Thanet community news: Cycle for Pilgrims, Chartwell, Academy FM, sea scouts, dementia alliance, B24 Liberator and QEQM donation

The Birchington Peddlers took part in the Pilgrims Hospices Cycle Challenge

Pilgrims Hospices

More than 1,000 cyclists enjoyed a beautiful Spring Bank Holiday Sunday exploring the stunning Kent countryside at the 13th annual Pilgrims Hospices Cycle Challenge. Riders of all abilities took part, collectively cycling more than 76,000 miles to support the skilled and compassionate end-of-life care the charity provides across east Kent. So far this year’s event has raised almost £100,000; with indications showing the total could reach as much as £110,000 for Pilgrims, once all donations and Gift Aid are finalised.

Marcus and Jack Best – Cliffsend (Ramsgate) – In memory of their wife and mum Emma Best

Individuals, families, friends, cycling clubs, local businesses and services throughout Kent, took on the 30, 50, 75, 100 or 125-mile challenge. Bright skies and dry roads were the perfect conditions for Pilgrims’ flagship fundraising event. Ever since the event first took place in 2010, supporters have raised an astonishing £1.2 million pounds to help people who need Pilgrims’ care within our community.

All routes started and finished at Pilgrims Event Village at the University of Kent, near Canterbury. Returning cyclists could enjoy a celebratory atmosphere, sports massage and well-earned refreshments after collecting their commemorative medal.

Julie Cox (Occupational Therapist) – Alice Baker (Doctor) – Nicole Flower (Physiotherapist) – Pilgrims Hospices staff

Robert Grew, Pilgrims event organiser said: “It was brilliant to see such a strong show of support for Pilgrims! We congratulate all the riders in achieving their goals and for their incredible support for the end-of-life care Pilgrims provides.

“It’s a privilege to organise the event and, seeing it year after year, I’m always reminded how much of a team effort it is. Our army of volunteers are just outstanding and gave up their bank holiday weekend to help make the whole experience safe and enjoyable for our riders. I can’t thank them enough! Nor the waves of cyclists who puff their way around the course in support each year.”

Roger Orton and Sally-Ann Stubberfield from Broadstairs riding in memory of family friend Katrina Mae Bissett

“I must also thank Kent Sport, Biketart, Barretts and London Array for their wonderful support for the event, which enables us to maximise the amount of funds we can raise for hospice care.”

Care is provided from three hospice sites in Ashford, Canterbury and Thanet as well as in patients’ own homes.  To offer these services to patients and their families, the charity must raise £11 million each year from the generous local community.

Chartwell House

Diana Dickenson at Chartwell House

Over the past century, the United Kingdom has experienced significant change, and the monarchy has been a constant presence throughout. From the reign of King George V to the current monarch, King Charles III, the royal family has played an integral role in the history of the country.

During this time, the UK has gone through significant social and political changes, including the two World Wars, the decline of the British Empire, and the rise of the digital age. Through it all, the monarchy has remained a symbol of national identity and continuity.

We spoke with residents at Boutique Care Homes about their memories of the monarchy, their favourite moments and events, and their advice for the future King Charles. Here are some of their reflections:

Patricia Godfrey, born in 1923, a resident at Brampton Manor, Newmarket recalls King George V fondly, “He was an excellent man. I remember him coming through Frome, people were lining the streets, cheering and celebrating. He was so popular; it was lovely.” Patricia also remembers the Queen’s coronation and the party in her village.

Pamela Beckett, born in 1922, a resident at The Burlington, Shepperton remembers watching the wedding of Princess Elizabeth to the Duke of Edinburgh on television. Pamela also recalls meeting the royal family members since she lived in Windsor, “I had a friend who was part of the orchestra. I remember watching Philip playing polo, and he broke his polo stick!”

Diana Dickenson, born in 1940, a resident at Chartwell House, Broadstairs remembers going to the state opening of Parliament with her mother when King George was on the throne, “We stood in the mall in the late 40s to watch the golden coach go by. I also remember the King dying. I was at school, and they called us all into the school hall and solemnly told us that we now had a queen.”

Diana also remembers Princess Diana’s appointment as the Colonel in chief of the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment, “My husband was in the Middlesex’s regiment and it was amalgamated into the PWRR. The ceremony took place at Howe Barracks in Canterbury. I remember standing next to Princess Diana. She turned round and said, ‘Come on, ladies, let’s find the loo, let’s take our tights off. It’s far too hot for these.’”

When asked what they think the most significant event or moment of the past three monarchs’ reigns have been, Patricia Godfrey says that it was King Edward VIII’s abdication for Mrs Simpson, “It was the talk of the land!” Diana Dickenson thinks that the invasion of Ukraine and the threat of nuclear war would have worried Queen Elizabeth II quite considerably prior to her death. Pamela Beckett remembers when Diana Princess of Wales died, “I remember seeing her being taken up to Scotland; it was so sad.”

