Thanet community news: From toy-laden bikers to Tunnel Rats, Man Shed, Christmas fundraisers and more

Toy run to QEQM

QEQM Toy Run

Last Sunday bikers undertook the annual toy run from Whitstable to QEQM, bringing presents for the children that will be in hospital over Christmas. Some £800 was also raised through donations.

Bikers were greeted with a cuppa and a biscuit provided by the QEQM League of Friends and all the toys and money go to the youngsters on Rainbow ward.

This event is organised by the Whitstable Toy Run Association (WTRA).

The association is made up of bikers  getting together to help disadvantaged children during bad times in their life. They do this by organising two runs; one at Christmas and an Egg Run at Easter along with various events throughout the year.

The Ramsgate Tunnel Rats

The members of the Ramsgate Tunnel Rats held their last meeting of 2022 on December 5th; in the tunnel tent where we all enjoyed good company and good conversation remembering the times during and just after the war before moving to present day conversation.

Emma and the tunnel staff did us all proud as always with tea / coffee / cakes and as it’s nearly Christmas, crackers and Mulled Wine if required.  We have a membership of about 25 at present and are looking for others who either lived or were born in Ramsgate during WW2 and who may or may not have used the tunnels during raids.  Our next meeting will be on Monday, January 9th; 2023 at 1015 hours so if anyone thinks they may qualify as members and want to find out more then please contact Emma at <[email protected]> for further details.
Phil Hughes, (Tunnel Rat Member)

Birchington Man Shed

Since the Man Shed started we have had several activities that we have not pursued simply because there was little interest shown so we have put these on the back burner until someone does show an interest.

This cannot be said about the model railway layouts though. We are fortunate to have three different layouts, two of which are the smaller ‘N’ gauge railway and the larger one is the ‘OO’ set-up. There is also talk of a ‘TT’ gauge coming too! For those like me who did not know what these sizes mean they relate to how big the trains are. The scale used, that most of us have seen, is a ‘OO’ size, the ‘TT’ is slightly smaller and the ‘N’ gauge is even smaller than that. All trains ,rolling stock buildings,  bridges and people etc. are in very good in detail catering for the train enthusiast who may not have enough room in their home to have a ‘OO’ gauge layout.

The ‘N’ gauge ones have both been donated to us  and are in need of  track laying, making and fitting the buildings and scenery. These are both more portable than the larger one and we would like to take these to shows at various events throughout the year. We have enough track and accessories to make both of these look good in  a relatively short time. However, speed is not important as the main thing is the enjoyment of working on these projects as a team or possibly individually.

The Man Shed is also building a bigger ’OO’ layout starting from scratch. This is a long-term project with the aim of having an impressive interchangeable scene featuring a railway sidings yard, a town/village and a country scene. With all of these we are starting from the beginning and will need landscaping to be built, grass and roads to be laid and fields and fencing with animals to be positioned. Various buildings need to be made to suit the scene, whether it’s a rural or urban layout. All of this will be going on a new permanent construction in the Man Shed at Quex Village approx. 15’ x 4’.

We have all of the things we need to carry this out including an electric turntable and trains. Landscaping is a skill in itself. Tunnels, hills, streams and fields all need to look life –like.

This is a long term plan and with both of these projects we will need new members to join us. Some of our existing members who are part of the railway section of the Man Shed are experienced in setting up this kind of project. Others are enjoying this new hobby. It does not matter if you are new to model railways you will always be welcome. Let the little boy in you come out in your retirement.

Come and meet us at Unit 13, Quex Craft Village.

Or  Email    [email protected]

Or  Facebook

Or phone 07578987651

Old Augustinians

Following our £1,000 donation to the Ursuline College to help students during this cost of living crisis, we can report that someone has anonymously match- funded  our donation by offering a further £1,000.  Another donation of £500 has been received by the College too, making a total of £2,500.  The Ursuline College are using these funds to support students’ families most in need by providing £50 supermarket vouchers for each family.

The College has also sent us a letter of thanks for the donation.

Kent Community Foundation

With major concerns about organisations across Kent being able to continue providing their vital services during the cost-of-living crisis, Kent Community Foundation has taken the decision to initiate an automatic monetary uplift on funding, to give charities and community groups much needed additional funding to cover their costs during these uncertain times.

Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation said, “As a team we discussed the huge impact the cost-of-living crisis would have on the charitable  sector and we recognised that we needed to act decisively by providing additional funding to cover rising costs. We secured an initial £290,000 at the beginning of November, from which we will be able to automatically add an additional  £1,000 to most grant allocations to help with rapidly escalating costs.”

To ensure that the vital extra money reaches organisations quickly the addition of £1,000 will apply automatically to most applications without any need to make a request for the further funding. However, there are a couple of exceptions; organisations with an income over £500,000 and those with over nine months reserves will not automatically receive the uplift and community groups receiving a grant through the Micro Grants Fund  will be allocated  a proportionate uplift, of between £300 and £500.

Natalie Smith, Director of Grants and Impact, Kent Community Foundation said, “The additional £1,000 from the Cost-of-Living Uplift Fund can be spent by organisations as they see fit, to ameliorate the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on their operations. This may include increased heating costs, increased volunteers’ travel expenses or increased service delivery costs.”

Monkton Nature Reserve recently received the additional £1,000 from the Cost-of-Living Uplift Fund and Dr Clive Nuttman, Adviser to the Trustees, Thanet Countryside Trust said, “Many thanks for this wonderful news. Volunteer travel expenses would be the perfect use for this windfall; we initiated a claim scheme earlier this year to help with fuel rises – some of our volunteers come in from Dover and support is most welcome.

