Thanet community news: Clean ups, awards, charity modelling and more

Courtstairs Park revamp

Courtstairs Park volunteer day

Members of the Western Undercliff Regeneration Group were joined by 20 volunteers from Pfizer and youngsters from the Christchurch school gardening club, 300 pupils from Chilton school and some pupils from Deal for a volunteering day at Courtstairs Park.

Residents, students from the Broadstairs college campus and staff from Hume planning consultancy also joined the effort which involved freshening up the paint work on the playground, formalising the centre of the memory orchard, introducing paths for easier maintenance and planting up a splendid array of 4,000 daffodils in the park.

Fairy doors and rocks, painted for the woodlands by the Thanet Rock Hunters, were put in place and Nik Mitchell, from Wildlife Conservation in Thanet, also took part.

The work was funded by Ramsgate Town Council and Kent County Council.

QEQM Hospital League of Friends

Tickets are now available for one of our most popular fundraising events of the year – our Fashion Show & Supper, which is on Thursday, October 31 at 7pm for 7.30pm at the Winter Gardens, Margate. This year there will be a Halloween theme and, like last year, amongst the volunteer models will be some of the Hospital’s specialist nurses. Fashions from Laura Ashley, Roman, La De Da, Sainsbury’s, The Saltworks & Just Jane will be on show.

Tickets are priced £25, which includes a set meal – cold poached salmon with citrus mayonnaise, minted new potatoes & salads followed by orange & lavender crème brulee with shortbread biscuits. There will be a raffle & tombola.

To book tickets please ring our 24-hour answerphone on (01843) 234507, advising of any dietary requirements.

For more information about the QEQM Hospital League of Friends charity please check out their page on Facebook or their website

Award for Minster GP surgery

A Minster GP practice has been recognised with a national award after implementing a new, personalised and proactive way of caring for its patients nearing the end of their lives.

Dr Victoria Tzortziou-Brown, Honorary Secretary of the Royal College of General Practitioners, presented the practice team from Minster Surgery with the Gold Standards Framework (GSF) Quality Hallmark Award at a special ceremony in London.

Claire Dennis, the practice Frailty Nurse who has led its push to provide coordinated and compassionate care for all patients approaching the end of life, said benefits had been felt by patients and staff alike.

She added: “When we started the GSF training we wanted to improve the systems we had in place so that we could provide higher standards of care which in turn would mean better outcomes for patients. I specifically wanted to ensure we included our severe frailty patients in our end of life care, because it’s an area I’m really passionate about.

“GSF has helped us all feel more confident and comfortable talking about death and dying. The training made us realise how important it is to get conversations going and find out what people want. Once you open a conversation and give people time to talk and you really listen, they will open up and tell you what they want. Then we can record that and put the plans in place to make it happen.”

Patients on the palliative list, gold patients, are given a gold card and there is a pop-up alert when they call the practice, to alert the admin team. If there are any problems, they are fast-tracked to see the most appropriate person.

Claire adds: “GSF has brought us even closer together as a team and has really helped to trigger conversations about how we identify those patients approaching the end of life.”

GSF gives outstanding training to all those providing end of life care to ensure better lives for people and recognised standards of care. The GSF Centre is the UK’s largest provider of training in end of life care helping health and social care professionals provide proactive and personalised care for patients and their families and reduce hospital admissions.

By completing the GSF training programme and achieving accreditation, the practice team is also already complying with the new GP contract which recommends improved rates of identification of people thought to be in the last year of life, offering advance care planning discussions and support for family and carers.

Broadstairs Probus Club

Broadstairs Probus Club provides a friendly forum for retired and semi-retired men over 55 who have been involved in a Professional or Business working life and who currently live in the Broadstairs area.

Our formal Luncheon Meeting in September was held in The Yarrow Hotel when the Guest Speaker was Carl Whitewood from the Ramsgate Corps of The Salvation Army. He gave a talk on the brief history of the Salvation Army and what it does now.

