Big Bed Build event at Discovery Park gets Thanet children ‘Off The Floor’

The Big Bed Build at Discovery Park

More Thanet children who would have been sleeping on the floor will now have beds thanks to volunteers from businesses at Discovery Park.

More than 140 volunteers took part in a Big Bed Build project to support Thanet charity  The Iceberg Project, its Off The Floor initiative and the families it helps.

Off The Floor is a scheme launched in April by the project, run by Alexander Roarke -known just as Roarke- and Ann Newstead, who also head up  The Lounge community café on Westwood Industrial Estate.

The aim of the scheme is to build wooden beds and provide them to every family in Thanet who needs them.

An estimated 300 children in Thanet are sleeping on the floor, sofas or sharing beds with siblings because families are living below the poverty line.

Roarke says Off The Floor has been inundated with requests for help with many families saying their children are using coats as a mattress.

The Big Bed Build project was led by Cummins Inc, which has Thanet Iceberg as a community partner. On the day, the volunteers were set the task of playing their part in helping the estimated children who currently have to sleep on sofas or the floor at night. The target for the day was to make the next batch of 90 beds as part of the scheme.

Volunteers were recruited from 14 firms and Discovery Park donated the space for the team to work in and assemble and paint the wooden beds during six hours at the science and innovation park near Sandwich.

Cummins staff Ya-Wen Chang, Andy Underwood, Dave Fright, Richard Lee, Andrew Stockbridge at the Big Bed Build.

Andy Underwood, Director at Cummins, said: “After supporting the local community over the years, we know only too well that many families across Thanet and East Kent are struggling, and the current cost of living crisis is making it even harder. It’s been great to work alongside other businesses at Discovery Park and support the important work of Thanet Iceberg.”

Seven of the volunteers were refugees from Cummins’ community partner, the Kent Refugee Action Network, who came along to help build the beds.


Roarke said: “There is no easy answer for the problem in our region, but when 140 people get together to support projects like this it is a great step in the right direction to making the future a brighter place for the people of Thanet.

The charity supplied the wood from donations for the volunteers to put together. The completed beds and mattresses will be delivered by Thanet Iceberg to families across the isle.

Companies from Discovery Park and the community that took part included Cummins, Pfizer, Viatris, Kent Renewable Energy, Sterling Cross, Adastra, The Animation Company, Rogers and Co, Woodley Coles, Evolve Therapeutic Fostering, Tiscali, Instant Impact and Natwest.

The Lounge is one of the Thanet Iceberg projects

Established in 2018, Thanet Iceberg Project helps individuals and households across Thanet to combat the causes of poverty whilst overcoming its symptoms. They run three projects, The Lounge, where the community can come together for a drink and a snack, The Loft, where pre-loved furniture and small household items are given to those who need them – encompassing the Off The Floor project – and Crossroads to offer advice, support and where needed, practical assistance.

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  1. I grew up with a coal fire in one room as the only heating, we had ice on the inside of Windows, bathroom no heating, BW TV, no phone and my mum was a single parent. I had plenty of food without any food banks, toys, clothes etc.. a bed. Everything you could want. I really dispair at all this lefty MSM nonsense. There is no poverty for children unless their parents are letting it happen. People are by far and away much better off than the seventies.

    • Yea I agree Fishi Nusak

      I would also scrap all holidays for workers just Christmas day off. Kids should start work at 12 years old and work 12 hrs aday.
      Scrap the internet, centre heating, safe drinking water, NHS, scrap double glazing, scrap phones and the tv etc

      By the way I dont like your world. We are living in 2022 not 1822. The world moves on and improves.

      • Exactly my point… Things have moved on everything I never had is readily available to all. Easily. What’s poverty theses days, not having the latest phone or trainers. … Things are cheap like they were not then and massive benefits we never had and full employment now… If you want it?

  2. I grew up in the 70’s. Like fishi, only one coal fire in the lounge. Black and white to. Ice in the inside of the windows and riddled with vermin. We had beds with old fashioned blankets .My father left the home when I was 10 leaving my mum to bring you 3 children aged
    12/10 and 8 years of age . She struggleD and worked full time . We did not have new clothes or presents but she always got us what we really wanted for birthdays etc albeit 2nd hand. Her friend down the road was in the same position but did not work and claimed benefits. They always had new things and certainly were better off than we were . Nobody wants their child to suffer hardship , but times are very different now . Maybe for some things we should go back to a much simpler life Only a thought

  3. What an excellent and kind thing to do. I am appalled at the conditions that some people have to endure and yes, I come from a council house struggling family background but I would just add also a non smoking and certainly non tattooed family. Although of course in my youth tattoos were on men it now seems the norm and I would just say that in some case perhaps priorities need to be looked at. I wish all these folk making beds well and applaud their generosity. We have a very good wooden cot which we are pleased to donate if anyone has need of it.

  4. Maybe thats why a bed frame + other associated bedding has been fly tipped/dumped down my manor.
    Give a family leader a fish, and You feed em for a day. Teach a family member to fish, and You Feed em for a lifetime.

    We live on the coast, in a real world the bet assemblers are adding to poverty.

    we have fish all year.

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