Thanet community news: An anniversary, talks, charity golf and more

Page Mason dancers at 50th anniversary of the Charter of the Rotary Club of Westgate & Birchington

Rotary Club of Westgate & Birchington 50th anniversary celebration

What a wonderful evening of celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of the Charter of the Rotary Club of Westgate & Birchington! A large number of Rotarians and guests enjoyed an outstanding dinner at St Augustine’s followed by a spectacular series of dance displays performed by students and staff at the Page Mason School of Dance, including a very special dance centred on the President, Chris Hedges.

Two fantastic birthday cakes (made by Honey Cake Bakers of Birchington) were commissioned by Past President Mike Benton to mark the occasion. Messages of congratulation were brought from local Rotary and Inner Wheel Clubs and from District Governor-Elect, David Lister. The evening was rounded of by dancing to the music of Nick Bosworth.

For more information about the Rotary Club please visit our website at or contact Dave Alker on 01843 845783

Broadstairs Probus Club

President, Dr. Ian Brooman and Isaac Naylor.

Broadstairs Probus Club provides a friendly group for retired and semi-retired men over 55 who have been involved in a professional or business working life and who currently live in the Broadstairs area.

After all the Covid restrictions and Lockdown, the club has now recommenced their programme of monthly coffee mornings and lunches at the Yarrow Hotel in Broadstairs. At the September lunch the Speaker was Isaac Naylor who treated the club to a very entertaining talk on the Ramsgate Tunnels.

Although some of the tunnels go back to smuggler times, the main tunnels were built either for the Victorian railway system or as a shelter for air raids during wartime.

Just before World War II, the Borough Council and its charismatic Top Hat Mayor secured Home Office approval to excavate two and a half miles of deep and shelter tunnels which opened in 1939. In particular, Isaac emphasized this extended construction of the tunnels so that they could shelter a maximum of 60,000 people.

Later in the war, Ramsgate was so devastated by the German air raids that about 2000 people lost their homes and had to live in the tunnels which also had to incorporate shops, canteens and other services.

After the war, the main tunnel was reopened as a scenic railway which eventually closed in 1965. Many years later in 2014, the lower part of the main tunnel opened to the public to give an idea of what it was like as a wartime shelter and Isaac mentioned that he was currently a manager at this attraction. Isaac`s talk ended with questions from members of the club and everyone agreed that it should make a group visit in the near future. Finally, the President of the Club, Dr Ian Brooman thanked Isaac for his very interesting and stimulating talk.

The Club meets for a coffee morning on the second Tuesday of every month and for a formal lunch meeting on the fourth Tuesday of every month at The Yarrow Hotel. If you are interested in finding out more about the Club, or perhaps trying out a free coffee morning, please contact Rogan Montgomery-Smith on 01843 603939 or email him on [email protected] for further details.

Thanet RNLI

Representatives of Westgate & Birchington Golf Club and the event sponsors (RNLI Sarah Hewes)

A Charity Golf Day held at Westgate & Birchington Golf Club has raised a very welcome £9,837.98 for the RNLI.

The event was organised by DL Utilities Ltd and on the day 116 golfers took part whereby every hole on the course was generously sponsored by local businesses.

Richard Leitch of DL Utilities handed over the proceeds from the day to the RNLI’s Thanet Fundraising Group Leader Sarah Hewes at the Westgate & Birchington Golf Club.

Sarah Hewes, Thanet RNLI Fundraising Group Leader said: “An amazing £9,837.98 was raised and will hugely assist us in the task of saving lives at sea and is much appreciated by all of us at the RNLI.

“We can’t thank enough Richard Leitch and all at DL Utilities, Mark Young and everyone at the Westgate & Birchington Golf Club, all the competitors and the following sponsors: Adeva Home Improvements Ltd, Allbits Whitstable, Blaze Signs Ltd, Channel Watches, DDS Demolition, DL Flooring Ltd, Ecoair Ltd, Freeflow, Howdens, JD Lifting Ltd, Marks Carpentry Ltd, Premier Diamond Products Ltd, SN Fabrication Ltd, The Smugglers, Three Planks, Victoria Hotel and finally WCB Utilities Ltd.”

St Andrew’s Church Thanksgiving service

On November 28th at St. Andrew’s Church, Reading Street, Broadstairs at 6.30pm there will be a service of Thanksgiving for all our key workers, both paid and voluntary, who kept us supplied and served during the pandemic.

Everyone is welcome to come along to join in the service.

We would like to invite all nurses, care workers, doctors, bus drivers, shop assistants, delivery drivers, postmen, volunteers at food banks and charities, all clergy, funeral directors, teachers, teaching assistants, newspaper deliverers, bin men, council staff and everyone else who kept us all going over the last 20 months, to join us on the evening.

We are all indebted to you.

Rotary Club of Thanet

Thanet Rotary President Jim Nicholson and President Elect John Reid were delighted to join Sue and Frank, volunteers from the Broadstairs Town Team Garden Group, in planting purple crocuses to mark World Polio Day, October 24.

