Thanet community news: Charity head shave, riding for SEFF, Movember, Teen Kent and more

Kelly raises money for the British Lung Foundation

Breath of Fresh hAir

Cliffsend mum-of-one Kelly Wells has braved the shave to raise money for the British Lung Foundation.

When Kelly was 25 she suffered a series of pneumonia bouts, swine flu and then a serious chest infection that wasn’t treated correctly.

This left her with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) which is a series of lung conditions. with emphysema and asthma.

But Kelly, who is at stage 2 of 4 for COPD, says she is determined to make a difference while she can and has undergone the  headshave to raise money for the British Lung Foundation.

The mum to nine-year-old Jai said: “I was diagnosed five years ago. It affects my breathing. The majority of the time I am lucky if I can walk to the bottom of the road and back without feeling like I have run a marathon.

“Everything consumes energy. I was one of the youngest people in the area to be diagnosed with COPD and it was scary. It was shocking to take it in and realise how your life is not going to be the same, or even be as long as you thought it would be. I can’t party with friends, I can’t be spontaneous, I can’t do many of the things young women do.”

The reason for the fundraising headshave is two fold – the British Lung Foundation cared for Kelly’s father-in-law Dennis who recently dies aged 72 and will also be there for Kelly as her disease progresses.

She said: “This foundation is the only UK lung foundation so it really does rely on donations and fundraising. My father in law had stage four copd and recently passed away so this is also in honour to him.

“Dennis was an incredible man, dad to Taz and grandad and this is my way to remember him and make him proud.

“I want to raise as much as I can as one day I won’t be able to and I also want to do it thank them for keeping my father in law comfortable at the end.

“I want to do something while I can for those that, when I get to stage 4, will either be keeping me comfortable or saving my life with a lung transplant

“Even if a transplant match is found there are no guarantees. My body might reject it and I could end up on a life-support machine.

“It is a horrible condition, there is no ‘get well soon,’ it’s a killer.”

The 30-year-old has a target of £1,000.

Find the fundraising page here

SEFF/SSFA bike ride

The first part of a Thanet family effort to raise money for Armed Forces personnel and survivors of terrorism has been completed with a 22 mile bike ride by Melissa Jell, 12, and her cousin Grace Endicott, 11, and the girls’ mums Leanna Jell and Jade Endicott.

Melissa’s younger sister, eight-year-old Nevaeh, was also due to take part but because of a covid positive test at her school in Garlinge she has had to postpone. She will instead join her brother Samuel, and Jade’s son, Holy Trinity & St John’s pupil Alex, both 10, and their dads Steven and Daniel, on a second charity ride on November 8 (Remembrance Sunday).

Jade and Leanna’s brother Lee Smith is completing 15 half marathons in 15 days from November 1 to raise even more cash.

Money from the bike rides will go to the South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF) formed in 1998 to support the innocent victims/survivors of terrorism and ‘other Troubles related criminal violence’ and to the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) which provides lifelong support to serving men and women and veterans from the British Armed Forces and their families or dependents.

Lee’s half marathons are raising cash for Help for Heroes.

The family, from Westgate and Margate, say Armed Forces charities were the obvious recipients, especially in light of the support they have received from SEFF following the murder of their father Corporal Stephen Smith on July 2, 1989, by Provisional IRA terrorists in then West Germany. The murder was witnessed by his wife Tina and their children.

The bike ride crowdfunder page will remain open until November 12.

Find the fundraising page by clicking here

Lee’s half marathon fundraising page can be found by clicking here


On Monday, November 2 Old Town Barbers will be holding a charity day for the Movember charity.

Movember is an amazing cause that focuses on mental health, suicide prevention, testicular cancer and prostate cancer.

On the day we will be doing beard trims only all day, you can expect the same Old Town Barbers Margate service, beers, coffee and whiskey – however all the money will go to the charity. Don’t worry if you don’t have a beard or a moustache you can still donate.

If you cant make it but still want to donate please follow the link below to our Movember Page.

