Thanet community news: East Kent Mencap, tree planting, festival choir, Montefiore talk, Crispe Charity, Seafit, refuge award, Margate fire station and cat chipping plea

East Kent Mencap (EKM) members are each taking up a 30-Day Activity Challenge

East Kent Mencap

This spring, members of charity East Kent Mencap (EKM) are each taking up a 30-Day Activity Challenge in a bid to raise £3,000 to provide additional fitness and wellbeing activities for people with a learning disability in East Kent to enjoy.

After two years of being unable to fully enjoy in-person activities and get-togethers, EKM members (people with a learning disability in Thanet, Canterbury, Herne Bay and Swale that use the charity’s services) are challenging themselves to try a new project or activity unique to them, learning new skills and growing in confidence to enjoy a brighter, more connected 2022.

Every £ raised will go towards a wider programme of activities for people with a learning disability in East Kent to enjoy.

“We love trying new things, like exercising or doing an art project. It makes us feel confident and more independent”  says EKM member Stephen, who came up with the Spring Forward: 30-Day Challenge idea. Having missed his regular swimming sessions, Stephen wanted to challenge himself to do something new that would also help others.

His fellow members loved the idea and now they’re undertaking a 30-day challenge, starting on the first day of spring on 21st March and finishing on 20th April 2022. From playing the piano every day to crafting a blanket, walking and fitness activities – every challenge is unique, in recognition and celebration of each members’ individuality.

EKM CEO Jason Gerlack said:  “EKM supports people with a learning disability to achieve what they want out of life. We are a member inspired and led organisation and this initiative encapsulates what we strive for – creating opportunities for members to try new things, make new friends, build self-esteem and connect with the wider community. We’re so proud of everything our members achieve, particularly given the unusual and unsettling events of the last two years. We know that the 30-Day Challenge is an exciting start to a more fun-filled 2022, that will further enhance the lives of people with a learning disability in East Kent. Any support, however big or small, that the public can give us at this time is so very welcome and gratefully received.”

To donate to EKM’s Spring Forward: 30 Day Challenge, go to

Tree planting for Jubilee Green Canopy

Dr Hannah Scott, TDC Climate Change Officer, Clive Stevens, Deputy Lieutenant of Kent, Cllr Kup, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Suzanne Simmons, from Trees for Cities.

To mark the Queen’s Green Canopy Project, Thanet District Council organised its first community tree planting day, which took place at Jackey Bakers Recreation Ground in Ramsgate on Wednesday 15 March. More than 40 local residents attended over two sessions, and between them planted 35 trees.

Cllr Pat Moore, Deputy Mayor of Ramsgate, planting a tree with District Councillors, Cllr Helen Whitehead and Cllr Tricia Austin

Joining the council’s Cabinet Member for Community and Youth Engagement, Cllr George Kup, were Deputy Lieutenant Clive Stevens and Cllr Pat Moore, Deputy Mayor of Ramsgate, who also planted a tree.

Residents planting trees in Jackey Bakers, Ramsgate

Cllr Kup said: “We would like to thank all the residents who took part in our first community tree planting event. Trees are so important for our environment and our mental health, especially in urban areas, and that is why we teamed up with the charity Trees for Cities to access funding from the Urban Tree Challenge and Green Recovery Fund.

Open Spaces and Crematorium Team planting large pines in Jackey Bakers

“I would also like to thank the council’s Open Spaces team who work tirelessly for the good of our environment. The council will be organising more tree planting events in the autumn and I would urge residents to take part.”

The Community Tree Planting Coordinator, Anna Ritchie, watering the pines.

Officers from the council’s Open Spaces and Crematorium Teams followed the community event by planting 7 larger trees. The team will ensure that all of these trees are watered and become established.

Thanet Festival Choir

Thanet Festival Choir holds its Easter concert at Holy Trinity Church, Broadstairs, on Saturday, April 2 from 7.30pm.

It will feature Stainer Crucifixion ‘The Reproaches’ with conductor Clifford Lister. Tickets are £10 in advance and £12 on the door. Call 01304 620560

Ramsgate Montefiore Heritage

What do you read on holiday? Modern technology has changed all our habits. Forty years ago, for example, a slim paperback or newspaper was the order of the day – easy to pack and light to carry. Then came the kindle closely followed by tablets (not the travel sickness ones!) and smart phones.

For an insight into the interests of the 19th century traveller look no further than Ramsgate’s well travelled couple, Sir Moses and Lady Judith Montefiore, whose journeys took them to Europe and the Middle East.

Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein returns to give another of his insightful Ramsgate Montefiore Heritage talks.

The Montefiores’ Holiday Reading And Library at Home will be at the Comfort Inn (San Clu), Victoria Parade, Ramsgate, CT11 8DT on Tuesday 29th March at 7.30pm. There is no charge for members, £5 for visitors. If you join on the evening the ticket cost will be deducted.

The Crispe Charity

Calling children’s and youth group leaders, and school students currently in year 13 in Birchington or Acol.

This local charity may be able to help you with the finances of your group with small cash grants.This local charity may be able to help you settle into higher education or apprenticeships with small cash grants.

Completed applications need to be received by 15 October. For an application form please write or telephone Ann Story, 8 Nursery Fields, Acol, Birchington, CT7 0JF, call01843 846651 or email [email protected]


For the first time in this 3-year programme SeaFit will be bringing health services to fishermen and their families in Ramsgate on March 22-23.

