Thanet community news: Music and drama festival online, Kent Community Foundation, Asda donation and Martha Trust

Thanet Music and Drama Festival circa 1982

Thanet Music and Drama Festival

March 26 should have been Gala Concert Day for the Thanet Music and Drama Festival.

The event would have marked the festival’s centenary and a concert at which the awards would have been presented by actress Brenda Blethyn.

Instead an online exhibition has been created for the festival.

This is available on the website and includes every one of the newspaper articles in the archives. It also includes details from every single programme in the collection from 1980 onwards.

On the site is an overall history of the festival TMDF History Download (PDF)  broken up into decades.

There are three separate documents for the programme material (1980s, 1990s and 2000s). From 2003 onwards, the actual programmes are on the site. Each decade has its own page, and from 2000 on, each year has one.

We really hope to see everyone back in the festival in 2022!

Kent Community Foundation

Kent Community Foundation is delighted to announce that it has given out £5,100,000 to charities, community groups and families facing financial crisis during the pandemic. The Foundation partnered with the National Emergencies Trust and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport as well as Kent County Council and Medway Council to distribute emergency money from central government and privately raised money from National Emergencies Trust as well as raising over £1m from their own supporters and fund-holders.

Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation, said, “As we mark the anniversary of a year in lockdown, I am delighted to be able to announce that Kent Community Foundation has been able to support good causes and families who have been adversely affected by the pandemic with over £5million in grants.  Although this is not necessarily an anniversary that we want to celebrate it is certainly one that we want to mark as the most remarkable in our history. I must extend my thanks to everyone who has donated to help others throughout the pandemic and especially to our own supporters and fund-holders who have donated an amazing £1million.

“The effect of the pandemic on charitable organisations and families throughout Kent and Medway has been sizeable and the £5 million in grants has made a significant difference to the survival of many charities and has eased the financial strain for many families. Charites and many families have some way to go to recoup the income they have lost during the last 12 months but with the country on the road to recovery we look to the future with hope.”

Asda donation

Craig Mackinlay MP has met with the Community Champion at ASDA Broadstairs, Tracey Ballard, to thank the supermarket for donating laptops to local schools as part of a collaboration between ASDA and Dell Technologies to tackle digital exclusion.

ASDA Broadstairs has donated 10 laptop bundles to Dame Janet Primary Academy in Newington, while ASDA Ramsgate has donated 10 laptop bundles to Priory Infants School in Cannon Road. Both schools are in Craig’s South Thanet constituency and the scheme will see 7,000 laptops given to schools across the UK.

A headset, mobile internet dongle and 20gb data allowance from Vodafone have been included with each tech bundle funded by a separate £500,000 contribution from the retailer’s charity arm, The ASDA Foundation. Laptops will also include a one-year warranty and technical support.

Each ASDA store has nominated a nearby primary or secondary school with a large proportion of families struggling to support home learning. Schools were identified by the stores’ Community Champions based on their existing partnerships through their community outreach programme.

Mr Mackinlay said: “No child should miss out on a world-class education as a result of their background or circumstance.

“That’s why I very much welcome that children across South Thanet are also benefitting from the 7,000 laptops that ASDA are generously donating to schools around our country to help schools deliver high-quality learning.

“I’m very grateful to our local ASDA Community Champions, including Tracey Ballard at ASDA Broadstairs who I visited recently, for nominating Dame Janet Primary Academy and Priory Infants School to benefit from the scheme. Both are excellent choices and will put their laptop bundles to very good use.”

Tracey  added: “I was pleased to be able to nominate Dame Janet Primary to receive 10 new laptops under the Community Champion scheme.

“These will be used to help children who are digitally disadvantaged to keep up with online learning at this difficult time.”

In Bloom


  1. Pubs & Restaurants
  2. Hotels & Guest Houses
  3. Front Gardens & Balconies
  4. Grow at Home – part or all of a private garden where vegetables & fruit are grown (not allotments)
  5. Wildflowers & Weeds – part or all of a private garden where plants are grown to specifically benefit wildlife
  6. Shops Fronts & Workplaces (not Pubs or Restaurants)
  7. Residential Street or Road – where residents collaborate to improve the street or road through gardens and gardening. (not an area wholly maintained by the local authority)

How to enter

Entries into each category listed above or multiple entries are welcome. We are asking entrants in each category to provide up to 5 images of a minimum of 500kb and a maximum of 1Mb (each of a good resolution) showing various facets of the entry. General wider-angle images are preferred to close-ups. Text and a brief description of the entry are required to support the images. Images must be from the current year, 2021. Judges will need to understand what is being entered and achieved and be able to determine the award.

We don’t need reams of text just up to 5 good images and a page of A4 which describes what has have achieved, such as:

  1. Why did you enter the category?
  2. When did you start and what did you achieve?
  3. Was this a “one-off” or will you continue to develop your project/display?
  4. If you can please tell us what plants/veg/fruit were used in completing your projects.

Entries must be paid in advance either by BACS (including entry name) or by cheque payable to South & South East in Bloom

S&SEiB is unable to accept Credit or Debit Card payments.

Deadline for entry form 31 March

Final Submission on-line by 25 July

Phone: 020 8662 1021Email:[email protected]

Martha Trust

Martha Trust have seven runners taking part in the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon which this year is being held on Sunday 3rd October due to the pandemic.

As a fundraising event, there is no race in the world that comes close to the London Marathon. An iconic image of the event is the thousands of runners traipsing the streets to raise money for charity, many in fancy dress, hoping to stand out as a rhino, football mascot, giant tree, or escaped convict.

More than three quarters of competitors now run for a good cause and a third of all entry places are offered by charitable organisations. Over 750 charities have gold bond places including Martha. The gold bond places generate valuable fundraising income for the charity, with over £71.750  raised by their 40 runners since the charity were awarded the guaranteed places eight years ago.

The aim of their  runners is to raise as much money as possible for the charity that supports people with profound disabilities in Kent and Sussex. Martha Trust prides itself on providing the very best level of care with the fundraising providing the extras which ensure their residents are able to live life to the full.

Fundraising & Events Officer Kerry Banks BEM said: “Following the pandemic and the success of the Virtual London Marathon in 2020, this year all our gold bond places are now filled however we have nine places left to run in the Virtual London marathon which will be on the same date, giving you the opportunity to take on the world’s greatest marathon in your community from 00:00:00 to 23:59:59 and earn the coveted London Marathon finishers medal.

“All runners will receive a finishers medal and T-shirt after you finish the event, sent by the race organisers.

“If you are successful in securing a place to run for Martha Trust, we ask you pay a £20 registration fee and pledge to raise £150 in sponsorship.”

If you would like to be considered to run on Team Martha in the virtual 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon, please email [email protected] and let them know your name, contact email address, contact phone number, why you would like to be considered to run on Team Martha and what level of sponsorship you would aim to raise.

Alternatively you can apply to run for Martha in 2022.