Thanet community news: Thanet photographers, Thanet Male Voice Choir, charity swim, kitchen award, Pilgrims, Inner Wheel, food waste heroes and Martha Trust

Down Time by Sinead Le Blond (Isle of Thanet Photographic Society)

Isle of Thanet Photographic Society

Club members have continued to meet “out and about” during the summer.  We started with a lovely calm evening by the sea at Reculver, for some great sunset images. Second outing was a visit to Stodmarsh National Nature Reserve. Street photography in London appealed to a few hardy members who were looking for something completely different.

Sunrise at Oare by Laura Drury

A selection of images from these visits will be shown at the first meeting of the new season on Monday 6th September. Chairman Laura Drury said “We are all looking forward to meeting again to enjoy a packed programme and sharing our love of photography. Experienced members are always there to help and encourage those new to photography and we provide a warm welcome to new members.”

SORRY, NOT SORRY by Sinead Le Blond

The new programme includes regular competitions, practical evenings and invited guest speakers. Members pay £35 for the whole year. The weekly fee is £4; non-members are welcome to come to two meetings (at the weekly rate) before taking out an annual subscription.

We meet at Ramsgate football club on Mondays at 7.30pm. For further information please visit our website: or visit us on Facebook.

Thanet Male Voice Choir

After an enforced 17-month break, Thanet Male Voice Choir resumed their regular rehearsals on Tuesday 24th August 2021 at St Andrew’s Church, Reading Street, Broadstairs.

The choir has kept active throughout the last year and a half by firstly recording a virtual piece with choirs from Germany and Italy in 2020 and latterly by meeting in small groups, all within covid guidelines, to sing easy-to-learn songs in two-part harmony under the direction of musical director Martin Rendle who arranged the pieces for the choir.

Now that we’re getting back to full rehearsals it’s hoped that some of those pieces will make their way into our concert repertoire, so it’s been time well spent! .

It’s been well documented that singing is great for physical health and mental wellbeing and now that we’re back as a full choir we’re welcoming new members to join us. It’s an exciting time for the choir as we’ll be celebrating our 45th anniversary in 2022. It’s a rewarding hobby and also a great way of making new friends. Many of our members have been with the choir for over thirty years, and some even longer. We’ll especially be interested to hear from younger adult male singers. I personally joined the choir at 16, as a founder member, and 44 years later I’m still here and enjoying it just as much

Andy Wallis – Social Media Secretary for Thanet Male Voice Choir

For further information anyone interested in joining us should either contact our secretary Andy Brown on 01843 844625, or drop an email to [email protected], or visit

Walpole to Westgate charity swim

A fundraising swim in aid of for 8th Westgate Brownies and Guides and Whizz-Kidz charity which works to transform the lives of young wheelchair users was completed in one hour 36 minutes on Friday.

Martin O’Grady completed the 6.5 km sponsored swim from Walpole Bay Bathing Pool to West Bay, Westgate on Sea.

The former physics teacher said: “It was ably marshalled all the way by John and Dave.  Money raised will approach £700 soon. Thank you to West Bay Cafe for our hot drinks and sponsorship and for the nice welcome also from the RNLI lifeguards.

“The two charities both support children and the Guides are local.  Whizz-Kidz make changes in children’s lives that are crucial for their mobility and I have had a lifetime of opportunities that able bodied people take for granted.  I run swim cycle and compete with Deal Tri and have cycled internationally for Ireland.  I am now retired and thought this would be a nice way to put something back.”

On the same day Councillor Bertie Braidwood was washing cars at Westgate Golf Club supporting the Brownies and Guides and the Westgate and Garlinge Action Group against Housing on farmland.

Last chance for donations for the swim:

Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet

A kitchen which sells healthy nutritious food for affordable prices in Ramsgate and Margate has been chosen to receive £800 from a UK housebuilder.

Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet was selected by Persimmon Homes as part of its Community Champions scheme, which supports grassroots good causes in the area where the company is building.

Martin Crick, managing director for Persimmon Homes South East, said: “A lot of families have been hard-hit through the pandemic and Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet has provided these individuals with well-needed support. We are so pleased to be able to help such a worthy organisation.”

The community interest company offers affordably priced  food to families in need, support in nutrition education and  helps members to learn new recipes.

Sara Rock, who applied for the funding, said: “We are so grateful for the donation from Persimmon Homes – it will allow us to expand our service, helping even more people.

“Members asked us to increase our opening hours and we want to create a ‘Food Club Night Feel’ where we open one evening a week.

“The funding from Persimmon will allow us to cover these costs for 10 weeks as well as allowing us to train more members – so thank-you.”

Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet has grown rapidly over the last six months and now has more than 800 members.

Martin Crick added: “We make two donations of up to £1,000 every month though our Community Champions scheme and we are encouraging more grassroots good causes and charities within the area to apply online now.”

For more information or to apply for the scheme, visit:

Pilgrims Hospices

Max Hooper – Ramsgate, Kerrie Fisher – Dover – 50 miles

Hundreds of brave cyclists took to the lanes and hills of east Kent on Sunday, August 22 despite some challenging weather conditions across the county. Their heroic efforts were in support of Pilgrims Hospices, who care for more than 2,500 people each year living with an incurable illness.

The Cycle Challenge, known as Kent’s biggest bike ride, has been held annually since 2010 and is a favourite among cyclists of all abilities. Riders took on five possible routes from 30 miles up to a leg-testing 125 miles, all starting from the event HQ at the University of Kent, Canterbury.

This year’s sell-out event returned after a 2020 hiatus and cyclists were determined to show their support regardless of some unseasonable rain affecting portions of the day.

Event Manager, Robert Grew, said: “I’m blown away by the incredible efforts of our cyclists, many of whom turn out year after year to support the ride. From early estimations, this year’s ride has raised in excess of £95,000 for hospice care, and sponsorship will be coming in for several weeks to come. This means that we have reached the astonishing milestone of the Cycle Challenge having raised £1 million for hospice care since the very first ride back in 2010!

“I’m immensely proud of everyone involved in making the event such a safe and enjoyable day. From the fantastic signage volunteers, to the enthusiasm at our rest stops. I’d especially like to thank the local cycle mechanics who supported at rest stops and Kent Event Marshals who had a busy day providing roadside assistance to cyclists from the first to the very last rider. Not to forget our amazing cyclists themselves!”

Participants collectively cycled over 43,000 miles on Sunday, which is equivalent to riding from London to India more than 7 times!

Pilgrims Hospices has been providing skilled and compassionate end-of-life care for the people of east Kent for nearly 35 years. From their inpatient units in Canterbury, Ashford and Thanet, and in patient’s own home, they support people living with incurable illness to live well; making them comfortable, alleviating pain and enabling them to make the most of the time they have.

With just 20% of funding coming from the NHS, the charity relies on the generosity of the local community to continue being there for the families who need them.

Barretts of Canterbury have been a long-term sponsor of the event, and the business’s CEO, Paul Barrett, was instrumental in the ride’s early years.

The keen cyclist said: “It’s a real privilege to be part of such a well organised event. I honestly can’t think of another cycling event that comes close to the Pilgrims Cycle Challenge. It’s so polished. The signage and catering are always excellent and the smiles that greet you at every stop keep you going throughout the day.”

Avid cyclists won’t have to wait too long for next year’s event. The Pilgrims Cycle Challenge will be returning to its usual time of year on Sunday, May 1, 2022.

Westgate & Birchington Inner Wheel Club

On a lovely sunny afternoon, President Jacquie Agnew hosted the AGM in her pretty garden. She should have been able to hand on the Presidents’ chain to her successor, Iris Harvey, but unfortunately Iris was in hospital after an emergency hip operation. In Iris’s absence, Jacquie was presented with gifts; two ‘fat quarters’, a voucher for a craft shop, a plant and a certificate to commemorate her two years as President, by the Vice President Christine March. Picture shows Jacquie and Christine.

President Jacquie hopes to be able to present a substantial cheque shortly, to ‘Beach Within Reach’, her chosen charity during her Presidency. With Covid our fund-raising and social opportunities have been limited, but we feel proud that we had donated and made ‘scrubs’ for local health centres, paid for and made visors and face masks, as well as made money for our charity, despite the limited opportunities for meeting together, although we have had many meetings by Zoom.

She thanked Treasurer Louise Stokes and Secretary Liz Stefaniak for nobly staying on to support her extra year, during the pandemic, and presented them both with a bottle of fizz! She also presented all the members with a small present to thank them for their support during a very difficult year.

Incoming President Iris has chosen QEQM League of Friends and the Pilgrims Hospice as her charities this year. Our International Service Officer has chosen to support ‘Mercy Ships’ this year, and we shall be holding an ‘International Quiz Night’ in Kearns Hall, Minnis Bay on Saturday October 23rd with a Fish & Chip Supper as our Fundraiser for this worthwhile cause.

