Thanet community news: Montefiore Woodland; QEQM Friends, Westgate planting; Vindicatrix; Easter appeals; scouts appeal; hospice team; Westgate safari; Scoot4Life; cancer project and Martha Trust

Montefiore Woodland's Volunteer Work Party with their Coronation tree

Montefiore Woodland’s Volunteer Work Party

We were delighted to see a fabulous number of volunteers come along to Montefiore Woodland on Saturday 4th March, for our first Work Party this spring!

As well as our on-going maintenance tasks of curtailing the spread of Alexander, removing ivy from the trunks of trees, ensuring pathways are clear of bramble and litter picking, we also planted a Hornbeam (our thanks to Young’s Nurseries and Petticoat Emporium who kindly delivered and stored it in preparation for planting). We call it our “Coronation Tree” to celebrate King Charles III forthcoming Coronation as well as our way of replacing the Turkey Oak that had to be removed Feb 2022.

We were also delighted to be joined by Rebecca Levey from Butterfly Conservation, who advised us regarding ongoing maintenance and planting of our Butterfly Meadow which we created exactly ten years ago in March 2013. There is always a chance of seeing several species of butterfly while strolling through the Clearing of the Woodland on a warm sunny day, including: Speckled Wood, Comma, Red Admiral, Holly and Common Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Marbled White, Small Skipper, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Large and Small White and possibly the Green-veined White.

Butterflies and moths are an important element of the food chain and are prey for birds, bats and other insectivorous animals (Blue Tits eat an estimated 50 billion moth caterpillars each year). Butterflies and moths have been recognised as indicators of biodiversity. Their fragility makes them quick to react to change so their struggle to survive is a serious warning about our environment. Sue Smith has been monitoring butterflies found within the Woodland and in the local area for the past ten years for Butterfly Conservation.

The Friends of Montefiore Woodland was formed in February 2012 after Thanet District Council formally handed over the site to the local community under the stewardship of Ramsgate Town Council in April 2011. Native woods and trees are incredibly biodiverse and are vitally important for British wildlife. They support many different species of fungi, lichens, mosses, and plants, as well as birds, invertebrates, and other animals. Thus, they are important for British wildlife and humans alike. They stabilise soil and generate oxygen, not to mention that magical alluring quality that makes them such a great place for relaxation and recreational activities.

Volunteer work parties have been engaged in improving the site, and arranging activities to encourage community involvement identifying resident wildlife and recording the flora within, as well as contributing to various citizen science surveys including the recording of birds, flora, butterflies, and bats during the past 11 years.

Despite the Covid interruptions, the woodland continues to improve as an oasis for wildlife, nature, and the local community. New volunteers (young and not so young) are always welcome to join our team on any first Saturday of the months from March – November when we meet at 10am-12noon (weather permitting). Our next Work Party is on Saturday 1st April when we will be following Rebecca’s recommendation of removing tussocks of coarse grass (Cocksfoot) and in their place planting wildflowers.

Montefiore Woodland is a small oasis in the middle of the urbanisation of Ramsgate. A stroll through can give a feeling of peace and tranquillity. Further information can be found on their website

QEQM Hospital League of Friends

Two Kwickscreens, one of which is shown, we funded are now in use in the hospital. They are fully portable and flexible screens that incorporate attractive scenes and are of particular benefit to patients with dementia.

Jade Garlick, Lead Specialist Nurse in Dementia Care, said: “The Dementia Team and the Wards that have received them are so grateful to the League of Friends as these screens really do support our patients living with dementia. They make the environment less clinical, create great topics of conversation and encourage our patients to reminisce about memories & past experiences.

“They soften the area which can often be very busy and are a great focal point for any space. They also bring joy to those visiting as the pictures are so colourful and vibrant.”

If you’d like to help us finance items such as these and enjoy a fun evening why not come to our Quiz Night? It’s on Friday 28th April at 6.30 for 7pm at the Church Hall of Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in Broadstairs. Please bring your own refreshments and tables are for teams of 8 people. For tickets, which are only £6, please phone (01843) 234507 or email [email protected] leaving your name and contact details.

Tree planting in Westgate

Photo Carl Hudson

After two years as the Westgate Town Council volunteer tree and biodiversity warden, I was over the moon to be able to work with KCC tree strategy officer and Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership to be able to plant almost 1000 native trees at King Ethelbert pavilion (the old cricket field) at King Ethelbert School.

Photo Carl Hudson

As the local tree warden, I applied for 500 trees from TCV (the conservation volunteers) on behalf of WTC back in 2021 to plant on Lymington Road green, but the plans were axed on the eleventh hour and we had to quickly think of an alternative to plant the donated trees.

