Thanet community news: Ride for SEFF, Ramsgate RNLI, Kensei Taiko and more

Nevaeh, Alex and Samuel have completed their ride

SEFF/SSAFA charity bike ride

The second 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 Garlinge siblings Nevaeh and Samuel Jell, aged eight and 10, and cousin Alex Endicott, 10, and their dads Steven and Daniel.

The family members, from Westgate and Margate, cycled from Westgate to Reculver and back, marking Remembrance day and raising cash for 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.

It follows a charity ride on the same route during half term by Melissa Jell, 12, and her cousin Grace Endicott, 11, and the girls’ mums Leanna Jell and Jade Endicott.

Melissa’s younger sister, Nevaeh, had been due to take part in the first ride but because of a covid positive test at her school in Garlinge she had to postpone.

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

The family 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

RNLI Ramsgate

Karen Cox (RNLI Ramsgate Volunteer Press Officer), Ian Cannon (RNLI Ramsgate Coxswain), Phil Mace (RNLI Ramsgate Mechanic), Michael Bon (FFB R&P Society) Photo by Sarah Hewes

The day before lockdown 2, the sun was shining and time had come to put some protective cover over the old Broadstairs Lifeboat “Francis Forbes Barton” .

It’s such a large boat that the two available members of the Restoration and Preservation Society could not do it on their own, so an SOS was sent out to their very good friends at RNLI Ramsgate Lifeboat Station.

Answering the call was the Coxswain, the Station Mechanic and the Press Officer happy to help and to do their bit for the community. There is a historical link between the Francis Forbes Barton and RNLI Ramsgate.

After the Francis Forbes Barton left Broadstairs in 1912 she went to serve at North Deal as their number Two lifeboat. When she left North Deal in 1921 she was put into the Relief Fleet. Her first spell of Relief was at Ramsgate in 1921 where she took over duties from the “Charles & Susanna Stephens” a lifeboat that she had worked alongside in several rescues whilst she was at North Deal. She was then sold out of service and spent most of her time on the Thames and Grand Union Canal.

Photo by Sarah Hewes

There is however another link with  Ramsgate, in 1946 she was seen in the Royal Harbour as a private boat called Path. We do not yet have an answer as to why she was in Ramsgate in 1946 but lines of enquiry are being actively pursued by the Francis Forbes Barton Restoration and Preservation Society.

The Society is extremely grateful for the help received from RNLI Ramsgate.

Coxswain Ian Cannon said: “We were happy to help, and hopefully this will be the first step in preserving this old Lifeboat and restoring her to her future glory.”

Kensei Taiko

Photo Heather Tait

Like everyone else we have suffered this year but we have used the down time to maintain our drums and equipment and practice silently indoors!

I’m busy writing the score for the production of an Elizabethan play ,you may remember that we composed the score and played taiko throughout ReShake Theatre’s production of  ‘Macbeth’ under the mentorship of Michael Corbidge of the Royal Shakespeare Company; and the production played to acclaim from packed houses throughout its run.

I’ve been programming the light  effects, and writing new music for our own shows as soon as we can get back to performing!

We ran a very successful set of rolling workshops for the Margate Festival, strictly observing the Covid guidelines; the drumming students loved our taiko, we could have carried on each one hour session  all day if the students had had their way, and as a result we have a list of people waiting to join our classes when they recommence!

On a more sombre note, Elizabeth and I were also honoured to play at the funeral of Peter Scott, a friend and  African drum maker;  the deeply spiritual beat gently pervading the cemetery grounds and easing Peter on his way…a great honour to play for a good man…

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Kent Tryangle awards

Do you know a young person who really tries to do their best?  Have you noticed examples of perseverance, excellence or exceptional achievements from a young person during the difficult period of COVID-19 lockdown this year?

If so, nominate them for a Try Angle award, so they can gain the recognition they deserve!  The Try Angle Awards, which are in their 26th year, recognize and reward the outstanding efforts and achievements of young people and groups who really try their best whether at school, work, college, in business or in their wider community across Kent, often with little recognition and in difficult circumstances.

We welcome nominations for individual young people or groups aged 11 – 18 years (or 11 – 25 for young people with additional needs) who really TRY their best within one of these eight nomination categories:

Arts – for personal achievement in arts, in any form.

Music – for achievement in music, in any form.

Sport or Outdoor Activities – demonstrating fair play and commitment in any sport or outdoor activity.

Community Action – marking a contribution made to a community e.g. school councils, youth forums, charity work, environmental project and campaigns.

Good Friends and Young Carers – recognising those who spend time being a good friend, mentor or carer to another in their family or community.

Personal Development – for special achievement in education, training or other activities, making changes to improve.

Courage – recognising acts of courage displayed with coping bravely with illness or other adversity.

Positive Intervention – where an individual or group has prevented harm, bullying, discrimination or damage.

