Thanet community news: ScrapStore, Oasis, DAB, Margate School, QEQM awards, volunteer hub, Monkton Nature Reserve, Thanet safaris, Armed Forces Day and Sea Scouts

Ramsgate mayor Cllr Pat Moore at the ScrapStore reopening

The ScrapStore

Mayor of Ramsgate, Patricia Moore, attended the grand reopening of The ScrapStore on Wednesday 14th June.

The reopening event was part of the Great Big Green Week, the UK’s biggest celebration of community action to tackle climate change and protect nature.

Fiona Wonford (GOLD Project Manager), Jason Gerlack (CEO) and Mayor of Ramsgate

GOLD Project Manager, Fiona Wonford, said: “It was wonderful to see so many people from our local community at the reopening, from crafters and artists to supporters of East Kent Mencap. Thank you to the Mayor of Ramsgate for officially reopening The ScrapStore.”

The ScrapStore is an important green initiative for Thanet. Fiona explained: “We wanted to be involved with the Great Big Green Week, so hosting the reopening during this week was fantastic.”

Textile artist, Elspeth Penfold, went to the reopening. She said: “It’s amazing to have The ScrapStore open again. It is a brilliant resource in Ramsgate for us all to reuse and a fabulous addition for a new Shared Reading project that I am developing with East Kent Mencap, which is supported by The Margate Bookie.”

The reopening event raised £259 which goes directly to supporting people with a learning disability to achieve what they want out of life.

The ScrapStore receives donations of unwanted craft products that are then sold to others to get creative. The project is run by a team of volunteers, it provides valuable work experience and volunteer opportunities for people with a learning disability.

The ScrapStore is  in Foresters Hall, Meeting St, Ramsgate, CT11 9RT, and is open every Wednesday and Thursday from 10am to 2pm.

Oasis Domestic Abuse Service

Oasis Domestic Abuse Service welcomed Sunday Times bestselling author Mark Billingham for a special event with BroadstairsLit, raising over £1600 for the charity.

The multi-award-winning crime fiction novelist was in Kent for a special ‘in conversation’ fundraiser at The Yarrow in Broadstairs on Sunday 11 June. Over 90 people came to meet Mark and hear about his brand-new novel The Last Dance – the author’s first new series in 20 years.

The nation’s much-loved author regaled the crowd with insights into his writing process, his curious new character Detective Miller, and shared humorous recollections of his time as a stand-up comedian, actor, script writer and as a member of the Fun-Lovin’ Crime Writers rock band. The talk was followed by a book signing.

Proceeds from the event will go to support Oasis’s services, which support thousands of people affected by domestic abuse in East Kent, Medway and North Kent each year.

Oasis was recently named as one of the chosen charities for Dreamland, which unveiled Banksy’s ‘Valentine’s Day Mascara’ at the amusement park. It is hoped that the artwork sparks conversations around domestic abuse with families, helping to combat stigma and barriers to reaching out for support.

Oasis Head of Income Loukia Michael said: “It was a huge honour to welcome Mark Billingham to Thanet for this special event. We love bringing such esteemed authors together with our supporters, which we’ve been able to do thanks to the generosity and support of BroadstairsLit and Spurling Cannon.

“Events like this raise vital funds, as well as giving attendees a unique chance to meet some of the UK’s most popular authors. With such demand for our services, and with the cost-of-living crisis escalating instances of economic abuse, the funds raised have never been more needed. We’d like to thank everyone who came for their support.”

Get Support

In an emergency always call 999 (if you can’t speak, cough or tap the handset then press 55 on your phone – the police will know it’s an emergency) or 101 for non-emergencies

For non-emergency support and safety planning (if it’s safe to do so): Call Victim Support on 0808 16 89 111 email [email protected] or use live chat

Kent Coast DAB

Kent Coast DAB Limited, a joint venture between Academy FM Thanet, Kent Coast Community Broadcasters Ltd and Kent Capacity Co Ltd, has announced its plan to apply for the small-scale DAB licence for the Kent coast covering towns in Thanet and along the coast to Dover & Folkestone.

