Thanet community news: Twins’ tandem skydive, defib fundraiser, Holocaust memorial day and more

Paul Wells (Robin) and twin Brian (Batman) are taking on another charity challenge

Tandem skydive for identical twins

Identical twin brothers Paul and Brian Wells will take on a tandem skydive to raise cash for two charities.

The pair are booked in to take the leap, covid restriction dependent, on March 20 at Headcorn airfield.

Paul will be raising money for the Thanet Winter Shelter and Brian – eldest twin by five minutes – is fundraising for the Kent Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre in Canterbury.

Paul said: “I have volunteered for and supported the shelter for the last 3 years and it is something that I am very passionate about.  As a member of the Shelter Steering Committee I am aware of the challenges that COVID-19 has presented and the need to adopt a very different and much more costly model than used in previous years.  As a fundraiser for the shelter I wanted to do something that would test myself whilst also raising money for such a worthy cause.

“My identical twin brother Brian will also be jumping, but for a different charity – the Kent M.S. Centre, Canterbury. Brian has chosen to jump for this charity as his partner suffers from M.S and he recognises the valuable support that this charity provides to sufferers and their families in the local area.”

Paul is funding his jump and paid for Brian’s as a 50th birthday treat.

Brian (plain shirt) and Paul

The pair are not strangers to daredevil fundraisers, having previously abseiled down cliffs in Ramsgate dressed as Batman and Robin!

The Thanet Winter Shelter provides accommodation for rough sleepers and opened on  November 23 running to March 31 this year.

The shelter is in one location, instead of the usual multiple church sites, and is running a 24/7 service. This is due to covid safety measures and means the costs are much greater than previous years. It has separate rooms for 18 people – in line with covid restrictions – plus extra capacity if needed.

It is being run by Thanet council and the Ramsgate Salvation Army, headed by new manager Lauren Oates. The scheme also involves Serveco, the homelessness RISE team, Forward Trust and Citizens Advice.

Due to the 24 hour service this year, sessions on art, literacy, life skills and extended time with outreach workers is available.

The new Kent MS Therapy Centre opened in 2015 and offers first class facilities to support people affected by MS – those that have the condition, their families, friends and those who care for them.

The centre covers the whole of Kent with the next nearest centre being in Swanley in North Kent.

A group of local people, all diagnosed with MS, recognised a need for an MS support service in East Kent and made the decision not only to try to raise enough money to build and equip a purpose built centre, but also to raise £150,000 every year thereafter to cover the running expenses.

In 1984 the centre was housed in a small prefabricated building but the fundraising efforts of members and the community led to the new build which offers so many facilities today.

Paul’s justgiving page is at

Brian’s page is

Westgate Community Spirit

Westgate-on-Sea Community Spirit raises funds and carries out projects to improve the community.

The latest project was to raise £1,000 for a community defibrillator cabinet which was so successful it smashed the target in a matter of hours and now aims to raise £2,000 for an additional defib machine.

Having 24 hour access to a defibrillator has been proven to save lives of loved ones having heart attacks.

Lorraine Hambidge, from the project, said: “We are on our way to a second cabinet.

“The first is for the outside of Lymington community centre and we are hoping the second will be by the shops on Camborne Avenue.

“We raised the money to buy both cabinets and we will need an additional £1,100 for a new defibrillator.

“There is an option of a second hand machine but the batteries are very expensive and if we can raise the funds we will get a new one. Emma Dublin did a great job helping to raise the money. We also have a raffle to raise funds. Tickets are on sale at Krusty Kobb, Little Brown Fairy Cake and the town council office. People can buy their tickets when out on the walk or shopping.”

Lorraine has raised an additional £102 by selling her handmade face coverings.

The community centre defib will be covered by CCTV.

Find the Justgiving page here

Ramsgate Town Council Holocaust Memorial Day – January 27

This year’s theme is “Be the light in the darkness”.