Photo Carl Hudson

With the help of the town council, we found a small compound suitable to grow the trees on, and so, Thanet Urban Forest Community Tree Nursery was born. We received huge amount of support from Barcham Trees, Arboricultural Association, the Fellowship of the Trees, and The Community Tree Nursery Collaborative with advice and best practice guidance on how to set up the nursery, whilst we were setting up and planting it with the donated tree stock.

Photo Carl Hudson

After a year of tending to the saplings, we were fortunate enough to work with KCC to plan the planting at the local secondary school as the second phase of planting. The first phase was planted by the year seven students of KES, many of whom took to naming and having selfies with the trees they planted, as part of the Local Authority Treescape Fund (LATF) on a beautifully sunny Monday morning (13th).

Photo Carl Hudson

Tuesday seamed like a different world, with heavy rain and bitterly cold easily winds, the year seven students weren’t so enthusiastic to plant on such a dreary day, but hats off to them as the persevered through and got the job done.

It was a similar wet day for the community tree planting and the core volunteer team became soaked through before we had even finished setting up. Needless to say the weather kept many of the community tucked up in their dry homes, while a number of young dedicated families braved the sidewards rain to help plant for our future.

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Those that did were rewarded with a hot cuppa and a biscuit before the sun finally made an appearance. Many thanks to Westgate Town Councils Town clerk who once again went above and beyond their duties to make this planting a success.

By Peter Hasted

The Independent Vindicatrix of East Kent Association – M.N.

We held our 2023 annual dinner on Saturday, March 18th at The Racing Greyhound with a good attendance and once again enjoyed a great 3 course dinner with hosts Keith and Debbie ensuring that everything went well once again, plus very efficient and attentive staff.

We all thank them very much indeed for making the evening go well.  The evening started with a welcome speech by the Secretary which included thanks to his wife for her behind the scenes help over 29 years and mention of shipmates who have ill-health problems and others who have “crossed the bar” and a toast to “Absent Friends”.

We then settled down to an excellent meal and good conversation.  The evening ended with our usual raffle and those who donated prizes were thanked including all who bought tickets and it raised £115.

Maskell & Uden Easter Egg appeal

We have launched our 2023 Easter Egg Appeal.

We are working with local charities to collect and distribute Easter Eggs to local families and children in Thanet who may otherwise go without. A special treat that we can all support.

You can help by donating an Easter Egg to a local family in need. Simply drop off at one of our branches and we will take care of the rest!

You can drop off Easter Eggs at our Westgate branch who are working with Storehouse Foodbank, organised by the Birchington Baptist Church.

You can also drop off Easter Eggs at our Ramsgate branch who are working with Salvation Army Foodbank in Ramsgate.

Westgate branch:1 Cuthbert Road, Westgate, CT8 8NR

Ramsgate branch: 39 High Street, Ramsgate.

Your Move Margate Easter Art Competition

Your Move Estate agents in Margate, is asking young artists to drop in a drawing or painted picture of a house to its Margate High Street branch.

The first 100 pictures received in the branch will win the artist an Easter Egg.   Local Artist Nicola Taylor has kindly agreed to judge all of the entries and pick one winner who will receive £50 of book vouchers.

You can make the house as colourful and imaginative as you like! You can also write a few lines to tell us all about it.

When entering please ensure your child’s name, age and a contact number is put on the back of the drawing. Please bring your children’s artwork to our Margate branch 110-112 High Street, Margate, CT9 1JR Monday-Friday 9am-430pm.

The competition ends on 3rd April and the overall winner will be selected on the 5th April 2023.

We look forward to seeing your pictures!

1st St Lawrence Scout Group

You don’t have to be Bear Grylls to volunteer! We’re on the search for Squirrel leaders and Explorer leaders. Volunteering can be a brilliant way to boost your mental wellbeing.

It’s a great feeling knowing you’re helping young people get skills for life, and you might even learn a lot about yourself along the way. Contact via

Pilgrims Hospices’ social work team

Social Worker team L-R – Sinead de Nogla – Clare Friel – Molly – Sophie Van Walwyk – Nicola Martin – Sophie Skardon – Zoe Stoneham_

Pilgrims Hospices is proud to provide holistic, compassionate palliative care across east Kent. The charity supports people in many different ways, and social work is an integral part of this.

To celebrate World Social Work Day earlier this week, Sophie Van Walwyk, Head of Psychosocial, Wellbeing and Bereavement Services, and Thanet team member Zoe Stoneham explain the vital role that social workers play within hospice care supporting patients, families and communities during uncertain and difficult times.

Sophie Van Walwyk, Social Work Lead

People often think that working at a hospice is challenging and sad. Sometimes it can be, but for me, supporting patients and their loved ones at the end of life is both an honour and a privilege.

My first experience of Pilgrims’ care was during my social work training when I shadowed the Ashford hospice team. I was so inspired by the practice I observed, which I felt reflected the core values of the social work profession. This left a lasting impression, and I began considering a career in palliative and end-of-life care.

