Thanet community news: Ramsgate poolpod, bowls plea, Margate RNLI and more

Poolpod ribbon cutting at Ramsgate Leisure Centre

Your Leisure

On Tuesday, January 14, Your Leisure , were delighted to welcome Thanet council leader Rick Everitt, deputy leader Helen Whitehead and Mayor of Ramsgate Raushan Ara to their Ramsgate Leisure Centre to officially “open” an amazing new piece of equipment called “poolpod.”

Because of Your Leisure being a registered society  it was able to put in a funding application to Swim England and The London Marathon Trust, to obtain the poolpod. From many applications Your Leisure was one of only 20 nationally to successfully receive this funding. The poolpod allows a far more dignified and accessible way for people to enter the swimming pool who otherwise may have difficulties.

Ian Barker, Your Leisure’s Community and Funding Manager, said: “We are so proud to have this amazing, free to use, addition to our centre. We already have had significant interest from like-minded organisations who are keen to refer their clients into the centre to use the poolpod and therefore improve their wellbeing through swimming.”

The poolpod is free to use and open to anyone. For more information please contact Ramsgate Leisure Centre on 01843 585111, or click HERE to go to the Ramsgate Leisure Centre “swimming page,” or email [email protected] for a free swimming voucher to try out the poolpod.

Ramsgate Town Council

This year, the 75th anniversary of the end of the holocaust, our Holocaust Memorial Day service theme is “Stand Together”.
Interfaith leaders will join the ceremony, and share readings from their own faith, whichever faith it might be. We are aiming to unite the community in which we live.

Ramsgate mayor Raushan Ara will be in attendance.

The service takes place on Monday, January 27, 2.30pm at the Salvation Army,167 High Street, Ramsgate, and all are welcome.

 QEQM Hospital

A grateful patient has donated £150 to the QEQM Hospital intensive care unit where staff nursed him back to health three years ago.

Derek Stannard raised money by asking people to leave donations when they came to admire the Christmas lights display at his home in Orchard Close, Ramsgate.

And as well as the cheque, he and his wife also dropped off chocolates for staff on the unit.

Mr Stannard said: “It is a small way to say thank you to everyone for their dedication for nursing me back to health.”

Critical Care Matron Deirdre McFarlane said: “It is always a pleasure to see former patients looking healthy and happy, and for the team to receive thanks for their work.

“It is a privilege to be able to make a real difference to people’s lives at a time when they are at their most vulnerable and scared, and to see them recover is reward enough.

“But donations like this will help us continue to improve the ward environment for other patients, and we are very grateful to Mr Stannard for his generosity and kindness in thinking of us.” The money will be put towards items to benefit staff and patients. Donations to any East Kent Hospitals ward or department can be made via East Kent Hospitals Charity – for more information see

Margate RNLI

Nick Smith, Deputy Launching Authority, Margate Lifeboat (RNLI Margate)

Volunteer crew members at Margate’s RNLI lifeboat station are employing drone technology to record video footage and stills of the Thanet coastline as an innovative and cost-effective training aid.

When Nick Smith, Deputy Launching Authority at Margate lifeboat station acquired an entry-level drone to enhance his interest in photography, he quickly identified an opportunity to use the technology as an aid for training the lifeboat crew in the important area of coast recognition.

As Nick explains: “The drone’s camera records to a very high quality and when flown low over the water can capture the view the crew would get from the lifeboat. By slowly climbing and panning, dangers and obstructions not otherwise easily visible can be revealed.”

Margate RNLI’s area of operation includes around nine miles of Thanet’s coastline from Reculver Towers to Joss Bay including numerous bays and dozens of concrete groynes, the seabed itself is a mix of chalk rock ledges with deep gullies and flat sandy beaches. In short, the coast is littered with obstructions that particularly at night and in bad weather can present significant dangers for the crews when an incident requires them to operate close inshore.

Coast recognition is an important part of routine training but is time consuming and uses precious fuel resources when carried out afloat. By producing both stills and video the lifeboat crew can study the area in detail from the comfort of the crew training room or even at home.

The RNLI has strict guidelines for the use of drone which were adhered to but compiling the package was not straight forward as Nick explains: “It was important to capture the scene at low water spring tides when the greatest amount of foreshore and hazards are visible. In Thanet this meant a two-hour window at around 6am and 6pm for just a few days twice a month so the long summer days were the only opportunity really”.

