Thanet community news: Hospital donations, Thanet Wanderers fundraising, RNLI, business awards and more

Members of ICMG’s Margate Branch

ICMG Margate

As a part of ICMG’s Margate Branch, we have come together as a community to stand with our local heroes and national key workers. On Wednesday, May 13 we visited QEQM Hospital , Viking Day Unit at St. Peter’s Road entrance to show our full support.

We understand it’s a difficult time for everyone but when we stand together we will be much stronger.

Islamic Community Millî Görüş (ICMG) is an Islamic community that gives comprehensive religious, social and cultural services. In this respect, our community presents various activities with the purpose of teaching, learning, introducing and practising Islam and transmitting it to future generations, while fulfiling Islamic duties.

ICMG’s Margate Masjid opened in February 2019.

We accept donations and we will deliver more food with your help,
ICMG Margate , 18 Station Road , Westgate, CT88RT
[email protected]

Thanet Wanderers community programme

Thanet Wanderers is a rugby club based at St. Peter’s Recreation Ground.

During the past decade, like most grass roots sports clubs, the Thanet Wanderers have seen both the number of members and participation on the pitch decrease. However, over the past three years they have started to buck the trend.

With tremendous support from the Paul Keohane Sports Fund, London Array, Miles and Barr and England RFU, the Wanderers have committed to a Schools and Community Programme where their stated aim is, “to welcome, engage and involve as many members of our local schools and community as possible, this can be as Players, Supporters, Volunteers or Visitors. We want to make everyone feel welcome and to feel involved in shaping the present and the future of our wonderful club”.

Over two weekends this month the Paul Keohane Sports Fund and Thanet Wanderers Junior and Mini Section organised online challenges to engage their membership and wider community, whilst raising money to support the Schools and Community Programme, the club’s thriving Junior section and key emergency workers.

On May 1, the Paul Keohane Sport Fund launched its weekend challenge which ran until 6pm on Sunday. Participants were required to post a video of themselves recalling their association with the Wanderers, raising a toast, confirming a donation and nominating someone else to continue the challenge. By the end of the weekend there were over 700 posts, from people from around the globe aged 5 to 91. It was an amazing response and so many memories were shared, demonstrating clearly how important Wanderers Rugby Club is to so many. The video responses also cemented an absolute desire to support our club’s aim to reach out and involve our community.

On Bank Holiday May 8, VE day, the Wanderers Junior and Mini section hosted an online End of Season Party to celebrate the past seasons successes and raise funds to improve the club facilities for the youth section. This is the first of a number of planned community events. The party kicked off with an online training session, attended by over 100 mini and junior players, preceded by a 2-minute silence to respect and remember the sacrifices of those who served and serve. At midday Chris Panteli and Andy Bull commenced the Ice Bucket Challenge and urged people to “Partake, Donate and Nominate.” This was followed by a best BBQ competition and an online quiz.

Chris Panteli, Junior Chairman at Thanet Wanderers said: “Exceptional efforts, fantastic challenges, very funny videos, lots of banter and I’m sure it will continue. What we’ve shown is what a great community we really are”.

At the conclusion of the fundraising events, John Keohane, Trustee of the Paul Keohane Sports Fund said “My fellow trustees and I am staggered by the response to the fundraising events, it truly shows what a fantastic community club Thanet Wanderers is.

“The charity was set up for my brother, who we unfortunately lost five years ago. Paul was an absolutely passionate sportsman and truly believed in the power of sport and how it can bring a community together. I know he’ll be looking down and smiling and saying great effort. This is all about getting children into sport, getting them engaged, giving them great role models and doing all the right things to provide opportunity for our school children and community.”

Both weekends were oversubscribed, with the social media platforms utilised needing constant management as capacity reached the maximum limits. This was a solid measurement of how our membership and supporters are behind this great community endeavour. Over the two weekends over 1,000 videos and photos were posted and over £12,000.00 was raised.

£1,000.00 of the money raised will be provisioned to support a ‘thank you day’ for local emergency, key and care workers at a Thanet Wanderers lunch, when Rugby resumes. The balance will be used to support the Schools and Community Programme and to improve facilities at the club for the Juniors Section and Community, including floodlights and storage.

Club President Colin Whiteley praised the amazing fund-raising efforts of the Paul Keohane Sports Fund and the Club’s junior section coaches and players. The resultant generosity of the community will allow much needed renovation of some essential equipment and help fund future projects when rugby returns.

This was a great community effort from our Wanderers community!

RNLI and Hilderstone Radio Society

Thanet radio amateurs are maintaining contact despite the lockdown while at the same time raising funds for the RNLI and awareness of the National Coastwatch Institution (NCI).