Carl explained how, in 1865, William and Catherine Booth founded the religious organisation called The Christian Mission in the very poor East part of London. This became the Volunteer Army and then The Salvation Army where members signed up to their beliefs by wearing a uniform , not dissimilar to what they wear today. Carl showed us the typical Bonnet which used to be worn by lady members. As an Army they felt they had to form brass bands, like all other armies and they used to set religious words to the popular songs and music of the day. The Salvation Army therefore became the biggest Revival of the Victorian era.

Even in the early days, Carl went on to say that the Salvation Army campaigned against prostitution, alcohol and gambling and were heavily involved in providing help and shelter for homeless and very poor people. This still applies today and they work closely with Local Councils and other agencies to find work for the homeless on the streets and get them back into Society. Today, they also provide Food Banks, Friendship Lunches, Homeless Breakfasts and even a Parent/Toddler Group.

Carl`s talk provoked some interesting questions from members of the Club when we found out that the Salvation Army is even present in places like Russia and China but, like other Christians, they are being much persecuted in the Middle East countries. Finally, Derek Horsnell gave the vote of thanks to Carl for his very enlightening talk, and a donation from the Club was handed over for the Salvation Army`s charity work by the Club President Eric Mark.

The Club meets for a Coffee Morning on the 2nd Tuesday of every month and for a formal Lunch Meeting on the 4th Tuesday of every month both at The Yarrow Hotel. The Club is always looking for new members so, if you are interested in finding out more or perhaps trying out a free coffee morning , then please contact :Rogan Montgomery-Smith on 01843 603939 or email him on [email protected] for further details.

League of Mercy award

Denis, centre, with CEO Stephen Gray left and Chairman Les Hutchinson right, of YLF

Dennis James, from Margate, has been awared a national honour after being nominated by local charity, The Young Lives Foundation (YLF),

Dennis performs the voluntary roles of an appropriate adult and an accompanying adult, upholding children and vulnerable adults rights and entitlements and ensuring their welfare through the custody process and age assessments when they have been arrested and taken to police custody or arrived illegally in the country.

He has been awarded The League of Mercy medal in recognition for voluntary service to charities and non-profit organisations.

Dennis was presented his badge by The Rt Hon the Lord Lingfield at the ceremony held at The Mansion House, City of London, in the presence of HRH Princess Katerina of Yugoslavia, and Lord Mayor of London.

Dennis has worked voluntarily for 40 years in the social and educational sector, enabling those young people who are disadvantaged, disabled or from ethnic minorities to participate and feel part of their communities. For seven years he has helped Kent Police via his role at YLF to ensure that vulnerable adults and young people are supported and that they understand what is happening to them while in police custody. These children and vulnerable adults have often experienced abuse, had no support, are homeless and are often exploited into committing crimes. Children arriving in the UK have often witnessed and been victim to horrific crimes such as physical abuse and had to flee their country for fear of their lives, because they are wanted for recruitment into terrorist groups and many have witnessed the deaths of their parents and loved ones.

Dennis said: “The varied charitable activities that I have been involved in over the years have been very rewarding. But I have to say that for me working with YLF as an appropriate adult working with Kent Police in custody suites and with Kent social services doing age reviews of young migrant arrival to the UK has been very interesting. The work with the migrant arrivals can sometimes be harrowing when you hear the problems that they have experienced on their journey to the UK. But having built up trust with the young people, it was good to be called uncle by the young men. Helping people can be very rewarding and informative.”

YLF are appealing for more volunteers, like Dennis, to support young people through their Appropriate and Accompanying Adult services. For more information please visit their website or contact them on 01622 693459.

TS Bulldog Ramsgate and Broadstairs Sea Cadets

TS Bulldog, Ramsgate and Broadstairs Sea Cadets are a youth organisation established back in 1856 and here in Ramsgate Harbour since 1925.

We have 2 groups, Juniors 10 – 12 years who attend on a Thursday evenings and Cadets from 12 – 18 years who can come along Tuesdays and Thursdays evenings. Being in the Sea cadets gives them an opportunity to gain life-long skills in a range of subjects with all Cadets leaving with qualifications including B-Tec, Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, Citizenship qualifications from CVQO, Royal Yacht Association qualifications in power boating and sailing can be achieved which stay with them throughout their careers.

