Thanet community news: Drama group gift, stepping out for Pilgrims Hospices, VE Day fun and more

Mayor Raushan Ara's donation to East Kent Mencap

East Kent Mencap

Drama Group for adults with a learning disability sang their thanks to the Mayor of Ramsgate when she presented them with a cheque for £500.  The money, which was raised by the Mayor’s fundraising committee, will help fund props and costumes for the group’s Christmas Show, which they have already started rehearsing for.

The Mayor popped into East Kent Mencap on Tuesday 10 March with the donation and the grateful group gave an impromptu rendition of ‘We are sailing’ which will feature in the performance, planned for early December.

The Mayor of Ramsgate, Councillor Raushan Ara, said: “I, along with my fundraising chairman Peter Borrough, was delighted to present a cheque to East Kent Mencap, which will be used by their performance group, with the aim of producing a Christmas show.

“My long-term connection with East Kent Mencap, due to my special needs son, has encouraged me to support this organisation over the years. I would very much like to thank all of my charity’s members, for their kind support. I also would like to thank all the staff and the volunteers at EKM for their continued hard work in making Foresters’ Hall in Meeting Street a permanent home for EKM, and seeing the future improvements go ahead.

“Here’s wishing EKM the very best of luck for the future.”

The group is currently searching for an accessible venue with a stage in Ramsgate to perform their show. Anyone who can help is asked to contact them on: [email protected] or call 01843 224482 and speak to the fundraising team. East Kent Mencap is a local charity which provides opportunities for people with a learning disability, enabling them to achieve the things that they want out of life and to be valued, treated equally, listened to and included. For more information visit

Westgate & Birchington Inner Wheel Club

Westgate & Birchington Inner Wheel Club will be holding a ‘VE Day celebration dinner and 40’s style entertainment’ in aid of ‘Beach Within Reach’ at Kearns Hall, Grenham Bay Avenue, Minnis Bay, CT7 9NN on  May 30 at 7pm.

For tickets priced at £10 contact Hazel on 01843 833565 /07889655497. Come along and join our celebrations of the Victory in Europe 75th anniversary. Prizes for the best 40’s costume. The meal will be cottage pie followed by a selection of sponge puddings and custard and coffee/tea.

Inner Wheel is one of the largest international women’s voluntary organisations in the world. The objects of our organisation are ‘to promote friendship’, to encourage the ideals of personal service and to promote international understanding. Westgate & Birchington Inner Wheel meet on the third Thursday of the month (except December) at St Augustine’s, 125 Canterbury Road, Westgate on Sea, CT8 8NL at 7pm for 7.30pm to enjoy a two course meal together and then a variety of meetings, ranging from speakers to a fun and games evening. We raise money for charities both local and national, and also support international charities.

Over the past few years we have donated to many local charities including £2403.84 to the ‘Minnis Bay Community Hub’, for their garden project in 2019, and £1000 each to Birchington in Bloom and Birchington Shelters and Amenities Group, in 2018. This year we are supporting ‘Beach Within Reach’ enabling disabled people to access the beach and sea in specially designed wheelchairs. These wheelchairs can be used at Minnis Bay, West Bay and St Mildred’s Bay. The district charity this year is ‘Porchlight’ supporting homeless people to find accommodation and support to find jobs. We have been raising money all year for this cause. We have already donated £100 to the drop in café and the deaf café in Westgate.

Seaside Shuffle

The February Seaside Shuffle welcomed back Don Steele’s Jazz Band, and in particular, the clarinet/ saxophone musician, Chris Brennan who, the last time they visited us, was in hospital. He was then admirably deputised by John Elmer.

Smartly dressed, they entertained us with some well known trad. jazz standards and some not so often heard originals, plus  a couple of requests and a vocal by club member Betty Renz. This month’s Jazz Club at noon on Saturday, March 28 will be Vocalion, leader and trumpet Dennis Jenkins, clarinet and alto sax. Peter Curtis, trombone Jan Bryce, banjo Richard Elmes, double bass Colin Hodges, drums Peter Morgan

Usual venue: Ramsgate Small Boat Owners Club, Guildford Lawn, Ramsgate, CT11 9 AY.
Admission: £10 members, £15 visitors (buffet lunch included)
Annual membership is only £10.

Dickens Fellowship

The Broadstairs Branch of the Dickens Fellowship, is pleased to announce that at the recent ‘Happy Birthday Mr Dickens!’ event at the Pavilion in February the total monies raised for the Oasis charity was nearly £300.

The charity looks after families in times of domestic abuse. The afternoon consisted of a cream tea and a performance of The Bloomsbury Christening by The Dickens Declaimers and a raffle. The picture shows from left to right, Declaimers Val Whitehouse and Clive Whitehead, Oasis representative Loukia Michael and Chairman of the Broadstairs branch of the Dickens Fellowship, Eddy Coulson. Thanks once again go to the big-hearted people of Broadstairs for their generous support.

Thanet Festival Choir

Thanet Festival Choir’s inspiring concert for the season features Stainer’s beautiful Victorian work The Crucifixion, with the Rev William Sparrow-Simpson’s libretto drawing on the Gospels. Also in the programme is a modern piece which takes some inspiration from medieval masters Allegri and Gesualdo. John Sanders composed The Reproaches in 1984 and the words come from the liturgy for Good Friday.

Clifford Lister conducts the choir and the tenor soloist is his former pupil Oscar Golden-Lee, who is now a member of internationally acclaimed ensemble The Sixteen. Baritone Stephen Alder has been making guest appearances with the choir since 1996, and organist James Norrey, accompanied its performances last year in Chimay, Belgium.

