Thanet community news: Colourful Margate, art auction, Ekubs, brewery donation, gym offer and more

Cherry Blossom art display Photo credit: Jon Spencer

Colourful Margate

We (Colourful Margate) are delighted to announce our cherry blossom art collaboration with Cliftonville Primary School and The Shop Front studio/project space.

Fifty-four cherry blossom paintings made by children from Cliftonville Primary School are now up on display in the Shop Front’s window at 161 Northdown Road, Cliftonville.

The cherry blossom paintings were brought together from across a number of classes and years at Cliftonville Primary School. These paintings have been individually mounted and hang in a grid pattern covering the whole of the shop window looking out onto Northdown Road.

They were inspired by the school’s very own cherry tree, planted in Spring 2021 and as part of Colourful Margate’s collaboration with the national Sakura Cherry Tree Project, and by the more than 125 cherry trees planted in Dane Park since 2018. This will hopefully inspire the planting of many more cherry trees in Margate. The exhibition will be up until February 2022, in anticipation of the next white and pink cherry blossom season in Margate.

Photo credit: Jon Spencer

The Shop Front’s Jon Spencer said: “We’re delighted to be able to showcase these vibrant paintings – hopefully bringing a bit of joy to passers-by on Northdown Road in the middle of winter, reminding ourselves of the Spring to come! “

Stephanie Nsom from Colourful Margate: “We really appreciate the enthusiasm from the teachers and children at Cliftonville Primary School and from Jon Spencer (The Shop Front) to collaborate with us on this project idea. The children’s paintings of cherry trees are stunning and nurture our vision for Margate to become a cherry blossom destination.”

Cliftonville Primary headteacher Claire Whichcord said: “We would like to thank everyone at both Colourful Margate and The ‘Shop Front’ for including us in this project.

“The children really enjoyed the artistic nature of the project and the ability to contribute and make a difference in our community- one of our key school values.”

Colourful Margate is a community group that improves public green spaces in Margate by planting cherry trees, commissioning woodcarvings and installing musical outdoor instruments at the children’s playground in Dane Park. Our vision is to transform Margate into a cherry blossom destination; which was launched three years ago in collaboration with private businesses, local residents, TDC, KCC, and other partnering community groups. Since then, with Colourful Margate’s vision, the number of cherry trees in Dane Park has increased to more than 125 (which is a small success story).

Stephanie Nsom with Gary Taylor by one of the newly planted cherry trees in 2018

One of our ongoing future goals has been to involve more of the younger community in cherry tree planting. This idea has been taking shape since February this year. Colourful Margate started collaborating with the national Sakura Cherry Tree Project in the UK, to provide free cherry trees to more than 30 schools in Thanet. 7 schools in Margate alone have received their free cherry tree from the Sakura project, one of which is Cliftonville Primary School.

Cliftonville Primary and Pre-School is an outstanding school and part of the Coastal Academies Trust. It is based in Cliftonville and caters for a diverse community.

The ‘Shop Front’ is a studio and project space at 161 Northdown Road in the Cliftonville area of Margate. The shop window project space is given over to show work & project outcomes by a range of artists, community groups and others, with a broad theme of people & place. The studio is home to a group of creative practitioners/educators; Jon Spencer, Matt Lewis & Cato Barend van Schalkwyk.

RAF Manston Spitfire & Hurricane Memorial Museums

Thanet’s Gerry Abrahams has received a donation of 5 cases of Spitfire amber and golden ale from the Shepherd Neame Brewery in Faversham.

This Kentish ale was first brewed in 1990 to commemorate the Battle of Britain which was fought in the skies above Kent 50 years earlier.

The donation is for the RAF Manston Spitfire & Hurricane Memorial Museums volunteers Christmas party.

Gerry is a 98-year-old WW11 Lancaster bomber pilot, having flown 31 missions over Germany. He is now the museum’s chief flying instructor for the Spitfire Experience simulator.

Thanet Friends of the Earth

Thanet Friends of the Earth are meeting on Thursday 16th December, at 7.30 pm, in Margate. We hope to meet face to face , Omicon restrictions permitting.

Email [email protected] if you’d like to come along. Tree planting in Thanet and the FoE stall at the December Cliftonville December farmer’s market are some of the items in the agenda. Bring your ideas along!

East Kent Unit for Breast Screening

On Saturday 4 December Judi Bolton and Nicola Sykes were awarded “Kent Volunteer Champions” Awards 2021, by the KM Charity Team.

The ceremony was held at the Ashford International Hotel. They were awarded their certificates in recognition of the amazing fundraising they have been doing for the East Kent Unit for Breast Screening.

Since May 2020 when Judi first came up with the idea, they have raised over £50,000 towards vital equipment at local hospitals.

Judi and Nicola have been running on-line raffles on Facebook and spend hours organizing this. EKUBS is amazed, overwhelmed and extremely grateful for the fantastic amount of money they have raised.

EKUBS subsidizes breast screenings using NHS equipment, outside the NHS scheme once the Covid restrictions are lifted 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]

EKC Group

As Christmas approaches why not get a unique artwork for your house, business or friend, while giving money to charity?

