Thanet community news: Volunteer grants, Rotary, Tunnels, Photo Society, Charity Catwalk, Chartwell, SEK, Martha Trust and Dementia Week

A grant for the Wilderness to Wonderland volunteer group

Volunteer group grants

Margate’s army of green-fingered volunteers, who take care of their beaches and gardens, are benefiting from more than £10,000 thanks to grants from Southern Water.

One project is ‘Wilderness to Wonderland, turning neglected areas and unused planters into beautiful cultivated spaces filled with plants and flowers, contributing to biodiversity and the wellbeing of local visitors and residents.

Southern Water has partnered with the project, donating £3,000 to the cause and supporting the effort through its own staff volunteering. During April, Southern Water employees joined the group for an afternoon of planting.

There is also backing of £7,000 for the Friends of Botany Bay group, for regular beach cleans.

Toby Willison, Southern Water’s Director of Environment & Corporate Affairs, said:  “We’re always looking at ways we can support the local community and are delighted to help these groups continue their hard work keeping their areas in fantastic condition.

“Protecting the environment is a priority for us, and we know we need to be better at playing our part in achieving that. We’re accelerating works to reduce the use of storm overflows across our entire region, and have forecast that our activity in Kent will achieve a minimum of a 20% reduction in storm overflow use in Margate, Deal and Whitstable by spring 2025.”

Photo by volunteer Josh

Barry Manners from the Friends of Botany Bay, said: “Our local beaches are a recreational space for residents, an important component to the local tourism industry and a precious ecological asset for all. The support from Southern Water means we will be able to clean beaches several times a week, year-round. In the peak summer months this will be daily, as required – in addition to our volunteers’ activities.

Photo by volunteer Josh

“We plan 600 hours of paid beach cleaning; minimising litter from entering the sea and collecting it as it washes ashore. Last year we collected up tonnes of plastic along the shoreline, so it’s a huge relief to know this work can continue.

“Whilst we welcome Southern Water’s support, and although we cannot ignore the need for them to strive to improve their environmental record, their engagement with us has proven transformative for our stretch of coastline. We hope this can continue and be replicated with other groups elsewhere along the Kent and Sussex coastline.”

Following April’s afternoon of planting, Rory Waitt, of Wilderness to Wonderland, said: “What a wonderful afternoon for our community and to see volunteers from Southern Water come along and support us – it was brilliant, I’m looking forward to inviting Southern Water employees back again on future projects with Wilderness to Wonderland.”

Rotary Club of Thanet

The Rotary Club of Thanet has been working with schools across Thanet to help improve literacy skills. Working with the English leads within schools to form bespoke book lists, the Rotarians have partnered with Margate Book Shop to supply 260 books across 8 schools. Schools that have benefited from this initiative include Charles Dickens, King Ethelbert, Hartsdown, Royal Harbour Ramsgate, Ursuline, St George’s  and Dane Court.

Whilst that support is designed to support English teachers with improving reading abilities, a new project has been launched to focus on creative writing.  The Rotary Club of Thanet are inviting sixth form students enrolled in a Thanet school or college to submit entries to a creative writing competition. The brief is to write a short story of no more than 2500 words themed on a whodunnit murder mystery set in Thanet. A judges panel will award prizes for the best entries to both the author and the associated school.

Entries should be sent to [email protected]. The deadline for entries is 14 July 2023. For more information on the competition please visit

Ramsgate Tunnels

As part of The Big Help Out Day celebrating King Charles’ Coronation on Monday 8th May we will have two volunteer pop up stalls, one at Ramsgate Tunnels and the other at Victoria Gardens, Broadstairs.

If you have ever thought about volunteering at the Tunnels it is a great opportunity to pop along and talk with some of our volunteers about the roles we have to offer and what we can offer you in return.  Please do come along and see us at one of the sites. We look forward to meeting you and sharing the enthusiasm we have in keeping the number one heritage site in Thanet open!

Isle of Thanet Photographic Society

A brilliant month for the club with an emphasis on learning and skills. Members have been sharing ideas and getting the best from their cameras and software. We’ve also taken a look back at early analogue images that encouraged an interest in photography and how techniques have changed in the digital age, as well as seeing how skills have developed over the past ten years.