Whilst in the Sea Cadets they can take part in some amazing activities including camps, courses, off shore sailing, representing the Royal Navy, structured lessons for badges and promotion, introduction to careers with the Royal Navy, Border Force, the Merchant Navy and other maritime organisations, fun activities at the unit and being involved with many local community based projects. This being in a safe environment with fully trained volunteer instructors.

During the summer months the Cadets were the lead unit at the Armed Forces Day Parade, visited the Border Force vessel Seeker, had a one-off talk from Wayne with his dog Koda who have been walking the UK since 2016 picking up litter, assisted with various community projects such as the Kitesurfing Championships, Lark in the Park, Ellington Park event, the Scrap Plastic challenge, the Mayors Garden Party and much more.

Cadets have spent a number of days away at naval establishments including HMS Raleigh in Cornwall, HMS Bristol a training vessel in Portsmouth, HMS Sultan the Engineering School and other establishment for sports days and various competitions.

Our Commanding Officer S/Lt Martin Philips RNR has just returned from Canada being part of the Blind Sailing UK group who won gold, silver and bronze medals.

We are always looking for new Juniors and Cadets to join us and If your son or daughter is interested in please come along and have a chat with us above the Sailors Church in Ramsgate Harbour or ring us on 01843 599524 where we will get back to you as soon as possible. Alternatively you can email us at [email protected]

Broadstairs Dickens Fellowship

On Saturday, September 14 the Dickens Declaimers, a dramatic reading group from the Dickens Fellowship in Broadstairs, arrived at New York Library, Epiphany Street, to give two performances for the Fellowship in New York. The Declaimers performed ‘Betsey Trotwood’ adapted from the book “David Copperfield’, and ‘Nicholas Nickleby’ adapted from Dickens’s own reading. With the first reading being very much set in Broadstairs, we commenced the afternoon with a video showing some of the many places connected with Dickens in the town. The event was a complete success and the Declaimers received a standing ovation at the end of the afternoon.

The Dickens Fellowship is a world-wide organisation and in going to New York the Broadstairs based Declaimers hoped to bring the two parts of the Fellowship closer together. They certainly succeeded. The hospitality afforded us in New York was overwhelming and with a packed hall, the performances were very well received. It was a wonderful, truly memorable experience.

The picture shows the Dickens Declaimers from Broadstairs on Broadway.

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 16 September 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 16-23 October. 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 Lions

Christmas came early for Thanet Lions, as club members took part in a ‘Christmas’ tin shake. We would like to thank all the customers and staff of Tesco Manston for their generosity and support. £170.92 was raised during the day. These funds will go towards our Christmas hampers which are delivered to those deserving of a little extra at Christmas.

Congratulations to the ‘Wise Prankers’ our winning quiz team. Again, thank you to all who attend our Autumn quiz evening. £337 was raised during this event.

Our Christmas quiz will take place on Saturday 14th December. Details to follow in due course.

Tickets for our Charity Choral Concert are available. The concert is to take place on Saturday 2nd November at the St Mary the Virgin Church, Minster. This concert will feature the ever popular Thanet Male Voice Choir and Minster Village Voices. Tickets for this event are likely to be in high demand. If you wish to attend, please contact Thanet Lions Club on 0345 8339532.

We have made a number of donations over the last few weeks. These include £300.00 to the Lions Club International Foundation – Bahamas appeal. The Lions Foundation has already sent $100,000.00 to give immediate aid and support to the relief effort in that area. £200.00 has been given to our Belarus project. This project has supported an orphanage and school in Belarus for many years. This money will go towards the purchase of games equipment. £61.00 has gone towards the purchase of twenty high viz vests which was recently presented to the Rainbows of All Saints, Garlinge.

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 further information about any of our events or you think we can help you please telephone us on our new number 0345 8339532. You can also find us at or on Facebook.

Rotary Club of Margate

Members and partners of Rotary Club of Margate stayed in Trier Germany on route to our contact club at Rotary Club of Worms.

The Rotary Club of Trier, led by their President Jan Eitel warmly welcomed us to their city and after a champagne reception we were presented with a gift of their own club banner.

During our visit we were treated to a wonderful tour of the city, the birthplace of Karl Marx, and an important Roman city with many intact Roman buildings. We also visited the cathedral where we were privileged to visit the new cathedral organ, named the Swallows Nest.