EKC Group and Christ The King Sixth Form Colleges (CTK) have already launched their Christmas Gift Appeal and GoFundMe campaign, but are delighted to now announce their Charity Art Auction.

A wide array of works are on offer on the auction site, taking in all artistic media available to staff and students from across EKC Group and CTK.

Bidding has now opened for illustrations.

Starting with incredibly low estimates, bidding on the original pieces is open to everyone with delivery available across the UK.

The auctions are set to close on Friday, December 17.

All money raised will be added to the ongoing GoFundMe campaign which has already seen more than £1000 donated in support of Porchlight, Demelza Hospice Care for Children, Refuge, and St Vincent de Paul Society.

All works begin at £5, with money going directly to charity

Field Studies Council

Households in Ramsgate are invited to join thousands of people in coastal towns who are getting out and about this winter to learn more about their neighbourhood trees and how they can help protect the environment.

The UK’s leading publisher of nature guides, the charity Field Studies Council (FSC), is posting thousands of free easy-to-use guides throughout 2022 exclusively to residents in Ramsgate and six other coastal locations.

Residents of Ramsgate and next-door areas should register online by 10th January 2022 to receive their free guide to tree buds and bark in the post in the New Year. This will be followed by two more identification guides in summer and autumn about leaves and berries.

Registration is open to anyone aged over 16 and groups helping local communities, including groups supporting 16-25 year olds.

Residents receiving tree guides will join a community of like-minded people starting to study trees and help others. No experience is needed to use the guides, just curiosity and a keen

eye. Each guide is filled with drawings and photos created by enthusiasts and experts to help residents learn about trees, their wellbeing and how they can protect them.

The distribution of free tree guides to residents of Ramsgate is part of a new programme led by Trees for Cities to increase tree canopy cover in smaller coastal cities and towns.

The Trees for Cities’ programme, ‘Forgotten Places: Greening Coastal Towns and Cities’ is using £1.2M funding from the Green Recovery Challenge Fund to increase and improve tree cover in coastal towns and cities with lower-than-average tree canopy cover and high levels of socio-economic deprivation and enhance skills and knowledge about urban trees.

Over 55,000 trees will be planted across 83 locations in 7 coastal towns and cities – including projects to celebrate the Queen’s Green Canopy – and will be delivered through urban community tree planting events designed to revitalise forgotten coastal urban areas.

Registration for the free tree identification guides takes less than a minute on the charity’s website and closes on 10th January 2022

Registration link:

The Gym Thanet

To keep everyone feeling good, both mentally and physically this Christmas, The Gym Group has teamed up with sustainable business owner Montana Brown to launch its campaign for the festive season, Sweat Zero. Montana has swapped the board room for the iron paradise and in partnership with The Gym Group, is offering everyone, no matter what their fitness goals, the chance to zero out on all the goodies and treats we all deserve to enjoy.

To make good on this promise, from today, The Gym is offering 5,373 free three-day passes, per region across the UK, – which is exactly the same number of average calories consumed by an adult on Christmas Day.

Like the term Net Zero, Sweat Zero is all about helping to strike a balance between living your life and being fit and healthy by removing any of the guilt which can come after some serious Christmas overindulgence. Whether you want to burn off the Baileys or bench press the brussels with a three-day free pass guests can visit any of the 200 nationwide The Gym Group venues, to experience their high spec kit across cardio, weightlifting, toning and class zones plus unlimited classes and access to a team of highly qualified personal trainers.

Redeeming the free 3-day pass is super simple. Just visit The Gym group website, find a gym near you, choose a day passes membership and three-day pass, then select the dates and enter the promo code SWEATZERO.

The Gym Group is the UK’s best value 24/7 gym and offers a no pressure monthly membership starting from only £10.99 a month, which guests can stop and start whenever they want, contract free.

To find out more information visit or visit The Gym’s social media channels.

Coram Voice

Coram Voice has launched its seventh annual edition of Voices, the creative writing competition for children in care and young care leavers across the country. The competition, sponsored by UK management consultancy Cadence Innova, will be open for entries from now until 28 February 2022.

Coram Voice, a charity that ensures the voices of children and young people in and around the care system are heard, first launched the competition in 2016 as a platform for care-experienced young people to express their creative talents and to build understanding of their experiences. Since then, the competition has grown year-on-year, with some young finalists going on to write pieces for national media titles.

After two years of holding the Voices awards ceremony online due to Covid restrictions, Coram Voice is planning to host an in-person awards ceremony in central London in Spring 2022, bringing together the finalists, judges and supporters to celebrate the achievements of all the children and young people who took part.

The theme of this year’s competition is ‘This is Me’ and entries can be in any written form including poems, short stories, raps or newspaper articles, with a 500-word limit. There are four age categories: primary school (5-10), lower secondary school (age 11-14), upper secondary school (age 15-17) and care leavers (age 18-25).

Entries will be judged by an expert panel of authors and poets, some of whom are care experienced. The judges are due to be announced shortly, alongside a group of young judges who were finalists in previous years of the competition.

Entries can be submitted online at between 6 December and 28 February 2022.

For more information on the competition, please visit