Our 4th quarter digital competition attracted a wide range of images, from architecture to landscapes with a couple of portraits too. The judge, Pat Couder, provided an excellent critique of every image and offered many tips illustrating how they could be enhanced.

Group 1 winner was Laura Drury with her stunning portrait “Red Hat and Earrings” (above) whilst Andy Kettle achieved first place in Group 2 with a beautiful snowy landscape called “Winter Hike, Ardvek” (below).

Members are looking forward to an “Abstract” competition in May and an “out and about” in Broadstairs on 4 May. We’ll also be preparing for our annual exhibition of prints. This will be at York Street Gallery, Ramsgate from 2pm on 14 June to 12 noon on 21 June (excluding Monday). Prints will be for show and sale and we look forward to welcoming visitors to the exhibition.

Meetings are on Thursdays at 7.30pm at the Portland Centre, St. Peter’s, Broadstairs. Annual adult membership for the remainder of this season costs £17.50 and the weekly fee is £4.

For further information about the club, including membership and the programme, please visit our website: or find us on Facebook.

Charity Catwalk

Charity shops in Ramsgate have teamed up to create a catwalk event at Radford House in Effingham Street.

Charity Catwalk aims to celebrate the work of the shops but also showcase what they have to offer.

The clothes and accessories which can be found and bought in those shops will be paraded down the catwalk. Models will be people of all ages and sizes who frequent the shops. The event will conclude with the glamour of evening dresses and party wear but, before that, will show  Summer outfits, everyday casual wear, clothes for the formal and informal workplace and everything from dungarees to dresses, suits to scarves, shirts to sweaters, skirts to trousers, coats to cagoules. All will be available to buy.

British Red Cross, Cancer Research UK, Cats in Crisis, Pilgrims Hospices and TAG Pet Rescue Centre are taking part. Cantate Choir will entertain during the interval, and refreshments will be available.

Charity Catwalk will be at Radford House (the old fire station in Effingham Street, now an RTC Community Hub) on Saturday May 20th, 7pm.

Tickets are £7, available from the charity shops, or online at:

If anyone is interested in helping with the event, especially if you would like to join the list of models, it is not too late to do so. Just email [email protected]

Chartwell House

Chartwell House by Boutique Care Homes, a residential care home based at Westwood, recently delivered surprise gift hampers to local healthcare and emergency service professionals.

The team at Chartwell House put together the hampers to show their appreciation for the hard work and dedication of healthcare and emergency service workers in the area. The hampers were filled with a variety of delicious treats including chocolate, coffee, tea, and cereal bars.

The initiative, spearheaded by Home Manager Diane Collins and Admissions Manager Jude Coveney, saw them visit several places including Spencer Private Hospital, Margate A&E, Thanet Ambulance Station and Ramsgate Fire Station.

Diane Collins, Home Manager of Chartwell House, said: “We wanted to show our appreciation for the hard work and dedication of our local healthcare and emergency service professionals. They have worked tirelessly throughout some challenging years to keep our community safe, and we wanted to thank them for all that they do.”

Jude Coveney, Admissions Manager, added: “It was a pleasure to deliver the hampers and see the smiles on the faces of those we visited. We hope it brought a bit of joy to their day.”

The surprise deliveries were well received and greatly appreciated by the all those who received them. Many expressed their surprise and gratitude for the kind gesture, which came as a much- needed boost during what has been a challenging time in recent years.

Chartwell House by Boutique Care Homes is passionate about supporting the local community and making a positive impact where they can. Delivering hampers to healthcare professionals was just one way in which they could show their appreciation and support.

Chartwell House is calling on the community to help them spread kindness and appreciation to local healthcare professionals. They are asking people to contact the care home to nominate any places that should be visited in the coming weeks.

Email: [email protected]

Social Enterprise Kent

Social Enterprise Kent is excited to announce the launch of Thanet Social Enterprise Boost, a new initiative designed to promote and support the growth of social enterprises and social entrepreneurs in Thanet.

