Thanet community news: EKUBS fundraiser, QEQM Friends, Margate Civic Society, Thanet Macular Society and Think Healthy Me

The winning 'Boobies' quiz team with Judi Bolton 3rd from the left and next to her Nicola Sykes.

East Kent Unit for Breast Screening

In May 2020 Judi Bolton, realizing that the Ramsgate Ladies Darts League would be unable to raise money for the East Kent Unit for Breast Screening (EKUBS) by playing darts, as they have done for more than 10 years, decided to start her own fundraiser.

She came up with the idea of running online raffles on Facebook and when her friend, Nicola Sykes was furloughed, she volunteered to help her with assistance from her sister Emma. The Boobies Raffle was started and in just over a year, they have raised the incredible amount of £50,000 for EKUBS and are continuing to fund raise. These ladies spend hours organizing this and EKUBS is amazed and overwhelmed by the amount of support they have received at this time, when normal fundraising activities have been unable to take place.

To celebrate reaching the £50,000 milestone, a celebratory quiz was held on Saturday 12 September at the East Kent Arms in Ramsgate at which another £400 was raised for the cause and the well deserving winning team was the ‘Boobies team’.

EKUBS subsidizes private breast screenings and also raises money for new equipment to screen women’s diseases in local hospitals. For more information visit our website or email [email protected]

QEQM Hospital League of Friends

Sometimes we spend thousands of pounds on sophisticated items of medical equipment, but it’s also possible for us to make a real difference funding simpler yet still useful items. A good example is this fridge we recently funded, shown with Sister Susan, in which the staff in the Stoma Department on Cheerful Sparrows (Female) Ward keep their lunch items fresh and cool.

If you’d like to help us to continue supporting our local Hospital in ways like this donations can be made or fundraising facilitated online at and more information about our charity is available on our Facebook page or our website

Margate Civic Society

Following an absence of 19 months, we are delighted to report that our first meeting of the new season will be held in the Dining Room at the Walpole Bay Hotel, Fifth Avenue, Cliftonville on Thursday, 7 October at 19:30 – attendees are requested to be seated by 19:15.   The meeting will start with our Annual General Meeting, followed by Members’ Notices and a Town Pride Award 2020 presentation, after which our very popular guest speaker, Steve Hookins (After Dinner Speaker, historical presentations) will be giving an illustrated talk entitled “Bits That Don’t Fit!” (Stand-up History! Weird and wonderful historical square pegs).  This will be followed by a collection for Cancer Research UK.

As always during the evening, raffle tickets will be on sale (£1.00 per strip or 6 for £5.00) with the draw taking place at the end of the evening, followed by refreshments.

All are welcome – nominal entrance fee is £4.50 for non-Members.

If you are interested in joining Margate Civic Society, or wish to find out more, please see our website for further details.

Thanet Macular Society

Two previously separate support groups are merging to help Thanet residents affected by macular disease, the UK’s biggest cause of sight loss.

The support groups that used to separately support people living in Birchington, Westgate, Ramsgate and Margate areas have combined to become the Thanet Macular Society support group. It is one of more than 400 such support groups organised by leading sight loss charity the Macular Society.

The Thanet group provides practical advice, emotional support and much-needed social contact for anyone affected by macular disease, an incurable sight loss condition that affects the central vision of around 1.5 million people nationwide.

The support group are holding their first in-person meeting on Tuesday, 21 September from 10.30am until 12.30pm at the Margate Baptist Church, 4 Cecil Square, Margate CT9 5EH. Family members and friends of those affected are also very welcome to join.

Macular disease can have a devastating effect on people’s lives, leaving them unable to drive, read or see faces. Many people affected describe losing their sight as being similar to bereavement. There is still no cure and most types of the disease are not treatable.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common form of macular disease, affecting more than 600,000 people, usually over the age of 50.

In addition to support groups, the Macular Society provides a range of other services including an advice and information line and telephone befriending. The charity’s services are available to anyone affected by sight loss, including family members and friends.

Stella Black, Macular Society senior regional manager, said: “The formation of the Thanet group enables us to continue supporting local people affected by sight loss. Macular disease is incredibly isolating. If you are living with the condition, or supporting someone with it, it can make a huge difference to share your experience with others.

“Our support groups provide a welcoming and compassionate place for people with the condition, as well as their family and friends, to learn more about their diagnosis. The groups can help build their confidence, and better understand their own condition. Those who join often enjoy sharing hints and tips on living with sight loss.

“Those of our support groups who are returning to face-to-face meetings are doing so very carefully, ensuring that they follow our guidelines so that everyone who attends remains safe. For anyone who is unable or who does not wish to attend activities in person, we are still on the end of the phone. We urge anyone who needs our help to get in touch.”

If you would like to join the group, or for more information about additional support services available locally, please contact Tyler Phillips, peer support coordinator on 07920 643 710 or [email protected]

For information on other services currently available from the Macular Society, please call the charity’s Advice and Information Service on 0300 3030 111 or email [email protected]

Think Healthy Me CIC

During 2020 at the start of the pandemic the Health and Business in Thanet (HABIT) Strategic Steering Group discussed the importance to the general public of Heart Defibrillators in East Kent and especially the high footfall in Westwood Cross and Thanet’s supermarkets. As a result, only one was installed outside TK Maxx and reported in the Changing Habit newsletter in the summer of 2020.

A survey was taken in all of Thanet, of the amount and location of these lifesaving defibrillators. The result was most disappointing with very few available. The ones that we found were in remote positions and the locations not known to the public.

Now in late 2021 the pandemic has not only devasted local businesses, but it also affected HABIT’s desire continue to raise awareness so helping our local communities with the intention of increasing the has number of defibrillators in Westwood Cross Shopping Centre.  As the Chairman of HABIT and CEO of Think Healthy Me CIC, I’m doing my very best to continue to raise awareness of the urgent need for a lot more defibrillators in Westwood Cross and all of East Kent. I have spoken on Academy Radio, written press releases and spoken with Managers of national retail outlets to request their help.

Since the Christian Erickson publicity there has been lots of publicity about the need. Sadly little *ACTION* is following here in the UK. Australia has been way ahead for years. Why are so many very young children dying needlessly? Why are the UK falling behind other counties?  Can you, or your organisation please, help me?

Brian Urwin CEO Think Healthy Me CIC Founder/Chair person Health and Business in Thanet ‘HABIT’ Ambassador for Public Health Collaboration Contact: Mobile/Text 07768530909 or email;  [email protected]   I will personally acknowledge all offers of help.