Thanet community news: Thanet Lions, Birchington Parish Council, Inner Wheel, photo society and Salvation Army donation

Thanet Lions Club marshalling at the vaccination surgeries

Thanet Lions Club

Thanet Lions Club has been really pleased and proud to have helped Birchington Medical Centre and Minster Surgery these past few weeks by providing a marshalling service to their three COVID vaccination days.

In total over 150 volunteer hours have been given in rain, snow and sometimes sun! We have been very lucky to have three non- Lion’s join us as volunteers Sally, Lee and Jackie, who have been brilliant.

It has also been a humbling experience at times as members of the public have thanked our members through gifts of chocolate, offering their brolly to us in the pouring rain when we looked like “drowned rats” and one person even offered our team a McDonald’s!

We are just so glad to be doing a Community Service when it has been difficult to run as many fundraising activities this year as we normally would. So a big thankyou to all of you who have welcomed our support.

Birchington Parish Council

The Thanet District Local Plan 2031, adopted by Thanet District Council (TDC) in July 2020, allocates land for up to 1,600 new homes to the south west of Birchington. Birchington Parish Council does not support this aspect of the Local Plan and does not accept that this many homes are sustainable or necessary to meet the future needs of Birchington.

However, the Council recognises that unless the Plan is changed it must seek to ensure that the development of these new homes is managed to minimise their impact on the village and surrounding areas.

A planning application for the new homes has been received by TDC and is now out for public consultation.

On Thursday, January 14, Birchington Parish Council called an Extraordinary Meeting, to  discuss the planning application and the Council’s response to the consultation, Birchington Councillors and residents expressed concern and dismay at the proposals.

It was agreed that Members of the Council and community representatives would work together, aiming to ensure the consultation was wide and well informed; encouraging as many people as possible to express their views during the consultation period.

Birchington Parish Council Chairman, Cllr Neville Hudson said, “We are not convinced that such large -scale development is justified, yet in the face of considerable opposition Thanet District Council has decided to locate up to 1,600 new homes here. If these proposals are implemented, they will have a far-reaching effect on the character and nature of the village long into the future”.

It is now our responsibility, all of us who live here, to make sure that whatever is built is compatible with the existing village, and that it does not have a detrimental effect on the character of the village and the wellbeing of our residents.

“I hope that everyone who has an interest in these plans takes this opportunity to submit their views to TDC, to their district and county councillors and to their MP.”

Consultation is expected to run until  February 19; to view application and submit comments visit: – Planning and Land – Search Planning Applications OL/TH/20/1755

Direct link:

We will be posting updates on our website: and on our Facebook page, where you can also find details of how to contact your local councillors and MP.

For further information, please contact, Denise Johnson, Parish Clerk – [email protected]

Isle of Thanet Photographic Society

Turner Contemporary Reimagined by Eddie Bradley

Club members enjoyed two fascinating talks during January. The first, on architecture and street photography illustrated how, by using different angles, some very interesting shots could be achieved. The talk clearly inspired club member Eddie Bradley to experiment successfully as his photo “The Turner Contemporary Re-Imagined”* was awarded top marks in the first open competition of 2021.

For our members’ evening Chairman Laura Drury chose as her topic “Iconic Images”. These were very different from well-known photographs as Laura selected the world’s “most viewed photograph” and the “top ten most expensive”. Laura also went on to talk about unusual images that had become highly valued, almost as works of art. These included vegetables and Laura encouraged members to use them as a subject during “lockdown” as they were readily available and posed an interesting challenge for photographers. We expect some to appear in future competitions!

The club also took part in the first “battle” of 2021, with Herne Bay Camera Club. Judge David Kissman from Nottinghamshire provided an excellent critique of the 40 images submitted by the clubs. Thanet won with the highest score. We are grateful to Herne Bay CC for “hosting” the event on-line.

Our next challenge is a set subject competition called “Book Title”, so we are looking forward to seeing how members interpret this.

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

Westgate & Birchington Inner Wheel Club

January 10 is the date that the first Inner Wheel club meeting was held and is celebrated all over the world as International Inner Wheel Day. Inner Wheel is the largest women’s voluntary service organisation in the world. Its 3 objectives are ‘to promote true friendship’, to encourage the ideals of personal service and to foster international understanding.’