To mark the day, the Mayor of Ramsgate, Councillor Raushan Ara, will host a virtual memorial service which will be pre-recorded and shown a few days before HMD on a YouTube Channel.

It will be followed by a Zoom meeting on 27 January at 2pm, which will enable members of the public to participate in a Q&A session about the service and the topic.

The Mayor will be accompanied by Rabbi Cliff Cohen of Thanet and District Reform, Carl Whitewood, Church Leader of the Salvation Army, Ramsgate, and other guests.

Links to the Ramsgate HMD Service and the follow up Zoom meeting will be available soon.

For information about HMD visit Holocaust Memorial Day Trust | What is Holocaust Memorial Day? (

Isle of Thanet Photographic Society

‘Hoary Weepers’ by Mick Dodsworth

Club members enjoyed the last few virtual meetings in 2020, with specialist talks on photographic processes and the creative use of different materials, “photography and emotion” and street photography – all providing inspiration for 2021.

We’ve replaced our print competitions with new projected digital image challenges.  The first was held on January4  and called “Winter”.  As the Prime Minister was announcing new lockdown measures, club members were viewing all 77 “Winter” images, judged by Gareth Martin from his home in South Wales.

Members produced an eclectic mix, ranging from snow-clad mountains to stormy seas, bleak midwinter woods in monochrome to more light-hearted images such as post-box “toppers” from Birchington. Winner of group 1 was David Silk with “Three Trees” and in group 2 John Draper triumphed with his monochrome “Stormy Winter Sea”.

Club Secretary Rod Giddins said: “Thanet’s camera club continues to adapt to the new circumstances.  We’ve got a full on-line programme right through until June, interesting competitions and excellent speakers to look forward to. The joy of photography is that this can be done anywhere, so we are encouraging members to take images from their own homes and gardens or to continue to safely explore their local area. We are blessed with a wonderful coastline and historic towns and villages so we can get some great images within walking distance – and some exercise too!”.

The club has a specialist “Nature Group” led by James Foad and a new “Analogue” group run by David Silk. We are a club with broad interests and always welcome new members, whether experienced or novice, to share their passion for photography.

For our full, revised programme of talks and competitions – go to (  or visit us on Facebook.

The Isle of Thanet Sunrise Rotary Club

A pop up Santa event has enabled the club to donate to six charities.

All charities are struggling. We are a small club that has to do things differently just now bt we still aim to make a difference where it matters.

Recent fundraising, including Pop Up Santa which raised £2,000, means we could support six local charities.

These were  Pilgrims Hospices, RNLI, Mind EK, Changing Minds- Lifeboat Project, Prostate Cancer Support and Kent Association for the Blind EK.

Thank you to all those who have supported out events.

Our next fundraising event s a Valentine’s Quiz on February 12. Why not Zoom in

Find us on facebook here

The Broadstairs Dickens Fellowship and the NSPCC

It’s a Happy New Year for the NSPCC after members and friends of the Broadstairs Dickens Fellowship raised more than £1,000 for the children’s charity.

Supporters who went online to listen to a special reading of A Christmas Carol by our branch’s very own Dickens Declaimers were invited to make a contribution via a Just Giving page.

So far a magnificent £1,180 has been donated and it hasn’t stopped there. If you haven’t yet listened to our reading of Dickens’ much-loved Yuletide yarn, you can still do so.

Just log on to: then sit back and enjoy our reading and make a donation to the UK’s leading children’s charity.

A very big thank you to our Declaimers and all those who have supported our fundraising effort.

Kent Community Foundation

Kent Community Foundation has been at the forefront of the philanthropic response to COVID-19 distributing over £4.2m to charities across Kent and Medway since March 2020.

Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation, said, “As well as supporting existing grantees, our focus has been on providing funding to help the voluntary sector to respond to the county’s immediate needs, to adapt and to survive.

