of the QEQM Hospital

The League of Friends of the QEQM Hospital are seeking applications for a volunteer manager(ess) from someone with retail management experience to manage their shop/tea bar & ward trolley service. Approx. 10 hours per week (could be job share). Any queries please ring their 24-hour answerphone on (01843) 234507 leaving a message & your contact details. Please send your CV with covering letter to The Chairman, League of Friends, QEQM Hospital, St. Peters Road, Margate, CT9 4AN. Closing date:  October 9.

Isle of Thanet Photographic Society

Thanet’s camera club started the new season with members showing photos taken during the summer break, followed by an excellent talk by Russell Miles on the subject of Seals, Seascapes and Coastal Wildlife. On September 16, Premier Judge Andy Smith gave a detailed critique of over 75 images submitted by members. As well as tips on possible improvements, Andy pointed out everything that was good and his comments will really help members to develop their skills.

The club’s first quarterly print competition of the season is on September 30, when we look forward to welcoming Helen Taylor as our judge for the evening.

Club members are also preparing for our annual print exhibition at York Street Gallery, Ramsgate which will run from October 16-23. We welcome visitors to this free exhibition.

Full details about membership and the programme are on our re-designed website at and now you can also find us on Facebook.

Thanet Age UK

Age UK Thanet want to say a great big thank you to Johnny Joyce from Thanet CFR at Secamb for working together to supply a defibrillator to be placed at the Age UK Thanet’s charity shop at 13/15 High Street, Margate.

Shirley Tomlinson, Mayoress of Margate who runs the shop, gathered together support from the surrounding shops (Hairology, Dorys and the Joke Shop) to buy the case required to keep the Defibrillator safe and accessible to anyone who may need it. A sad story of a person becoming ill with a heart difficulty in a neighbour’s shop led Shirley to strive to access this important equipment to potentially save a person’s life.

Margate Rotary Club

The Rotary Club of Margate raised more than £60,000 funds with support from other Rotary clubs, including the Rotary Club of Isle of Thanet Sunrise, Thanet, Helston Lizard, Lille Sud (France) Colombo (Sri Lanka), and The Rotary Foundation for the funding of a bus for a college in the tea estate area of Sri Lanka. The bus is used for getting students, particularly girls, to the college in a safe and economic way.

The Tea Leaf Vision Centre college provides further education in English language, IT and business studies to assist local students develop careers rather than work on the tea estates. The students are generally from the poorest section of the Sri Lankan community.

The bus is also used during the school day, to visit 12 local primary schools staffed with second year students, to assist in the teaching of English to the young children. More than 112 school visits were made in the first 5 months. A total of 1,840 beneficial contacts were made in this period with school children learning to read and speak English.

The bus was purchased in early 2018 with a formal presentation by members of the Rotary Clubs of Margate and Colombo In November 2018.

Part of the funds raised were allocated for necessary equipment and also professional development in their English language teaching. That teacher has now gained her CELTA qualification (Certificate of English Language Teaching for Adults run by The British Council) which was funded from this project, led by the Rotary Club of Margate. We congratulate her on this achievement which will benefit not only her, but the students of the Tea Leaf Vision Centre.

Artist visit

Well-known, local artist and furniture maker, Zoe Murphy, came to our club meeting, and joined in our barbecue, to tell us about her project for the Margate Now Festival, (running alongside the Turner Prize this autumn/winter) and to ask for our help.

Her project, Here you are home, is to create some public art, that the people who live in Margate could see for free, by asking two simple questions and printing the results onto big flags to fly around the town:

What do you love about living in Margate?

What do you think Margate loves about you living here?

The responses will be drawn and then printed in bright colours in an abstract way onto the flags.

We were the first community group she had approached and members and guests were happy to get involved. Zoe was really pleased with the number of responses she received.

Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust

A tuberculosis (TB) nurse has won a national award for helping homeless people and for dedication to her profession.

Rebecca Pitt, a TB nurse with Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT), was given a Cavell Nurses’ Trust Star Award for “going the extra mile”. The judging panel heard how Rebecca had scoured the streets on cold nights to find one particular homeless man she was concerned about, gave him her own money for food and hot drinks and worked tirelessly with other agencies to get him into hospital.