Purple dye is painted on the little finger of a child to signify they have received a potentially life-saving polio vaccine and has become a symbolic colour in the fight against polio.

The crocus bed at the Louisa Bay access road beds is maintained by the Garden Group. The volunteers collaborated with Broadstairs Rotary in 2020 to plant 4,000 bulbs donated by that club. Thanet Rotary’s donation of more bulbs will help enrich and spread the crocuses in this much visited part of Broadstairs.

Thousands of Rotary clubs across the world are marking World Polio Day to raise awareness, funds and support to end polio. This vaccine preventable disease still threatens children in parts of the world. If not eradicated, it is estimated that, within 10 years, as many as 200,000 children annually all over the world could succumb to polio.

Globally, more than 2.5 billion children have been protected against the disease. Rotary has committed to raising US$50 million each year to support global polio eradication and, thanks to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, every £1 raised is matched 2-to-1.

In August 2020, Africa, which includes 47 countries, was certified free from wild polio.

This leaves just Pakistan and Afghanistan as the two remaining polio endemic countries. But despite this momentous progress, more challenging work lies ahead to eradicate the disease for good.

We have seen over the past two years with COVID-19, that disease anywhere, is a threat to everyone, everywhere. We’ve also seen the power of vaccines and community togetherness, and Rotary clubs across Thanet have played their part.

Rotary has directly contributed more than US$2.1 billion to ending polio since 1985, including almost £4,000 contributed by the Rotary Club of Thanet.

Formed in 1983, Thanet Rotary has been supporting the community for 38 years. Members are committed to working with others to eliminate this potentially deadly virus and make Rotary’s dream of a polio free world a reality.

The club also support The Pilgrims Hospice, Oasis, The Millmead Centre, Porchlight and other local charities as well as International charitable projects.

Anyone wishing to find out more about Rotary is encouraged to visit the Thanet club website or Facebook. Explore the contact menu and get in touch.

East Kent Hospitals

Your hospital needs you!

That’s the message from East Kent Hospitals, who have relaunched their volunteer scheme after many roles were put on hold during the coronavirus pandemic.

It means there are a host of new opportunities for local people to get involved at the Trust’s three acute hospitals: Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, William Harvey Hospital in Ashford and the Kent and Canterbury Hospital.

Mandy Carliell, the Trust’s head of patient and public involvement, said: “Volunteers have always been vital in supporting the work of our fantastic staff, and they were much missed when we had to pause recruitment at the start of the pandemic.

“We are now able to welcome volunteers back, and we have some new roles where they will be able to make a real difference to our staff and our patients.

“Whether you’re recently retired, are looking for something to do while the children are at school, or hoping to add skills and experience to boost your CV, you’ll be made very welcome.

“You’ll also have the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping the NHS during one of the most challenging periods in its history.”

Roles such as ward helpers, meet and greet, and gardeners are on offer and volunteers can give as much or as little time as they can spare.

All volunteers will have a personalised risk assessment to help keep them safe and will not be asked to work in any area where there are Covid-positive patients.

The roles are open to anyone who is over 18, and in the first instance people are asked to fill out an online application form

Questions can be emailed to Mandy at [email protected]

Pilgrims Hospices

On 26 September 2021, laughter and colourful powder paint filled the air in Palm Bay, Cliftonville as hundreds walked, jogged and ran the Thanet 5k Colour Run to raise vital funds for Pilgrims Hospices.

Amongst them were a team from the cardiology department at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust (EKHUFT), who took part in memory of their much-loved colleague, Trish Penman.

The team has raised almost £1,000 to help ensure that Pilgrims’ holistic, compassionate services continue to be available to people across east Kent who are living with a terminal illness.

Trish worked at the QEQM, Kent and Canterbury and William Harvey hospitals in cardiology, respiratory and A&E. She was 49 when she diagnosed with advanced cancer in November 2020, and was supported by Pilgrims at the end of her life; she died in the Thanet hospice on 31 July 2021.

Catherine Goult, Chief Cardiac Physiologist at EKHUFT, said: “Trish was known and loved around the Trust for her smile, her twerking, her generosity of spirit and her phenomenal work ethic. When she was diagnosed, she made her wish known that she would like to spend her final days in Pilgrims Hospices; she felt it was somewhere she and her two boys could be cared for and supported at that time.”

Catherine and her colleagues decided to enter the Thanet 5k Colour Run so that Pilgrims’ vital services can continue to be offered to those who need them in the future. They have been supported in their fundraising by many kind people, and aim to plan a few more fundraising activities to reach their £1,000 target.

Catherine added: “It was moving to be at the start with so many other people whose lives had also been touched by Pilgrims; reading the messages on their numbers and t-shirts made it clear that everyone was there for a reason close to their heart. It was a great way to celebrate the life of our friend because the day was filled with laughter and colour! We loved seeing people’s costumes, too.

“Trish would have loved the warm-up because she loved music and dancing and was so energetic. The atmosphere was great and everyone was just having fun. The colour cannons made sure that we all finished fully covered in powder paint!

