Thanet community news: Swim Zone, TAG fundraiser, town council assembly, open air cinema and breast cancer screening

Swimmers' blanket project

Open Water Swimming

A project started early January to combat the midwinter darkness and lockdown blues has turned into a rather moving community effort.

Ramsgate resident Elke Heckel began to crochet a blanket and asked local groups of Open Water Swimmers:  ‘What colours do you sense before, during and after a swim?’ People contributed thread, wool and yarn which was woven into the blanket to reflect the energy and personalities of the group.

Open Water Swimming has massively grown in popularity during lockdown with gyms and pools closed, and there are now studies being conducted into the possible benefits of regular cold water immersion, from helping with depression to delaying dementia.

Most of the responses to Elke’s call out came from women, many of whom had continued to swim throughout the winter for the first time. They reported a great sense of physical and mental well-being and connectedness with other swimmers – during a time when physical distance needed to be observed. The blanket reflects this: it is two meters wide and is currently in 3 panels.

Elke hopes that the swimmers can stitch them together in the summer when beach picnics can be had once more.

Some of the swimmers have been making mini blanket greeting cards, which are available to buy.

All proceeds from the mini blanket greeting cards go to the charity OASIS, which provides a local Domestic Abuse Service (Main Switchboard 01843 269400

For cards contact:[email protected] or Instagram: @swimmersblanket

In the Swim Zone

Photos of the swimmers have also been taken by Melody who is currently in 6th form studying for an IB in Film studies at Royal Harbour Academy, Ramsgate. She returned to the UK two years ago having previously lived in France.

Photo by Melody

She began working with Project Motorhouse –  a small local charity that creates art/heritage projects for local young people just before Lockdown. She took part in a project where they went out with a professional photographer taking photos around our royal harbour, these photos were displayed at an outdoor exhibition for Ramsgate Festival of Sound.

She also recently won a photographic competition online.

Photo by Melody

She was really pleased to be asked to art direct her own shoot for the POW festival. She took photos of a group of female sea swimmers that have swum throughout the winter.

Photo by Melody

She wanted to show how strong and brave these women are and she really hopes that their power comes through in her images.

See the photos at In the Swim Zone at 38 High St Ramsgate – (former Shoe Zone) – as part of Pow Fringe Festival,  March 13-28

TAG Pet Rescue

A Westgate resident is running a raffle to help local animal charity TAG Pet Rescue raise some much needed funds.

Tickets give those taking part the chance to win a luxury vegan backpack worth £150 as first prize and a LaBante vegan wallet as second prize.

Stella Hulott, who has organised the fundraiser, said: “TAG Pet Rescue are a charity very close to my heart. Especially now, during the pandemic where they have had to shut their income-generating shops, they need funds desperately to help them continue their excellent work rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming dogs, cats and other small furries.

“I thought a raffle – where the prize is a beautiful, cruelty-free handbag – would not only bring some joy to the lucky winner, but the proceeds would also help such a great charity. “It’s a win-win for everyone. With tickets at just £2 each – you can buy as many as you like – and with  just 200 tickets available, the odds of winning are good!”

To enter the raffle, please visit:

To find out more about TAG Pet Rescue, please visit: or to visit their online shop, go to:

Broadstairs & St Peter’s Town Council

The Town Council invites residents to engage with them, learn about what they have been working on and assorted plans at the annual town assembly.

People are invited at the Q&A at the end to raise issues, questions and possible projects.

Broadstairs & St Peter’s Annual Town Assembly will be held on Monday, March 15 at 7.30pm via Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 985 6563 6956

Passcode: 445850

The Town Forum’ is also scheduled for Monday April 19.

Martha Trust

Despite a devastating year in 2020 for fundraising due to Covid 19 for the Martha Trust, long term supporters Solleys Ice creams and Open Air cinema have come together to host their very first double bill drive in cinema event on Saturday May 1 to raise much needed funds for the residents at Martha, who live with profound multiple and physical learning disabilities.

The two events will be held in the fields of Solleys Ice-creams, Ripple, on Saturday May 1

5pm Toy Story

Doors open for Toy Story ONLY at 3:30 pm.
Film to begin at 5:00 pm. Ends 6:30 pm

8pm The Italian Job

The Italian Job ONLY -Doors open at 7pm – there will be STRICTLY no admittance before 7pm so as to comply with the flow of traffic from the end of Toy Story

Film to begin at 8pm. Ends 10pm

You are welcome to bring along your own food and drink. Or enjoy food and drink from our variety of on-site vendors, as well as Solley’s Ice Cream!

All vendors will be donating 20% of their sales back to Martha so the charity really encourage you to utilise them.

Sponsorship packages are available to showcase your business on the big screen and more  from just £150 – please contact [email protected] or call 01304 610448 to find out more.

On site vendors are as follows:

* Drink Outside the Box  – Selling alcoholic drinks

* Moveable Feast Coffee House – Selling teas, coffees and hot chocolate

* Winnie the caravan – Selling movie packs of popcorn, drinks, milkshakes, candyfloss and waffles

* Dough Dough Pizza-  serving delicious wood fired pizza

* Solley’s ice cream

If you are booking tickets you need to be aware of:

One car per group. There is no additional parking available on site.

Please ensure that you have a working FM Radio.

If you are thinking of bringing a vehicle larger than a standard SUV please email before buying a ticket.

To find out more about the event or for information regarding Covid-19 Welfare at the event please download the FAQs from the Martha Trust website event.

Tickets cost £30 per car for one showing or £55 per car for a double bill.

Fundraising & Events Officer Kerry Banks BEM said: “We are incredibly excited to be able to put on these socially distanced events to raise monies for our guys and girls at Martha and extremely grateful to our friends and long term supporters at Solleys to enable this to happen.

“Thanks so much to our sponsors so far : Zara Clarke Travel Counsellors, Postage Supermarket, Bloody Mary’s, Cook Fabrications Ltd, Smye Rumsby Ltd  and Solleys Farms Ice cream- if you would like to support, please get in touch as we would love to hear from you! We expect the event to be a sell out so don’t delay in booking  as when they’ve gone they’ve gone!”

Solleys Ice-creams director Katie Morrison added: “ We are excited to be hosting the very first outdoor cinema event for Martha. Martha Trust is our chosen charity and sadly, due to the pandemic, their flagship annual event Music on the Farm in 2020 had to be cancelled so we are delighted to host an extra event with them this year. We look forward to welcoming you all to our farm and raising monies for Martha”

Direct link to booking tickets

East Kent Hospitals

Fiona McPartlin and Caroline Wendholt with the new mobile screening unit

A new van helping to detect the early signs of breast cancer has hit the road.

The £350,000 vehicle is fitted out with the most up-to-date screening equipment and replaces an old mobile unit that was nearing the end of its useful life.

East Kent Hospital Trust will replace its other two screening vans later this year, and all will continue to travel around east Kent offering convenient appointments to women close to their homes.

Fiona McPartlin, principal radiographer for breast imaging, said: “Our mobile screening vans provide an invaluable service as part of the NHS breast screening programme, so we’re delighted to have taken delivery of this brand new vehicle.

“As one of three mobile units it will screen around 12,000 women each year for the early signs of breast cancer.

“The earlier the disease is detected, the better chance someone has of successful treatment so it is important women can attend their screening appointment at a location that is convenient to them – thanks to the vans we can bring the service to the community rather than asking people to come to us.”

The screening programme is for women who do not have any symptoms of breast cancer. Anyone who finds a lump, or notices a change in the shape or appearance of their breasts, should contact their GP.