Community news: Guide Dogs, Thanet Earth, Windmill Community Gardens, camera club, Botany Bay group, town councils, Chartwell House and Martha Trust

Your Move team with Aarron Cunningham and Barry Penton and their guide dogs Miller and Rufus.

Your Move donation

Staff at Your Move Margate were delighted to be visited by Aarron Cunningham and Barry Penton and their lovely guide dogs Miller and Rufus.

The staff team of Juliette Malagodi, Kristina Guoge and Patrick McDonnell were able to present the Guide Dogs representatives with a cheque for £1,285 to help fund their incredible work.

The trio recently completed a sky dive for the charity.  Patrick said: “It was a real pleasure for us all to meet Aarron and Barry and hear how having their guide dogs is so vital for their everyday lives.

“Things that most of us just take for granted can stop with sight loss.  It was so inspiring to hear how the dogs make such a positive difference to their owners in so many ways”.

The fundraising page is still open for donations:

We would like to thank everyone who sponsored us.

Thanet Earth community champion for May

We are delighted to announce that Westgate On Sea Cricket Club is our first Community Champion of the new financial year.

The club was established in 1927 and they play at Hawtreys Field on the grounds of St Saviours School in Westgate.

They have strong links to local schools and since 2016 have hosted a junior team with around 50 children attending training every week.

We have made a financial donation towards the purchase of a defibrillator which will be located at the cricket ground.

Yasmin Bemath, Comms and Marketing Executive for Thanet Earth said: “We are delighted to be able to contribute to the purchase of this incredibly important piece of medical kit knowing that it will also be accessible to the school and the wider local community”.

James Hogg, from the cricket club, added: “Having had a member of our club suffer a heart attack, which thankfully wasn’t fatal due to the quick actions of those around him, we know the importance of having a defibrillator on site.  We would like to say a massive thank you to Thanet Earth for their financial donation”.

If you would like to find out more about Westgate-on-Sea Cricket Club visit their website at

Windmill Community Gardens

Windmill Community Gardens

Windmill Community Gardens Margate is proud to celebrate the invaluable contributions of our volunteers during Volunteers’ Week, taking place on the 1st-7th June.

Our volunteers are at the heart of our community gardens, and we are excited to offer new opportunities for individuals to get involved and lend a hand.

Whether you are an experienced gardener or simply interested in learning more about gardening, there is something for everyone at Windmill Community Gardens Margate. Our friendly team of volunteers and staff are here to welcome you and share their gardening tips and skills.

Thursday 1st June, 11am-12pm

To kick off Volunteers’ Week, Windmill Community Gardens Margate will be hosting a coffee morning for new volunteers on Thursday 1st June from 11am-12pm at the community garden, including visits to the market garden between 11:30-12pm for those who are interested.

Wednesday 7th June, 10-11:30am

Rounding off Volunteers’ Week, join us for a garden tour and refreshments at the community garden from 10-11 am, followed by a visit to the market garden from 11-11:30 for those who would like to join.

We invite all members of the community to join us in celebrating our volunteers and learning more about the amazing work being done at Windmill Community Gardens Margate.

Thanet Camera Club

Club members have excelled in May. Two competitions were held. The first was called “Abstract” where members competed for the Mick Talbot Trophy. The 55 entries were judged for the first time by members Rowena Relf and Rod Giddins who decided, after reviewing the top 2 entries, to award the Trophy to Laura Drury with her image called The Canal House, Birmingham (above). A very unusual treatment for an architectural photograph.

We welcomed local photographer Molly Hollman to judge our last print competition of the season. This was a tough challenge as there were some excellent images to view. Terry Scales topped the scoreboard with his image called Lakeland View (above), which was created as a digital ^Daguerreotype.

Annual Exhibition 14-21 June

We’ve been preparing for our annual exhibition which will be held at the York Street Gallery, Ramsgate from the afternoon of 14 June through to the morning of 21 June (closed on the 19th). Prints will be available to buy. We look forward to welcoming visitors to the exhibition.

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

Friends of Botany Bay and Kingsgate

Report by James Bonthron

On May 23rd the Friends of Botany Bay met in order to remove the invasive Alexander plants present at The Ridings. Around 10 volunteers gathered with a variety of different tools, with work focused on cutting plants down as far as possible in order to destroy them.

With a large attendance, it is hoped that this new project will continue to work on the Alexanders there. After a considerable amount of time devoted to cutting the plants, volunteers were then left with the unenviable task of collecting the fallen stems. These stems filled 17 one tonne bags. The group then headed off to recuperate with some light refreshments.

The volunteer group consisted of a number of people from different backgrounds, all with a keen desire to clean the area.

Volunteers included Cllr Barry Manners, newly elected Cllr Kevin Pressland, as well as Peter Hasted and Karen McKenzie (both tree wardens).

The head of the group, Barry Manners, is keen to clean up the area. Cllr Barry Manners’ ward is Cliftonville East.

He said: “What we want to do is protect biodiversity from being invaded.”

The group is experimenting with the removal technique in order to allow more native plants to come through. It is hoped that this will work, but Barry admits that it may not.

He joked: “We need a herd of goats or something that eats these things.”

Being completely edible, much Alexander was planted by the Romans as an edible food substance with foragers also being keen to use it in a variety of ways, including using the seed heads as a substitute for peppercorn.

For now, the group will be continuing this “cut and collect” method as the technique has been used  in the area for 4 years and seems to be working.

Barry feels that it is the responsibility of Margate residents to improve their local area.