Every year, clubs pledge to remember International Inner Wheel Day and to ‘make a difference’ in some way. In the past, Westgate & Birchington Inner Wheel have held many events to raise money for a charity or to raise awareness of some particular sphere of life, both nationally and internationally. Events have included raising money by holding a ‘Pub’ evening in a local church hall, which raised money for the local charity chosen by the President, donating small posies to ladies around the villages of Westgate and Birchington as a ‘random act of kindness’, holding a coffee morning with funds raised going to a particular charity and a 70’s night complete with fancy dress and typical 70’s supper.

This year, as we have been unable to meet physically, but only on Zoom, we decided to join forces with the other Thanet clubs, based in Broadstairs, Margate and Ramsgate to hold an on-Zoom Quiz. Each club provided one set of 10 questions and all participants undertook to pay a voluntary ‘fee’ of £2.50 to the International Inner Wheel Charity, ‘Covid-19 Disaster & Vaccination Fund’ which aims to ‘save lives by ensuring safe vaccination for disadvantaged people anywhere in the world where it is unaffordable or not readily available.’

Sixteen members from the various clubs took part in a very pleasant evening, with each club presenting their individual rounds on the subjects of ‘Celebrations and Festivals’ from Westgate & Birchington, ‘Christmas’ from Margate, ‘Multichoice questions on Winter’ from Ramsgate and ‘Sports and Pastimes’ from Broadstairs. With 48 points to be won, Margaret Hawkins from the Westgate & Birchington club was the eventual winner, having gained 35 points.

Westgate & Birchington are looking forward to a social evening next, to play a game of Bingo on Zoom. Our President, Jacquie Agnew has nobly stood for 2 years because of the unusual circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic. She has chosen as her charity ‘Beach Within Reach’, which provides sea and sand accessible wheelchairs on local beaches, and, despite the many calls on our collective purses in this very difficult year, we hope to donate a substantial amount at the end of Inner Wheel year 2020 to 2021 in June 2021.

Anyone interested in learning more about Inner Wheel, should contact Christine on 01843 446023 for more details. In normal times we meet monthly at St Augustine’s for a dinner on the 3rd Thursday of the month, and welcome guests and would-be members, to book in for a meal to meet us and see what we are doing.’

Ramsgate Salvation Army donation

Kent housebuilder Millwood Designer Homes has donated a selection of essential food items to the Ramsgate Salvation Army foodbank to help residents in need.

A project taken up in their spare time, members of the site team and subcontractors at Millwood’s Bakers Field development in Cliffsend worked together to create food parcels from goods they had left over from Christmas. The donated food items will help desperate families and individuals in Ramsgate that rely solely on the support of the food bank to feed themselves, their families and their children.

Jacqueline Freeston, Community Programme Co-Ordinator at Salvation Army Ramsgate, said: “We are always extremely thankful for donations at the Salvation Army, as it helps us support individuals and families at crisis point in the local Ramsgate area. All of the food and toiletries donated to us go directly to people in the local community, so we cannot thank Millwood Designer Homes and everyone that donates items to us, as they are directly helping their peers. Since the beginning of Covid-19, we are even busier than previously, and have seen much higher numbers of people using our services, so we are immensely grateful for the high volume of donations from generous local people during this time.”

The Salvation Army is an independent church that was set up in 1865 by husband and wife duo William and Catherine Booth, who took on the role of God’s work, helping the vulnerable people in their community. In the modern day, the church now has 800 Salvation Army parishes across the UK, providing a variety of services including food banks, counselling, residential care homes and helping the homeless.

In 2020, the Ramsgate food bank supported 6,997 people in and around Ramsgate with donated food which had a total value of over £100,000. The food bank has seen an uptake of people from Thanet using the service during the Covid-19 crisis, and is asking for further donations to be made.

Mark Baker, Senior Site Manager at Millwood Designer Homes, said: “I feel proud to have such a great team working alongside me at Bakers Field, including my site manager Aaron, who were so keen in getting involved and helping the local community that they gave up their spare time to help pull this all together. Since our donation, I have had a few people on site say to me that it was such a nice thing for us to do as a company, and that this has inspired them to donate items to the food bank boxes at the supermarket when they do a food shop, which is fantastic news for the food banks in Thanet.”

One particular member of the site team at Bakers Field, Andy Lewis, has also made his own contribution to the community in addition to donating to the food bank. Andy and his family live close to the M20 where ‘Operation Stack’ was taking place across the festive period, helping lorry drivers stranded on the motorway due to disruptions in the Channel Tunnel. On Christmas Day, the family walked to a flyover bridge close to their home, and lowered food parcels down to the lorry drivers to ensure they had something to eat whilst being stranded.