Thanet community news: QEQM Friends, RNLI Margate, Sparkles, Angels 4 Dogs support, Chartwell House, council tree planting and Martha Trust,

QEQM FRiends Chairman Sylvia Pheils with Linda, Sandra and Lynda manning the stall.

QEQM Hospital League of Friends

It was good to see so many people visit us at our recent stall in the Hospital and to explain a little more about our charity which:

  • Has been supporting the Hospital since 1947
  • Is run and staffed entirely by unpaid volunteers
  • Is independent of the East Kent Hospitals Charity

Pictured are our Chairman Sylvia Pheils with Linda, Sandra and Lynda who were amongst those who manned our stall. Huge thanks to everyone who bought some of the handcrafted Christmas items, Christmas cards and Christmas Draw tickets we were selling which raised £440.08 that will be used to help fund items to enhance patient care

Please check out our webpage – – for details of other ways we can be helped to support the patients & staff at the QEQM Hospital and follow us on Facebook.

RNLI Margate

David Pike, Derek Amas (LOM), Morgan Dickerson (RNLI Margate)

Two volunteer crewmembers at Margate RNLI lifeboat station have won an in-house challenge involving five of the station’s newest recruits aimed at identifying who has made greatest progress in the previous 12 months.

A donor who has supported the lifeboat station for some time hit on an idea to contribute in a slightly different way in memory of his wife Pauline Innocent.

Recognising the commitment and effort lifeboat crews put into training, the donor offered to provide shopping vouchers for the volunteer from the latest batch of new recruits training as seagoing crewmembers who had made best progress, judged by their peers at the lifeboat station.

Experienced crewmembers were appointed mentors for the latest such recruits: Casey Buckenham, Morgan Dickerson, Jordon Newport, Greg Nocentini and David Pike. The five were helped with their training throughout the year and at the end of the period the mentors submitted reports to a panel of four station honorary officials who had the unenviable task of choosing the winner.

The candidates all received positive reports, their progress including being appointed to retained roles; particular efforts in fundraising and experiencing a particularly challenging service call where a life was saved. Despite much deliberation the panel was unable to separate two of the crew and it was agreed that Morgan Dickerson and David Pike should share the prize and they were presented with the vouchers on behalf of the donor recently by Lifeboat Operations Manager, Derek Amas.

Following the presentation Morgan and David agreed that the vouchers should be spent on something to benefit the station as a whole.

Among David’s achievements was along with his partner Claire, raising funds taking part in the London Marathon and along with fellow crewmember Keith Patrick cycling 124 miles from Gravesend to Dungeness, visiting Kent’s nine lifeboat stations as part of the charity’s annual Reindeer Run fundraising event. His efforts also included practising rope work knots while on his daily rail commute to work in London, watched with interest by fellow commuters.

Eighteen-year-old Morgan is youngest of the five and his mentor’s comments included “Morgan has been eminently inquisitive about all aspects of his crew role” with his progress “at times unexpectedly impressive.” Morgan was thrown in at the deep end when (still 17 and a probationary crewmember) he was involved in a particularly challenging service call involving resuscitation and evacuation by Coastguard helicopter of a rescued swimmer.

Derek Amas said: “There was very little between the five and it was difficult to choose the winner so sharing it seemed the fairest decision. An important consequence was where it encouraged those involved to achieve the high standards required and ultimately enhance the service we provide to help save lives at sea. We congratulate all involved including the mentors who contributed their own extra time helping the five, most of all of course we thank the donor who hit on the idea and made the challenge possible.”

Sparkles Belly Dance

Bells were jingling on a children’s ward this festive season – but it was belly dancers, rather than Santa Claus, bringing presents.

Louisa Chibnall, Lesley Harris, and dancers from Sparkles Belly Dance Classes, handed over a haul of toys for children on Rainbow Ward at the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, and for babies on the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) there.