He said: “There’s a universal rule. If you see something [to improve] there’s no reason to leave it. I like the fact that people come out and do this. It’s our gardens, it’s our lands.”

The Tree Warden for Broadstairs and St Peter’s, Karen McKenzie, is also a keen advocate for the area.

She said: “If we don’t manage spaces like this, we lose so much biodiversity. When it was properly managed, there were loads of species of bumblebee. If it’s just Alexanders, they won’t be coming back and we need our pollinators.”

Volunteers have taken over clearing the area, since the ending of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s involvement there.

Cllr Manners said: “I will be meeting with TDC officers to discuss ongoing management plans. The Ridings is a nationally significant biodiverse public open space. It needs protection for the sake of the natural environment and as an important tourism site.

“A growing number of Councillors, myself included, want to see our ecology as an important and growing component of the Isle’s tourism offering.”

Details about future events can be found on Thanet Biodiversity and Freinds of Botany Bay Facebook pages.

Broadstairs & St. Peter’s Town Council

At the Annual Council Meeting on Monday 15th May, Cllr Kristian Bright was elected Chairman of the Council for the 2023-2024 civic year.

Cllr Bright announced his intention to use the term Mayor or Chairman and declared his Consort to be His wife, Cllr Joanne Bright.

At the same meeting Councillor Mike Garner was appointed Deputy Mayor of the Council.

The Mayor will continue the magnificent work done by his predecessors in supporting our residents and promoting our town. Councillor Bright is an ardent believer in social justice and will use his tenure as Mayor to be an advocate for the charities, groups and unseen heroes who support our community’s most vulnerable citizens.

“With so many new members, and new ideas, this Council has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make a positive difference to the lives of our neighbours who have all too often been an afterthought in Council decisions.

“I therefore speak to the Council as a whole and urge all members to embrace this opportunity.

“How we work together over the coming days and weeks will be vital in setting the tone for the next four years and in building the foundation of a safer, cleaner, and kinder Broadstairs.”

Ramsgate Town Council

Following the Annual Statutory Town Council Meeting on the 17th May, we are pleased to inform you that Councillor Pat Moore, was elected as Mayor of Ramsgate for 2023–24, Councillor Kay Dark was elected as Deputy Mayor.

Councillor Stephen Albon was re-elected Chair of Ramsgate Town Council and Councillor Anne-Marie Nixey was elected Vice-Chair.

Chartwell House

Chartwell House by Boutique Care Homes, a provider of specialised dementia care in Thanet, took an active role in raising awareness and understanding of dementia by hosting two Dementia Friends Information Sessions during Dementia Action Week.

The sessions, held at Cliftonville Primary School in Margate and Broadstairs College, successfully engaged approximately 40 students and teachers across both sessions, enlightening them on the impact of dementia and how they can make a difference in their communities.

The Dementia Friends Information Sessions were led by Dementia Friends Ambassador, Carl Roberts, who shared his expertise and personal experiences in the field. Through interactive discussions and engaging activities, attendees gained valuable insights into dementia, its effects on individuals, and practical ways to support those living with the condition.

Reflecting on the significance of these sessions, Carl Roberts said: “Increasing awareness and understanding of dementia is crucial to building a more inclusive and compassionate society. By empowering young people with knowledge and empathy, we can create a supportive environment for individuals living with dementia and their families. These sessions provide a solid foundation for cultivating a dementia-friendly generation.”

Jude Coveney, Admissions Manager at Chartwell House, added:”We are proud to be at the forefront of raising awareness about dementia and its impact on individuals. Engaging young people in these sessions is vital as they are the future advocates and caregivers. It is essential for them to understand dementia, challenge stigmas, and embrace empathy and compassion.”

Dementia Friends is a global initiative led by the Alzheimer’s Society, aimed at changing perceptions and attitudes towards dementia. The program offers practical information and resources to help individuals understand dementia and support those living with the condition. By becoming a Dementia Friend, participants pledge to take action, no matter how big or small, to create dementia-friendly communities.

Chartwell House by Boutique Care Homes is a provider of specialised residential & dementia care services.

Martha Trust

Martha Trust joins up with Kent based solicitors – Girlings, to launch their first Make a Will Month this June.

Girlings Solicitors are kindly donating their time and expertise to write Wills for free during the month of June, in return for a donation to Martha Trust

All money raised from Make a Will Month this June will be donated to Martha Trust so that we can continue to transform the lives of people with profound disabilities.

Suggested donations for a straightforward, uncomplicated Will are £150 for a single Will, or £250 for a double Will. You are, of course, welcome to donate more.

There is no obligation to leave a donation in your Will to Martha Trust to take up this offer.

To make an appointment please contact one of the participating branches of Girlings Solicitors and ask for ‘Private Client department’ and don’t forget to mention you are calling in regard to Martha’s

Canterbury: 01227 768374

Ashford: 01233 664711

Herne Bay: 01227 367355

Alternatively if you would like to find out more about Martha’s Make a Will Month 2023 visit or call Martha Trust on 01304 610448 or email [email protected]

Limited appointments available.


  1. Cllr Barry Manners said 17 one tonne bags of Alexander’s? ….17 tonnes of Alexanders! What’s that about? Doesn’t look like 3 bags were filled! Certainly doesn’t look like much touched at all on the Ridings. Unless it was his back garden?

  2. Well done Craig Mackinlay and Lucy Gray. Is Lucy going to take over the lease at Rendezvous?

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