Thanet community news: Fish comp, cold shower challenge, Thanet Earth, Home Front, community foundation, health trust and Rolls-Royce rescue

RNLI fishing: Winning Skipper Bob Marshall, Duke IV and Most Money raised £400+ Bryan Adams

RNLI  Junior Fishing Competition 2022

On Friday 26th August, following a two year pause due to Covid, the annual RNLI junior fishing competition resumed.

Nearly 50 youngsters excitedly set sail at 10am in 11 local charter boats, returning just after 2pm. Parents enjoyed a barbecue and a cake stall was doing brisk business, a raffle was held with all proceeds going to the total amount raised.

Once again local businesses were generous with donations of cash and prizes. Main sponsor of the event London Array again donated bags of goodies for all entrants. In addition to a generous donation  members of their crews were also in attendance.

Biggest fish John Thompson

A total of £4,600 was raised on the day with further pledges, including £750 from RSP, meaning some £5,500 raised in total for Ramsgate RNLI.

Organiser Jason Parrot said: “After Covid it was pleasing to see our community come together to raise money for the local lifeboat.

“Once again we are grateful for the unselfish generosity of our local businesses both big and small and also the many unseen helpers without whom this event could not take place.”

Coxwain Ian Cannon added: “The local RNLI crew are grateful to all those who took part in this year’s event, the money raised will help with training and extra equipment. Our thanks go to Jason and all his helpers and local people who have donated.”

Kent Coastal Challenge Cup Andrew Richards

Participant Anneliese Nicholson “I had a great day, caught two fish and learnt about safety at sea and some of the fish around our coast.”

Another participant, Freddie Brakenborough added: “It was fun raising money for the RNLI and I had a smashing time on the boat.”

Prizes were awarded to the first three boys and three girls, all entrants also got a gift of a goodie bag, tee shirt and a rod and reel.

Natalie Thorn from London Array with Dawn Parrot

Further prizes were given  most money raised, biggest fish, winning Skipper and a special cup donated by the Channel Swimming Association for losing the biggest fish.

Oyster Coast water sports kindly lent 50 life jackets for the event and music for the bar-b-q afterwards was provided by Andy Godden, Ship Shape cafe provided free breakfasts for all Skippers and crew before the event.

Margate RNLI

Photo Paul Dunt/RNLI

Margate lifeboat volunteer Guy Addington has finally dried off after completing his 365th cold water outside shower, raising more than £10,000 for the RNLI and highlighting the responsible use of water.

Guy, who is a helm on the station’s two inshore lifeboats, began his daily routine of taking a shower outside with a hose on September 1 2021 and since then has endured sub zero temperatures, hail, storms and driving winds – and even catching Covid – while at the same time recording a daily video on You Tube.

On Wednesday 31 August Guy, watched by friends, family and supporters, took his final shower outside Margate Lifeboat Station. Also there to witness his last time under the hose were members of the volunteer crew from the station and colleagues from HM Coastguard and Kent Fire and Rescue Service.

Photo Roberto Fabiani

Following cheers from the assembled crowd Guy said he was amazed at the all the people who had turned out for his last cold dousing: ‘I’m absolutely blown away by the support and all the people who have travelled to see this. It’s a bit weird being watched by so many people when I’m having a shower.”

One of those joining Guy was his sister Susy Matthews, who had come across from Lee-on-Solent to be there and had joined Guy for one of his cold showers outside on Day 244.

She said: “It’s been a huge commitment for him. He’s got lots of great friends and support and it shows his messages about water safety – and the responsible use of water – are being understood and shared’.

Guy’s challenge started as a bet with his wife Emily who challenged him to shower outside and then he decided to make it count. . ‘I’m passionate about trying to stop lives being lost at sea and also wanted to do my bit to help prevent coastal and sea pollution,’ said Guy who has been a lifeboat volunteer for the RNLI for almost 30 years.

Photo Roberto Fabiani

During his year-long challenge, Guy who is also the RNLI’s Water Safety Lead for the South East and London, was awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in recognition of his efforts in saving lives and promoting water safety. As a volunteer he has launched more than 300 times on service, aided more than 370 people and saved 13 lives. One key element of the challenge has been promoting water responsibility.

Thanet Earth community champion for August

We are delighted to announce that our August Community Champion was Monkton Nature Reserve, based just outside of Ramsgate in an old chalk quarry.

Monkton Nature Reserve was established in 1982 having been rescued from becoming a council rubbish tip.  A dedicated team of approximately 50 local volunteers help maintain the educational buildings as well as the reserve itself.

