Thanet community news: Home & Roost fundraiser, QEQM Friends, Christmas card winner, isle photographers and a festive toy run

Home & Roost fundraiser success

Home and Roost

Thanet small business Home & Roost pledged half of all Black Friday profits to animal welfare charities and with their customer’s support have raised over £2,000.

The family run business in Manston makes award-winning, solid wood homes for pets and wildlife.

“Our work brings us into contact with a lot of animal welfare charities,” said director Alan Brimm.”We try to help where we can, but with the overwhelming work load they have we’re aware that it’s never enough.”

That’s why Home & Roost do things a little differently over Black Friday Weekends each year. Whilst other retailers are offering discounts Home & Roost customers pay full price, and the company pledges to donate 50% of all profits from the weekend to animal welfare charities.

“Our customers are animal lovers,” says Alan ” so they really get involved, nominating and voting for the charities we should donate to, and shopping at full price to support them. ”

In a year that has been financially tough for very many people, Home & Roost are proud to have raised over £2,000 for animal welfare charities.

“We were aware that whilst charity donations went up in 2020, they have been significantly lower this year, so we were delighted to equal last year’s total. And with many face to face charity fundraising events having to be put on hold due to COVID restrictions, the money our customers have helped us raise will be all the more welcome.”

The money raised will be divided equally between six animal charities:

Hartford Hedgehog Rescue, a small hedgehog rescue in Cambridgeshire, run by an emergency services worker and her team.

The Excellent Adventure, a guinea pig sanctuary in Northampton that offers new hope and a permanent home to guinea pigs with special medical needs.

Rescue Me Animal Sanctuary: a foster care based sanctuary that has rehomed over 350 cats in the Liverpool area this year.

Brent Lodge Wildlife Hospital: who treat, care for and release injured birds and wildlife in the West Sussex area.

Berkshire Animal Rescue: a fostering charity who rehome unwanted and neglected rabbits in the Berkshire area.

The Norfolk Tortoise Club: who work for tortoise welfare, eductions and rehoming.

“Seeing the work these charities do is always humbling and a true education.” said Alan “The dedication of the people who put in the work, and the hope given to animals who might otherwise have reached the end of the road. This year we are involved with tortoises for the first time. I’d never even considered that tortoises might need help to be honest, but of course very many of them outlive their owners.”

“We are very thankful to our customers for supporting this fundraising effort, and proud to be able to make even a small contribution to the work of such amazing animal welfare charities.”

Christmas card competition

Libbi and her winning card

Over the last few weeks, lots of primary school children in South Thanet have been busy drawing Christmas puddings, Christmas trees, snowmen, angels, reindeers, sleighs, stars, robins, bells and all-things-Christmassy for Craig Mackinlay MP’s annual Christmas Card Competition.

Back in the Autumn, Craig asked all primary schools in his constituency to invite their pupils to design the Christmas cards that he will be sending family, friends and other MPs.

Craig, ably assisted by the constituency staff in his Broadstairs’ Office, agreed which of the children’s designs should feature on the card.

Libbi’s card

The winner of the competition was Libbi, a Year 4 pupil from St Ethelbert’s Catholic Primary School in Ramsgate.

The runners up were:

Florence – Year 5 pupil from Bromstone Primary School in Broadstairs

Zoe – Year 2 pupil from St George’s Church of England Foundation School in Broadstairs

Craig said: “I am very grateful to all the children in South Thanet who entered my 2021 Christmas card competition. This year, as in previous years, I received so many fantastic designs from primary schools around my constituency.

“The competition is always enjoyable, although, given the depth of artistic talent in South Thanet, choosing a winner is never easy.

“After some thought and consideration, I chose Libbi’s beautiful picture of a Christmas tree. I was also greatly impressed by Florence’s Santa in a sleigh and Zoe’s crib scene.

“Very well done to Libby, Florence and Zoe, and my sincere thanks and best wishes for Christmas to all who took part.”

QEQM Hospital League of Friends

These are just a few of the 400 Christmas presents we have bought for patients who have to be in hospital over the festive period. The gifts are ready to be delivered by Santa and his lovely NHS elves on our behalf. We very much hope they bring some cheer and would like to thank Boots at the Westwood Cross shopping centre for allowing us to buy them in bulk at an excellent discount.

To help us fund items like this donations can be made at

More information about our charity is available on our Facebook page or our website

Isle of Thanet Photographic Society

Club member David Silk judged our “Contre Jour” competition in November. 64 dramatic images, captured by photographing directly “into the light”, were shown. Congratulations to the overall winner Paul Ralf with “Sunset Paddle”.

Members were set the challenge of altering eight images chosen by the Chairman and presenting these at a club night in November. Members rose to the challenge using imagination and creativity to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.

In December, we were treated to two excellent talks. First was by Stephen Carroll who took us on an Asian Odyssey through Myanmar, India and Nepal. Stunning images that captured the essence of these fascinating countries.

Next, we enjoyed a wonderful presentation by Kent photographer David Jenner who creates images of “night and day”, combined into one photograph. Patience and perseverance are required, with photos being taken over 24 hours and thousands of images to process. The result is some unique and inspirational photographs.

Members have also been out and about in Margate and Cliftonville to photograph lesser known parts of the town. The above image by Chris West represents some of the great shots that were taken. All can be viewed on our website.

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

Whitstable Toy Run Association

The Whitstable  Toy Run Association has visited the Rainbow ward at Margate’s QEQM Hospital to deliver Christmas gifts. Members also raised over £600 for the cause.

Whitstable Toy Run is about bikers of all persuasions getting together to help disadvantaged children during bad times in their life.

They do this by organising two charity runs; one at Christmas and an Egg Run at Easter along with various events throughout the year.

The Whitstable Toy Run Association has been running for more than 25 years.

A committee member said: “We don’t always fully understand the positive impact of what we do on young children.

“We have had teenagers attend their first toy run and come up to us and say “I’ve been waiting years to do this! I always remember when you came and saw me when I was in hospital.”

“I was given a handmade card from Rainbow ward (on the day of the visit) which just shows what it means to the staff and children that spend time there.

“As well as all the toys, we raised £617 and we will contact the hospital to see what’s on their wish list to help the ward.”