Thanet community news: East Kent Mencap, Friends of Botany Bay, Birchington Heritage Trust, golf day and community foundation

Award winning East Kent Mencap

East Kent Mencap

East Kent Mencap is a proud winner in three categories at the Kent Care Awards 2022.

East Kent Mencap enables and empowers individuals with a learning disability to achieve the things they want out of life, through choice, support and opportunity; and these prestigious awards celebrate the care sector and show appreciation for the work they do.

This is the 7th Annual Kent Care Awards, organised by KiCA; a collaborative social enterprise that helps shape the future of social care and health in Kent and Medway. East Kent Mencap’ winners were; Alida Mulhall, Support Worker, Amy Amos, Senior Support Worker, and Alison Fengas, HR Manager.

Alida Mulhall, ‘Putting People First’ Award, in recognition of her different perspective on person-centered support and exceptional delivery of care and support to the charity’s members at Thanet Day Resource.

Amy Amos, ‘Apprentice of the Year’ Award, impressed the judges with her enthusiastic undertaking of her apprenticeship at Swale Day Services. Alison Fengas, ‘Recruitment, Recognition, and Reward’ Award, was praised for her innovative approach to HR.

East Kent Mencap was also finalists for two further awards. Rebecca Walker, Senior Support Worker, was a finalist for ‘Newcomer of the Year’ Award and recognised as an exceptional candidate new to the care industry. Thanet Day Resource Team was a finalist for ‘Care Team of the Year’ Award and was congratulated on their ability to work together as a team to enhance the lives of those that they support.

CEO, East Kent Mencap, Jason Gerlack, said: “Everyone does an amazing job at East Kent Mencap and these awards are a wonderful way to recognise their passion, commitment, and hard work.”

Louise Faulkner, Chief Operating Officer, KiCA, said: “KiCA was delighted to be able to host the 7th Annual Kent Care Awards in September. It was a fantastic opportunity to recognise outstanding individuals working in Adult Social Care in Kent and Medway. During such a challenging time in the sector, they continue to provide exceptional care to the most vulnerable in our society. With a record number of nominations, we would like to congratulate all our winners and finalists. A huge achievement!”

If you would like to get involved and support East Kent Mencap, please visit

Friends of Botany Bay and Kingsgate

The amount of plastic washing ashore has reduced, but there’s still work to do. There’s a real “grot spot” at low tide near the arch on Kingsgate Beach.

It seems that a lot of the litter washed into the sea over the Summer comes ashore here during the Winter months. Our Southern Water funded beach cleaners will continue to focus on this patch until funding runs out next May. It can be extremely discouraging to collect up so much plastic ocean pollution day after day, tide after tide.

On a positive note, when we first started beach cleaning three years ago you could expect as much as 8 -10 FULL sack loads of intact large plastic litter on every tide, if the wind was in the right direction. This has reduced considerably. Hopefully the reduction can be attributed to TDC and volunteers preventing a lot of litter being washed out during the Summer visitor season and the efforts of volunteers (and Southern Water) to clean up the shoreline.

Of course none of this exonerates Southern Water from its responsibility to clean up its act – but small local steps like this in the community can and do make a positive change.

Birchington Heritage Trust

Our programme of talks continues this month with a “double bill” on Thursday 27 October, at 7.30pm, when we look forward to Greg Bessant telling us all about the work of Bird Wise East Kent and the part they play in conserving the habitats of birds along Thanet’s coast.

Greg will be followed by Richard Hetherington who will introduce three new videos focussed on Reculver: The Destruction of St Mary’s Church; Ornithology of the Coastline and The Story of the Dambusters Secret Testing at Reculver.

We are very much looking forward to a varied and interesting evening.

Our new 2023 calendars should also be on sale; all proceeds support the work of the Trust.

Meanwhile in the museum, the beautiful silk wedding dress made in the 1940’s by Phyllis Wood of Birchington remains on display alongside a wide range of historical items.

All talks are held at “The Centre”, Alpha Road, Birchington and are open to all (members free, visitors welcome by donation). The bar will be open.

The Museum, managed by volunteers, is situated in the David Burley Gallery at Birchington Library and is open during library opening hours. Volunteers are on hand Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 0930 and 1230. It contains a wealth of archive material and displays as well as publications for sale.

For further information please visit our website: or on Facebook.

WW Martin golf day for QEQM

Golfers swung into action to raise thousands of pounds for the emergency department at the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate.

WW Martin, who are the main contractors for the expansion and remodelling of the hospital’s ED, welcomed guests from a raft of local businesses to compete in a pro-am tournament held in association with the Kent Professional Golfers’ Association at Canterbury Golf Club.

They raised more than £5,300 for East Kent Hospitals Charity, to be used to support projects in the department.

Mike Darling, director for WW Martin, together with his colleague Darren Offen, senior site manager for the ED project, visited the hospital to present the cheque to senior charity projects officer Dee Neligan.

Mike said: “As a Kent business we are always keen to support projects that benefit local people and communities, and we are delighted to support East Kent Hospitals Charity on this occasion.

“The golf day was very enjoyable, and we are grateful for the support of our guests in making the day such a success and helping to raise such an incredible amount for the hospital.”

Dee said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Mike to the hospital and to receive the proceeds from their fantastic golf day.

“The ED expansion and remodelling is a huge project for the QEQM and this money will help to make it even better for the staff and patients who use it.

“We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported the golf day and to WW Martin for their ongoing support.”

The ED team have also carried out their own fundraising for the project by completing a Tough Mudder challenge, with staff from Body Architects health and fitness training, raising more than £1,800.

For more information on East Kent Hospitals Charity and how to make a donation, visit

Kent Community Foundation

HM Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, The Lady Colgrain, hosted a Causes That Matter event with Kent Community Foundation to celebrate the brilliant, often unseen, and vital work that Kent’s grassroots organisations are doing in their communities.

The invitation only event was held at The Secret Garden, Mersham-le-Hatch, Ashford on Tuesday 11 October and was attended by charities and community groups from across the county.

While guests networked and enjoyed a cream tea Josephine McCartney Chief Executive of Kent Community Foundation invited them to discuss the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on their organisations and their concerns for the months ahead.

Lady Colgrain, spoke about how important the voluntary sector was and encouraged organisations led by volunteers to consider applying for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service which is regarded as the MBE for volunteers.

HM Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, The Lady Colgrain “It was wonderful to see so many representatives from charitable organisations gather together for Kent Community Foundation’s Causes That Matter event. It is a special event as it provides an opportunity to celebrate the work of so many who give their time to help others within their community. Her Late Majesty The Queen was a great supporter of the voluntary sector and she created the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, which is the MBE for voluntary organisations. As His Majesty The King’s representative in our county, I look forward to seeing groups such as those I met at the Causes That Matter event being awarded this very deserving accolade in the future.”

Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation said, “It was a pleasure to invite charitable organisations to The Secret Garden to thank them for the huge difference they make to communities across Kent and to find out first hand their concerns as the cost- of-living crisis escalates.”

To contact Kent Community Foundation about funding for charities and community groups call 01303 814500, email [email protected] or visit