Thanet community news: Independent Vindicatrix, Dickens Fellowship, TOFFs and more

The Shelter shop in Westgate is calling for volunteers

Shelter shop Westgate

A Shelter charity shop on Station Road in Westgate-On-Sea has been flooded with new year donations from generous local people – and has sent out an urgent appeal for volunteers to join them at the front-line of the housing crisis by helping sort and sell the new stock.

Shop manager Anna Kreismane said: “We’ve been fortunate enough to be inundated since Christmas, as people give away their unwanted Christmas gifts, or have a new year clean-out of their cupboards and drawers. We are getting some fantastic items through the door.

“But our shop is kept going by our local volunteers, and now more than ever we could really do with your help.

“We’ve been tackling the housing crisis in this area all year, but if you’d like to help us in the fight, then volunteering at our shop is a great way to do it. It’s a great to way start off the new year with a small commitment to make big change with Shelter – and you can even get official training and qualifications on the way.”

There is no minimum or maximum age to volunteer at Shelter, and the charity is especially welcoming to young people, new or expectant mums, and people living with disabilities. Full training and supervision is provided.

To find out more about flexible volunteering opportunities, or you have quality items of your own to donate, please call the shop on 01843 835238 .

The Independent Vindicatrix of East Kent Assoc;  –  M.N.

We held our first meeting of 2020 on Thursday, January 9 at our usual venue of the “Racing Greyhound” in Ramsgate with a better than usual attendance.  Received apologies were given to the meeting with health reports on two members and sad news of one member who “crossed the bar” in October 2019.

Thanks were given to all Vindi boys, fellow seafarers and associations from the U.K. and overseas for their Christmas and New Year greetings with special thoughts for our shipmates living in Australia at this moment.

It was mentioned that the Guide Dogs For The Blind sent us a receipt and letter of thanks for our donation.  Reports were given on our attendances at the Remembrance Day and Armistice Day parades in Ramsgate and St. Peter’s in November.

Correspondence will be sent to a Dutch barge owner in Sandwich about a social day on board during the summer. A report was given on the four day coach break some members and wives had to Torquay which was a great success again.

We will be attending the Channel Dash service in Ramsgate on February 12. We hope for local support again this year on September 3 to commemorate National Merchant Navy Day and we will be taking a coach to the main parade at Tower Hill, London on September 6 again.  News was given on the discount offered by Fred Olsen Cruises to members of the MNA when cruising with them.  Our next meeting will be on Thursday, April 9 at the same venue.

The Dickens Fellowship and the NSPCC

Once again, the Dickens Declaimers, the dramatic reading group from the Dickens Fellowship in Broadstairs, performed Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” to audiences at Townleys in Ramsgate, The Pavilion and The Charles Dickens in Broadstairs during the days leading up to Christmas.

The events raised just over £349 for the NSPCC. Once again, the good hearted people of Thanet have demonstrated their appreciation for Dickens’s much loved seasonal tale and

their generosity in raising much need funds for a worthy cause. Thank you.

The photo shows: from left to right: Alan Root, Clive Whitehead, Val Whitehouse, Eddy Coulson (Chairman of the Broadstairs Branch of the Dickens Fellowship), Alice Glover (Treasurer of the Thanet and Dover NSPCC) and Judith Bland (Chairman of the Thanet and Dover NSPCC)

Thanet Pilgrims Hospice and North Foreland Golf Club

North Foreland Golf Club has made some incredible donations to the Thanet Hospice throughout 2019. The first event was an annual coffee morning held back in February that raised £1,225 followed by £1,000 from the Old & Bold Men’s Team, followed by £245 from the Golf Society, and then to top it all on New Year’s Day we received £17,000 raised through a grand raffle draw organised by the Men’s Captain; Richard Keel.

Karen Kenward, community fundraising manager said: “We were completely blown away by these amazing donations to our charity. It costs £20 per hour to provide palliative care, which means that North Foreland supporters will provide just over 973 hours of care to the next person that needs us. Thank you to every one of you that have purchased a raffle ticket, a cake, a book or made a donation in support of our charity. We would not be able to provide the care we do without your generosity. Thank you all so very much.”

Each year Pilgrims Hospices give care and comfort to over 2,400 people in east Kent coming to terms with an illness that sadly cannot be cured. The charity supports patients to live life as well as possible until the very end, free from pain and distress.

Care is provided from three hospice sites in Thanet, Canterbury and Ashford as well as in patients’ own homes. To offer these services to patients and their families the charity must raise £11 million each year from the generous local community.

If you would like to support our charity with a golfing or another event,  please call Karen Kenward for further details on: 01843 233 934 or email: karen.kenward@pilgrimshospices.org

Probus Club of Ramsgate & District

When Probus member, Dave Webber attended the funeral of his 97-year-old Uncle Bill, he was surprised  to see the huge number of mourners, including some from the near continent.

It prompted Dave to learn all he could of his modest relative, which he shared with us at a recent meeting.

Bill Pendell passed away in Stanford in the Vale just over a year ago, remembered by many as a war hero from D Day, but who never spoke of his wartime exploits.   Attached to the 11th Armoured Division he was among the first to be landed at Gold Beach in Normandy on that historic day, fighting his way through to the end of World War Two.

He operated as a dispatch rider with the Royal Signals on a motorcycle, often behind enemy lines, providing intelligence about German positions.  Bill was particularly remembered for his part in the liberation of Eindhoven for which he was awarded The Military Medal for bravery.  The King of Belgium also presented him with an award after the liberation of Antwerp. He was later involved in the discovery and freeing of those in Bergen Belsen.

