Thanet community news: Margate firefighters donation, East Kent Mencap, TOFFs, RNIB and Martha Trust

Demi Price, from East Kent Mencap, receives the donation from Steve March, Lee Orton and Andy Ramsden from Margate Fire Station.

East Kent Mencap and Margate Fire Station

East Kent Mencap has collected a £500 donation from Margate Fire Station.

Demi Price received the donation from Steve March, Lee Orton and Andy Ramsden from Margate Fire Station.

Margate Fire Station thanks the public for their continued support and generosity over the Christmas period.

East Kent Mencap

Two young men are looking forward to a new start after charity East Kent Mencap bought a house for them.

Stephen, who has a learning disability and works for the charity, originally asked for advice for him and his flatmate, Nick, as they were having some problems with their current home.

Housing manager Kim Dorman said: “Finding good rental properties in Thanet can be tricky, so the best solution was to buy a house that suited their needs where they could live for as long as they wanted.

“We were fortunate to find the ideal property in Ramsgate, not far from where they were living. It even has a small garden they can enjoy during good weather. Our homes are even more important at the moment and we were delighted to be able to help Stephen and Nick find their perfect home.”

Despite the ongoing crisis, the purchase went ahead at the end of March. There was some work to do on the house before the tenants could move in, which was carried out with due care to social distancing.

East Kent Mencap has a number of properties for people with a learning disability with support ranging from 24 hours to a few hours a week, enabling tenants to live as independently as possible.

It is undergoing a period of modernisation, upgrading its older properties and investing in new housing across East Kent.

Stephen and Nick have now moved in and are delighted with their new home saying: ‘It is much bigger than our flat and it will be lovely to sit in the garden with a beer.”

Thanet Over Fifties Forum

Thanet Over Fifties Forum invites the isle’s older residents to find out how to stay safe online and avoid being scammed due to Covid-19 at a virtual meeting at 11am on Wednesday, September 23. This will be the first time Thanet Over Fifties Forum has held a meeting online.

Stephen Kelly Fraud Protect and Prevent Officer, at Kent Police, is the keynote speaker. He will talk through the latest scams and how to reduce your exposure to being contacted by fraudsters and scammers. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions about any issues of concern they may have.

We have a further two guest speakers; Paul Rutterford, Academy FM 107.8, who will be bringing us “Happy Stories during Covid-19” and Janet Hope, Thanet Over Fifties Forum Member. Both Paul and Janet will share some of their conversations with people during the coronavirus pandemic.

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

How to join the meeting? The meeting is being held on Microsoft Teams. All forum members will receive a personal invite sent by email. What should you do if you are not a member? Email [email protected] who will happily send you the meeting link.


A befriending service run by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has been offering a range of support to people with sight loss in the South East of England during the coronavirus pandemic.

RNIB’s Talk and Support service invites people with sight loss across the UK to connect with others weekly using a phone or computer. Trained staff and volunteers facilitate the calls and match people together for general conversations.

RNIB Confidence Building Co-ordinator for the South East, Jan Foster said: “Coronavirus has made life more difficult for a lot of people, but measures to prevent the spread of the virus, including social distancing, have had a dramatic impact on the lives of blind and partially sighted people. We know that many have been discouraged from visiting friends and family because of worries about social distancing, and isolation and loneliness has become a real issue. Our Talk and Support service has been able to offer some light relief to people with fun quizzes and wellbeing calls and we have had some really positive feedback. I would encourage anybody in the South East of England who is interested in finding out more to get in touch.”

Alongside the weekly befriending phone calls, RNIB Talk and Support has helped people to combat isolation by organising a selection of fun quizzes since mid-July, with themes such as ‘Lights, Camera, Action’ and a ‘Double Denim & Big Hair’ 80’s quiz. Short story groups and wellbeing courses offering advice on how people who are isolating can get the best from each day have also proved very successful and hundreds of people have benefitted from this additional support.

To join an RNIB Talk and Support group, register your interest by visiting or call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999.

Martha Trust

Charity Martha Trust, which supports young people and adults with profound disabilities, always has a packed calendar of events to raise vital monies for their residents and 2020 was no exception.

However, due to COVID19, all of their flagship events had to sadly be cancelled or postponed. Their annual charity golf days would normally have taken place in April and October with long term sponsors Walmer & Kingsdown and Princes Golf Club.

The first golf day will be at the magnificent “ Club on the Cliffs ” Walmer & Kingsdown and has been rescheduled for Thursday, October 8 and the cost is £45 per individual and £180 for a team of four or £140 for members.

To find out more about registering players for this event, please call 01304 610448 or email [email protected] or you can book online at

Club manager for Walmer & Kingsdown Jonathan Webb said: “When we are planning our club diary, one of the first events to be confirmed is the annual Martha Trust Day. Unfortunately, COVID19 prevented us from running the day in April however, it gives us great pleasure to be able to run the day on  October 8 and support a charity providing care and support for people with profound disabilities. The support of our members and the golfing community never ceases to amaze me and this year will be no different – we look forward to welcoming you to our “Club on the Cliffs.’”

The second golf day will be held on October 15 at the prestigious Princes Golf Club in Sandwich Bay. While steeped in history, Prince’s Golf Club offers all that is best in modern championship links golf in an idyllic coastal setting where you will be sure to enjoy a great day’s golf for a really good cause.

A host of Local Final Qualifying for The Open Championship, Prince’s also co-hosted The Amateur Championship in 2013 and in 2017

The cost of this event is £80 per individual and £320 for a team of four non-members or £150 for members.

To find out more about registering players and sponsoring the Martha Trust Golf Day please call 01304 610448 or email [email protected] or you can book online at

Both Martha Trust Charity days will start with coffee and a bacon roll ahead of 18 holes of golf, followed by a two course dinner and charity auction which will be conducted by Clive Emson Auctioneers .

The charity’s patron is former West Indies International Cricketer John Shepherd who will be supporting both days.

John also served Kent County Cricket with distinction for 15 seasons said: “I am so pleased and happy to be able to support Martha Trust with their annual golf days. They do some fantastic work. I have thoroughly enjoyed my cricketing career and it is great to be able to give something back to those that have not been so fortunate.”

John is also Captain of Canterbury Golf Club for 2020 and chose Martha Trust as his charity to support. John was able to finally hold his Captains Golf Weekend at the club from August 15-16 and, despite the rain, had a very successful weekend of fundraising for his chosen charity.

Fundraising & Events Officer Kerry Banks BEM said: “It has been an extremely challenging and unprecedented year due to COVID19 and it has had a huge impact in our fundraising activities. The golf days are the first events we are able to run since the pandemic and we would love to hear from you to take part in the days either through playing, offering sponsorship , raffle or auction prizes.

Thank you so much to Castle Removals, Hutchings Timber Ltd, Positive Solutions-Mark Bulley, The Kings Head, Dunkerleys, Jeanette & Chris Goulding, Bloody Marys, Big Shot Golf and J&R Carpets for all offering Sponsorship so far .Please get in touch if you would like to learn more about our sponsorship opportunities as our residents need us more than ever. “

In line with government guidance, social distancing measures will be in place at both events so please make sure you check the updates on our Martha website and Facebook events.