“From the registration process through to the marshals on the day and the very welcome packet of crisps at the end (best crisps I’ve ever had!), at every point everyone was so kind. It made us feel proud that we’d achieved something together in Trish’s memory; the medals are also really unique and quirky, they’re a great souvenir of the day.”

Karen Kenward, Community Fundraising Manager, said: “It was lovely to welcome Catherine and her colleagues to support this year’s Thanet Colour Run. This event always brings so much fun, laughter and colour to all who join it each year. It’s just wonderful to see so many people come together to support our charity in such a joyous way, and in turn help raise incredible funding for the next person who needs us. Thank you all so very much and enjoy your well-earned medals with pride; we hope to see you next year.”

Catherine added: “Pilgrims was there for Trish and her family at the hardest time they’ve ever had to face. Trish was given comfort and dignity during the final days of her life.

“Pilgrims means a lot to us because death is something that we will all have to face at some point. It can be a frightening time, but Pilgrims can take away some of the fear and pain; they can alleviate suffering and bring humanity, dignity and even joy into those final days. The hospice is a sanctuary that helps us to focus on the present and live each moment.”

Catherine and her team hope to raise £1,000 for Pilgrims, and they are almost there! Click here to sponsor them via their JustGiving page.

Martha Trust

The Martha Trust Golf day in association with John Shepherd held at Princes Golf Club, Sandwich Bay was a fantastic success raising just over £7,300 for the charity.

The auction raised £4000 for the charity alone, with prizes such as 4 Balls from Royal St Georges, Royal Cinque Ports and Princes Golf Clubs plus match tickets for Manchester United and Arsenal.

It was a glorious day weather wise and golfers travelled from far and wide to support the event including Birmingham, Southampton and Surrey. There was also a team from Arsenal Football Club who donated some prizes on the night. Former West Indies and Kent Cricketer John Shepherd supported the day.

In 1st place were “Team Paul Last”, 2nd place “The Kings Head” and 3rd place “Bulley’s Bandits”

Kerry Banks BEM, Fundraising & Events Officer for Martha Trust said:” ‘We are delighted that the day was such an enormous success and are so incredibly grateful to Princes Golf Club and the golfing community for rallying around to help us stage such a special day.

“The golfers were in high spirits; we had some fabulous feedback and are already at full capacity for next year’s day on 13th October 2022!

“We would like to say a huge thank you to our Sponsors, Bloody Marys High St Deal, Bumper2Bumper,Castles Removals, Dunkerley’s Of Deal, Hutchings Timber Ltd, Jeanette & Chris Goulding, Princes Golf Club, The King’s Head and The Port Arms for their amazing support.”

Martha Trust would like to congratulate all the winning teams and thank everyone who took part, not least Princes Golf Club for the amazing venue, Rob and Ali McGuirk along with the staff from Princes for all their support and John Shepherd for hosting such a great event.”

Martha Trust will be holding two golf days next year: Walmer & Kingsdown Golf Day on Friday April 22nd 2022 and Princes Golf Club on October 13th 2022.

2022 marks Martha Trust’s 35th Anniversary – If you would like to register your interest to play at Walmer & Kingsdown or sponsor either of these events, please contact Kerry Banks on 01304 610448 or email [email protected]

Puddle Ducks

Businesswoman, Victoria Rowley was recently awarded with the ‘Inspired Achievement’ award at the Kent Women in Business Awards for 2021.

Victoria, who owns regional child and baby swim school, Puddle Ducks East Kent, North Kent and South East London, won the ‘Inspired Achievement’ award due to her ongoing resilience and leadership throughout a difficult time.

After suffering a serious illness at the end of 2019, Victoria led her business, Puddle Ducks, through its toughest year yet. The ongoing pandemic caused all swimming pools to close, with some closing permanently. Victoria countered the negative effects by signing on new pools, keeping existing team members in work, as well as providing more hours for new teachers to train and join the team- all ready to keep customers swimming when restrictions allowed.

She provides ongoing constant support to her team, something which was invaluable throughout the various lockdowns. With many obstacles thrown at her, Victoria never gave up and had the interests of her team and all her little swimmers at the heart of every decision.

Not only did Victoria win the ‘Inspired Achievement’ award, but she was also a runner-up for the Business Woman of the Year and a finalist for the Growth Award and the Leadership and Management Award. She was nominated for managing to grow her business even throughout periods when swimming pools were shut, being a great leader and continuing to support her team.

Victoria said: “I feel very proud to have received this award. It has been such an unusual time, and to be recognised is so humbling.

“There are so many amazing businesswomen throughout our local community who have put their heart and soul into their businesses and into helping other people throughout the past year, and it was a wonderful opportunity to be able to honour them all at the awards.

“To have been able to grow my business, keep my team employed and afloat throughout a time where we were often out of the pool due to restrictions, and to be able to jump back into swimming lessons with no disruptions once restrictions were eased, are things I am so proud to have achieved.”

To find out more about Victoria’s swim school, Puddle Ducks East Kent, North Kent and South East London, and the baby and child lessons they provide across the local area, please call 01622 236111 or visit