Thanet community news: Margate firefighters, Slimming World success, Ramsgate RNLI, KCF, Birchington Heritage Trust, Coastal Striders, Thanet Earth, Documentary launch and Cuts Inc

Joanne Spiteri, representative from Age UK Thanet, receiving the cheque from Steve March, fundraising coordinator at Margate Fire Station. Also pictured Crew Manager Ollie Towner and Firefighters Longdon and Steele.

Margate Fire Station

Margate Fire Station would like to again thank the residents of Thanet for the continued support and generous donations in the week before Christmas. A total of £2038.02 was raised. The Firefighters Charity received £1038.02. Also benefitting from donations were Age UK Thanet. Rainbow ward QEQM. Oasis, East Kent Mencap and Pilgrims Hospice.

Karen Kenward, from Pilgrims Hospices (receiving cheque, below), said: “We would like to thank Steve March and the Margate firefighters for their wonderful donation of £200 raised from their bucket collections at Westwood Cross prior to Christmas.

“We take great pride in the fact that all our services are provided completely free of charge. We receive over 75% of our funding from the local community and it is entirely due to the kindness of people like (Margate firefighters) that we are able to provide the care we do.”

Slimming World (Westgate)

A Garlinge mum-of-three is celebrating the loss of six stone in just ten months.

Jodie Macrae, 35, said she gained weight after having her third son and then eating a poor diet.

She made the decision to join the Slimming World class in Westgate in March 2022 and has now hit her target weight of 9st 10lb.

Jodie said: “I remember having tears in my eyes following the welcome talk and my first weigh in as even though I was breastfeeding I’d managed to put on weight since the initial weight loss after birth.

“ Looking back now I know it’s because I was eating all the wrong foods but at the time I was disgusted- I couldn’t believe the number on the scales.(Coach)  Clarissa could see my disappointment and I vividly remember her telling me “your journey starts here today” and she wasn’t wrong!

“My mum and best friend are also Slimming World members so I have had a supportive network around me since day one and. My husband was cynical telling me I just needed to exercise more, he’s since changed his tune and is proud and onboard with my new food optimising ways.

“The last 42 weeks have changed my view on food, how I enjoy it and taught me that with Slimming World there is nothing off limits.”

Jodie says she has managed to follow the programme alongside her ‘busy mum life.’

She added: “I’ve tried so many other diets over the years and nothing has ever felt this relaxed or… easy. By easy I don’t mean you don’t need to work at it but with no counting, restricting, specific foods or shakes, it’s possible to make the right choices every day to food optimise and lose weight.

“Being able to attend the group each week after weigh in has kept me on track and given me tools, ideas and friends to support me along my journey. Clarissa as a Slimming World consultant has been an inspiration from day one and a solid point of encouragement and guidance, if ever I was having a wobble or doubting my ability to get to where I am, she found a way to help me see past my negative thoughts and focus on my next goal. For this I will be eternally grateful.

“The benefits of losing this amount of weight to me and family’s life is unmatchable, I’m fitter, more agile feel more comfortable and confident and generally healthier than where I started 10 months ago. Running round after the little one and bigger boys no longer has me panting out of breath and I’m able to enjoy exercising again for fitness as opposed to trying to lose weight. To say slimming world has change my life is not a lie I didn’t ever imagine I’d be sat here 10 months ago in new clothes enjoying the foods I eat as much as I do and knowing I can eat anything I want when I want as long as I plan and food optimise when ever possible.”

Jodie attends the Westgate Slimming World sessions. Find out more here

Ramsgate RNLI

Photo by Karen Cox

On a rainy, cold evening in January, Ramsgate RNLI Water Safety Team shared their knowledge with students completing their RYA ( Royal Yachting Association )Day Skipper navigation courses.

The 24 mature students and three of their tutors from the Royal Temple Yacht Club in Ramsgate were welcomed to the station by Neil Morgan, a volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew member who is in charge of Community Water Safety for Ramsgate Lifeboat station, and his volunteer team.

They were supported by the wider RNLI team, including two other volunteer crew and representatives from the Ramsgate RNLI management.

Photo by Karen Cox

As part of their syllabus the students are examined different aspects of water safety, including how to identify if a life jacket is safe, how to fight a fire onboard a ship, and how to use flares safely.

