Ramsgate’s Royal British Legion Club is appealing for public support as it faces a tripling of costs due to energy price hikes.
The club, in Cliff Street, has been running since 1926. Initially catering for former and current service personnel and families, it now welcomes everyone through its doors.
But the cost of living crisis is biting with electricity bills tripling and gas doubling, meaning the club needs more people through the doors and has launched a fundraiser to help it stay afloat.
Committee member Tarnya Collier said: “All the costs have gone up, the electric has trebled to £600 per month and the gas has doubled. Because the club is a business we do not get grants like the other RBL branches but have to fund it ourselves.
“We need more people to come and enjoy what we have, if we do not get people in we will not have the money to pay the bills.”
Tarnya says the club wants to raise awareness that it is open to everyone, with or without a Services link, and work is taking place to update the venue.
She added: “We are trying to modernise as the place is a bit dated. Committee members have been volunteering with that, so our chairman has been decorating and plastering, I clean every week and my husband is an electrician and has donated CCTV equipment and done the electrical safety certificates. We would like more volunteers to come and help us.”
The mum-of-four says the club is also making sure there is a broad appeal with new darts and pool teams, music nights with EK1 booked for next month and lots of other events.
A veterans’ hub also recently launched. The hub has been set up in partnership with the Kent Arts and Wellbeing organisation to offer the sessions where people can catch up with others and get some support for dealings with agencies such as the DWP.
Sessions take place every second and fourth Wednesday of the month from 9.30am to 12.30pm and people can come, have a cuppa and chat to others.
Membership of the Ramsgate RBL club has numbered in its thousands, in past times the queue to get a seat in the club stretched down Cliff Street and into Queen Street. After the Second World War membership swelled again with ex Service personnel joining the RBL.
Tarnya has set up a fundraising page to try and help the club cope with the costs.