Anyone can nominate a young person for an award. All nominees will receive a certificate and many go on to our District Awards events and Spirit of Try Angle Awards which will take place in early 2021. The deadline for this year’s nominations is November 30. For more information and to nominate a young person or group please go to

Cheerful Sparrows Thanet

A request for help from the Cheerful Sparrows Trustees

Since the beginning of the first National Lockdown, Cheerful Sparrows has managed to keep going as a charity. Our team of just six trustees has been working tirelessly to get help to people, who in normal circumstances face extreme hardship – but now need our help more than ever.

Many charities had to close their doors but we found a way to work together remotely, to get goods paid for and delivered to people. Many of them were in desperate circumstances. Once a request was received from the link Social Worker or Early Help Worker, for example, we were able to respond immediately in most cases. Many children without beds are now able to get a good night’s sleep. Broken down washing machines and cookers have been replaced. Since March we have helped over 50 families look to a brighter future.

This essential work has come at great cost to us in more ways than one. Although we are very proud to be doing our bit for our local community and the wards at our local QEQM hospital, the diverse nature of what we do has never qualified us for large grants of any sort. This is still true. Even during National Lockdown we were refused emergency funds supposed to help local charities, as we were told that we needed a ‘Specific Project’ with ‘Measurable Outcomes’ yet again. We have spent hours filling in forms over the years.

We are extremely grateful to all of the people who have helped us in the past. Without them we would have shut up shop a year ago; but our ability to raise funds locally through personal appeals and outreach work has now gone. Many local people have loyally supported us – such as choirs and community groups – but they can no longer meet. The sad truth is that we are now the victims of our own success. After nearly 100 years of helping local people, The Cheerful Sparrows Thanet Charity may not be around at Christmas 2020 to help anybody.

Our funds may be greatly diminished but not our determination to keep going, if we possibly can. That might become possible if enough people read this and decide to help us by making a donation. Please consider this. Help us to support the staff and patients in the wards at the QEQM Hospital. Help us to support children, families, the disabled and the elderly. Help us to support the people of our local community in these difficult times – those who need our help most.

Donate here

 Thanet Rotary

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.

Martha Trust

Charity Martha Trust, who support young people and adults with profound disabilities, will be going online for their first ever virtual event to keep us all entertained in this lockdown.

Join Brendan Riley on Saturday 21st November at 7pm for a much needed evening of fun and prizes in support of Martha Trust. Enjoy two games of bingo, an auction, and of course lots of laughter!

There is room on Zoom for 48 households but there is no limit on the number within your household who can play. Adults and children are welcome to join in. We just ask you pay £10 per adult to participate, children are free.

You will be provided with your own Bingo card and instructions of how to join via Zoom by the organisers of Big Comedy Bingo. This will be sent to you by email, so keep your eyes peeled in your inbox.

To join us for the evening, you need to pay your entry fee of £10 per adult; children can play for free as long as they are accompanied by at least one adult.

You can book online at or call 01304 610448. If you have any questions please email [email protected] or call 01304 610448.

Rethink Periods/Southern Water

Rethink Periods a free, nationwide schools programme from Environmental Campaign organisation City to Sea, which offers an alternative to outdated period education in primary and secondary schools is back in schools across Kent thanks to new funding from Southern Water.

The free-to-access scheme, launched in September 2019, thanks to initial funding from Waitrose’s Plan Plastic Fund, and moved online following the UK’s lockdown, smashed all targets, and won a gold Global Good Award in the Special Judges Award for Innovation.

In just 12 months, the programme trained over 724 teachers and school nurses, with an estimated reach of 104,458 students across England!

This time, the team at City to Sea is thrilled to announce a new partnership with Southern Water to deliver training to 500 additional schools in the region, over the next two years.

Registration is open now for training to commence in January 2021.

“This collaboration with Southern Water is incredibly exciting, helping thousands more school pupils and teachers to #RethinkPeriods, making the Southern region a shining beacon of good practice.” Clare, Rethink Periods National Coordinator.

Daniel McElhinney, Network Resilience Manager, Southern Water, said: “We all know plastic waste is a real problem for the planet, as well as specifically a big problem in our sewers. Being non-biodegradable, the plastic in menstrual products mean they do not even remotely break down in water, thus causing major blockage issues in the sewer as well as unwanted plastic waste. Yet between 1.5 billion and 2 billion sanitary items are flushed in the UK each year despite repeated messaging not to.

“We really wanted to partner this campaign because we know young people care about the environment and this is a great way to help spread the word about all the benefits of plastic free sanitary products both for the environment and body; while also supporting the provision of important up-to-date, unbiased period education for students.”

Rethink Periods is a PSHE Association accredited teacher training program for PSHE teachers and school nurses, equipping them to deliver up-to-date education on periods and their social and environmental context.

The Rethink Periods programme is now run online, via Zoom, with a link sent to teachers in advance. A product demonstration box containing an unbiased mix of plastic-free and reusable menstrual products is posted to teachers so they can explore the products in their own time before delivering the programme to their students. The box then becomes an invaluable learning tool embedded in every lesson.