Thanet community news: Meetings, donations, sponsorship and a cadet merger

New 2433 (Thanet) Squadron

RAF Cadets Thanet merger

Royal Air Force Air Cadets in Thanet have now merged into one Squadron. The new squadron is 2433 (Thanet) Squadron, this name being a merger of the two original Squadrons.

We are parading at the Drill Hall, 69 Victoria Road, Margate. Historically the home of 438 Squadron, both 2433 and 438 Squadrons have had different challenges in recent years.  With falling numbers and problems from outside influences, 438 Squadron needed help. 2433 Squadron had higher numbers, but due to its location on the former Battle of Britain airfield at Manston, fell victim to the needs of Government as the base was needed for other uses. The obvious decision was made to merge the two squadrons.

438 (Thanet) Squadron was founded on the 18th February 1941. Just 12 days after the Air Training Corps was formed on the 6th February 1941. 2433 (Ramsgate) Squadron was formed on the 1st September 1965. Because of the history of both units, neither cadets nor staff wanted to lose either squadron. The decision was taken to share the name.  We are also going to keep on show many of the historical artefacts from both Squadrons.

We are hoping that this will give young people in Thanet a bigger opportunity to take part in the activities the Royal Air Force Air cadets have to offer. We are now busy organising events for the cadets to participate in, including trips to RAF museums, activity camps, the Duke of Edinburgh’s award, and a wide variety of sports and qualifications.

We are always looking out for more cadets and adult volunteers. If you, or someone you know, would like to rise to the challenge, please go to the Royal Air Force Air Cadets website.  We also welcome donations to the Squadron to support the young people of Thanet in their adventures.

Thanet Athletics Club and Thanet Riding For The Disabled

Thanet Athletics Club’s coaching assistant Janet Clayton, welfare officer Christine Lee and athlete Lola Brett met up with some of the amazing people from Thanet Riding For The Disabled on Saturday 5th February to hand over a donation cheque for £166.00 on behalf of the club.

The money was raised by the club who had held a Christmas raffle and decided to make the donation to this worthwhile cause, as well as raising funds for the refurbishment of their track and facilities.

Lola was exceptionally excited with this venture as she had been a keen rider since the age of 4 years old, and could appreciate all the hard work and dedication that the team at Riding For The Disabled have to show on a daily basis. She is lucky enough to own her own horse and she is registered with British showjumping and is hoping to start competing in 3 day eventing later this year.

Riding For The Disabled is a small charity located in Thanet, who have been established for over 40 years so they were over the moon to receive the cheque. They are a purely donation based charity and rely solely on the generosity of the public. They provide riding for over 30 children and adults a week with the help of an amazing group of volunteers and ponies, and are always on the lookout for more volunteers to make the experience for the riders the best it can possibly be!! Their motto is “if we have the right horse we will take the rider, no matter the disability”.

Westgate Town Council

Westgate on Sea Town Council has received a prestigious award as part of the Local Council Award Scheme. This achievement recognises that the council achieves good practice in governance, community engagement and council improvement. Moreover, Westgate on Sea Town Council goes above and beyond their legal obligations, leading their communities and continuously seeking opportunities to improve and develop even further.

The Award Scheme report highlighted the council’s particular areas of strength, including its community focus and robust governance.

The Local Council Award Scheme is a peer assessed programme that has been designed to both provide the tools and encouragement to those councils at the beginning of their improvement journeys, as well as promoting and recognising councils that are at the cutting edge of the sector. It is through the sector working together to share best practice, drive up standards and supporting those who are committed to improving their offer to their communities that individual councils and the sector as a whole will reach its full potential.

Westgate on Sea Town Council said “It is very exciting to be celebrating the achievement of reaching the Foundation Level of the national Local Council’s Award Scheme. Attaining the Foundation Award provides indisputable evidence that our seven-year-old Westgate on Sea  Town Council is at the cutting edge of first tier local government and effectively serving the town and its people.

The success of our Town Clerk Gill Gray is testament to the qualities of a positive, inclusive, and progressive attitude, a willingness to go beyond, supported by a well- chosen team of officers and by councillors who are prepared to train and commit themselves to representing their community. The Foundation award is the first of three steps for a town council to demonstrate it meets the standards set by the sector and is fully committed to further improvement to reach its full potential, and at the same time contributing to a higher standard for first tier local government nationally.”

To celebrate this achievement, the council is planning to explain the award to the community at the Annual Town Meeting on 4th April.

