Thanet community news: Social action award, Ageless Thanet Yoga, Photographic challenge, Micro Museum and more

Broadstairs College litter pick (pre Covid)

EKC Group

Staff and students have been celebrating across East Kent, including the Broadstairs campus, after EKC Group was announced as the winner of the coveted ‘Pears #iwill Award for Social Action and Student Engagement’ during the 25th annual Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Awards 2019-20 on Thursday, June 4.

The AoC Beacon Awards celebrates innovation and outstanding practice in Further Education. The ‘Pears #iwill Award for Social Action and Student Engagement’ was presented to EKC Group in recognition of its pioneering social action initiatives in the communities it serves.

Chief Executive Officer Graham Razey said: “It’s absolutely wonderful to win such a prestigious award in such a hugely relevant category right now. The current context has shown just how important social action is, and the activities that our students do within our communities has real importance attached to it. This win really celebrates those projects that our students have led, and recognises the passion shown to enhance our communities and make the whole of East Kent that little bit better. Well done to all of the staff and students who’ve been involved!”

During its biannual ‘Community Weeks’, students and staff members from across the Group’s family of six Colleges and three Business Units engage in a wide range of projects, from providing workshops and activity classes, through to rejuvenating community spaces and supporting local businesses.

In the previous academic year alone, students clocked more than 40,000 hours of volunteering to deliver over 400 individual social action projects.

Chair of EKC Group, Charles Buchanan, said: “Many congratulations to all of the staff and students across EKC Group’s family of Colleges and Business Unit for winning this award. It is testament to the huge amount of transformative social action projects which they deliver within the communities we serve, and is a real endorsement of the Group’s ethos as a socially conscious organisation which wants to make a difference.”

Ageless Thanet

We are super excited to offer “Yoga for Your Health and Wellbeing.” Our much-loved #Yoga and Belly dancing teacher Amanda will facilitate online classes for only £4 per class.

Email [email protected] or call 07718 485266 to book, places are limited so do not delay.

About the class

A short introduction to some yoga basics that will support you while you are in lock-down and prepare you for getting back into ‘normal life’ once this has time passed. The skills that you will learn include, breathing to support resilience, and a strong immune system, relaxation techniques to reduce stress and anxiety, and promote good sleep, mobilisation to keep your body supple and active. Other benefits of attending online yoga classes include participating in a shared experience through a community of online yoga students, an improved sense of health and well-being and not to mention having some fun.

The classes will be on Tuesdays and Fridays at 9.30am, for one hour, for four weeks starting on June  16

Isle of Thanet Photographic Society

The club suspended meetings in March but staying at home has given members the opportunity to experiment using their cameras in and around their homes and gardens. A series of monthly “lockdown challenges” is set by our chairman and members are sharing their images on Flickr, showcasing their creativity and expertise. These images, along with an updated picture gallery, will be on our website in due course.

Our challenge for May was “Flat lay” which gave members plenty of scope for experimentation. Club member Eddie Bradley created this lovely image (above) of a “VE Day Tea Party”.

We’ll share more images next month. In the meantime, we encourage everyone to use their cameras and other devices to capture images of everyday items in and around the home. It can be surprising how ordinary objects can be made special with some imagination and a little post-processing work. They could form a unique record of this period in lockdown!

To find out more about the club and view our images, please visit us online at and on Facebook.

Ramsgate Rotary Club

Although Ramsgate Rotary Club, like all others, cannot hold its usual meetings the club is still very active.

It is  having fortnightly meetings on Zoom, which have been well attended, organised by Secretary Maria  Blackburn.
Members have decided to donate their usual meeting meal costs to the Ramsgate Salvation Army Food Bank and are also supporting the work of Friend of Rotary, Philip Reiser, who is a key force with an organisation set up to provide face shields for front line workers.

Already more than  90 NHS Trusts and similar organisations , such as care homes have made use of the services provided by 3Dcrowd. It  has a target of raising £250,000 and has already achieved more than £143,000.
Anybody wishing to learn more should go to

Outgoing President Henry Golding said: “It has been  a great privilege to serve the club in what has been an extremely difficult year, and we look forward to being able to get back to our usual meetings and continue to serve the community in more acceptable ways”.

Anybody wishing to know more about the Rotary Club should contact email [email protected]

Pilgrims Hospices

Now in its 36th year, Volunteers’ Week (June 1-7) is held annually to celebrate the incredible contributions of millions of volunteers across the UK.

In east Kent, more than 1600 people volunteer for Pilgrims’ and all work varying hours in a wide range of roles. From receptionist to retailer, fundraiser to therapist, gardener to caterer, the skills and experiences volunteers bring to the charity are vast.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put on pause many voluntary activities, but Pilgrims’ is determined to celebrate and recognize the enormous difference volunteers make.

Jeff Southon, Pilgrims’ Volunteer Services & HR Manager, said: “Since late March this year, almost all of our volunteers have only been able to support us from home but they have been doing it in a variety of new ways. Our message to them is – we miss you!

“We are very much looking forward to the day we can welcome back our volunteers. This week is all about saying thank you all for your unstinting support.”