In recent years throughout May, radio amateurs from Thanet’s Hilderstone Radio Society G0HRS (HRS) have put on a special event radio station using the call sign GB1RNLI at Margate RNLI lifeboat station as part of SOS Week organised by the Lifeboat Amateur Radio Society.

This year there was concern that Covid-19 restrictions would cause the event to be cancelled but some imaginative adjustments by the organisers, along with flexibility of the Government agency that issues the special licence means GB1RNLI will be heard.

Various members of HRS will take turns during the month making the call from their home radio stations based all over Thanet. They will publicise the work of the RNLI and NCI while contacting fellow amateur radio enthusiasts worldwide.

Hilderstone Radio Society has a special relationship with Margate RNLI, five of the lifesaving charity’s local team holding amateur licences including the Lifeboat Operations Manager and all the Deputy Launching Authorities, one of whom is also club secretary of HRS.

The RNLI relies upon contributions from members of the public to enable it to provide its lifesaving services but the Covid-19 situation has dramatically restricted its ability to raise funds with all lifeboat stations closed to the public while still having to maintain availability when needed to answer calls for help.

RNLI shops are closed and all face to face efforts by fundraising branches have been cancelled resulting in troubling times just as the charity launched its ‘Perfect Storm’ appeal last autumn due to its planned expenditure exceeding income in recent years.

The RNLI’s Mayday appeal, the major annual appeal to fund its work has been heavily affected by the current situation. Please do consider donating to support this lifesaving work at

Peter Barker, Lifeboat Press Officer, Margate RNLI said: “We are grateful to HRS for its continuing support. The current situation makes fundraising difficult for the RNLI but of course ‘working from home’ is standard practise for

amateur radio enthusiasts and thus a novel way of fundraising and raising public awareness of the work of our volunteers.” For more information about HRS contact [email protected]

 Thanet Business Network

Our ‘Excellence in Lockdown’ Awards scheme, has launched to recognise any Thanet-based business, organisation or individual that has gone ‘above and beyond’ to provide outstanding service during the COVID-19 lockdown period.

Please nominate in 3 easy steps:

  1. Like the Thanet Business Network Facebook page
  2. Nominate (name or tag) a Thanet-based business, organisation or individual in the comments below and tell us why they deserve to win!
  3. Share this post

The closing date for nominations is 31 May, and the winners will be announced in early June.

These are unprecedented times and this is a great way for us all to say “thank you”.

Full terms on TBN’s website….

Find the Thanet Business Network facebook page here

Save Our Heroes – Music Collaboration Project

An online music collaboration founded using the power of social media includes Thanet musicians.

The musicians involved had never met before, but the global crisis of COVID-19 has brought them together.

They all shared one goal and that was to create an original composition in order to raise money and support our heroes working within the NHS. It is said that the power of music can influence change.

Leanne, Paul, Ashley and Ian, of the music project, hope to raise funds for NHS Charities. Find their just Giving link at

Find the facebook page here

Rock Choir

Rock Choir, the largest contemporary choir in the UK with 32,000 Members, announce their support for Mental Health Awareness Week (May 18-25) by hosting #RockChoir24, a 24-hour non-stop fundraising event via their Facebook Page from 11am on Tuesday, May 19 to 11am the following day.

Throughout the day and night, the Rock Choir team will host an energetic schedule of dynamic singing sessions, themed musical events, songs from the decades and social musical events as well as sessions aimed at teenagers and younger children meaning the WHOLE family can join in! There will be something for everyone to enjoy. A virtual music Rock Choir Festival which can be experienced from the comfort of everyone’s own home!

Mixed up with the musical content which will be both live and pre-recorded footage and video messages from Key Worker Rock Choir Members who will share their stories with us from the front line in response to the pandemic. Also highlighted will be stories about inspirational acts of kindness from across the UK to reinforce the theme of Kindness which Mental Health Awareness Week has adopted for this year in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Rock Choir Team has also been receiving video messages from their celebrity friends and fans including Jess Glynne, Michael Ball and Sir Cliff Richard to name a few! Each have sent in heartfelt messages of kindness, encouragement and support for Rock Choir’s Fundraising mission and Mental Health Awareness Week. These messages will also be shown throughout the 24-hour period.

Rock Choir Leader, Catherine Courtley, who looks after the choirs in Dover, Folkestone, Thanet, Sandwich and Ashford, will be leading some of the live sessions.

Kent Police

Police officers in east Kent have donated chocolate eggs to children in local hospitals and raised more than £100 for a good cause.

