Thanet community news: Head shave for Reggie, Thanet RSPCA, request for children’s charities, Ray of Sunshine, Thanet photos and hospital card scheme

Coral Kerr's fundraising head shave

A Margate mum-of-three has braved the shave to help raise money for the hospital treating her friend’s son and to provide a treat for him and his family.

Coral Kerr, 29, shaved off her locks – after six years of growth – on March 1.

Money raised from the head shave has been split between The Royal Marsden and youngster Reggie who has been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.

Coral, who is studying counselling and mental health support, has also donated her hair to the Little Princess Trust which helps young cancer sufferers and young people experiencing the devastating effects of hair loss. The charity makes wigs from donated hair.

Coral said: “I’m Reggie’s mum’s best friend and have supported her from the start of his sudden diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic leukaemia. I decided what better way to help than to shave my head and support Reggie through his journey.

“So far I’ve raised over £850 to split equally between The Royal Marsden cancer charity and half to Reggie and his family.

“My hair was just below my bottom and now is a grade 1.”

The fundraising link is still open and donations can be made here

Rays of Sunshine

On March 1, Rays of Sunshine, a children’s charity that brightens the lives of seriously ill children across the UK by granting their wishes and providing ongoing support, launched a stunning virtual children’s art gallery that displays bespoke artwork created by children who are all living with a serious or life-limiting illness. One of the children displaying their artwork is Trinity,12, from Cliffsend.

Created alongside Moyosa Media, award winners in digital technology, the gallery aims to celebrate the magical bond between Rays of Sunshine and its beneficiaries, in addition to recognising the charity’s patrons and supporters. Each child has depicted their own interpretation of the theme ‘sunshine, happiness and laughter’ and many of the pieces of art were created during group creative workshops with Rays of Sunshine.

Trinity suffers from Extraosseous Ewing Sarcoma and has endured gruelling chemotherapy treatment. Her wish has been put on hold due to Covid-19. Her artwork ‘Equestrian Smiles’ is displayed in the gallery, her inspiration coming from two things that make Trinity happy – horses and her love of drawing.

Lindsey Bennister, Chief Executive Officer of Rays of Sunshine, comments:  “We’re really excited to be launching the Rays of Sunshine Children’s Art Gallery filled with wonderful artwork by our beneficiaries. Every piece on display was created by a child living with a serious or life-limiting illness and the result is a collection of art as unique and inspiring as the children themselves.

“During the pandemic, Rays of Sunshine has been committed to continuing to support families across the UK, and provide joy and hope, and this gallery is no exception. Bringing together the children and families via virtual art sessions has resulted in some incredible pieces of art, which we are very proud to display. We’re incredibly grateful and thankful to everyone who made this possible, including our generous sponsors, Moyosa Media and, of course, all our very talented artists.”

The Rays of Sunshine Children’s Art Gallery is live now at:

Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity was formed in 2003 to brighten the lives of seriously ill children and young people and their families across the UK by granting wishes and providing ongoing support in hospital and within the community. For more information, or ways to support, please visit

Thanet RSPCA branch

RSPCA Isle of Thanet received a surprise donation of £2,000 into its bank account to help provide for pets in its care during the pandemic.

The donation was made by Support Adoption For Pets – the UK’s largest grant giving animal charity started by Pets At Home – to recognise the tireless efforts and hard work at RSPCA Isle of Thanet since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

In total, the charity is giving away nearly £600,000 to rescue centres up and down the country, to help them look after the animals in their care as the financial hardship of Covid-19 continues.

RSPCA Isle of Thanet is partnered with Broadstairs Pets at Home store through Support Adoption For Pets’ Charity of the Year programme and through this received a total of £1721.65 in 2020.

To continually raise funds throughout the year, Support Adoption For Pets holds various fundraising activities such as its Summer Fundraiser and Santa Paws campaigns, encouraging donations online and in-store.

Support Adoption For Pets charity manager, Amy Angus, said: “ The impact of Covid-19 is monumental and rescue centres continue to fall under real pressure. We’re reaching out to provide them with much needed financial help and to do our best to ensure that abandoned pets are given a second chance of happiness.

“Not only has the charity surprised rescues with nearly £600,000 but we have also increased our emergency grant programme by £400,00 so rescues can apply for funding during these difficult times.”

Find the RSPCA Thanet branch on facebook here

Ralphy’s Competitions

Organisers of an online skill-based competition are on the hunt to find a Thanet children’s charity to make donations to.

Organiser Jay Holloway said: “Our aim is to give less fortunate kids lovely things that other kids have, or if families are struggling with tough times then we want to support them.”

Get in touch via the facebook page here

Isle of Thanet Photographic Society

“Dancing in the Dark” by Laura Drury

The club enjoyed a wonderful February. During the wild winter weather outside we were treated to some excellent talks via Zoom. First, member John Draper shared some of his excellent images illustrating the wildlife to be found in his own garden. A careful eye for detail and some stunning macro-photography, particularly of different bees, made this an evening to remember.

“Book Title” was the subject of our next competition. Susan Clark from Conwy had the difficult job of judging 66 entries whilst offering tips about each, even showing how some could be improved. Members showed imagination and creativity and a high level of technical skills.

From a North Wales judge to a South Wales speaker. Les Loosemore, from Bridgend, provided a memorable evening with his master-class in producing “slide shows”. These ranged from creating a triptych panel, to the fragility and resilience of nature and “lock-down” images. Suitable music helped provide great impact for each “show”.

Finally, we enjoyed a talk by Nancy Phillips called “From Lancashire with Love”. Nancy explained how to achieve interesting photos of people, whether in the street, portraits or the most challenging work – weddings!  A humorous and enjoyable evening.

Looking ahead, March is the month of competitions so we’ll share some of our best images next time.

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

East Kent Hospitals

Free cards are now available for people with deafness to request video sign language interpreting for appointments with East Kent Hospitals.

The cards have been produced to raise awareness of the live British Sign Language interpreting service, which allows people with hearing difficulties to communicate by video with an interpreter, who then relays the information to medical staff.

They were developed after feedback from the Deaf community and are available on request from Healthwatch Kent. Patients can show the cards to the reception team when they book in for their appointment, ensuring a video interpreter is arranged to help them communicate if an in-person interpreter is not available.

Charlotte Wood, accessible information standard manager for East Kent Hospitals, said: “We are passionate about making sure all our patients and carers receive excellent healthcare and we know how important it is to make sure the right support is put in place at every appointment, for every patient.

“Deaf people can now show this card before their appointments to request a BSL video interpreter. During the pandemic many appointments will be remote, however there will be some face-to-face appointments when this service will be extremely supportive and valuable if a face-to-face interpreter cannot be confirmed.”

The live interpreting service means patients who use British Sign Language as their first or preferred language can continue to access health services and receive important information about their treatment.

Interpreters are available on demand via video link and are all qualified in BSL interpreting and DBS checked. They have medical interpreting experience and are registered with the NRCPD, the National Register of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and deafblind people.

Robbie Goatham, from Healthwatch Kent, said the cards were an example of how feedback could be used to improve services.

He said: “We’ve heard first-hand how hard it can be for Deaf patients when visiting hospital.

“Over the past couple of years we’ve been working with East Kent Hospitals to make things easier for people who may need communication support when coming to the hospital so it’s great to see the cards in action.”

To request one of the A5 cards, email [email protected]