Our first social and fundraiser for the President’s charities was a ‘Cheese and Wine’ hosted by Vice President Christine in her garden, in somewhat inclement weather. What had been promised by the BBC weather forecast as an evening of sunny intervals and temperatures of 22C instead turned out to be a real English Summer’s evening of cloud, a fresh sea breeze, drizzle at times and cold.  Jackets and jumpers were the order of the night, and luckily a borrowed gazebo kept off the rain, but the Cheese and Wine flowed well, and the company made up for any disappointment with the weather. As well as providing us with the chance to get together again, our evening raised £195.55. The picture shows members enjoying their Cheese and Wine in the shelter of the gazebo.

We have been delighted to welcome 3 new members who are moving from the Herne Bay club. One of them, Louise Gregory, has already managed to raise £100 for the Pilgrim’s Hospice, which has been supporting her family during her father’s illness, by running the London 10K on 25th July. Picture of Louise nearing the finishing line! A wonderful effort!

Inner Wheel is the largest women’s voluntary service organisation in the world, and its aims are to promote true friendship, to encourage the ideals of personal service and to foster international understanding.  We meet at St Augustine’s monthly for a meal, and Membership Officer, Christine, would welcome anybody interested to contact her to arrange to join us for an evening on 01843 446023.

Tesco food waste heroes

Food waste heroes in Thanet have prevented 22,788 meals from going to waste in the past year, thanks to a ground-breaking partnership between Tesco and food-sharing app OLIO.

In August last year Tesco became the first supermarket to partner with OLIO, which provides unsold surplus food fit for consumption to people in the community.

In the first full year of the partnership, OLIO’s Thanet network of Food Waste Heroes saved food that people could then put to good use for themselves, their families and others in their communities.

The partnership builds on Tesco’s existing food surplus donations programme, including its Community Food Connection scheme with FareShare.

FareShare supports frontline charities and community groups working with children – from summer holiday clubs and breakfast clubs to community kitchens, and groups which supply food parcels to those facing food insecurity.

OLIO Food Waste Heroes collect food when charities supported by FareShare are unable to do so, and they can then take it back to their homes.

These items are immediately uploaded onto the OLIO app, ready to be redistributed free to those living nearby and to community groups. OLIO app users can then pick items up from an agreed, contact-free collection point.

OLIO, which has been running since 2016, has provided more than 120 million meals to charities and community groups across the UK, with more than 5 million coming from Tesco.

Tesco has not sent any food waste to landfill since 2009, and in 2013 Tesco became the first UK retailer to publish its food waste data.

Martha Trust

Martha Trust has teamed up with West Indies cricketer John Shepherd to host a fundraising two golf days after a very challenging eighteen months due to COVID19 .

The first is being held at the magnificent Walmer & Kingsdown Golf Club on Friday 17th September.

John Shepherd, formerly a West Indies International cricketer also served Kent County Cricket with distinction for 15 seasons said: “I am so pleased to be able to support Martha Trust with their golf day. They do some fantastic work. I have thoroughly enjoyed my cricketing career and it is great to be able to give something back to those that have not been so fortunate.”

The course, known as the “Club on the Cliffs” is set high up on the famous White Cliffs of Dover with fantastic sea views where you will be sure to enjoy a great day’s golf for a really good cause.

The cost of this event is £45 per individual and £180 for a team of four or £140 for members.

Club Manager Jonathan Webb said: “When we are planning our club diary, one of the first events to be confirmed is the annual Martha Trust Day. It gives us great pleasure to support a charity providing care and support for people with profound disabilities. The support of our members and the golfing community never ceases to amaze me and this year will be no different – we look forward to welcoming you to our Club on the Cliffs’”

The second golf day will be held at the prestigious Princes Golf Club on Thursday October 14th. While steeped in history, Prince’s Golf Club offers all that is best in modern championship links golf in an idyllic coastal setting where you’ll be sure to enjoy a great day’s golf for a really good cause.

The cost for this day is £85 per person, £340 for a team of 4 with discounts for members.

Both days will kick off with coffee and a bacon sandwich ahead of 18 holes of golf, followed by a two course dinner, fundraising activities and a charity auction

If you can provide a raffle or auction prize, please get in touch as Martha would love to hear from you.

Fundraising & Events Officer Kerry Banks BEM said: “After an extremely challenging eighteen months, we would love to hear from you to take part in our golf days .

“We have sponsorship opportunities available so why not join Castle Removals and Jeanette & Chris Goulding and sponsor a Golf Hole? We have discounts available starting from just £75 if sponsoring both days. Please get in touch if you would like to have your own personalised flag for your business or your business featured on all the programmes.”

All proceeds from this event will go towards the work of Martha Trust – supporting people with profound disabilities across Kent and Sussex”

To find out more about registering players and sponsoring the Martha Trust Golf Day please call 01304 610448 or email [email protected]