This was a perfect match for the RNLI Water Safety Team as this is very much their area of expertise. The students were split into three groups and were taken onboard the All Weather Lifeboat to be instructed on fire safety, then given a demonstration on how to identify problems with life jackets, how to use and dispose of flares and how to deal with cold water shock and float to survive.

Afterwards one student from each group took part in a fun activity, putting on a full RNLI wet weather suit, life jacket, boots and helmet against the clock. Although this caused much amusement, they were impressed to learn that from the moment the pagers go off, to the crew arriving at station, then fully suited leaving on the boats, the duration is only ten minutes. They were even more impressed when they realised they were all volunteers.

Photo by Karen Cox

The volunteer shop manager and staff had created a pop up shop in the station so they were able to purchase a memento of their evening.

Andrew Beaumont-Hope, Head of the Navigation School at the RTYC, said: “We are so grateful to Ramsgate RNLI for giving up their time on a cold evening and allowing our students to have some hands-on experience which is the best way to teach water safety. For some of them, this was their first introduction to the RNLI and they felt privileged to have been allowed onboard the boat, and to meet these courageous people who volunteer to save lives at sea.”

Photo by Karen Cox

Neil Morgan said: “This is the first time we have done something on this scale at the station and we were delighted with the reception our messages received. It was lovely to be able to work as one crew, with different parts of the organisation working together. If any other local navigation schools or organisations are interested in holding similar events then please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected].”

Birchington Heritage Trust

The Trust held one of its regular Quiz nights in November. We are grateful to Ann and Doug Holmes for organising another successful evening.

Our next event is on 23 February. We are looking forward to welcoming Felicity Stafford who will be giving an illustrated talk with the intriguing title “Riding the Wall of Death”. This is a free event for members but visitors are welcome to join us and make a donation to the Trust.

We still have a few 2023 calendars left at a reduced price, available from the Museum. All proceeds support the work of the Trust.

We would welcome new Trustees to serve on the committee and volunteers to help at the museum as well as doing research to respond to enquiries.

For further information please visit our website: or on Facebook.

All talks are held at The Centre, Alpha Road, Birchington and are open to all (free to members). The bar will be open.

The Museum, managed by volunteers, is situated in the David Burley Gallery at Birchington Library and is open during library opening hours. Volunteers are on hand Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 0930 and 1230. It contains a wealth of archive material and displays as well as publications for sale.

Coastal Striders donation to Ramsgate Sea Scouts

Coastal Strider run club in Ramsgate has donated £300 to the Ramsgate Sea Scouts to help with their building renovation.

In November the Striders ran their first official Coastbuster 10k and 10 miler with Nice Works. Ramsgate Sea Scouts helped by volunteering at one of the Striders water stations.

A Striders spokesperson said: “The weather was horrendous so to thank them we wanted to donate some money to them from the proceeds of our run. This is to help with the renovation of their building.”

Ramsgate Sea Scouts is a charity run group that helps and supports children from ages six up to 18. They have lots of different activities, including kayaking, canoeing, pulling and powerboating.

6th Ramsgate Sea Scouts have ownership of the Ice House building at Ramsgate harbour and are carrying out a large renovation project to make it fit for purpose.

Find the fundraiser and more details at:

Thanet Earth Community Champion

Our final community champion of 2022 was the amazing East Kent Mencap.

This is a charity that supports adults and children with a learning disability in the East Kent area to live as independently as possible and to achieve the things they want out of life. The area covered reaches across the region of East Kent, including Thanet, Canterbury and Swale.

The aim is to build members’ confidence, self-esteem and skills as well as create opportunities for people with a learning disability both now and in the future.

We managed to catch up with the team after a very busy Christmas and new year to see how the donation was spent.

The Thanet Earth Community Engagement Team (TECET) donated £300 to the charity to purchase some rainbow-coloured chairs for use by everyone who visits the East Kent Mencap centre in Cliftonville.

Ange Brown, CXN Hub & Youth Clubs Manager said: “These chairs went to our Thanet Complex Needs Hub. We are a charity that works with many people with varying levels of support & health needs. These are tough times for all – so we deliberately ordered the brightly coloured chairs and we are extremely grateful to Thanet Earth for their kind donation.”