Debbie Day, Station Manager of Academy FM Thanet, said: “Academy FM has been broadcasting since the 5th April 2010. We are an integral part of the community in Thanet, reaching people in their homes, cars, workplaces, on the go and out in the community. We work with local charities and organisations by supporting them with free advertising and interviews. We train people of all ages and abilities, it’s a big part of what we do, giving people life skills in communication and building confidence. We currently have 35 volunteers who have come through our training projects.

“We are really excited by the opportunity to develop our service on small-scale DAB and look forward to working with our partners. In the future, we along with others we will be able to offer more choice of services, support more charities and organisations and reach the wider community”.

Matt Curtis of Kent Coast Community Broadcasters said “We are delighted to be part of this bid for affordable DAB capacity to reach the East Kent coastline. There are community radio stations and local groups that I’m sure will benefit from reaching listeners in their local communities through this new and affordable capacity”.

Peter Lautner, Director of Kent Capacity Co, said: “Community radio has always been a strong part of life in East Kent and we welcome the opportunity to bring the opportunity of DAB to the Kent coastline. Working with the existing community radio operators and other interested local groups from Thanet to Folkestone, we hope to bring our experience of DAB and local knowledge together so that operators can bring DAB radio to the people living in the area and travelling through this busy part of Kent”.

Kent Coast DAB welcomes any broadcasters, established or new, wishing to be part of its exciting bid to register their interest via email please to: [email protected]

Kent Coast DAB will be submitting its application to Ofcom before the closing date of 30th June.

The Margate School CIO

The Margate School CIO is a charity that has now been set up in support of The Margate School community by securing donations and charitable funds.

Following on from our recent news that The Margate School signed a partnership agreement last week with Esä, the art school based in Dunkerque and Tourcoing, giving TMS opportunities to benefit from the wider networks in the region of Nord and far beyond, The Margate School CIO was approved by the Charity Commission on 7 June.

This Association Charity is there to support the TMS community to handle donations and increase access to funding opportunities. It paves the way for TMS to develop a democratically controlled charity, which is in line with the values of the School and will contribute to make all provision financially more accessible.

The Margate School CIO has been established for the public benefit, to advance, improve, develop and maintain education in, and appreciation of, the liberal arts and cultural studies, supporting the work of The Margate School in ways such as providing or assisting in the provision of education, development and support of studios, galleries, and providing bursaries to those who wish to undertake formal arts education who have a demonstrable need for financial support.

We are pleased to have secured eleven trustees SEE THE FULL LIST HERE to help establish the charity in the first year before they will stand down and if so desired, will stand for re-election by its members. The immediate task for the charity is to become operational, secure funds and gain a sufficient number of members to become a democratically controlled organisation.

East Kent Hospitals awards

Ruth McSweeney

A new-born hearing screener who has raised thousands for good causes was among the winners at East Kent Hospitals’ first awards ceremony dedicated to healthcare support workers.

Ruth McSweeney, who works at the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, was announced as the winner of the Contribution to Charity category at a ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral Lodge on Tuesday.

She was nominated for her fundraising for the Roy Castle lung cancer charity and The Brain Tumour Charity, as well as for volunteering in her own time at a local homeless charity, where she helps make sure people have access to cleaning facilities, clothing and food. Ruth also spends time chatting to the service users over a cup of tea.

A total of 30 finalists were selected from almost 140 nominations for the HealthCare Support Worker Awards in categories recognising everything from their teamwork and professional standards to their kindness and care.

Winner Desmond Miller

Desmond Miller, who works on AMUC at the QEQM, won the Kindness and Compassion category, after being described as having the biggest heart. His team added: “There’s nothing that Desmond wouldn’t do to help a patient. He will always make sure the patients are made to feel valued. Everyone knows how great he is and we are very lucky and proud to have him as our healthcare support worker.”