The joining of two Rotary clubs from our two countries in friendship is very special and our mutual understanding of the needs of others can only ensure ongoing peace and harmony

We would like to thank Andreas Laschke, a former member of Worms Club and now a member of the Club in Trier for the wonderful welcome to your beautiful city.

Then on to Worms, Germany

One of the highlights of the weekend, was a visit to the Cathedral where we climbed up the north tower to see four of the five new bells. We also had a fantastic view of the city and surrounding hills from the top of the tower.

Following this visit we enjoyed a lovely open air lunch hosted by one of the Worms club members in her castle garden.

The bond of international friendship between our two clubs, covering 61 years, was strengthened further, with new friends made and plans discussed for the next visit in Margate to celebrate our club’s Centenary.

We would like to thank our host Rotary families for organising a wonderful programme of activities and great hospitality.

If you would like to know more about Margate Rotary – we are always happy to speak about membership or future events.  Please contact [email protected]

Westgate & Birchington Inner Wheel Club

Come along to Westgate & Birchington Inner Wheel’s Charity ‘Singalong Sound of Music’, at 7pm for 7:30pm on Saturday, October 26, at Westgate Community Centre, Lymington Road, Westgate on Sea, CT8 8EJ. Enjoy a German Frankfurter Hotdog Supper followed by Apple Strudel & Cream, Tea/Coffee. BYO drink!  Dietary requirements must be notified when booking! Tickets £10.

Enjoy fun and laughter through narrated snippets of the musical film adaptation of the 1959 stage musical starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. Sing-a-long to “Climb Every Mountain”, “Do-Re-Mi”, “Edelweiss”, “So long, Farewell” and many other well-known songs from the film!! Raffle, Prizes for best fancy dress, and lots, lots more. Tickets available from Hazel 01843 833565/07889655497 [email protected]

Dane Valley Woods

The steering group of Dane Valley Woods is pleased to announce that a winner has been chosen for our seasonal Summer Photo Competition, which will subsequently become our cover photo and be put forward against the Winter and Spring winners and the future Autumn photo competition winner for Photo of the Year 2019!

As always we received plenty of entries, which provoked much deliberation. So without any further ado…….

Bob Ward – Insect on flower

Bob Ward – Thistle
Lauren D-s – Mallow and sky

Congratulations to Bob and Lauren, and thank you to all that entered, we hope you all keep snapping and send through more great images. Don’t forget to enter our current Autumn Photo Competition! Here is the link to that:

On the catwalk for charity

A former Margate carnival queen has been modelling in a London fashion show to help raise funds for charity.

Stephanie Thompson, 18, is now a professional model and has just been up to London to the LFW19 Jessica Louise fashion show at the Montcalm Hotel in aid of the Children’s Society.

Stephanie was born in Margate and grew up in Thanet. At the age of 7,Stephanie took part in a charity fashion show for Jambo Africa. This fired a passion for fashion and Stephanie has since used modelling to help other charities such as the Teenage Cancer Trust. She also took part in the Race for Life this year.

Last month she took part in the London Fashion Walk in Westminster for The Children’s Society.

The Jessica Louise fashion walk and show was hosted by Richard James Dalton, owner of Jessica Louise occasion wear. Designer Michaela Panaitescu attended with Phillip Chan who has links to the Universal Peace Federation International and singer Arianna Morgan was also at the event.

Talented designer Lucilia Fern of Lucilia couture, showcased jackets and suits.

Stephanie’s ambition is to be the face of Vogue. She has so far modelled for many photographers, including Stuart Brock, Rachel Evans, Paul Lam, Cristina Minette, Colin Rhoden, Chima Luke Okafor, David Tovey, Rob Lucas, Miss Elizabeth Smith, Connor Murphy, Mrityunjoy Mitra, and Mike Attridge.

She has featured in ” Feroce Magazine” and on the front cover of” Ulla Magazine” and appeared in “Vintage World”,”NMB” and “Cinque Ports.”

Art award

Sandra Hampton, who runs Acol-based Art4All for children and young adults with special needs, has scooped a national prize.