The world has undoubtedly changed a lot since the birth of these ladies, and the role of the monarchy has also evolved. Diana stated that the monarchs have not altered much during her lifetime, but Charles has made an impact in wildlife protection, especially in Kenya. She also pointed out the significance of the Duke of Edinburgh award, which has “had a big influence on young people, particularly in the London boroughs.”

Patricia, on the other hand, believes that the world has become more open, and people do what they want now. However, she also noted that the public’s respect for the monarchy has changed. “The Monarchy used to be more in with the people,” she said. “I’m not sure the public respects the monarchy as we once did.”

When asked about the most important quality a monarch should have, Diana highlighted honesty and sincerity. She also mentioned the importance of a good memory, stating that keeping information without mixing it up is “quite an art form.” Patricia echoed the same sentiment about sincerity, suggesting that if a monarch possesses this quality, then “they will be okay.”

Both Diana and Pamela, when asked about their favourite memory of King Charles, praised his down-to-earth nature. Diana described Charles as “a man of the earth”, who enjoys gardening, “if he talks to flowers, he can’t be all that bad.” Pamela added that she found him to be a very modern man.

The monarchy has undoubtedly played a significant role in shaping the identity of British citizens. Diana believes that the way the monarchy enunciates has influenced how the British speak and are proud of their nationality. “Charles, in particular, has done well in promoting the culture of Great Britain.”

Lastly, when asked about their advice to King Charles, Diana suggested that he keeps his eyes and ears open and evaluates everything he is told for himself. “I think he is quite capable of that,” she added. Patricia, meanwhile, encouraged him to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps, who was friendly with everyone and would make time for anyone.

With the succession of King Charles, it will be interesting to see how he takes on the role and continues to shape the monarchy’s legacy.

Thanet Academy FM

Academy FM is currently having problems with the air conditioning, well actually it’s broken.

It’s so important that air conditioning is in the studios, and where the transmitter is sited, we call it the racks room.  Without it, the equipment will overheat, and stop transmitting the radio station.

We have had quotes, and we need to raise £3720. We know times are hard right now for us all, but even a £1 will help us.

Our gofundme page is

6th Ramsgate Sea Scouts

Grove Ferry river trips! Fundraising for 6th Ramsgate Sea Scouts, all money from the boat trips on Tuesday 30th May will go towards the renovations of the Scout HQ.

Have a fun river trip and help a local group!

Book Today ->

Thanet Dementia Alliance

Thanet’s Dementia Action Alliance is running a Dementia Awareness Day on Saturday 20th May from 09.00 to 17.00 at Holy Trinity Church in Margate.  The event is in support of Alzheimer’s Society’s ‘Dementia Action Week’.

The day provides an opportunity to learn more about dementia and gain insight into what it can be like to live with dementia.

To register interest in the virtual dementia tour please email: [email protected].

B24 Liberator Memorial Blessing and Service

Photo Denise Bottali

A service and blessing for the B24 Liberator Memorial in Westgate took place on Thursday 27th April.

The original plaque, which was dedicated by the Margate Charter Trustees in 2010, was generously replicated and manufactured by Blaze Signs.

Photo Denise Bottali

The service was led by Reverend Susan Wing and the Westgate-on-Sea Heritage Centre, and will took place at the B24 memorial.

Photo Denise Bottali

The service commemorated the bravery of the pilots and crew who lost their lives during World War II.

Donation to QEQM Hospital

Housebuilder Barratt Homes is helping to support those in critical care, thanks to a donation of £4000 to the Three Wishes Project at The Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital. The housebuilder, who is building at nearby development Spitfire Green in Ramsgate, will be donating £1000 every three months over the course of a year.

The Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital is part of East Kent Hospitals Trust, which was the first trust to launch the Three Wishes Project in the UK, allowing staff to work closely with families and patients on the critical care unit, who are nearing the end of their life. The project helps to grant ‘wishes’ to celebrate and honour the lives of its patients, and the donation from Barratt Homes Kent will help to cover the costs of specialised requests including framed hand and finger prints, brand new fairy lights for the ward and comfort teddies for children.

Natalie Perry, Sales and Marketing Director for Barratt Homes Kent, commented: “The Three Wishes Project is a fundamental part of the critical care unit at The Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital, and it is important we do what we can to provide ongoing support our local hospital and seriously ill people at this time. We know that staff at The Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital work tirelessly to support their patients and we want to support them in the incredible work they do every day. We look forward to seeing the fantastic wishes the project can grant though out the course of the year to make a real difference to people’s lives at this difficult time.”

Dee Neligan, Senior Charity Officer at East Kent Hospitals Charity, added: “The critical care unit at The Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother Hospital is one of the most vital parts of the Trust, and we are proud that Barratt Homes Kent has chosen to support us through the Three Wishes Project. The project is very close to our hearts here in Kent, as we are the first Trust to support it, and we rely heavily on the kindness of the community to be able to grant those all-important wishes for our patients. The first donation has already made the world of difference to our patients and families so we are hoping to continue this amazing work.”