The evening was compered by the Trust’s deputy chief nurse Julie Yanni, and the first awards were presented by chief executive Tracey Fletcher, who said she was delighted to be part of the event.

The awards were organised by deputy head of nursing Sarah Goodden from the workforce development, education and training team, and she said everyone nominated should consider themselves a winner.

Thanet Heritage Volunteer Hub – Recruitment Drop In

Partners in the Thanet Heritage Volunteer Hub are hosting a drop-in recruitment event at Margate Caves, 1 Northdown Road, Margate, on Saturday 24th June from 11am – 3pm.

The event will showcase the wide variety of rewarding volunteering roles that are on offer across local heritage attractions.

Teams will be on hand from Margate Museum and Tudor House, Dickens House Museum, RAF Manston History Museum and Margate Caves – all venues that depend on the enthusiasm and commitment of valued volunteers.

The type of roles available are many and varied and include: museum guides, café and gift shop assistants, archiving roles, social media support, gardening and maintenance opportunities. Volunteering is a brilliant way to learn a new skill or share your skills for the benefit of the community, while widening your circle of friends and spending time with like-minded people – whatever your age! Plus, if you are looking for a career within the cultural and heritage sector, volunteering can be a great way to see what it’s like.

“Our heritage attractions are so important to Thanet,” says Sarah Vickery, chair of the Margate Caves Community Education Trust. “And so many of us rely on our volunteers to keep the doors open and tell visitors our stories. We know that the passion and enthusiasm our volunteers bring really enriches the experience of our visitors – because they tell us so all the time!”

Take the first step and drop in and find out more.

For more information visit

Or email [email protected]

Thanet Countryside Trust Asda award

Asda’s charity, The Asda Foundation have announced that substantial funding has been awarded to a Kent community group, to enable them to transform community space where local people can come together and thrive.

Asda Broadstairs Community Champion Tracey Ballard helped to secure a grant of £20,120 for Thanet Countryside Trust that will help to rebuild the old observatory and fit it with a Geodesic roof as part of an education centre.

Thanet Countryside Trust manages Monkton Nature Reserve which includes an observatory building, which has fallen into disrepair. The group plan to renovate this and turn it into an Environmental Education Centre. The project will renovate and repurpose the building to become a community and educational asset for Thanet and East Kent to learn about the environment and sustainability. It will then provide a dedicated indoor space for community and educational sessions, something the reserve currently lacks.

The criteria for the funding included costs to go towards renovations, repairs or transforming outdoor spaces, with projects ranging from upgrading a community kitchen and café, to roof repairs, to refurbishing a whole community building to improve accessibility, to creating an outdoor nature and sensory trail.

Alexandra Preston, Senior Manager for Asda Foundation, said: “Every community needs a safe inclusive space for people to be together and be themselves. Community spaces can be a lifeline, but we know many are in desperate need of funding to maintain, develop and repair these spaces to enable community groups to continue delivering their vital services and activities.

“That’s where Asda Foundation can help with funding. We want to continue playing our part in uniting communities and reducing loneliness by improving community spaces for people to be together.”

Thanet safaris

Armed Forces Day

A parade and service of Thanksgiving, along with musical support by the Band of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, takes place in Ramsgate for Armed Forces Day on June 24.

Leaving the Sailor’s Church at 10.40am and parading towards Wetherspoons for a Drumhead Service at 11amat the royal harbour. Supported by Ramsgate Town Council

6th Ramsgate sea scouts

We are excited to be opening our new Scout HQ on July 8th!

6th Ramsgate Royal Harbour Sea Scouts are celebrating 60 Years of Royal Navy recognition, the Ice House top-floor renovations and the funders who have generously supported us.

We are honoured that Deputy Lieutenant Bill Cockcroft will be representing the Lieutenancy of Kent and joining us in our celebrations.

We are fundraising for a lift, but this is not yet in place – access is via Jacob’s Ladder steps.

Everyone is invited to join us, July 8, from 10am to 4pm.