Thanet community news: Ellington staff member retires after 25 years, East Kent Mencap, Christmas card comp and QEQM Friends

Moyra leaves the school after 25 years

Ellington Infant School

Staff member Moyra Belcher retired on Friday (December 18) after 25 years at Ellington.

Moyra was a Teaching Assistant and more recently our Child Mentor. Over the years Moyra has helped thousands of children both academically and pastorally and she will be sorely missed by children, staff, governors and families.

Working at Ellington is like working with one big happy family so it will take some adjusting to not seeing her cheery face but she has promised to pop in next term to keep up our tradition of end of term bacon rolls! Unfortunately, due to COVID restrictions we have not been able to give her one of our infamous ‘Ellington send-offs’ although we are hoping to plan something in 2021.

Moyra said: “I couldn’t have wished for a better career working with so many talented people but for me I have had the privilege of looking after so many wonderful children and having the support of their families.”

A year one pupil said: “I am sad Mrs Belcher has gone, she cheered me up and we played games, even when the virus came.”

A year two pupil said: “Mrs Belcher is lovely, beautiful, kind and helpful and I will miss her funniness.”

East Kent Mencap

East Kent Mencap has created a Christmas sing-a-long video to bring its service users and staff together. Since having all their Christmas events, carol concerts and parties cancelled this year due to the pandemic, the charity found a way to share some Christmas joy.

People with a learning disability, frontline support workers, admin staff and directors all filmed themselves singing ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’ separately. The footage has been edited so that everyone is singing together in the only way that they can, for now. 60 people from East Kent Mencap took part in this film project from 31 locations.

The film is very much of the moment, with support staff wearing masks, service users wearing visors, social distancing, and virtual sessions shown.

During the pandemic, East Kent Mencap have been directly supporting 200 adults and children with a learning disability in East Kent, through food parcels, activity packs and regular phone calls. Day Resources Services are operating with limited numbers, having completed risk assessments to ensure the charity can provide a safe place for people to attend in ‘bubbles’.

To be able to continue supporting all its service users during lockdown, the charity created virtual content including activity videos created by support workers specially for people with a learning disability. The charity reached over 50,000 people online every month during lockdown.

East Kent Mencap’s CEO, Jason Gerlack, said: “Throughout the first lockdown and in the months since, as a charity we have been dedicated to keeping people with a learning disability safe, making sure they do not feel alone, and providing the information and support they need. I am so proud of how our staff and service users have adapted and dealt with the last year with so much kindness and optimism.”

The charity is inviting their supporters to help give people with a learning disability in East Kent a Happy New Year by donating to East Kent Mencap’s Christmas Appeal. You can find out more about EKM’s work and the Christmas appeal on the EKM website here:

East Kent Mencap provides opportunities for adults & children with a learning disability in East Kent. The charity has Day Resources in Sheerness, Herne Bay, Margate and Thanet, and supported housing throughout East Kent.

You can find out more about East Kent Mencap on our website here:

Christmas card competition

Year 6 pupil, Ethan, from Bromstone Primary School in Broadstairs wins Craig;s Christmas Card Competition 2020

Over the last few weeks, lots of primary school children in South Thanet have been busy drawing Christmas puddings, Christmas trees, snowmen, angels, reindeers, sleighs, stars, robins, bells and all-things-Christmassy for Craig Mackinlay MP’s annual Christmas Card Competition.

Back in the Autumn, Craig asked all primary schools in his constituency to invite their pupils to design the Christmas cards that he will be sending family, friends and other MPs.

Craig, ably assisted by the constituency staff in his Broadstairs office, agreed which of the children’s designs should feature on the card.

The winner of the competition was Ethan from Bromstone Primary School in Broadstairs.

The runners up were:

Alice – Christ Church C of E Junior School, Ramsgate

Emily – St Laurence C of E Junior Academy, Ramsgate

Kelly – St Ethelbert’s Catholic Primary School, Ramsgate

Amelia – Wingham Primary School, Wingham

Finn – Haddon Dene Preparatory School, Broadstairs

Nadia – Chilton Primary School, Ramsgate

Craig Mackinlay said: “I am very grateful to all the children in South Thanet who entered my 2020 Christmas card competition.

“This year, as in previous years, I received so many fantastic designs from primary schools around my constituency.

“The competition is always enjoyable, although, given the depth of artistic talent in South Thanet, choosing a winner is never easy.

“After some thought and consideration, I chose Ethan’s beautiful picture of a Christmas tree and 2 snowmen. I was also greatly impressed by Alice’s Christmas tree,  Emily’s angel, Kelly’s snowman, Amelia’s Christmas pudding, Finn’s colourful Happy Christmas message and Nadia’s baubles so I have chosen these as my runners-up.#

“Very well done to Ethan, Alice, Emily, Kelly, Amelia, Finn and Nadia and my sincere thanks and best wishes for Christmas to all who took part.”

QEQM Hospital League of Friends

Our local Hospital will benefit from several items we’ve recently agreed to fund:

£905 to equip a much-needed staff/wellbeing room in Fordwich Ward, which is currently being used for Covid / respiratory patients. This will enable the purchase of a sofa, fridge/freezer, TV, etc. the staff on this Ward can use during their hard-earned rest & meal breaks.

2 specialist chairs costing £3,186 each for recovering Covid patients in the Intensive Care Unit. These provide additional support for high dependency patients significantly enhancing their recovery and wellbeing.

A regional anaesthesia pump costing £1,613. This targets specific areas of pain administering controlled doses and will benefit patients undergoing amputations & for example rib fractures aiding their recovery.

6 reclining chairs costing £1,106 each for use by birthing partners in Kingsgate (Maternity) Ward during mums’ labour & delivery.

More information about our charity is available on our Facebook page or our website