Thanet community news: Isle photos, skydive for Alfie-George, East Kent Mencap, Seniors Living Wage award,Ramsgate croquet, Junemas and Martha Trust

Thanet Photographers exhibition at York Street Gallery

Isle of Thanet Photographic Society

The club’s year ended on a high, with our very successful exhibition held at the York Street Gallery in Ramsgate. 48 prints were displayed showcasing a great variety of members’ work, from abstract images to seascapes and everything in between.

Chris West – To Each Their Own

Our newest member, Chris West, said: “This is the first time exhibiting some of my work in a gallery so just having the prints in that space was exciting for me. To have sold some as well is the icing on the cake and has been a great confidence booster for my work. I only recently joined the Isle of Thanet Photographic Society and it’s also the first time I’ve ever joined a group like this. The group have been friendly and welcoming so with that and the exhibition it’s been a great experience so far”.

Laura Drury and gallery owner Mike Samson

Club Chairman Laura Drury said she was thrilled with the quality of the exhibition. She was re-elected at our recent Annual General Meeting and is looking forward to leading the club for another year. She has set members a “summer project” competition, the results of which will be judged in September.

For further information about the club please visit our website or visit us on Facebook.

Amy’s Jump For Alfie-George

A Birchington support worker will be leaping out of a plane for a 15,000ft sky dive on August 20.

The date marks one year since the passing of Alfie-George in his mum’s 20th week of pregnancy.

Amy, 24, works with Alfie-George’s mum. The little one sadly never had the chance of life after it was found he had a congenital heart defect – hypoplastic left heart syndrome- meaning the left side of the heart did not develop.

Amy will complete her skydive to raise funds for the Little Hearts Matter charity.

She said: “A skydive is something I have always wanted to do and, working with the mum who lost her baby, I just decided I would do it and help other people at the same time.

“Because I wanted to do it on August 20, a year since Alfie passed, I have got to drive to Norwich as that was the only place with that date available. So, I will drive there, jump and then come home!

“I’ve just got to make sure I open my eyes when I jump!”

Amy hopes to raise £500 for the charity which is the only charity in the UK dedicated to supporting and empowering anyone affected by the diagnosis of a single ventricle heart condition – or half a working heart.

Find Amy’s fundraising page here

Seniors Helping Seniors

At last week’s Living Wage Champion Awards, Seniors Helping Seniors was recognised for its trailblazing leadership in advancing the real Living Wage within their sector, showing that not only is paying a real Living Wage in care possible, but that doing so can help to change the industry as a whole for the better.

“The Care sector needed to an overhaul even before the pandemic. For us experience is everything and we have been willing to pay for it from day one in the UK.”  says Christian Wilse owner of Seniors Helping Seniors UK  “The average age of a care worker for Seniors Helping Seniors is 59.7 years. We pay well and we carefully support our carers in the flexible work they love to do.

“60% of our carers live with dementia but no two clients are the same, so we need all sorts of carers. Paying people well and supporting them to do amazing work is not only the only conscionable thing to do, we believe it is the reason for our company’s success.  We didn’t let anyone down during the pandemic.  Seniors Helping Seniors carers are stunning people and I speak for all our UK business owners when I thank our carers and the Living Wage Foundation.”

Laura Gardiner, Director, Living Wage Foundation, said: “The Living Wage Champion Awards 2021 are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the importance of a wage that truly covers the cost of living and the value this provides for workers and businesses, and I congratulate Seniors Helping Seniors on their deserved award.”

The annual Living Wage Champion Awards celebrate notable employers that pay the Living Wage and this year they recognised 20 years of the Living Wage campaign. The awards were hosted by YolanDa Brown, well-known saxophonist, composer and broadcaster, and sponsored by Aviva.

The Seniors Helping Seniors franchise in Thanet started trading in 2014. The Thanet scheme has 19 senior aged carers living and working on the isle plus one living in Canterbury but working in Thanet. There are currently eight client families.

East Kent Mencap

A charity for people with a learning disability is encouraging people to consider a career in social care with a range of job opportunities across East Kent.

HR Manager at East Kent Mencap, Alison Fengas, said: “We’ve noticed a lot more interest from people who are considering a career change which I think is a result of the pandemic highlighting the crucial role social care plays in supporting the most vulnerable in society.

“We’ve got several entry level openings for Support Workers and would love to hear from anyone who’s considering their next career move.  Applicants are often surprised their skills are transferable but it’s people’s attitude that is important as we can offer a programme of learning and development through the apprenticeship frameworks, for the right people.’

The charity, which survived the pandemic by taking activities online whilst providing essential frontline support, is safely opening up more face to face services again.