Last year, the 75th anniversary of D Day, a special commemorative garden was a focal point at the R.H.S. Chelsea Flower Show.  It featured two statues of Bill Pendell, one made from washers to create a ghostly appearance, in uniform and carrying his gun, and another in stone of Bill as an old man looking back at his former self.

These statues were subsequently moved to the beach at Arromanches in Normandy as a memorial to those who lost their lives on that fateful day.   Every year until the end, Bill attended the Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph.  In 2015 he was awarded France’s highest honour, The Legion d’Honneur.  As he sat down at the end of his remarkable story, Dave added that he is still learning more about his extraordinary relative.

For further information about Probus contact our secretary Brent Rimmington on 01843 589192 or email jandbrimmington@gmail.com

Dame Janet Primary Academy

Dame Janet has had a very special visitor.
South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay popped in with an award for Isobelle for her winning Christmas card design.

A little late due to the general election but a brilliant chance for Mr Mackinlay to see the great work we do at DJPA.
Congratulations Isobelle!

Thanet Over Fifties Forum

Thanet Over Fifties Forum invites the isle’s older residents to find out if they could maximise their income or make their money go further at the public forum meeting “Living on a budget.”

The meeting will take place from 10.30am – 12.30pm on Wednesday, February 12 at Margate Caves Community Room, Northdown Road, Margate, CT9 1QH.

Cheryl Giles from the Department for Work and Pensions is the keynote speaker. She will give a brief presentation to provide the most up-to-date information about pensions, Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Access to Work grants and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

The second speaker will be Kara Flynn from Thanet CAP Debt Centre (Christians Against Poverty) who offer debt help, supported by Emma Prentice from TOP Up. TOP Up is a project that helps people to access the benefits they are entitled to incl. assisting them to fill out the necessary forms.

Other organisations invited are Southern Water, SpeakUpCIC, Utility Warehouse and Live Well Kent/Porchlight. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask any of the organisations present questions and talk to them face to face about issues of concern they may have.

TOFFS Co-ordinator, Pauline Petitt, said: “Even if you are not a member of TOFFS, you are warmly invited to come along to our bi-monthly forum meetings. They are free, informative and could help support the decisions you make this year”.

Southern Water

Weather forecasters are warning that colder weather is on the way and our experts are warning householders to make sure their homes – and businesses – are ready for a freeze.

Burst pipes cause untold misery but there are a few simple steps you can take.

Lag your pipes – when water in pipes freeze, the ice expands and bursts them. When the thaw comes so does a flood. Cheap foam tubing from your local DIY store can fitted in seconds. Attics and where the water supply comes in the front door are key points.

Find your stop tap. This lets you switch your water off and if you do get a burst, it will minimise the damage. Try under your sink or stairs.

Leave your heating on low. Especially if you’re going away, this prevents pipes from freezing

Get your boiler serviced. In cold snaps boilers have to work harder so they often break in winter. Get yours serviced regularly.

Bleed your radiators. Central heating with air trapped inside is less efficient and takes longer to heat your home.

Phil Tapping, Head of Leakage at Southern Water, has some extra advice for business owners: “During the freeze/thaw event of February 2018, almost three quarters of the water lost from our network was due to bursts on customer premises,” he said. “It was heart breaking for anyone who suffered but I felt a special sympathy for business people who came back to shops or lock ups on Monday morning to find water and pouring out the system over a very short period when the property is left unoccupied. In addition to a huge clean up, they faced damaged stock and financial losses because they couldn’t start business until the mess was cleared.”

Mr Tapping says that leaving some heat on or even switching off water over the weekend when a seriously cold spell is forecast can prevent the worst.

And Rachel Ryan-Crisp, Head of Vulnerability, asked customers to think about neighbours. “If you have a relative or neighbour who might not realise a cold snap is on the way or might be unable to carry out their own cold weather checks, see if you can help. And tell them we maintain a register of priority customers which they can be added to by calling 0800 027 0800 from (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday,” she said.

Thanet Macular Society

Leading sight loss charity the Macular Society is bringing together three of its peer support groups based in Thanet to form two new groups.

The three monthly support groups which previously ran in Birchington, Margate and Ramsgate have joined forces to make them more accessible to existing and potential new members.

From Tuesday, January 14, the Birchington and Westgate Macular Society Support Group will meet from 10am-12pm on the second Tuesday of each month, at Westgate-on-Sea Town Council Offices, 78-80 Mildred’s Road, Westgate-on-Sea, CT8 8RF.

From Tuesday, January 21, the Ramsgate and Margate Macular Society Support Group will meet from 10am-12pm on the third Tuesday of each month, at The Racing Greyhound, 227 Hereson Road, Ramsgate CT11 7EX.

Working alongside local people, the Macular Society organises and runs more than 400 support groups in the UK, which offer vital information, encouragement and friendship to people who are affected by macular disease.

Macular disease is the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK. Nearly 1.5 million people are currently affected and many more are at risk. The disease can have a devastating effect on people’s lives, leaving them unable to drive, read or see faces. Many people affected describe losing their sight as being similar to bereavement.

There is still no cure and most types of the disease are not treatable. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common form of macular disease, affecting more than 600,000 people, usually over the age of 50.

Please note that there will now be no meeting on Wednesday, January 15 in Margate, as previously advertised. We apologise for any inconvenience.

For more information about the groups, please contact Stella Black on 01306 644 908 / 07494 467 980, or email stella.black@macularsociety.org 

For more information on macular disease, call the Macular Society on 0300 3030 111 or email help@macularsociety.org

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