To launch the programme, we are holding an event on the 17th of May from 09:30 – 11:30 in the Function Room, Quex Park, Park Lane Birchington-on-Sea, CT7 0BH.

We will be joined by Peter Holbrook CBE, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK as our guest speaker. Peter will be sharing his insights on the power of social entrepreneurship and how it can drive positive change in our communities.

Thanet Social Enterprise Boost is a FREE* support programme to help scale up existing enterprises or kickstart social entrepreneur ideas (*eligibility criteria applies) and offers a range of benefits including:

  • One-to-one mentoring and business support
  • Networking opportunities
  • Access to grants
  • Workshops
  • Advice sessions
  • Events

Support will be available to social entrepreneurs, social enterprises and organisations with a social purpose delivering activities or services that provide social or environmental benefit within Thanet.

To find out more about the programme and its eligibility criteria, please visit

Booking for the launch is essential and spaces are limited. Book your place now at Please do not hesitate to email us at [email protected] if you have any questions.

Martha Trust

The Martha Trust Golf day in association with John Shepherd held at Walmer & Kingsdown Golf Club on Friday 21st April was a fantastic success raising over a record breaking £10,300 for the charity.

Despite a rainy start to the morning, the sun came out by the time golfers took to the course, who had come from far and wide including Surrey and London to support the charity.

Taking first place was 3 Men & a little Ady, which scored an impressive 117 points. In second place was Country Carpets scoring 108 points and in third place with 105 points was The A Team.

Nearest the Pin, played from the 4th, 11th, 14th and 17th tees were won by Vice Captain John Boyd, Ben Heaton & Louis Weale.

There were various fundraising aspects during the event including a game of heads n tails, raffle, and an auction.

The main sponsors for the event Superior Healthcare who are the Martha Trust’s Event Sponsor for 2023 and Perrys UK who were present on their day with four of their vehicles alongside a member of staff.

Fundraising & Events Officer Kerry Banks BEM from Martha Trust said: “We are delighted that the day was such an enormous success and are so grateful to the golfing community for rallying around to help us stage such a special day on this the anniversary of our 10-year Partnership with the club.

“Thank you so much to Club Manager Kevin Arman at Walmer & Kingsdown Golf Club for all hissupport, to Golf Pro Andrew Jones for providing all our winners prizes and an auction prize, , to West Indies cricketer John Shepherd for his ongoing support of Martha and to all the players, sponsors, auction and raffle donors.”

David Brene Photography captured the event and 18 local businesses sponsored holes.

The charity is holding a Virtual Golfing Challenge called “Golf Marathon4Martha” throughout the months of June, July & August. Teams of four can take on a 72 holes in a day “marathon” or 36 holes in a day “ half marathon. It is free to take part however the charity encourage sponsorship from all participants and there is a golfing prize for the team with the highest sponsorship. To learn more, please visit

Dementia Action Week

Dementia Action Week is Alzheimer’s Society’s biggest and longest running awareness campaign. Each year, we work with individuals and organisations across the UK to encourage people to ‘act on dementia’. Dementia Action Week 2023 will run from 15-21 May.

Following a sustained drop in dementia diagnosis rates for the first time ever, we undertook research to understand the key barriers and benefits to getting a diagnosis.

As well as the misconception around memory loss just being part of getting old, our research found being in denial, and referral times to specialists, are big barriers for those experiencing symptoms to seek a diagnosis.

Getting a diagnosis can be daunting, but we believe it’s better to know. And so do 91% of people affected by dementia.

This Dementia Action Week, we’ll be involving more healthcare professionals and building on the success of our symptoms checklist. By working together, we want to improve people’s diagnosis experience and ensure they get a timely diagnosis.

It’s important that those who are concerned that they or someone close to them might be experiencing signs of dementia continue to come to us for guidance and support.

This includes reading our new information on memory loss and diagnosis, using our symptoms checklist to help describe symptoms to GPs, and watching first-hand stories from people living with and affected by dementia on the benefits of getting a diagnosis.

A Dementia awareness day will be held at Holy Trinity Church, St Mary’s Avenue, Margate, on May 20th from 9am-6pm.

Day includes virtual dementia tour, training, specialist on site,

Register interest in tour by emailing [email protected]