Full details of all current vacancies can be found on the website at or email [email protected] for more details.

Ramsgate Croquet Championship

Tobi Savage, left, receives his trophies from the event manager Trevor Longman

Tobi Savage won Kent’s top annual croquet competition last weekend, retaining the trophy he first won in 2019; the event not being played in 2020.

In a tough field containing two former world champions, Tobi won all his preliminary games, dropped only one game in the knockout series, and won the final in two straight games.

Tobi, who regularly plays for England in international tournaments, is presently seeded No 3 Golf Croquet player in the UK and is No 12 in the world rankings, so is no stranger to winning these high class tournaments.

However, praise must also go to two other players in the competition.  Firstly, Charlie Martin, another local “lad” who is ranked 200 places lower in the rankings table knocked out the UK No 2 seed in the quarter finals and was the one player to win one game against Tobi Savage, in the semi-finals.

Secondly, Duncan Catterall, a very promising young player from High Wickham, playing in his first major competition, won the “Plate” event for all the competitors who did not qualify for the finals knockout section.  Well done to both players.

The competition was played in glorious weather conditions at Ramsgate Croquet Club, which is  on Westcliff’s Royal Esplanade.

Croquet is a game of strategy and skill where men and women play together on equal terms and can be enjoyed by all ages and abilities. If anyone is interested in trying croquet, please visit our website,, or just come along to the club and ask any of our members for more information.

Mecca Thanet

2020 saw the cancellation of many Christmas traditions, forcing millions of Brits to settle for zoom office parties, Christmas shopping online, and fewer guests at the dinner table. As part of a weekend of National Bingo Day celebrations, Mecca Thanet is hosting Junemas on Friday 25th June, a unique Christmas event to reclaim last year’s celebration and to restore the thrill of moments spent together.  This will be followed by a summer of missed moment events in Mecca clubs.

With a rare chance to be rocking around the Christmas tree in June, customers will have the opportunity to get in a merry spirit and enjoy Mecca’s very own Christmas traditions with full Christmas decs, mince pies, Christmas cocktails and a best Christmas jumper competition.  There will also be Christmas crackers with plenty of secret Santa surprises and all of your favourite Christmas tunes. Finally there will be an all important bingo game in support of children’s charity, Variety.

The celebrations were officially announced when Santa arrived in his sleigh at Mecca Bingo in Dagenham, Essex this week – and due to the heat, donned his best Hawaiian shirt and sunnies. Santa was joined by local supporters and good causes.

Junemas marks the start of a whole weekend full of excitement, as the UK’s first ever National Bingo Day takes place on Sunday 27th June. This new, iconic day celebrates all things bingo across hundreds of bingo clubs in the UK, not just Mecca.

On this special day, Christmas really could come early with not one, but two guaranteed £50k National Game jackpots up for grabs leaving bingo fans wondering exactly what a £50k Christmas could look like.  Not only that, everyone in the winning club will also win up to £100 each* – so everyone wins this Christmas with National Bingo Day!

For more information on National Bingo Day, please visit

Martha Trust

Martha Trust’s newest fundraiser is starting young in her fundraising journey for Martha. Elizabeth Strong is just 10 years old and attends Worth Primary School where she is in Year 6.

She has committed to  swim 15,000m over the course of July  to raise vital  funds for the charity.

However, Elizabeth is no stranger to the world of fundraising. She previously undertook a sponsored swim when she was just 7 which was 100metres and 100 second float. This was for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

She has also volunteered her time by assisting with beach cleans and litter picks, plus has helped organise Macmillan Cake and coffee mornings.

Elizabeth says “I have always loved swimming as I find it relaxing, calming as well as making me strong and fit, physically and mentally. So I appreciate and understand the importance of being able to access water for leisure and fitness, just like the residents at Martha Trust need to be able to benefit from using their hydropool for freedom of movement and being able to physically move. Your sponsorship will help them to be able continue to use and develop this important facility.

“I go past the  Martha Trust home on way to and from school every day and found out more about the charity whilst joining in the Comedy Bingo during lockdown. I decided then that I would support them with a sponsored swim once lockdown had ended.”

Fundraising & Events Officer Kerry Banks BEM said: “ We are incredibly proud of Elizabeth to take on this epic challenge to raise much needed funds for our residents at Martha. Getting involved in Fundraising at such a young age is fabulous and I am sure she will continue her fundraising journey throughout her teens and adulthood as she is a very caring and enthusiastic young lady. On behalf of our residents and staff , we wish her lots of luck with her challenge plus a huge Thank You!”

If you would like to support Elizabeth with a donation , please visit her page at