Mum-of-two Louisa chose East Kent Hospitals Charity to benefit from a belly dancing show featuring her students back in October, which raised more than £1,700.

She said: “My son Rueben was born eight weeks early and spent a month on SCBU. He’s now one and doing really well but we have been to Rainbow Ward several times as he is quite susceptible to chest infections.

“Our experience of the teams there has been absolutely fantastic and I wanted to give something back to help say thank you to the staff and help them care for other children.

“We bought everything on the ward’s wishlists, and also bought extra pens and colouring books as well as items for the sensory room, and some massage chairs and foot massage machines for the staff.

“It was the first show we’ve been able to have for three years and everyone worked so hard preparing for it and it was really spectacular. I’m really grateful to everyone who helped us to raise such an amazing amount for the hospital, including our photographer Steven Collis who donated his fee.”

Dee Neligan, senior charity officer for East Kent Hospitals Charity, said the team was overwhelmed with the donation.

She said: “Christmas really did come early for the staff and children on Rainbow Ward and SCBU when the Sparkles Belly Dancers dropped off their incredible haul of presents.

“The staff were absolutely delighted with the massage chairs and foot massage machines and to know the dancers had thought of them as well as their young patients.

“No one likes being in hospital but it is often especially difficult for our youngest patients and these wonderful toys and gifts will help distract them and make them smile.”

You can find out more about the charity’s gift lists for patients and staff at

Sparkles Belly Dance Classes take place in Whitstable and Birchington – find them on Facebook or call Louisa on 07522 964937.

Your Move Charterhouse and Angels 4 Dogs Rescue

Your Move Charterhouse is supporting animal charity Angels 4 Dogs Rescue.

The rescue started back in 2011 when we found ourselves being increasingly asked to help with people’s unwanted dogs. It made sense to start Angels 4 Dogs as we are all passionate animal lovers who want one thing; to save as many lives as we can and meet some fantastic people along the way! Our passion is for all animals and although we predominantly work with dogs, if we can help an animal we will not say no.

We see so many broken souls pass through the rescue and it never gets any easier to see; it is always heart breaking, but watching them go onto their forever homes is the most perfect thing to see and we hope if you adopt with us you will keep in touch!

Angels 4 Dogs is entirely not for profit and nobody takes an income from the rescue. We rely on your support and donations to do what we do. We do not have charity shops and you’ll find us often out and about fund-raising at local events and bootfairs, We do not have our own kennels and most of the re homing is done from our own homes or from foster homes. We work closely with an amazing local kennels to board our dogs and this is a large financial cost to us

Please see our website for how you can help whether its adoption, fostering, donations, or our Amazon wish list, see our website or our facebook page or email us if you can help [email protected]

Chartwell House

The team at Chartwell House Care Home, Broadstairs, have taken part in two Dementia Friends Information Sessions, as part of a campaign to tackle the stigma and lack of understanding around the condition.

The group attended a free one-hour Information Session at Chartwell House Care Home run by Dementia Friends Ambassador Carl Roberts.

The Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way the nation thinks, talks and acts about the condition. The charity wants to encourage as many Dementia Friends as possible to get involved to help people with dementia feel understood and included in their community.

Dementia Friends Ambassadors are volunteers who talk to people about being a Dementia Friend in their communities. Speaking about the Session, Dementia Friends Ambassador Carl said: ‘I was so pleased to see people showing their support for people with dementia, by coming along to the session and becoming Dementia Friends. We need to create more communities and businesses that are dementia-friendly so that people affected by dementia feel understood and included.’

Dementia Friends is about learning more about dementia and the small ways you can help. From telling friends about the Dementia Friends programme to visiting someone you know living with dementia, every action counts.

The Dementia Friendly Development Officer at Alzheimer’s Society said: ‘Whether you attend a face-to- face Session or watch the online video, Dementia Friends is about learning more about dementia and the small ways you can help. From telling friends about the Dementia Friends programme to visiting someone you know living with dementia, every action counts.’

