Thanet community news: Farmland Not Food rally; artisan fair in Ramsgate; Independent Vindicatrix; 1st Westgate Beavers and Kent Community Foundation

Farmland for food demo

Westgate and Garlinge Action Group Against Housing Development

Some 60 people joined the Westgate and Garlinge Action Group Against Housing Development’s Farmland for Food not Houses rally today (April 10)..

Speeches at the event in Westgate were made by Joanna Cornford, Cllr Pauline Farrance, Cllr Matthew Scott and Rowan Dickman from Salmestone Ward Residents Association.

Loss of farmland, food security and the impact of housing development were discussed as well as the  link with increased use of local food banks and gridlock at Dover with food cargoes being wasted.

The Interchangeable Craft Emporium

A new monthly craft and makers market has launched in Ramsgate.

The first event was held at Centenary Hall in Hardres Street yesterday (April 9).

Organised by sisters Julia and Mizz Sanders, who sell their own goods via online The Interchangeable Craft Emporium, the first event was attended by ‘Mr Ramsgate’ Ralph Hoult and Ramsgate mayor Cllr Raushan Ara.

Cllr Ara said: “I would like to thank Julia Sanders for inviting me to open The Interchangeable Craft Emporium , new indoor market fair. It’s wonderful to see so many local small businesses and business women selling unusual and creative gift items and supporting this monthly indoor market. I would like to wish the greatest of success with their new venture.”

The next market is on May 7, 10am to 4pm. For stallholder enquiries email [email protected]

Independent Vindicatrix of East Kent Association – M.N.

We held only our second meeting in over 2 years due to Covid on April 7th; 2022 which was our AGM meeting.  There were received apologies from a number of members for various reasons, many health related.

The meeting was asked if the previous minutes were accepted as a true and accurate record of events and it was unanimously accepted as so. The meeting was also asked if there were any matters arising from them and there were none.

The Secretary formally resigned his position and requested nominations for the position but it was unanimously agreed that he should remain in post.  Our detailed financial report was given which showed our accounts remained in good health and they were submitted to the members.

Our sick-bay list is sadly increasing due to age and the health problems that come from it and news of some was passed to the meeting.  A report was given on our annual New Year Dinner which was again well attended and held at the Racing Greyhound pub in Ramsgate where all enjoyed another lovely meal with good service.  The members wished to thank Keith, Debbie and the staff for a great evening.

Our raffle on the night raised £113 to our funds.  A report was given on our attendance at the final Channel Dash Association commemoration held this year at Manston Airport where we represented the Merchant Navy. Details were given on the coach quotes for our trip to the National Merchant Navy Day parade at Tower Hill in London on September 4th; 2022 and ideas for post-parade.  It is hoped we can attend the 2022  Armed Forces Day parade again this year and names were requested from those interested.

Sadly it was announced that our shipmate Brian Hunt, the President of the South-East Queensland Vindicatrix Association in Australia “crossed the bar” in February following a heart attack, Brian was a stalwart for all things Merchant Navy and was responsible for a Memorial to be erected to the Merchant Navy.  He’ll be sorely missed by all who knew him.  R.I.P. Brian.

A few members and wives will travel to the Isle of Wight in May for a 5-day coach break.  The issue of restarting our subs; was raised and it was agreed that we retain our annual subs at £5.  Mention was made about the Commemoration events to be held at the National Arboretum for the Falkland’s war on June 14th; 2022 for the veterans and families of those who took part and of course, the Merchant Navy and merchant seafarers played a big part in that.  Our next meeting will be held on July 7th; 2022.

1st Westgate Beavers.

1st Westgate On Sea Beavers are looking for donations of old, unwanted digital cameras – forgotten, unused, unloved due to the fact that you’ve got a camera phone that does just as good a job!

Any donated cameras will then be tested and used by the beavers at 1st Westgate to help them towards their photography badge.

If you have a digital camera you’re willing to donate please drop them off at Westgate-on-Sea Town Council office, 78 St. Mildreds Road.

Kent Community Foundation

Kent Community Foundation has £187,000 to distribute to grassroots groups to enhance their digital offer and strengthen client-facing technology infrastructure

The Digital Inclusion Fund is open for applications from charitable organisations across Kent and Medway who are working hard to reduce digital exclusion.

Grants of up to £10,000 are available for a wide range of activity, including work with disadvantaged young people seeking training, the elderly navigating digital services such as benefits and health services and vulnerable adults accessing training and skills development to enable independent living.

Natalie Smith, Director of Grants and Impact, Kent Community Foundation, said, “This Fund was opened in November 2021 with £300,000, after a match funding programme from Kent County Council. We have distributed the first round of grants to sixteen groups including West Faversham Community Association, Fusion Maidstone, Headway Kent, and Healthy Living Centre Dartford and are now taking new applications for grants of up to £10,000 which will be awarded from the £187,000 balance of the Fund.”

One of the beneficiaries of the first round of funding was Kent Coast Volunteering who received £10,000 for their Folkestone Nepalese Digital Inclusion Project.  The project focuses on helping elderly Nepalese people to learn IT skills and how to use computers, so that they can connect with health and social care services, feel less isolated and support their wellbeing.

Kerry Smith, CEO of Kent Coast Volunteering said, “In a world where information, services and support are all accessed online;  funding from Kent Community Foundation’s Digital Inclusion Fund means that our Volunteer Digital Champions can continue to support Nepalese Elders, helping people of all abilities get connected at pace that suits, and from a place that is warm and welcoming.”

Natalie Smith continued “Kent Coast Volunteering has been working with the Nepalese community for the last eight years and we were delighted to support their application as it directly aligned with one of the key areas that the Fund supports. If groups are unsure about their eligibility or have any questions, our grants team would be very happy to support them with the application process.”

To apply to the Digital Inclusion Fund, visit