The new national awards programme is for nurses, midwives nursing associates and healthcare assistants who shine bright and show exceptional care to either patients, their families or colleagues.

Rebecca, 49, works in Canterbury and Thanet. She was nominated for the award by her manager Marianne Stoneman, a lead specialist nurse for TB at KCHFT.

Marianne said: “I truly believe that without Becky, this man would not be alive today.

“Becky has always given everything to make sure her patients receive the best possible care. There have been many occasions where I believe she has really gone beyond the call of duty, working very early in the morning and late at night to make sure patients are safe.

“During the past year, however, Becky has really gone one step further in providing truly inspirational care and dedication and that is what prompted me to nominate her.”

Rebecca has been a nurse for 22 years and a specialist TB nurse for the past 10 years.

The mother-of-two, from Broadstairs, said: “It was a wonderful surprise to find out I had been nominated and to win the award. I find TB fascinating, as it’s a very clever disease, which can sit dormant for so long, but it’s curable and by giving treatment we can make a difference.

“I work with homeless people a lot and worked with this particular homeless man last year. He was sleeping rough and taking drugs and we knew he had stopped taking his medication for TB and that he was very ill. Working with other agencies, we managed to track him down. I’m pleased to say we eventually got him into hospital and following treatment, he was recently discharged.

“Myself and other members of the team often give food and clothes to help homeless people, we do it as we’re in a caring profession and don’t really see it as going beyond the call of duty, other people would probably do the same.”

Margate Civic Society

Our first meeting of the new season will be held in the Ballroom at the Walpole Bay Hotel, Fifth Avenue, Cliftonville on Thursday, October 3 at 7.30pm – attendees are requested to be seated by 7.15pm.

The meeting will start with our Annual General Meeting, followed by Members’ Notices, after which our guest speaker, Amber Butchart (fashion historian and author working across cultural heritage, broadcasting and academia)  will be giving an illustrated talk entitled “Nautical Chic: High Style on the High Seas” which will be followed  by an opportunity for any questions.  Amber specialises in the historical intersections between dress, politics  and culture and presents documentaries for the BBC on our sartorial past.

As always during the evening, raffle tickets will be on sale (£1 per strip or 6 for £5) with the draw taking place at the end of the evening, followed by refreshments.

All are welcome – nominal entrance fee is £4.50 for non-Members.

If you are interested in joining Margate Civic Society visit

Birchington CE Primary School

A primary school in Birchington has won an award for providing great care to children and young people with Type 1 diabetes.

Birchington Church of England Primary School has been chosen for the Diabetes UK ‘Good Diabetes Care in School Award’ because of the support it provides to students with the condition, the help it offers to manage their diabetes safely, and the care it takes to include them in all school activities.

Type 1 diabetes is a serious, lifelong condition where blood glucose levels are too high because the body can’t make a hormone called insulin. No one knows exactly what causes it, but it’s not to do with being overweight and it isn’t currently preventable. It is treated by daily insulin doses – taken either by injections or via an insulin pump.

People with Type 1 diabetes need to check their blood glucose levels using a blood glucose testing device several times a day. This is important because over a long period of time, high glucose levels in the blood can lead to the development of complications. But with the right treatment and care, the long-term effects of diabetes and high glucose levels can be managed.

The recognition scheme aims to raise awareness of the vital role good diabetes care in school plays in keeping students safe, supporting them to achieve full academic potential and promoting their personal development.

Kath Barham, Head Teacher at Birchington CE Primary School, said: “We are delighted to receive this award − it’s not only recognition of how seriously we take Type 1 diabetes in our school, but also of our commitment to ensure all children and young people have access to the same opportunities, no matter if they have a long-term health condition or not.

“We work very closely with the parents, school staff and the students themselves to make sure that the right care is in place so that they can participate in all activities and reach their full academic potential.”

Jill Steaton, Regional Head in the South East at Diabetes UK, said: “Congratulations to Birchington CE Primary School for doing a fantastic job of supporting students with Type 1 diabetes. We urge all schools in Kent to follow their example so that children and young people stay healthy and get the best from their education. Every child and young person with diabetes deserves to have the same opportunities as their friends. And their parents should be confident they’re looked after properly in school.”