Sally Channon, who leads New Product Development at Thanet Earth, said “We were keen to support Monkton Nature Reserve through our TECET Community Champion Scheme as we share their passion for conservation of the local area and have spent time at the reserve learning about their projects.

We have also welcomed staff from Monkton Nature Reserve to Thanet Earth to see for themselves the areas we have returned to native calcareous grassland and to share knowledge on maintaining the site as naturally as possible. One joint area of interest is the increase of orchids found on both sites.”

Clive Nuttman, Adviser to the Trustees said “We are delighted to be working with our near neighbours at Thanet Earth to improve outcomes for biodiversity and conservation. The trustees at Monkton Nature Reserve offer grateful thanks for the recent donation towards tools and equipment that will be used by our volunteers in their habitat management work at the reserve.”

In April 2022 the Thanet Earth Community Engagement Team was established with the aim of promoting and enhancing the position of the company within the wider community by supporting local charity initiatives and good causes through sponsorship and donations.

The scheme plans 12 months ahead and nominates a different local cause for each month.

The Thanet Earth Community Engagement Team continue to build on this momentum and look forward to working with many more good causes in the local community.

For more information about Monkton Nature Reserve and the vital work they do visit their website

Cake and cream tea fundraiser in aid of Target Ovarian Cancer and the Macmillan nurses

A fundraiser will be held at the Homefront Tearoom in Ramsgate on September 17 from 10am to 3.30pm . All profits will go to the named charities. Hosted by tearoom owner Kim Chatwind.

Residents Amanda Rooke and Rachel Young are also both running the LLHM (London landmarks half marathon) 2023 for these charities. Amanda works in the Haberdashery and Rachel works at the tearoom.

Kent Community Foundation

Robert Sackville-West, DL, speaks about why charitable giving today is more important than ever before, and how working with Kent Community Foundation is the easiest way to make a difference to local communities across Kent

Like many philanthropists, Robert is very concerned about the developing cost of living crisis affecting people across his home county.  He is encouraging those who can afford to invest in their community to work with grant-makers Kent Community Foundation to distribute much-needed funding directly to worthwhile, fully vetted grassroots causes.

Robert knows grant-makers Kent Community Foundation well, having been a trustee for the last five years and Chair since January 2022. He was so impressed by how diligent their grant-making is, that he and his wife Jane decided to open a charitable endowment fund with them three years ago. Over the last twenty years the Foundation has awarded over £50 million to thousands of grassroots organisations across the county. Having reacted quickly to the additional requests for financial support during the Covid-19 pandemic, they are now gearing up to support charitable organisations whose resources will be stretched by the cost-of-living crisis.

Robert Sackville-West, DL, says “I receive many requests for financial support from charitable organisations but before I discovered Kent Community Foundation, I had no means of assessing whether those requests were from well-run charities or the need was what they said it was, making the process of giving difficult and time consuming. When I discovered that the Kent Community Foundation team were experts in linking people who wanted to invest in their local community with good causes who needed support, it was an easy decision to become a trustee and subsequently set up an endowment fund.

“As a trustee I have seen first-hand the huge number of applications for financial support they receive and the professional way that Kent Community Foundation evaluates and analyses each request. Having witnessed the difference that these grants make,  I am keen to show others who want to donate and support those in need just what an effective channel this is.

“Kent is a county full of contrasts; on the one hand it is a suburb of London, on the other the gateway to Europe. It is known as the ‘Garden of England’ but is also an ex-mining community. Through working closely with Kent Community Foundation, I have a clearer idea of how stark the differences are between the extremes of wealth and poverty.

“Kent Community Foundation recently commissioned a ‘Needs Analysis Report’ to assess where the demands are greatest across each of the thirteen districts so that they can directly target grant-giving towards specific requirements in each area.

“As Chairman of the Kent Community Foundation board, I see two challenges for the future. Firstly, to support those who are adversely affected by the cost-of-living crisis and secondly, to increase the level of funding that the Foundation can award by encouraging others to set up charitable funds or to donate to support their community.

“As the cost-of-living crisis escalates, now is the time for those who can help ease the increasing burden for charities  to step forward and see the difference that they can make across the county.”

To request more information about setting up a fund with Kent Community Foundation or donating email [email protected] or to enquire about funding for charitable organisations email [email protected] or visit

Kent Community Health Trust

A Kent NHS charity fundraiser will be taking to two wheels in September to raise awareness of the latest HIV research and support others affected by HIV.

Steve Bamford, 49, who is an HIV volunteer peer supporter for Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT), will set off on a 390-kilometre bike ride across Kent, starting on Tuesday, 6 September.

