Thanet community news: Cheerful Sparrows, Westgate & Birchington Inner Wheel and Martha Trust

Cheerful Sparrows and Broadstairs Active Retirement Association (pictured), helped over 120 children and families

Cheerful Sparrows

We are delighted to bring the good news that we have supported more than 60 families throughout this year with basic items when they were in most desperate need.

Baby items, school uniforms, children’s beds and bedding, cookers, fridge-freezers and washing machines were delivered to people facing extreme hardship who had nowhere else to turn. Their professional support workers took the time to contact us and then we then did our very best to help.

We also continue to support the patients and staff of The Cheerful Sparrows Ward at the QEQM Hospital, Margate.

With the help of BradARA (Broadstairs Active Retirement Association), this Christmas, over 120 children and families have received further help. Nearly 350 presents, including food vouchers, were delivered to nominated families throughout Thanet during early December. We are extremely grateful to the great teams of retired people in our local community who bought an ‘Extra’ present for a child they did not know.

Our charity would not survive without the help of local people and this year has been a turning point for us. We are grateful for the support from the Colyer-Fergusson Trust, The Union Lodge 127 Margate, London Grand Rank Association, Thanet Cider & Beer Festival, Tesco and numerous other smaller organisations and individuals who have loyally supported us. We will not forget that you have all seen us through a difficult year.

In order to continue to secure an even brighter future for Thanet families in need and for us to continue to be optimistic about reaching our Centenary in 2025, can we ask you to spread the word about becoming a ‘Friend’ who makes a regular donation? This would provide additional regular support for us and enable us to securely plan ahead, helping everyone look to making the world a better place in 2023.

With sincere thanks and very best wishes for Christmas 2022 and the New Year.

Westgate & Birchington Inner Wheel

Westgate & Birchington Inner Wheel is a member of the largest women’s voluntary service organisation in the world. Our objects are to promote true friendship, to encourage the ideals of personal service and to foster international understanding. Each year, our President chooses a charity to support, and we have fund-raising events throughout the year. We also enjoy informal social occasions such as coffee mornings, and we meet once a month for dinner at St Augustine’s, Westgate, and enjoy speakers, and other entertainment.

Iris Harvey, who was the President of Westgate & Birchington Inner Wheel 2021 to 2022, chose the League of Friends and the Pilgrim’s Hospice as her charities. Her late husband was in QEQM over Christmas one year, and she was particularly impressed that he was given a lovely present by the League of Friends. We have always supported QEQM League of Friends, with many of our number going to the Fashion Shows each year, and we held the Bric-a-Brac stall at the Hospital fete for many years.

Iris and Sylvia

The cheque presentation was held at the St Thomas Church, Christmas Tree Festival with the Inner Wheel tree in the background. Members gathered round the large St Thomas tree for a photo. Iris was delighted to present a cheque for £570.98 to Sylvia Pheils who accepted it on behalf of the League of Friends.

Iris was also delighted to present Julian Sparkes with a cheque for £683.47 for the Pilgrim’s Hospice. During Iris’s year of office, we enjoyed a talk from Wendy Hills about the Pilgrim’s Hospice.

The money was raised by a Summer Evening Cheese & Wine, held in a member’s garden, and a Race Night, held jointly with the Westgate & Birchington Rotary Club at the Westgate Community Hall, and an Afternoon Tea held in Kearns Hall, Minnis Bay. The Race Night was great fun. 6 Hobby horses are lined up on the race track and then 2 dice are thrown. 1 die decides which number horse moves and the other die decides how many moves they make. A tote is set up so people can select their winners and many of the horses and races were sponsored by local businesses anxious to assist charities.

The Joint Presidents for 2022 to 2023, Margaret Hawkins and Lily Doody, are raising money for Macmillan Cancer Care and have already held a Quiz raising £900 and a Summer Fish & Chips Supper evening in a member’s garden. We also held a very successful Macmillan Coffee Afternoon. We shall be holding another Race Night in June 2023, Please support us!

A very successful Joint Thanet Inner Wheel and Rotary Carol Service was held at St Thomas Church on Friday 16th December in aid of local charities. Chris Hedges trained and conducted the choir and Peter Russell played the organ.  The church was full with 118 people attending and over £200 was raised.

If you would like any more information about our club, please contact Hazel on 07889 655497/01843 833565

Martha Trust

In the beginning. 1983…. A small group of Christians from Deal felt there had to be a better alternative to the NHS long stay mental health hospitals and institutions where people with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) were being placed.

They believed those with profound disabilities should be able to live life to the full and get the most out of each and every day. They were right. Their vision, combined with a lot of hard work,determination and support from the local community culminated in Princess Alexandra officially opening the first of Martha’s homes at Deal in April 1987.

Since then, the charity have added a second home at Deal and one at Hastings, increasing the number of residential placements they can offer .

Adults with PMLD need a huge amount of support with the many functions of life that most of us take for granted. Most are unable to communicate verbally, or able to stand or walk unaided. And a range of complex health needs often require round-the-clock nursing. Martha offers a home for life in purpose-built, welcoming accommodation with an individually-tailored and continuous programme of activities and therapies.

Both Martha sites offer exceptional facilities, including fully equipped sensory rooms, state-of-the- art hydrotherapy pools and beautifully landscaped sensory gardens for residents and their families to enjoy together. And of course, highly trained and dedicated staff teams, who work tirelessly to deliver their vision for everyone with profound disabilities to be given the very best opportunities in life, enabling them to engage in the world around them and achieve their individual potential.

CEO Julie Gayler said: “This is a challenging, but exciting time to be working at Martha Trust – 35 years is a wonderful milestone and we can be proud of our achievements.

“Key to our success has been the generosity of our dedicated supporters in the local community and beyond, who have enabled us to develop and grow into a leading provider of services for people with profound disabilities.

“Large building projects, the purchase of new adapted vehicles and equipment for the homes and residents simply would not have been possible without the many kind donations we have received in response to our fundraising appeals.

“We have enjoyed delivering so many events in our special 35th Anniversary year including 2 x Golf Days , 2 x Music4Martha events , our flagship Music on the Farm at our long term Sponsors Solleys Ice-cream, our Car Challenge finally happened seeing 13 cars and 30 participants making their way to Monaco in cars worth no more than £300 plus lots more.

“We wish you all a very safe and relaxing Christmas, thank you all for your support, past and present, and we look forward to working together in the future to raise the profile of Martha Trust and further enhance the essential and specialist service we provide.”

If you would like to learn more about how you can support Martha Trust in 2023 or enquire about working at Martha Trust, please contact the team on 01304 610448 or email [email protected]