It takes place on Saturday, March 21, 7.30pm, at St James’ Church, Westgate & Garlinge

Tickets are £10 in advance or £12 on the door, £2 for accompanied children. Advance tickets are available on 01304 620560, from choir members or online from (PayPal). All seating is unreserved.

Pilgrims Hospices

The annual Paws 4 Pilgrims fundraising dog walk is scheduled to take place on Sunday,  March 29 in Deal. Tara Baltera from Margate with her daughter Lily are taking part, and they will be walking Wally, a 5-year-old Dalmatian, on the 5Km walk along the coastline.

The gorgeous spotty dog is a rescue dog from Dalmatian Welfare and belongs to Tara’s friend Paul who will be joining them for their Sunday morning stroll to support end-of-life care within the local community.

Tara said: “We don’t have a dog ourselves and Lily loves dogs; we often take Wally out for walks, he’s wonderful company and enjoys lots of exercise, so it’s good for all of us.

“We enjoy supporting local good causes and this particular event is always such a lovely day. We always stay for the dog show after the walk and have a number of rosettes to show for it! Lily enjoyed winning dog most like its owner.”

Also taking part is Ramsgate’s Cliff Waring, who is raising money in memory of his wife, Joyce.

Joyce passed away on June 9, 2018 whilst in the care of Pilgrims. Cliff feels it’s time now that he takes part in an event to help give back to Pilgrims for the care that they gave his wife.  He will be taking part in the walk with his new dog Harry who is a rescue Podenco from Spain. Harry is a very important companion for my Cliff as they have saved each other.

Cliff, 72, is a retired goods inward inspector for an engineering company.  The dad-of-three and stepdad of two will be joined on the walk by daughter Naomi and her husband Ben.

Find his fundraising page here

The walk takes the dogs and their walking buddies along the Deal coastline towards Walmer before returning. After the walk, there’s a fun dog show with lots of classes for furry friends to take part in. Could your dog be the ‘fastest sausage catcher’?

Come along and watch, there will be refreshments and stalls to enjoy too, it’s a great day out for the whole family.

Karen Kenward, Pilgrims Community Fundraising Manager at the Thanet hospice said: “It will be great to see Wally and the friends again this year. There are lots of our regular Paws 4 Pilgrims supporters registered and many new to the event too.

“By supporting our event you are helping to raise important funds and to help people to live well in every moment.”

You can register to take part or come along on the day.

Event Information

8.30am: Registration opens

10.30am – 12pm: 5k walk along the Deal coastal route

12pm – 3.30pm: Fun dog and agility shows


Early bird entry (closes 15/03/2020)

12 years and over: £8 11 years and under: £4 Family: £20

Standard entry (closes 22/03/2020) and On the Day entry

12 years and over: £10 11 years and under: £6 Family: £30

Family entry includes 2 people of 12 years and over plus 2 people of 11 years and under.

Fun dog and agility shows

There will be a fun dog and agility show after the walk which dogs can be entered into for £2 per class or £1 per class for those who have entered the walk.

Each year Pilgrims supports hundreds of local people coping with a life-limiting illness and their families. The charity offers a range of services; from care on its wards, in people’s own homes and through the Wellbeing Programme held in Pilgrims Therapy Centres.

Appletye Archives Meeting

Appletye is an arts and heritage organisation based in Margate, currently working on a National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) project called Print Works. Working to save, sort and catalogue an archive related of two large former print works Thanet Press and Martell Press. The archive also contains information about other print works from across the Isle of Thanet. As part of the project, the long-term preservation, storage and access to the collection is a high priority.

This however, represents a problem, as Thanet’s archives are in a word ‘fragmented’, subjected to years of changing administrations, budget restrictions and the loss of the rest of Thanet’s main archival collections to county and national level collections. Which makes it difficult, even for trained researchers to collate the information they need on Thanet’s vast history. The remaining local archives represent not only Thanet’s long historical legacy, but perhaps more importantly they provide the story of generations of Thanetonians.

In order to try and counter the trend of partisanship and fragmentation, Appletye called a meeting of all record holding institutions on the Isle of Thanet in order to begin a conversation about future collaboration.

During the meeting numerous ideas were floated, including the creation of a purpose-built archive, training packages, standardisation of cataloguing techniques, digitisation and the sharing of expertise. The representatives including staff from the Ramsgate Tunnels, Birchington Heritage Centre and the Turner Contemporary agreed upon creating an atmosphere of increased bipartisanship for all involved. The meeting represents an important milestone, paving the way for future meetings to help safeguard Thanet’s remaining archives and to make them accessible for the next generation of researchers.

Report by Isaac Naylor

East Kent Mediation

East Kent Mediation (EKM) is a registered charity based in Folkestone, that has been supporting local communities for over 25 years with various neighbourhood disputes, with very successful outcomes.

We are funded by our various partners within the local communities for Shepway, Dover, Thanet and Hythe. Our aim is to support people who are experiencing conflict and disputes within your neighbourhood. We also have other projects running that support families & young within the community.

Disputes can cause much unhappiness and stress. People become angry and frustrated looking for help or a way forward. Being in conflict can affect your health and the way you live

We are currently looking for new volunteers to support the charity, where full training will be given:


  • to enable people in the community to become mediators
  • in communication skills, anger management and raising self esteem
  • to raise awareness of mediation principles and techniques

Tel: 01303 227296 E-mail [email protected] or go to