I joined Pilgrims in 2015, initially as a social worker at the Thanet hospice, but soon progressing to the role of Lead Social Worker, managing teams across our three sites. My role continued to grow, and I’m now responsible for all teams providing psychological, social and spiritual care.

The psychosocial elements of hospice care are just as important as the care provided by our nurses and doctors. We consider the whole person, not just their illness or disease. We not only meet their physical needs, but also their psychological, social and spiritual needs.

Zoe Stoneham, Social Worker at Pilgrims Hospice Thanet

Palliative, end-of-life and bereavement care matters to everyone. Palliative social workers use their skills to help people deal with what is happening to them, including loss and grief. They also:

Support people in expressing what’s important to them and encourage open conversations

Coordinate care provisions

Liaise between professionals

Support with decision making

Draw on legislation, if required

Support with safeguarding of anyone who may be at risk of abuse/harm

I joined Pilgrims in 2016, having previously worked as a case manager in adult social services for Kent County Council. This role gave me many skills, which I was able to bring to Pilgrims.

I love being patient-facing and meeting people in the community, our Therapy Centres, clinics and on the ward. We offer practical help at home, signposting to other services, advocacy work, psychological support and discharge planning from our in-patient ward.

We’re also experienced in therapeutic work with patients and support carers with their wellbeing. I often signpost or refer to our in-house carers groups, which provide a safe space for carers to share their experiences with others in similar situations.

Pilgrims social workers are all members of the Association of Palliative Care Social Workers (APCSW) .

Pilgrims Hospices cares for thousands of local people each year, free of charge, during the most challenging time in their lives. They offer care and support in people’s own homes, in the community and in their inpatient units as well as running a 24-hour advice line.

Westgate Garage Sale Safari

The Westgate safari returns with residents selling everything from books and clothes to plants and collectibles.

It takes place on Sunday, April 2 from 9am to noon.

Find details on facebook here


In 2011 me and my Scoot4life team visited 150 life boat stations on a mobility scooter raising money for the RNLI, so I would like to let you know my book Me Polio and Scoot4life is available on Amazon. All the royalties go to the RNLI and the British Polio Fellowship.

The Chemotherapy Cancer Project Charity

We are holding a listening meeting from 10am on March 31st to outline our plans for the next 12 months and hear from some of you so that between us we can come up with a coordinated plan to help each other.

Cancer, its treatment and the aftermath of treatment, is where we need to focus our efforts.

On behalf of the Chemotherapy Cancer Project Charity We welcome you to Margate Masonic Centre on March 31

Martha Trust

A well-known annual event for Martha Trust took place on Saturday at St Marys Arts Centre in Sandwich . The venue was transformed into a traditional Bavarian Night out to raise funds for the residents at Martha Trust with profound disabilities

The Kent based Bavarian style band -Bettesteiner Footstompers, as seen on The Alan Titchmarsh Show, are popular all over the South East and in London, had the crowd singing and dancing and volunteers dressed in costume went round the tables serving beer and wine all evening.

Big Willy, Otto Gell, Gretel, Stefan Schnetker and Wandering Hans played a selection of foot stomping, thigh slapping German tunes that gave this live music event the authentic festive feel.

As well as great entertainment, food and drink , there was a game of heads n tails where one guest won £50 and donated it back, a raffle and an auction with a framed Manchester United Shirt going for £625 which was supplied by The Manchester United Foundation and framed by local company Frames For You – the whole evening raised over an incredible £10,200

Fundraising & Events Officer Kerry Banks BEM said: “It was a truly fantastic event that has been enjoyed by so many over the years. We are incredibly grateful to St Mary’s Arts Centre and to Siobhan Matthews– the building is spectacular and perfect for this event!

“We are so lucky to have the ongoing support of The Bettesteiner Footstompers who we absolutely love!

“Thank you also to our amazing volunteers , to the wonderful girls from Barclays for all their support with the event, our Sponsors Superior Healthcare Group, Agents Giving, KCB Property Rentals, Sandwich Coop, NWR Ltd, Korkers Sausages and Bakkavor /Tilmanstone Salads and to our raffle and auction prize givers who all help to make the event a success.”

Next year’s date will be on Saturday 23rd March 2024 and the charity are taking reservations for tickets now.

If you would like to sponsor the event, please email [email protected] or call 01304 610448 to hear what opportunities there are and learn more about how your support will make a difference.

Upcoming Events for Martha Trust

Golf Day at the “Club on the Cliffs” Walmer & Kingsdown on Friday 21st April , a charity cricket match at Walmer Cricket Club Sholden and their flagship event Music on the Farm at Solleys in Ripple Kent on June 25th plus much more!

To find out more visit or call 01304 610448.

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