National Teen Kent

Thanet teenager Catherine Dekker has won the title of UK’s National Teen Kent 2021 and a place in the final of the new UK National Miss Pageant in March 2021.

The pageant finals will take place at the Park Hall Hotel in Chorley from March 25-30 (Covid restrictions permitting).

Catherine has many causes she feels passionate about but has chosen Suicide Awareness, specifically for males and young adults, as her pageant platform. She is currently making cards with motivational quotes and the local Samaritans number and distributing them in Thanet. She is hoping to expand this initiative to the whole of the UK with the assistance of the pageant community.

Catherine, 16, is a sixth form student at Canterbury Academy and is busy studying performing arts.

For the next couple of weeks she is also collecting feminine products to make care packages for women using the Thanet Winter Shelter. If anyone would like to donate products such as sanitary towels, lip balm, tissues, travel size deodarant tootpaste, toothbrshes, dry shampoo, chocolates and notebooks, please get in touch via the facebook page Catherine Dekker- Pageant Journey or private message for address to post to or arrange collection.

Thanet Rotary Club

As we approach Covid lock down, Thanet Rotary are asking the people of Thanet, to think of those who also face the scourge of polio. With generous local support, they have produced attractive Xmas cards in different sizes to raise funds to help, in the knowledge that every penny will be double matched by the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation. Details are on the club’s website

Ending polio is one of Rotary International’s great causes. And Rotary clubs across Thanet are fully engaged, as has been reported in recent weeks. The continent of Africa was recently declared free from polio and there are now only two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan, where it persists.

Covid is not forgotten. The networks established to tackle polio will likely be used to deal also with Covid. And Rotary clubs are fully committed to supporting the Thanet community through these terrible times.

The Rotary club of Thanet also extends a huge thank you to the people of Thanet for their generosity in supporting the club’s sponsored walk in September So far, some £3,300 has been raised for local causes. The money will go to to Pilgrims Hospice, Porchlight, Millmead Children’s Centre and to the club’s own Cinderella Fund, which is used to support these and other Thanet initiatives.

Rotary members, their families and friends completed the walk along the Thanet Coastal Path. The weather and companionship were wonderful. And some found time to enjoy a quick drink at the the Pavilion in Broadstairs, before resuming the trek. Such a relief in these difficult Covid times. This is the second year for the walk, which will be a regular fund raising event. Over the 2 years, Thanet people have donated over £11,000. Amazing!  And the books are not closed yet. Anyone interested in making a donation and learning more about the club can do so on the club’s website

Your Leisure

Your Leisure Live Better advisor Kirsty Beard and Sarah Kelly are raising money for The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

The fundraising duo said, “Due to the pandemic, Remembrance services will be different this year. There will be no parades or gatherings. We still feel it is important to do something. As this year marks 75 years since the end of WWII, we have decided that we will run and tab (Tactical Advance to Battle) with 20kg for 75 miles, during the month of November to raise money for the Royal British Legion poppy appeal.”

Kirsty and Sarah are Army Reserves, 3PWRR, A Company.

They have set up a Go Fund Me page and you can donate online:

438 (Thanet) Squadron

438 (Thanet) Squadron R had been the first Air Cadet unit in East Kent to return to face to face parade nights (up until the latest Covid restriction announcement).

It has been a turbulent few years for 438 squadron. Early in 2018, a routine inspection of our premises found that there was a structural issue which had to be rectified.  This meant both Air and Army cadets had to find temporary homes. Thanet Air Cadets were kindly accommodated at Manston, sharing the 2433 squadron buildings and facilities.

In March 2020, following an extensive renovation and refurbishment, we were set to return to our home in Victoria Road.

Unfortunately, this was only a few weeks before the Covid-19  outbreak and subsequently we had to close.

If you are, or you know someone who is, at least 12 years old, in Year 8 at school and looking for adventure through a vast array of activities, please contact us on [email protected] to make an appointment.