The Lindt store at the Ashford Designer Outlet donated hundreds of small chocolate eggs to Kent Police shortly before Easter to show its appreciation for their work.

Officers decided to divide most of the eggs into more than 100 bags, which were donated to children’s wards at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford and the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate.

The bags were presented to the hospitals, along with Kent Police colouring books, by the force’s mascot, PD Barker, at the beginning of April.

The rest of the chocolate has since been raffled and sold to officers for donations in police stations in the east of the county, raising more than £100 for the Pilgrims Hospices.

Superintendent Nick Sparkes, of East Division Command, said: “This was a very generous donation and I am pleased my officers’ first thought was how it might be used to help those in difficult situations.

“I hope it raised some smiles on the children’s wards and showed we are pleased to help our partners in the NHS and the wider nursing provision who are doing such a fantastic job.”

Battlefield Pilgrimages

Each year the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Battlefield tours, Organise Pilgrimages to the Battle areas of the First World War. The tours are in August and September.

This year we plan to visit the Somme Battlefields, The Ypres Salient, Arras, Vimy Ridge, and Loos Battlefield areas.
The trips specialise in visiting specific Cemeteries or Memorials on the above mentioned Battlefields as and when they are requested, and an experienced Battlefield Guide will accompany each trip, to commentate on the various battles and the many historic events that occurred in the areas that we visit, we can also assist people in the tracing of War Graves, from the First World War.

The K.O.Y.L.I. Battlefield pilgrimages was formed as a charitable hobby in 1990 by ex-servicemen who have many years of practical experience in conducting visits to the First World War Battlefield areas of France and Flanders, and we support the Royal British Legion Poppy appeal these trips are open to anyone who might be interested, and we welcome All enquiries.

Tour Dates for 2020 :
August 6th to August 10th (Fully booked)
September 10th to September 14th
September 24th to September 28th

Please note – if any trip is cancelled due to Covid-19 a full refund will be issued.

Anyone who requires further information can contact us by email- [email protected]

Facebook page – KOYLI Battlefield Tours or telephone : 01977 734614

NFU Mutual Helping Your Hospitals donation

An appeal to support hard-working hospital staff during the coronavirus outbreak has been boosted by donations from local NFU Mutual agencies.

Staff from the insurer’s agencies covering Canterbury and Sittingbourne, and Ashford, Tenterden and Whitfield, donated grants totalling more than £6,300 to East Kent Hospitals Charity’s appeal for frontline staff.

The money is part of a national £1m fund launched by NFU Mutual and the two local agencies nominated the charity to receive a share.

The money will help support the wellbeing of staff working across East Kent Hospitals. The charity has so far funded a range of initiatives including toiletries for staff to use when they shower before going home after their shifts, radios for isolation wards, and snacks and healthy treats for intensive care staff.

Other funding is earmarked to improve outdoor spaces for staff to enjoy during their breaks, and for ongoing emotional support.

Dee Neligan, fundraising and development officer for East Kent Hospitals Charity said: “We have been overwhelmed by support from our local businesses and communities and are incredibly grateful to have received these grants from local NFU Mutual Agencies.

“These will ensure that we can continue to fund projects which will enhance staff wellbeing and morale, which are invaluable at this time.”

You can donate to the charity’s Helping Your Hospitals appeal at


The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has launched a new online library offering people with sight loss in Kent instant access to thousands of free books in formats they can read.

RNIB’s new platform already has more than 26,000 titles making it the UK’s largest online library of Talking Books – the world’s first audiobooks, which were originally created by the charity for soldiers who were blinded in the First World War.

Funded by voluntary donations, RNIB’s Library service sends out up to 10,000 books per day and lent more than 1.5 million titles last year on CD, USB and digital downloads. This number continues to grow constantly, with the latest new titles including The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel, Queenie by Kimberley Chambers and Westwind by Ian Rankin.

It is hoped that this new platform, which aims to improve the current service will provide even more blind and partially sighted people with access to reading at a time when lockdown measures due to the coronavirus have restricted outdoor activity.

As well as Talking Books, RNIB’s Online Library offers a growing number of books in eBraille which means people are able to download titles and read them on an electronic braille display, such as the Orbit Reader 20.

Kim Jaye is severely visually impaired and has found RNIB’s Talking Books to be a lifeline during the lockdown. She said: “These amazing audiobooks have allowed me to maintain a sense of sanity, when the whole world seems to be going mad. They allow me to escape the confines of isolated reality into a place where my imagination takes control and keeps me calm. Talking Books are a lifeline that keep me afloat.”

To sign up to the online library please visit the RNIB website, or call the RNIB helpline on 0303 123 9999 to find out more.