The Ramsgate Society has presented Civic Awards to deserving recipients during a presentation at The Falstaff Hotel.
The awards were presented to Discovery Planet, which hosts hands-on science workshops for schools and families at its HQ in the High Street, and the Ramsgate Town Council technician team for their work around the town.
Ramsgate mayor Raushan Ara, town councillors Ann-Marie Nixey and Jane Hetherington and members of The Ramsgate Society, including chairman John Walker, attended the event.
An award to Discovery Planet noted many achievements since the project was first launched in 2013 by Xanthe Pitt and Nikki Hildesley.
From 2013 until March 2022 Discovery Planet HQ engaged more than 11,000 people across Thanet in interactive STEM workshops.
Discovery Planet provides a focus for children, families and adults to weave ideas about science, technology engineering and maths into their everyday lives.
In early 2020 the project was awarded funding from the Science and Technology Facilities Council which meant it could secure the venue in Ramsgate High Street in partnership with Kent University. At this point Vicky Mason from the university joined forces with Xanthe and Nikki. The grant has enabled Discovery Planet to run a two year programme of free science workshops.
Since March this year 3,000 people, including children, have participated in creative, interactive workshops and it has been visited by classes from every primary school in Thanet.
Further funding from London Array has helped the scheme to recruit a school liaison officer and volunteers.
SEN students and reluctant ‘hard to reach’ learners have enjoyed the workshops and a small group of SEN students now regularly attend HQ. Discovery Planet now also offers SEN sessions.
A small youth project for young unaccompanied refugees has also been established.
Ramsgate Society executive committee member Sue Gyde told those at the presentation: “The project is well described and shows a strong commitment to widening participation. It has been designed to find ways to engage hard-to-reach audiences in a community facing high multi-deprivation, over a sustained period of time, through involving local organisations, local contacts and the whole family.”
Presenting the award to the technician team Sue said they did “the work of 20.”
She added: “Ramsgate Society decided to nominate the team under the category of service to the community, working over and above their job descriptions.
“The team has a wide range of activities. They manage five allotment sites, grass cutting and secured the padlocks to the gates.
“They garden, weed, cut grass, strim and maintain various areas such as Charlotte Court,
“They support a range of volunteer groups across the town, including The Ramsgate Society.
“They put up the Christmas lights and Christmas trees. In summer they put up bunting in the harbour, look after the palm trees and all the huge planters around the sea front and town.
“They support a range of events including the carnival, Armed Forces Day, Queen’s Jubilee, Holocaust Memorial Day, Remembrance services, New Year’s Eve and even the Kitesurfing championships
“On behalf of TDC they undertake the maintenance – Albert Court, Arklow Square, Albion Gardens, La Belle Alliance Square, Wellington Crescent
“They take great pride in their work to ensure that Ramsgate looks beautiful, is clean and tidy, creating a happy environment for both local inhabitants and visitors alike.”