We are able to offer cadets the opportunity gain educational awards such as Duke of Edinburgh, First Aid certificates and BTECs in Aviation Studies, Citizenship and Music.

Safety is our top priority and we would like to reassure parents that we are Covid secure.  We have a lot of safety features in place to help to control Covid -19.

We usually meet on Fridays 7.20pm – 9:30pm. After Christmas, we hope to return on Tuesday evenings too.

If you or your child would like to join us, email the Commanding Officer and on [email protected].

Isle of Thanet Photographic Society

Early morning eye-cleaning by John Draper.

The Club’s virtual meetings via Zoom are proving popular with members and have created opportunities for talks by photographers from around the UK. It has also been easier to make late changes to the published programme where a booked speaker has cancelled.

One change enabled us to enjoy a very interesting talk on the use of Textures given by Jane Lazenby from Barnsley, with some practical examples of how to creatively enhance images.

Mobile phones have become ubiquitous and their integral cameras have developed enormously in recent years. Jeanette Lendon gave club members a master-class in how to get the best pictures using the camera’s built-in settings and editing software.

Our first digital image competition was judged by Kylie-Ann Martin from the Great Barr photographic society in the West Midlands.  She cast her expert eyes over 46 images from the Intermediate Group and 43 from the Advanced Group, giving a detailed critique of each which was well received by members. Intermediate winner was John Draper with his stunning image of a Rhyngia sp. (horsefly) entitled Early morning eye-cleaning, a brilliant example of macro photography. Chairman Laura Drury won the top three placings in the Advanced Group.

A great follow up to our competition evening was a talk on Macro photography by award-winning photographer Tony North from South Manchester Camera Club. Tony gave some excellent tips on how to get the best shots, often by laying on the ground in all weathers and getting up close to the subject!  Again, another master-class for members.

We have a full programme of talks and competitions – please visit the website (  and we are on Facebook.

We are a friendly club and welcome everyone with an interest in photography, encouraging creativity and involvement.  The annual membership fee has been held at the previous year’s level of £35. Non-members can attend our virtual meetings for £5 per session.

Birchington Youth Parish Council.

Birchington Parish Council and Thanet District Councillor George Kup are taking the steps to establish Birchington’s own Youth Parish Council.

Cllr George Kup has said “Ever since being elected onto Thanet District Council I have wanted to ensure that younger generations in Thanet and Birchington have representation and a voice at a local level. With the support of Birchington Parish Council I believe that we can make a great success in encouraging young people to come forward and represent their local community on Birchington Youth Parish Council. I think that we have a unique opportunity here in Birchington to show the enthusiasm of young people. I hope once many other villages see its success, they will also welcome the idea of their very own youth council, with hopefully one day Thanet District Council introducing a Youth District Council. Having a Youth Parish Council here in Birchington is certainly exciting!”

Local youth councils are forums that represent the views of young people at a local level. They give young people a voice and enable them to make their views heard in the decision-making process. They give young people the chance to discuss relevant issues, engage with decision makers and contribute to improving the lives of young people within their communities. There are currently over 620 youth councils active across the UK. They work with all levels of local government including Parish and Community Councils as well as Unitary Authorities, Borough and County Councils.

The Chairman of Birchington Parish Council, Neville Hudson said “We want to engage with the younger generations of Birchington. Having a Youth Parish Council will enable the Parish Council to understand what the youth of Birchington would like to see happen to their local community. With so many important decisions to be made especially around the Neighbourhood Plan and the Recreational Grounds, its only right that we hear from those that will have their futures affected by these decisions.”

This is a chance for anyone that is between the ages of 11-19 to stand up for their community and have the chance to make a real difference to the area that they live in. Birchington is still going about its Neighbourhood Plan and if you were a Youth Parish Councillor you could have a say on what that plan looks like, meaning you will have an influence on the design and look of the village you’re growing up in.

Once we have heard from those interested Cllr Kup will get a Zoom meeting set up, to start talking about how we go about starting Thanet’s first Youth Parish Council.