He plans to cycle across Kent visiting all 16 community hospitals, minor injury units and sexual health clinics provided by KCHFT over four days.

The ride aims to publicise the U=U (undetectable=untransmittable) campaign and raise money for KCHFT’s charity i care HIV fund.

Network engineer Steve was diagnosed with HIV in 2018 after falling seriously ill with pneumonia. He said: “It was a shock. My knowledge at the time was as bad as everyone else’s, but I was quickly seen by an HIV consultant in sexual health at KCHFT, who told me that effective medication would make the condition manageable and would also mean I couldn’t transmit the virus to others.”

Under the care of the Clover Street NHS sexual health clinic in Medway, the levels of HIV in Steve’s body became undetectable in just two years. He joined the KCHFT HIV Talking Together patient group in 2021 to share how he felt and trained as a volunteer peer supporter to offer reassurance to people who’ve also been recently diagnosed.

Steve, from Lordswood, said: “When I first told people they thought the worst and said how sorry they were. I know people who haven’t told friends and family because they’re worried about their reaction. Only 30 per cent of people living in the UK know that U=U, which means you can live a healthy life with HIV. This shouldn’t be a hidden thing, we need to talk about it, get tested and support each other.”

Stephen Grice, Head of Sexual Health said: “People living with HIV can still suffer from stigma in society so it’s important to know if they are on effective treatment and the virus is undetectable in their body it cannot be passed on. We’re really grateful for Steve’s hard work and for raising awareness through all the charitable work he does for i care.”

Steve will start his ride at the trust headquarters in Maidstone before visiting trust sites in Sittingbourne, Sheppey, Gravesend, Sevenoaks, Edenbridge, Tonbridge, Hawkhurst, Tenterden, Folkestone, Deal, Canterbury, Herne Bay, Whitstable and Faversham over four days, finishing at Clover Street sexual health clinic in Chatham on Friday, 9 September.

Steve has so far raised more than £3,500 for i care from three previous challenges. His employer, IG, an online trading provider, has supported him all the way by matching his fundraising efforts as well.

Find out more about his journey and how to donate at

Rolls-Royce rescue

Rolls-Royce enthusiast Christian Bligny was ecstatic to acquire a rare 1949 Silver Wraith Mulliner for his latest European tour, which began with an unscheduled visit to Broadstairs in Kent, and a detour to Winnie-the-Pooh’s birthplace in East Sussex.

“My passion for Rolls-Royce started when I saw the Silver Wraith in the Bond film From Russia With Love,” he explained. “I’m not interested in displaying them in a museum. I drive them the way they were meant to be driven, on country roads. I’ve driven all over Europe, from Italy to Russia to the Northern Cape in Norway. I don’t want people to think I’m showing off. That’s why I put Winnie-the-Pooh bears in the back, so people can see it’s all about having fun. If things don’t go to plan, c’est la vie!”

That was certainly the case on his way home to France, after picking up the Wraith in Wales. It was July, the week of the hottest day ever in the UK. The car had been garaged for years so, naturally, Bligny jumped straight in and drove to Flying Spares, in Leicestershire, for parts. From there, he headed for Dover, via the Imperial War Museum at Duxford, and, despite headline-making queues on the M20, he made it… almost.

On arrival at the port, the engine cut out. A recovery vehicle was called, from MKR Recovery Services in Manston, and Bligny boarded the ferry without his new prized possession. The question for MKR was who to entrust the repair to. They recommended A1 Motorist Centre in Broadstairs. Owned and run by father and son team Adam and Tom Rogers, A1 boasts a strong classic heritage with Adam’s dad having worked for Jack Barclay, the world’s oldest Bentley dealership.

“We had a call from MKR Recovery, who we do a lot of work with, to say they had a car conked out at Dover,” said Adam Rogers. “We didn’t initially know it was a 1949 Rolls! My background is in parts, so I’ve known Flying Spares for years. I used to own a Bentley Turbo and we’ve worked on various British classics. This one is quite special though.”

Repair complete, on a glorious sunny day in August, Bligny flew into Gatwick and made his way to Broadstairs. “A1 flushed the fuel line, did a few other bits, and only charged me for three hours work, so I’m very grateful,” he said. “I’m taking the car up to Ipswich now, to visit a friend, then Ashdown Forest (the home of Pooh) and back to Dover. Tomorrow, I start my tour de France, ending in Alsace with a stopover in Champagne, to pick up some wine.” Another happy Flying Spares customer.


Comments are closed.