“As one of the largest grant-makers for Kent and Medway, the team at Kent Community Foundation knew that the voluntary sector would look to us for support and we knew that we had to act fast.

“When the first lockdown was announced in March 2020, we launched a Coronavirus Emergency Fund which was generously supported by our existing fund-holders, allowing us to offer financial support quickly. Much needed additional support has also been donated by organisations, including, the National Emergencies Trust, Kent County Council, Medway Council, Wards estate agents, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and the Co-Op who asked us to coordinate this funding on their behalf.”

Kent Community Foundation has to date distributed over £4.2m in more than 1300 grants to support organisations, individuals, and families during the pandemic.

To assist the sector to prepare for the year ahead, we are hosting an online networking event to share stories from local organisations who have thrived (maybe unexpectedly!) through the challenges of the pandemic and have found some positivity amongst the adversity. Groups will share best practices including how they stayed connected to the communities they work with and how they will be taking that forward into 2021.

Kent Community Foundation – Connecting People Who Care with Causes That Matter – takes place on January 25.

To reserve a place email [email protected]

Kent Community Foundation helps individuals, families and businesses, establish and administer their own charitable funds to support the local causes that mean the most to them and where a modest sum of money can make a significant impact.

Martha Trust

East Kent charity Martha Trust, which supports young people and adults with profound disabilities, will be going online for the next three months with their virtual Comedy Bingo event to keep us all entertained in this recent lockdown.

Join Brendan Riley on Saturday January 30, February 27 and March 27, at 7pm for a much-needed evening of fun and prizes in support of Martha Trust. Enjoy two games of prize 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 play 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 a few days before the event so keep your eyes peeled in your inbox.

You can book online for January’s event at . February and March will also be bookable online soon or you can get in contact by calling 01304 610448.

If you have children playing, please state how many when booking. If you have any questions please email [email protected] or call 01304 610448.

Fundraising & Events Officer Kerry Banks BEM said: “In an ever-changing climate with the pandemic and another lockdown, we wanted to still be able to fundraise safely plus have fun at the same time as I always say: the first 3 letters of Fundraising is FUN! If you have children playing, then it will assist with number skills!

“It is a great way to spend Saturday night with family and friends online safely; having fun and knowing you are directly supporting our very special guys and girls with profound disabilities.

“We have some great prizes and will also hold a small auction. If you can supply an auction prize, I would love to hear from you!

“Wherever you live in the country, you can join us and if you are lucky to win prizes, then we will box up and post out to you, courtesy of Postage Supermarket so please encourage your friends and family to sign up too!”

Kent Left online meeting

An emergency online meeting in Kent on Wednesday will argue for the rights of migrants in Britain.

The meeting, Migrants Lives Matter, organised by the Kent Left group, will spotlight the hostile environment facing refugees and migrants entering the country.

A spokesperson for Kent Left said: “The people who come to Britain to seek a safe place to live, however they get here, are human beings and have the right to be treated as such. We must not persecute them, we must not exploit them. We must give them justice.”

Speakers at the meeting will include a member of the Samphire charity who will describe the conditions facing refugees in the Napier barracks in Folkestone and Don Flynn of  the Permanent People’s Tribunal — an international movement specialising in exposing violations of migrants’ rights.

Joan Brown will also address the meeting to highlight the case of her son Osime. Osime  is a 22-year-old man with autism facing  deportation to Jamaica after being jailed for a crime which he says he did not commit.

The Kent Left spokesperson said: “I urge anyone who is interested in the issues facing migrants and refugees in Britain today to come to this meeting.”

Migrants’ Lives Matter is at 7pm on Wednesday 13 January. Zoom Meeting link is
Meeting ID: 886 1878 6550 Passcode: 764316

1 Comment

  1. How pleasing to see the winning photograph ‘Hoary Weepers’ by Mick Dodsworth. The ability to capture in such quality a natural scene is something many of us wish we could achieve.

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