In terms of the future, the council is now reviewing ways in which it can keep on improving its offer to the local community and welcomes input from local people and partners on this. Westgate on Sea Town Council and other local councils like it, are at the front line of the government’s localism agenda and are doing as much as they can to deliver services whilst being efficient and cost-effective. Currently the council provides a range of services from managing the newly acquired Recreation Ground to facilitating community events and wants to improve its community engagement through this.

Broadstairs Dickens Fellowship

Despite covid taking its toll in December, the much-loved annual performance of Dickens ‘ “A Christmas Carol” at the Pavilion, Broadstairs, by the Dickens Declaimers still went ahead and managed to raise £400.00 for the NSPCC through both the generosity of the people of Broadstairs on the day and from the Fellowship’s Just Giving page online.

This has now become a firm festive favourite and, even though two planned performances were cancelled due to covid, Alice Glover, Treasurer and Judith Bland, Chairperson, both from Thanet & Dover District branch of the NSPCC, were pleased to receive much needed funds to aid this children’s charity.

The Dickens Fellowship has a lively calendar of events planned for this year including more performances by the Dickens Declaimers, and we are delighted to welcome Miriam Margolyes, a Patron of the Dickens Fellowship to Broadstairs who will be our guest of honour at our dinner in May. Speakers visiting the Broadstairs branch of the Fellowship this year include John Mullan, Paul Lewis and A.N. Wilson.

The Dickens Fellowship is a world-wide organisation, founded in 1902, for those who share an interest in the life and work of Charles Dickens. The Fellowship meets on the first Wednesday evening of each month in the Pavilion and there are three friendly social events for the members each year.

For further information please contact or Hon.Sec. Chris Ewer on [email protected]

Margate Civic Society

Our first meeting of the New Year was a very informative talk by John and Janet Robinson entitled ‘The History of Epple Bay’.  Thank you to those who attended and to those who have renewed their membership subscriptions and kindly made donations.

The next meeting will be held on Thursday, 3 March at 7.30pm (attendees to be seated by 7.15pm please) and we are pleased that we are back at our usual venue: The Walpole Bay Hotel (in the Ballroom), Fifth Avenue, Cliftonville, Margate  CT9 2JJ.

This meeting will be bringing some much-needed sunshine and a touch of Italian elegance – something which I am sure we will all appreciate!

The evening will start with Members’ Notices, after which our guest speaker: Hugh Raggett (a retired, professional Emmy-award film-maker) will be showing his film and giving a talk on “The Hanbury Gardens on the Italian Riviera” which is about Sir Thomas Hanbury (a celebrated Victorian Quaker and philanthropist), his connection with Wisley and the history of his renowned garden on the Italian Riviera.

After Hugh’s fascinating talk, there will be an opportunity for any questions.

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

All are welcome – nominal entrance fee is £3.50 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.

Cliftonville Hockey Club community outreach programme

Safety and compliance specialist Clear Safety has smashed its year one target linked to delivering a sports sponsorship programme to Thanet area schools via Cliftonville Hockey Club’s community outreach programme.

#The initiative, which started just four months ago, has already resulted in the delivery of hockey coaching to 11 primary and secondary schools across the Thanet area hitting the original target of 10-12 schools in the first year of the programme. Spearheaded by James Provins, Club Treasurer of Cliftonville Hockey Club, it offers fun and enjoyable hockey sessions to children aged between 9-14.

Designed to encourage more young people into the sport a mix of eight junior and senior schools are on board, including St Nicholas at Wade, Upton, Dane Court, Garlinge, Northdown, St George’s CofE Primary & Secondary & Chilton. In addition, three schools are being coached this term, including two follow-ups from last term: Chatham House, St Laurence Primary, Newlands and continued sessions for St George’s CofE primary and secondary. By providing introductory sessions to the sport, it is anticipated that the same schools will adopt a more formal training programme in year 2.

Plans are also afoot to introduce a local schools hockey tournament. Originally planned for Spring 2022 this will be rescheduled to year two of the programme due to the current Covid situation. The competition will involve schools across Thanet and it is hoped that this will become an annual event.

Clear Safety’s sponsorship is helping to fund the cost associated with delivering the specialist training from qualified sports coach Isaac Dilkes.

Matt Westby, Director at Clear Safety said, “We are delighted with the response to this project which is designed to provide many children across Thanet with the opportunity to enjoy the benefits associated with exercise and also to gain access to a sport that they may otherwise not be able to experience. The relationships we are developing with the schools are strong and this was the key objective for year one. We’ve received excellent feedback in the first half of the season with schools commenting on how pleased they are with the high standard of coaching and how much the children are enjoying the hockey sessions.