So, if you are interested in getting involved, want to stand for your local community and want to become a Birchington Parish Youth Councillor, please do get in touch with us.

Please email: Birchington Parish Council on- [email protected]

Or Cllr George Kup on- [email protected]

Thanet Speakers Club

Congratulations to Bernie Morgan, a long standing member of Thanet Speakers club on the award of her well merited Diploma in Public Speaking. As the club is not able to meet in person at the moment due to Covid restrictions. A small selection of members, observing the rule of six and socially distancing met Bernie last Thursday on Ramsgate Esplanade for the presentation by Club and Kent Area President, John Clarke.

The requirements for the award were met before lockdown began. All members are proud of Bernie’s achievement and she is an inspiration to all members. Also pictured is another long standing member, Doug Weale, who is in the same household bubble as John. Bernie is now designated ‘A distinguished Speaker of the Association of Speakers Clubs’

Westgate & Birchington Inner Wheel

Members of Westgate & Birchington Inner Wheel Club have been busy collecting items and making up shoeboxes, filled with gifts for Christmas. ‘Blytheswood’ Shoe Boxes are donated by members of District 12 Inner Wheel, (Kent and East Sussex) as part of our commitment ‘To Foster International Understanding’, to people living in poverty in Eastern Europe.

Shoe boxes contain hat, scarf and gloves, toiletries, stationery, sweets and small toys for children. Members are shown with their boxes, gaily wrapped in Christmas paper, ready for delivery.

Ramsgate Ladies Darts League

A Boobies raffle is being held by members of the Ramsgate Ladies Thursday dart league.

Due to covid the teams have not been able to use their games to raise money for  EKUBs (EastKent Unit for Breast Screening) so East Kent Arms players Judi Bolton and Nicola Sykes decided to start a Facebook raffle page to raise money for the cause.

They have now raised over £22,000. They are now having a pub quiz (date to be arranged) and will hand over the £20,000 to an EKUBs rep.

Find the raffle at

Age UK Thanet

Charity Age UK Thanet were delighted to be awarded a grant of £10,500 from the Morrisons Foundation, ensuring that they can continue to provide support to vulnerable older members of our community throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Thanks to the support from the charitable arm of the supermarket, the charity was able to retain their community delivery service of essential items and offer the opportunity to make friends and have some form of social interaction for those who are shielding during the pandemic.

The charity relies on the generosity of volunteers to keep their services going, which are needed now more than ever by the older members of the community.

Keith Simpson, Volunteer Driver for Age UK Thanet explains why he chose to support the charity: “I volunteered with Age UK during the first ‘lockdown’ delivering meals to the older generation who were living alone in isolation and shielding throughout the period. I have to say that, despite the fact I have had an interesting career, nothing has been more rewarding than working with the team at Age UK Thanet who are always thinking of new ways to provide services and assistance to those who need it. Everyone seemed to be pulling in the same direction as a team, irrespective of the role we have, to ensure we deliver the best we can in the circumstances.”

It’s not just about delivering meals, it’s the human interaction that makes all the difference to the people that rely on the services provided by Age UK Thanet, as Keith notes, “I am on first name terms with all the people I deliver to and they genuinely look forward to their meal, and whatever banter I can think of at the time to bring a bit of light relief to the monotony they have had to endure at this time. It’s amazing what little effort it takes to brighten their day and it’s very rewarding.”

Adrian Horsley, Morrisons Foundation Advisor said: “The coronavirus pandemic has presented a particular risk to older people in our communities and I’m delighted that the Foundation has been able to help Age UK’s vital work in Thanet and the surrounding areas.  The support that the charity has been able to provide, from delivering essential items to offering a befriending service really has made a difference to many people who may otherwise have struggled even more during these challenging times.  I’m very proud that the Morrisons Foundation has been able to provide a grant to such a great cause.”

The Morrisons Foundation was set up by Morrisons supermarket in 2015 and awards grants for charity projects which help improve people’s lives.  Since launching over £32 million has been donated to hundreds of charities across England, Scotland and Wales.

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