Chartwell House Care Home by Boutique Care Homes is committed to raising awareness about Dementia and will continue to host Dementia Friends Information Sessions in 2023.

Jude Coveney, Admissions Manager at Chartwell House and Dementia Friend echoed the value that these sessions have. “As a community we must do all we can to ensure those living with dementia are well supported and feel that support from the community. In 2023 we will be working closely with local schools, community centres and businesses to help make Thanet truly dementia friendly.”

Anyone interested in supporting the campaign should go to or contact Chartwell House Care to find out about future sessions.


Thanet council tree planting project

More than thirty volunteers, including residents, Councillors, and council officers, have planted more than thirty additional trees at two separate community tree planting events in Ramsgate.

The first event, on Wednesday 23 November, created an avenue of 25 trees in Warre Recreation Grounds, before 18 trees were planted in Nethercourt Park on Wednesday 30 November. The Mayor of Ramsgate attended and planted a tree in both parks.

This  takes the total number of trees planted in Ramsgate since March to 1085. After school, children from four Ramsgate schools planted 1,000 saplings across the town in other council tree planting days in October.

In partnership with the charity Trees for Cities, the council submitted a successful application for funding to the Green Recovery Challenge Fund and Urban Tree Challenge Fund earlier this year. Ramsgate was chosen as it fitted the specified criteria for the funding.

The parks were chosen as they are in need of improved biodiversity and canopy cover. The species of trees were chosen to benefit local wildlife and as they are resilient to potential diseases.

Councillor George Kup, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Youth Engagement, said: “It is brilliant to see the council working with residents and Ramsgate Town Council to promote ongoing improvements to Thanet’s open spaces, and planting so many trees. After personally attending the tree planting events, I have seen the instant positive impact, not only to the area but also to park users and volunteers.”

Councillor Raushan Ara, Mayor of Ramsgate, said: “I would like to thank Thanet District Council for inviting me and members of the community to take part in various tree planting events, and for their fantastic work to include the local community and school children. The Tree and Biodiversity Action initiative is extremely important: every tree planted will bring incredible benefits for the Ramsgate community, local wildlife, and our climate. I am particularly pleased that children and residents from Ramsgate have been given the opportunity to play their part in this project and are helping to make their local environment a nicer place to live.

Martha Trust

Christmas Fundraising for local charity Martha Trust, which supports young people and adults with profound disabilities, started at the beginning of December with local group Midlife Movers holding a charity disco at The Astor Theatre in Deal.

Midlife Movers, the brainchild of owner Debs Forsyth held the event in conjunction with Barclays UK and was supported by Gareth Hopkins Mobile Disco, The Astor Community Theatre, DDC and many local businesses that offered prizes for the raffle. The event raised over £3600 for the charity.

Some 270 people attended the event and Debs Forsyth said “ Midlife Movers set out to raise as much money as possible for Martha Trust. We succeeded and had an absolute blast whilst doing it. The night was full of fun, colour, dance, laughter, kindness and generosity”

Fundraising and Events Officer Kerry Banks BEM said: “It was our absolute pleasure to support Debs in making this happen – she is a pocket rocket of enthusiasm and delivered an incredible evening which raised a huge amount of money which will go towards the holistic care of our amazing residents at Martha.”

On the same night, The White Cliffs Symphonic Winds held a spectacular concert raising money for Martha along with St Margarets Christmas lights turn on , which raised £625 for the charity.

The annual Martha Trust Community  Carol Service was also held at St Georges Church on Saturday with a retiring collecting at the end raising over £90.

Kerry added: “We have been blessed this Christmas with these wonderful organisations supporting us in what has been another very challenging year – on behalf of our residents and staff, thank you so much- we would like to wish you a very Happy Christmas!”

If you would like to support Martha Trust in 2023 through events, volunteering or Sponsorship, please contact Kerry on 01304 610448 or email [email protected] to discuss.