All Saints Parish Church, Birchington

All Saints Parish Church, Birchington  will be holding a fantastic craft fair on Saturday, September 28 in Church House, Kent Gardens, Birchington from 10am until 2.30pm. There will be many craft stalls as well as a tombola, cake stall and delicious refreshments. The brand new  parish recipe book will be on sale for the first time!


The RNLI will have a dog safety stand at Dumpton Gap on October 6 from 9am until noon.

There will be advise on how to keep yourself and your dog safe on the coast.

Battle for NHS film

There’s a rare chance to see a unique film about the life and death struggle for the future of the NHS on Sunday, October 6.

Called “Groundswell — A Grassroots Battle For The NHS” the documentary film follows a group of campaigners as they lobby politicians to save the NHS from cuts and privatisation.

Charting the campaigners’ frustrations, ups and downs, failures and successes, the film highlights the importance of people power in bringing about change.

It begins in 2014, during the setting up of the “999 Call for the NHS” campaign, and culminates with campaigners achieving a great lobbying breakthrough at the Labour Party conference in 2017.

The screening, which is sponsored by Save Our NHS In Kent (SONIK), will be followed by a question and answer session with the film-maker John Furse.

SONIK chair, Jon Flaig, said that Groundswell is “required viewing” for anyone worried about the health of the NHS.

Mr Flaig said: “Here in Thanet locally and in Kent as a whole we face a threat to our stroke services and the downgrading of our hospitals and the local NHS establishment wants to portray it all as a done deal. But what Groundswell shows is that “done deals” can be undone. If we get together we can make a difference. We have to take the lesson and fight to save our services here in Thanet and Kent.”

The screening is the first in a series of films about the NHS SONIK is planning to show in Kent in the coming months, more to be announced shortly.

Groundswell will be screened at 4pm on Sunday, October 6 at the Palace Cinema, Harbour St, Broadstairs. Tickets are £5 in advance from Eventbrite or SONIK stalls, or £6 on the door.


More than £750 was raised for local charities at The BroadstairsLit party night which launched The Big Five O, the new novel by Jane Wenham-Jones, that is set in Thanet. The funds, from a raffle, auction and collecting tins,  were shared between the Broadstairs Town Shed and Thanet Good Neighbour Scheme.

“These are important local causes that do a great deal to help the lonely and elderly,” said BroadstairsLit director, Denise Martin-Harker. “We were so pleased to be able to support them.”

Two hundred guests, including the Mayor and Mayoress of Broadstairs, filled the pavilion to enjoy this free community event, which included music by The Hot Rats Duo and Alison Moyna, a poetry reading by award-winning poet Maggie Harris, a display of local arts and crafts and a chance to get a preview copy of The Big Five O, published by Harper Collins. “It was lovely to see so many people,” said Jane Wenham-Jones. “We even sold out of books!”

The Big Five O is available at Waterstones, Westwood Cross. For details of future events and to join the BroadstairsLit mailing list visit

Business award

A start-up social media marketing business, Social Fireworks Ltd, is a finalist in three Kent-wide award categories, the maximum number of categories a business can be in.

Social Fireworks Ltd was founded by ex-Clarendon House Pupil, Kizzie Nicholson, who attended the University of Creative Arts, Canterbury, to build her marketing and creative knowledge.

The business awards event, the Independent Business Awards Kent will be held at the Mercure Great Danes Hotel, Maidstone on October 10 at 7pm. The awards evening has business finalists from across the county of Kent. There are 14 award categories.

The Independent Business Awards Kent is held annually. After the nominations, an independent panel of judges reviews the nominees and selects them as finalists. The finalists will discover on the evening of the awards if they have won.

Social Fireworks Ltd director Kizzie said: “It’s an absolute honour to be nominated for an award! To get through to the finals and be in three categories is wonderful. I’d like to think I have come this far due to the success my clients have got, thanks to the social media marketing solutions that Social Fireworks has given them. I’m very grateful to all who choose to work with us.”

Social Fireworks Ltd is a social media and marketing registered in Westgate-On-Sea.