Paul Hodson, Lifeboat Operations Manager Margate RNLI said: “Coast recognition from the inshore lifeboat is weather dependent and time consuming not to mention the fuel used. Seeing the coast for real is still important of course and continues to be part of the afloat training but particularly on a dark stormy winter’s evening this will allow an important area of refresher training to continue from the safety and comfort of dry land enhancing just one element of the intensive training volunteer lifeboat crews have to undertake.”

Caremark Thanet

Margate-based Caremark (Thanet), has been recognised as a ‘Disability Confident Leader’ under a respected government scheme for employers, joining FTSE 100 companies such as Marks & Spencer and Royal Mail.

The scheme, created to assist and encourage employers to recruit and retain less able people, requires businesses to undergo an assessment, as well as evidence how they are helping other employers on their journeys towards becoming disability confident.

In addition to providing internal support for disabled employees, including meetings with a Training & Welfare Manager, risk assessments and access to a WhatsApp support group, Caremark (Thanet) was able to demonstrate its efforts to promote equality in the workplace through a range of activity within the community.

The home care business regularly hosts events to raise awareness about specific conditions including a series of conferences surrounding mental health, which will take place later this year.

Caremark (Thanet) also works in partnership with organisations such as the Disability Drop In Centre, HOPE, Rethink Mental Health and the job centre to discuss new ways of tackling discrimination.

Jemma Clayton, Business Development and Marketing Director at Caremark (Thanet), said: “We see ourselves playing a significant leadership role within the local community and feel it is incredibly important to do all we can to remove potential employment barriers for people who are less able. We are trying to encourage other local employers to do the same, so being recognised as a Disability Confident Leader makes us very proud indeed.”

Caremark (Thanet) is currently looking for care and support workers to serve clients in Margate and the surrounding area. For more information contact Jemma via 01843 235910 or [email protected].


Social Enterprise Kent runs many exciting projects, one of which is working alongside the team at Your Leisure to put on an event this Monday (January 20) at Margate’s Hartsdown Leisure centre.

The Lots More to Offer project is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund and is part of the bigger Building Better Opportunities program. It offers 1 to 1 support with a dedicated Employment Support Advisor who can assist with employability help such as construction of a CV, helping with cover letters and general job search.

People over the age of 45 are invited to join the Lots More to Offer project especially if they want to enhance their skills in IT or build confidence in general.  Come along to the event on Monday from 10am-3pm to find out more. No purchase necessary.

Tree planting day at Lymington Community Green, Westgate

Cllr Dr Hannah Scott led the second of many community tree planting days in Westgate-on-Sea. Around 100 residents joined in planting 25 trees on the Lymington Community Green in Westgate-on-Sea and many residents adopted their trees. Many thanks to all who came along and all the Town Councillors who assisted on the day including Cllr Cornford, Cllr Page, Cllr Matthew Scott, Cllr Donaldson, Cllr O’Connor, Cllr Wallin and Cllr Nightingale. Thanks also goes to Bob Micallef for bidding for the trees from the Woodland Trust, to our super clerk Gill Gray and to TDC Grounds and Gardens Team for their assistance with the project.

Peter Hasted from the Sunken Gardens and the newly formed Isle of Thanet Trees and Woods Initiative and wonderful resident Denise Packer also gave their super tree planting expertise on the day. Many thanks also go to residents who donated trees with a wonderful back story (we will do a separate piece on those unique trees in the future). These events go to show that together we can make a real difference to the Town!

Thanet Over Fifties Forum

On Tuesday, January 14 TOFFS held their first UK Parliament Outreach Team Workshop delivered by Kerrie Carpenter, Senior Parliamentary Outreach Officer South. The workshop was full, and people said: “exceptional” and “we learnt so much more!”
There are so many ways to get your voice heard. Here are just a few: Find an MP and/or member of the House of Lords who has an interest where the campaign is a national issue. Request a debate. Get in touch with All Party Parliamentary Group, Select Committees.

Birchington Bowls Club

The club is looking for sponsors for this year’s Ladies Open triples Tournament taking place on Friday, June 5.

Enquiries to [email protected]

Thanet Community Transport

Thanet Community Transport is asking youngsters to design a picture for the front cover of the firm’s new brochure.

The design needs to be colourful, include the company logo, have a connection to transport – such as the TCT minibuses – and be A5 in size.

Entry deadline is January 31. Send designs to

Thanet Community Transport Association

Unit 3 Monkton Road Farm

Seamark Road


Kent CT7 0JL

The winner will have their picture printed on the front cover of the brochure and a prize and certificate will be awarded (don’t forget to put your name and school on the back).