At the Unique Art Awards ceremony in London, Sandra won Special Needs Art Teacher 2019 and had her prize presented to her by news reader Alistair Stewart.

The awards were set up by mouth and foot painting artist Tom Yendell who wanted to recognise and encourage disabled young artists throughout the UK. The awards ceremony started 2016 with this year being its fourth year.

Sandra set up the art group in January 2016 after the sudden closure of the Royal School for Deaf Children in Margate,

She also offers art sessions for young people affected by cancer. She uses art as a form of therapy to allow the students to create and express themselves through different techniques

Sandra said: “To win an award in a room full of incredible unique individuals at the Unique Art Awards in London is something I can truly say is one of my greatest achievements. I’m so grateful to have such a wonderful support network around me and feel so privileged to work every  day with the most beautiful and talented children and young adults.”

Westwood Cross

Westwood Cross Shopping Centre has installed a potentially lifesaving defibrillator. The popular shopping centre in Broadstairs welcomes thousands of visitors per week and is already prepared with a defibrillator on site and this new one will be positioned in a central busy location.

Francesca Donovan, Centre Manager at Westwood Cross Shopping Centre, said: “Access to defibrillators in the community is vital and we feel proud to be in a position to have two such machines on site, one portable and one static. This is a lifesaving piece of equipment and we therefore wanted to ensure that the local community had access to it. This is a step in the right direction to raise awareness of the location of community defibrillators and the importance of CPR training.”

The new defibrillator will be on the wall outside TK Maxx, providing visitors easy access to treat sudden cardiac arrest. Westwood Cross Centre staff are trained in first aid and how to use the defibrillator; just look out for the logo on their uniforms. However clear instructions on how to use the equipment is also on the front of the unit, allowing anyone to make use of it in an emergency.

For more information, visit

East Kent Hospitals

After being kicked in the back while on duty, police officer Peter Frampton was left in such severe pain he feared he would never be able to go back to work.

The 36-year-old, dad of two from Minster, was relying on strong painkillers after the incident aggravated an old injury, but was still in constant discomfort and found even getting in or out of a car difficult.

A keen footballer, he had to give up sport and had to sit and watch as his children played, unable to join in.

But thanks to a spinal cord stimulator, a pioneering piece of medical technology sometimes called a ‘pain pacemaker’ and staff at East Kent Hospitals, he is now able to enjoy life again.

Peter, who is telling his story to mark International Pain Awareness Month in September, said: “I had to take a significant amount of time off work and when I went back I could only work reduced hours.

“There was a massive fear of being told I couldn’t carry on. It caused quite a lot of anxiety and stress for me and my wife.

“The spinal cord stimulator was life-changing – I can’t praise it enough. It is an amazing piece of equipment and technology and it’s been a godsend for me.”

Patients who are suitable for the stimulator must first try other methods of controlling their pain, and Peter had injections and other treatments.

Some brought temporary relief, but after a week or two the pain would return as bad as before.

He said: “I was reliant on codeine to reduce the pain but I haven’t had to use any pain medication since having the stimulator.

“There are still good days and bad days but the bad days are significantly reduced and I am still able to carry out normal activities.

“I’m back at work full time and I’m coaching football teams and running around with my children – things I was frightened I would never be able to do.

“It has changed my life and I am so grateful for the opportunity.”

The stimulator is a small device like a pacemaker, implanted underneath the skin and attached to two wires that lead to the spinal cord. It is programmed by medical staff and patients can change the settings and turn it up or down, or target particular areas of the body.

East Kent Hospitals is the only Trust in the county to offer the treatment, with the nearest alternative centres in London, Southampton or Essex.

The Trust has specialist pain clinics at the Kent and Canterbury, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, and William Harvey Hospitals, offering a range of treatments, and cases are reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team including expert nurses, a psychologist, occupational therapist and consultants.

Specialist nurse Tina Elliott said the team was able to offer hope to patients who had previously been told nothing could be done.

She said: “Things have changed and we can now offer patients a lot more than we used to be able to, thanks to new technology and understanding.

“Chronic pain can’t be cured but we can help people manage it and learn to live with it.”

For more information on the pain team, visit