“We look forward to the programme’s continuing success with more schools set to join in the coming months. With Clear’s strong track record in delivering safety and compliance management within the schools’ sector, this sponsorship continues to represent a natural fit for our business providing an opportunity for children to participate in a fun, safe and competitive environment.”

QEQM Hospital League of Friends

Our donors and fundraisers can select the Ward or Department they wish to benefit and those who chose Child Health will be pleased we recently funded 8 sleeper chairs for Rainbow Children’s Ward.

The nursing staff say they’re very grateful they can now offer parents/carers who stay overnight a chair that converts to a bed next to their child’s bed. It’s important they have somewhere that allows them to properly rest overnight so they can be fully engaged in their child’s care and recovery. Having a parent or carer present also ensures the distress to the child of being in hospital and away from their usual surroundings is reduced by having a familiar person to comfort them.

If you’d like to help us fund items like this, donations can be made or a fundraising page set up at

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

Kent Community Foundation

Kent Community Foundation hosted a ‘Causes the Matter’ event with John Weir JP, The High Sheriff of Kent at the Rochester Corn Exchange on 2 February to celebrate the work that small grassroots charities and community groups are doing across Kent and Medway.

The event in the Queens Hall was attended by over 100 guests representing 60 charities and community groups who discussed the topic ‘What are you plans for 2022?’ . The guests heard speeches  from Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive of Kent Community Foundation, Natalie Smith, Director of Grants and Impact, Kent Community Foundation  and John Weir JP, High Sheriff, Kent and enjoyed tea and cakes.

One of the guests, Shea Coffey, Manager and Co-Founder of Medway Pride said, “I want to thank Kent Community Foundation for inviting me along to ‘Causes that Matter’ it was wonderful to meet so many people doing incredible things.”

Natalie Smith, Director of Grants and Impact, said, “The Kent Community Foundation team was delighted to see over one hundred representatives from community groups and charities gather together for our first post pandemic ‘Causes that Matter’ event with the High Sheriff. The event gave us an opportunity to celebrate the brilliant, often unseen and vital work that Kent’s grassroots groups are doing in their communities.”

To see pictures of the event visit

To find out more about how Kent Community Foundation supports grassroots charities and community groups visit

Martha Trust

Local business CH Staffing, based in Margate, is supporting local charity Martha Trust in 2022 by becoming their yearlong Main Events Sponsor for their full calendar of events lined up for what is the charity’s 35th anniversary year.

CH Staffing formed 8 months ago and is an independently owned company that specialises in recruiting and supplying staff to 5 sectors: Healthcare, Education, Industrial, Construction and Security & Events. They currently have 100 contractors and have room for growth.

They have also just started their first academy in January 2022 based in Margate where they are funding and training security officers.

Martha Trust supports young people and adults with profound disabilities at 2 homes in Hacklinge, Kent and 1 in Hastings East Sussex. Martha provides a home for life and respite care in a safe and loving environment as well as support and advice for families and carers.

Like all charities, the pandemic has hit the charity very hard with their ability to fundraise through lockdowns whilst the residents at Martha needed support more than ever.

Darren Cooper – Managing Director of CH Staffing, said: “CH Staffing are delighted and honoured to be supporting the work that Martha Trust does to enrich the lives of people with profound disabilities. We have a very exciting year ahead and want to assist in making Martha’s 35th anniversary a year to remember and would encourage other businesses to step forward and to get involved to sponsor their events as this enables the charity to raise more money for their residents.

“At CH Staffing, we are also planning to work with the local shelters and British Legion to identify ex forces to help and assist them back into employment and training plus work with local housing to hopefully provide accommodation”

Kerry Banks BEM – Fundraising & Events Officer for Martha Trust said: “We are incredibly delighted and excited to have the support of CH Staffing for 2022– such a dedicated local business supporting local! Not only, have they sponsored the year of events, they will be providing volunteers too to assist with the events.

“Our residents basic funding is covered by clinical commissioning groups and Local Authorities however anything else like hydrotherapy, specialised equipment, trips out, education and sensory technologies have to be funded with the support of amazing individuals, community groups and businesses like CH Staffing.

“We have a very full calendar of events on for our 35th anniversary and would love to hear from anyone who would be interested in supporting us through Sponsorship, Volunteering, Gifts in Kind, Auction & Raffle prize donations or wanting to put an event on for us!”

Please visit and click on events to see what is listed so far for the year.