In April 2022 the Thanet Earth Community Engagement Team was established with the aim of promoting and enhancing the position of the company within the wider community by supporting local charity initiatives and good causes through sponsorship and donations.

The scheme plans 12 months ahead and nominates a different local cause for each month.

The Thanet Earth Community Engagement Team continue to build on this momentum and look forward to working with many more good causes in the local community.

For more information about East Kent Mencap and the vital work they do visit their website

Kent Community Foundation

The Wards Charitable Fund, which is administered by Kent Community Foundation, has donated £49,000 to 14 foodbanks across the county, including Margate Independent Foodbank and Thanet Foodlink Ltd. The foodbanks each received £3,500 the week before Christmas to provide food for those struggling to feed their families.

This donation is part of a pledge from Wards and their parent group Arun Estates that for every new property Wards list in Kent, £100 will be donated via Kent Community Foundation to local food banks.

Heather Weitzel, Thanet Foodlink Ltd who received £3,500 before Christmas said, “We are currently spending about £1000 a week on food and this donation from the Wards Charitable Fund is hugely appreciated. We also want to say thank you to Kent Community Foundation for the work you do in distributing funds. Your help has supported us to give out over 1000 bags of food each month, for the last four months.”

Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation said, “There’s no doubt that we are in the midst of a crisis with continuing rising costs putting extreme pressure on the most disadvantaged. This winter will be tough for many in Kent and it will leave a great number of people struggling to make ends meet and keep their family warm, fed and well.

“We were pleased to distribute the first award, totalling £49,000, on behalf of Wards to fourteen foodbanks to help ease the increasing demand from families and we are delighted that there will be ongoing support from them for foodbanks throughout the year.”

Aldo Sotgiu, Arun Estates Group Managing Director said, “The ability to give back to our community and support those who need it most is a huge part of who we are and the values we represent. Right now, so many people are struggling, and we have always been focused on helping people in the best way.”

To contact Kent Community Foundation about funding for charities and community groups call 01303 814500, email [email protected] or visit

Documentary launch

More than 4,000 people came to the Berlin launch of a Thanet film-maker’s shocking new documentary  about the rise and fall of the Jeremy Corbyn movement.

The launch of Norman Thomas’s film, “Oh Jeremy Corbyn – The Big Lie” was held at the International Rosa Luxemburg Conference in Berlin attended by over 4,000 people in person and over 20,000 more online, on Saturday 14th January. The next day the film received its world premiere at Berlin’s Babylon Cinema and was watched by a sell-out audience.

Film-maker Norman Thomas, who lives in Broadstairs, said: “It had a tremendous reception. It tells the extraordinary and dramatic story of how in 2017 Jeremy Corbyn came so close to becoming prime minister and explores the forces which later brought him down.”

Mr Thomas worked with London-based Platform Films over three years to produce the documentary. He said the experience of making it had a big effect on him. He said: “I’ve been involved in making documentary films for around 40 years, but I have  never come across so many shocking examples of terrible political treachery and deceit as I uncovered during this production.”

Mr Thomas added: “Jeremy’s time as leader of the Labour Party was badly distorted by the mainstream media. I hope this film will go some way to getting the truth out there.”

According to Mr Thomas, who has made many films about Thanet in the past, it’s been extremely difficult to find a venue in Britain to screen “Oh Jeremy Corbyn”. This, he said, is one of the reasons it was eventually premiered in Berlin.

He said: “Corbyn’s leadership is still a highly controversial topic, so many cinema owners are really nervous about screening the film. Thankfully we have now found an extremely good venue in London. But I’m really hopeful we will screen the film in Thanet very soon, too.”

The first UK screening of “Oh Jeremy Corbyn – The Big Lie” will be at 7pm in the Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London, on Thursday 9 February. Tickets are £10 and are available on Eventbrite through this link

Cuts Inc

Cuts Incorporated, on The Broadway in Broadstairs has reopened after a refurb. As part of the rebrand the salon is changing colour brand to the Kevin Murphy line which contain naturally beneficial ingredients, are cruelty free /paraben free and in sustainable packaging.

The salon is headed by founder Chris Coles.

Nicola Newcombe, who has worked front of house since 2005, said: “Chris and the team are moving forward with the world to become a more sustainable salon with a smaller footprint.

“We upcycled a lot of our interior to reduce landfill waste and are continuing with our existing registered recycling programmes.”

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