There will be free dental checks, provided by international dental charity Dentaid. These take place onboard a fully equipped mobile dental unit between 10am to 4pm, offering check-ups and emergency extractions, along with oral cancer checks and oral hygiene advice. Both drop-in and appointment spaces are available.

OneYouKent will be providing health mots, having kindly been offered confidential space in the RNLI building, we will also be joined by Prostate Cancer UK and Healthwatch, all offering free information, advice and support.

Carol Elliott, SeaFit Programme Manager said: “This is the first time we have been able to take the SeaFit Programme to Ramsgate and are very much looking forward to being on the quayside. Being able to take health and wellbeing services to where the fishermen work enables them to receive help and support without having to wait for an appointment or loose time when they need to be fishing or preparing to fish. Our hope is that other services will follow us and provide their services on the quayside.”

SeaFit is a joint initiative from respected maritime charities, the Fishermen’s Mission and Seafarers Hospital Society, working in partnership to deliver flexible quayside services to improve the health and wellbeing of fishermen and their families. The Programme includes a range of initiatives covering physical, dental and mental health.

Local Fishermen’s Mission staff have been crucial to the success of the SeaFit Programme. Ruth Charles, Mission Area Officer for South East England said: “It’s really exciting that SeaFit is coming to Ramsgate and I’m looking forward to meeting Fishermen from across the local area. Having health care providers come to the quay shows how much the fishing communities of Kent are valued and will enable Fishermen to have easier access vital health care services.”

To find out more call: Carol Elliott, Programme Manager, on 07486 319 621 or email [email protected]

Thanet Women’s Refuge

The Thanet Women’s Refuge, part of Oasis Domestic Abuse Service, was awarded a High Sheriff Award at the Corn Exchange in Rochester on 17 March.

Domestic abuse affects over 2 million people a year in England and Wales, which equates to between 75,000 to 80,000 adults in Kent and Medway and makes up 15% of all crime across the county.

Oasis has been supporting people who have been affected by domestic abuse for over twenty-five years. At the forefront of their work  is a client-first, recovery-focused approach, enabling positive safe futures, with interventions for every step of the journey from crisis to trauma-recovery and lives lived free from abuse.

Loukia Michael, from Thanet Refuge, said: “Domestic abuse does not discriminate – it is a far-reaching, pervasive issue that anyone can be a victim of – regardless of age, gender, ethnicity sexuality and background, and has lifelong consequences. We have been supporting those affected by domestic abuse for over twenty-five  years and the service we provide is as important today as it was then. We are thrilled that our vital service has been recognised with a High Sheriff Award.”

John Weir JP, High Sheriff, added: “Beverly and I visited the refuge very early on in my tenure.  Because of my experience gained chairing criminal courts I am only too aware of the desperate situation in which some women, who have been subjected to abuse, find themselves.   We were much impressed with the support that Loukia Michael and her colleagues can offer to those women seeking a safe environment.  The Thanet refuge must be an Oasis of security and calm.”

Kent Community Foundation works with the High Sheriff to facilitate the awards and has in recent years awarded Thanet Women’s Refuge  several grants to help them support some of the most vulnerable adults, children, and young people in East Kent.

To see a full list of High Sheriff Award winners, visit

Margate Fire Station Christmas collection donations

Crew manager Andy Ramsden presenting £380 to Gabby Cherpin from East Kent Mencap. Gabby said: “The donation helps support those with a learning disability to grow in confidence, become more independent and plan what support they need to become more independent.”

Margate Fire crew Claire Fenley of Oasis Domestic Abuse Service, receiving £380.

Crew manager Andy Ramsden presented Karen Kenward from Pilgrims Hospice with £380.

Margate Fire Station would like to thank the residents of Thanet for the continued support and generous donations. A total of £3600 was raised. Also benefitting from donations were The Firefighters Charity, Age UK Thanet and Rainbow ward QEQM.

Missing Cats and Strays in Thanet

Once again there has been a spate of road traffic accidents involving cats. This past week there must’ve been at least one to two a day. A day! When we pick up cats, it can be super traumatic for those that have witnessed it, and those that have to pick them up. However, the most heartbreaking thing about it is when there is no microchip and we cannot reunite.There are probably so many cats in the missing folder that have sadly passed away, and the owners will never know about it.

We can’t stop cats running into the road, and we can’t stop people speeding, and we can’t stop people having no heart to stop and help.

What we can do though is stop having so many cats that are unchipped. Please please please if you have a cat that is not micro chipped, please get it chipped as soon as you can. Even if it is an indoor cat. The countless times that people have said they are an indoor cat. Well they aren’t an indoor cat if they’ve gone missing are they?

Kay’s Mobile Microchipping will come to your house and microchip your cats for £10! £10 and you’ve got peace of mind.

If your cat is chipped and your details are not up-to-date, you can do this online. Find out your cats microchip number and you can find the company by using this website.

It is so important to get your cats micro chipped, as well as neutered. Neutering does help because it stops them from straying, however unfortunately, neutered cats also get hit regularly.

If you hit a cat, please do the right thing and inform somebody, and at least move it away from the road so it doesn’t get further desecrated.

If you find a cat that has been hit by a car and is deceased, please contact us or any cat charity, and make people aware. Please note, it is not the responsibility of the RSPCA or any veterinary practice in the area to come and collect a cat that has been hit by a car- so please do not waste their time by ringing them, instead if you are unable to do the deed yourself, please try and find someone who can take it to the nearest Vets or inform an organisation such as us and we will try to send a volunteer.