“To add to the problems of transport, Stagecoach recently ceased the only bus route that stopped at the reserve and we actually lost two stalwart volunteers. Please pass on the thanks of all at Monkton Nature Reserve for this generous additional help at a challenging time.”

To contact Kent Community Foundation about funding for charities and community groups visit or to view other resources visit

Crossroads Care Kent

Charity Crossroads Care Kent has been awarded £75,000 by NHS Kent and Medway Cancer Alliance to support the earlier diagnosis of cancer.

With the funding, Crossroads Care Kent will be training its 200 staff and 150 volunteers to all become Cancer Awareness Champion’, who are actively informed of the signs and symptoms of cancer.

They will be encouraging carers, the people they care for, and their family and friends, to attend those all-important screenings and GP appointments.

Marnie Enever, County Lead for Cancer Support at Crossroads Care Kent, said: “This is about raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer, encouraging, and supporting people to speak to their GP should they notice any changes or have any concerns at all.

“We will be providing replacement care for unpaid carers so they can attend GP or screening appointments, diagnostic testing, and treatment.

“We are also letting people know that they can get advice, guidance and support from our fantastic team here at Crossroads Care Kent.”

Early awareness and diagnosis are proven to result in dramatically improved outcomes for those living with cancer.

With Crossroads Care Kent’s staff and volunteers working across the whole of the county, they can reach thousands of people who may otherwise not have access to this crucial support and advice.

Dr Tina George, Early Diagnosis Lead for NHS Kent and Medway Cancer Alliance, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Crossroads Care for this crucial work. Put simply, finding cancer early helps to save lives.

“Knowing the signs and symptoms of cancer and feeling confident about getting them checked out is essential for early diagnosis.”

Alongside the rollout of over 350 Cancer Awareness Champions, Crossroads Care Kent will be running a promotional campaign over the coming year, raising awareness of the importance of early cancer screening, and how people can get checked.

To find out more, visit

EKC Group

Christmas this year will be a challenging time for many vulnerable families. With the devastating impact of the cost-of-living crisis, now is a more important time than ever to help those in need.

This year’s Christmas Gift Appeal and charity art auction, being organised by EKC Group and Christ The King Sixth Forms (CTK), is hoping to do exactly that.

Now in its third year, the campaign run by husband-and-wife team Shireen Razey (Executive Principal of Christ the King Sixth Forms) and Graham Razey (Chief Executive at EKC Group) has already spread festive cheer, with donations and gifts totalling over £10,000 so far.

This year, the gifts and money raised will go towards child hospice charity Demelza, domestic abuse charity Refuge, homelessness group Porchlight, and the St Vincent De Paul Society which tackles poverty and disadvantage.

The art auction, running via this webpage, sees students and staff from across the two College groups donating artworks to be sold for charity. Bidding closes Thursday 15 December, with items being sent out before Christmas Day.

This year’s Christmas Gift Appeal follows the success of the previous two outings, which have seen more than 4,500 gifts sent out to young people across Kent and South London.

Suggestions for items that can be donated include toys, puzzles, colouring/puzzle books, gift vouchers, toiletries, chocolates, biscuits and hot beverages.

The deadline for donating gifts is Wednesday 14 December.

Presents can be dropped off at: Broadstairs College, Ramsgate Road, Broadstairs, CT10 1PN

Graham Razey, Chief Executive of EKC Group, said: “This can be the most magical time of the year for young people across the country. However, it can also be a really difficult time for families who are less fortunate within our communities. We started this appeal three years ago with the clear aim of ensuring that everyone was able to share in the joy of Christmas and since then I’m incredibly proud that we’ve managed to raise thousands of pounds for charities across the South East, as well as collecting and distributing thousands of presents for young people.

“I’m really excited about this year and am hoping it’ll be our best yet, with some absolutely fantastic pieces of art in our charitable auction!”


Bannatyne health club members in Broadstairs are showing their generosity this Christmas thanks to the company’s partnership with the children’s charity Barnardo’s.

Members who donate a minimum of £5 through the bespoke Just Giving page will receive a free guest day pass from the health club as a thank you, enabling them to bring a friend for free.

Barnardo’s is the largest national children’s charity in the UK. Last year it provided essential support to more than 357,000 children, young people, parents and carers, through its services and partnerships.

Robert Hayes, general manager at the Bannatyne health club Broadstairs said: “This is a fantastic initiative that is enabling our members to support a very worthwhile charity, and get a little something from us in return.

“Members can simply make a donation via the Just Giving page, or we’re happy to support them doing different sponsored challenges in the club to raise money that way.

“Every £5 will help Barnardo’s make a difference.”

Rebecca Mauger, director of fundraising & marketing for Barnardo’s, said: “We are very grateful to the Bannatyne Group, their members and employees for their support. We want all children to feel safe and happy at Christmas but, with the sharp rise in food and energy costs this year, many families we support are enduring unprecedented financial strain.

“Our work supports the children and families that need us most. Donations to Barnardo’s help provide essential support and allow children to feel part of Christmas, and we thank the Bannatyne Group for their generous contributions.”

The campaign ends midnight 24th December and guests have until 31st January 2023 to redeem their pass.


  1. May I suggest something. I was in Deal recently and they have a model of Deal which they use to tell the story of the town and to highlight certain buildings. They have this automatically controlled and charge a fee. Something like this would be great in Ramsgate. Maybe something the Broadstairs town shed would consider?

  2. It’s great that we have so many events going on. They’re used to be so few things to do in Thanet, and now we all have choices. We should be thankful that so many people are generous with their time and energy.

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