During lockdown, volunteers have donated to Pilgrims’ Still here, Still Caring fundraising appeal, and supported the charity’s new care initiatives Matching Hearts and #stayathomehospicehero. They have also been volunteering in other roles to help others during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pilgrims’ Acting CEO, Helen Bennett, said: “It has been said many times, but it remains the case, that volunteers are the backbone of our organisation, and now more than ever they are the backbone of our communities.

“We are currently working on how we can safely restore some of our voluntary activities and will keep our volunteers up-to-date on developments. We want to send a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to all our volunteers during Volunteers’ Week 2020.”

Ramsgate Micro Museum

The Micro Museum may have its doors closed but there are a host of events running via its YouTube channel:

Making Electronic Music

20 June

1875-1963  From telegraph wires to sci fi

We take a look at some of the early and sometimes very strange ways used to make electronic music

Sir Clive Sinclair

4, 11,18, 25 July

A new video premiere every weekend through July about British inventor and entrepreneur, Sir Clive Sinclair, his ground-breaking inventions and more.


8 August

Just for fun, we look at fruit-named electronics in the first of two videos

The Fantasy Art of Psygnosis

22 August

A video celebrating the amazing fantasy art which adorned some of the box covers of Psygnosis computer games.

The videos are made by Carol and volunteers, so even though The MM is closed it still has content being made until it can re-open again.

This is the link to the YouTube channel –

Kent and Medway CCG

More than 100 volunteers from the NHS, Kent Police, Kent Fire & Rescue Service and other health organisations have taken part in a training scheme to support care homes during the Covid-19 pandemic.

As part of the Kent Resilience Forum, NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) recruited the volunteers to take part in a ‘Train the trainer’ scheme which will enable them to train care home staff in infection prevention and control, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing for Covid-19.

Paula Wilkins, Chief Nurse at NHS Kent and Medway CCG, who led the programme, said: “Some of the most vulnerable people in our society live in care homes and we know that they have been under an enormous amount of pressure recently across the country. In response, the NHS and local authorities have increased the support we provide to help them cope with the pandemic.

“Initially we recruited four super trainers from the CCG who were then able to train the volunteers either remotely or in a face-to-face setting, albeit socially distanced. These people are now delivering training to care home staff – again remotely or face-to-face depending on the home’s preference – to support them in looking after their residents under very difficult circumstances.”

The additional training builds upon good practice that was already in place in some 700 care homes across Kent and Medway, providing managers with the confidence that staff and residents are better protected against infection.

Volunteers were recruited from across the NHS, as well as from Kent Police, Kent Fire & Rescue Service, Ellenor Hospice, Pilgrims Hospice, Hospice in the Weald, Heart of Kent Hospice and Medway Community Healthcare.

Kent Police Citizens in Policing Superintendent Jason Wenlock said: “There is no such thing as normal business during the Covid-19 pandemic and everyone is under pressure to make urgent changes to the way in which we work and carry out our daily lives.

“Those working on the frontline, particularly in healthcare, are under an enormous amount of pressure and we are pleased to be able to help by providing volunteers to carry out training in the use of personal protective equipment at care homes across the county.

“This support complements the good work already being carried out and we, as a partner agency who focusses on protecting people, are more than willing to assist. We recognise this work as being critical and it is vitally important we all explore ways in which we can support our partner agencies during such an exceptional time.”

Karen Pointer, Group Manager for Collaboration at Kent Fire & Rescue Service (KFRS), said: “We’re delighted to be involved with this initiative and to be able to offer our support to the large number of care homes which will benefit from the training.

“We have at least 16 KFRS employees who have completed the voluntary training and are now equipped to train care home staff. This includes both operational crews and support staff from a range of KFRS teams, who are all keen to help wherever they can during this unprecedented time.”

As well as the ‘Train the trainer’ scheme, the CCG and GP surgeries are providing care homes with support for managing Covid outbreaks, as well as additional end of life care support and help for vulnerable care homes. A weekly check-in identifies and reviews patients who are a clinical priority who need assessment and care.

Public Health England is responsible for responding to initial outbreaks in care homes and has been working in partnership with South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) and the CCG to provide an ambulance with crew and CCG healthcare professionals to deliver outbreak testing to care home residents. Known as the ‘Swabulance’, the vehicles are able to visit homes where there are potential outbreaks of Covid-19, testing residents in their own environments. This is separate to the care home testing which is undertaken following identification of an initial outbreak under the national swabbing programme.

Janet Spree, Manager at The Chase Home in Canterbury, which received support from the CCG recently, said: “We were extremely grateful to get the support we needed and to know someone was listening to our concerns and worries – it really put our minds at rest. Our initial conversations were followed up straightaway; we were tested within 24 hours and the results came back very quickly. Staff tell me they felt confident in the training provided so we are more than happy with the support we received.”

As part of the support being offered by the CCG and its partners, each care home now has a named clinician providing regular support calls.

Paula Wilkins added: “I am so proud of the CCG staff, as well as all the volunteers from other organisations, who have pulled together at such a difficult time to provide the additional support that care homes need.”