Community news: Rotary donation, Wildernesstowonderland, Prom arrival, Shottendane event, Rotary boot fair, UK coastline trek and Puddle Ducks

Rotary President - Elect Mandy Dunn handed over a ‘giant cheque’ for £1,000 to Claire Fenley of Oasis Domestic Abuse Service 

The Rotary Club of Westgate and Birchington

We recently held a charity fundraising event to support Oasis Domestic Abuse Service, which included a fish and chip supper at Kearns Hall, Birchington.

Oasis operates across East Kent, Medway and North Kent, supporting people affected by domestic abuse.  Claire Fenley, Senior Fundraiser for the charity spoke about the life-changing work of the charity, which includes one-to-one support for women and men and LGBT+ people, providing refuge and safe accommodation (for both adults and children), and she also emphasised their work with group programmes and mentoring.

Rotary President – Elect Mandy Dunn handed over a ‘giant cheque’ for £1,000 to support the continuation of this life changing work.  Claire Fenley thanked the Club for their donation, which she said would help the charity to continue to help rebuild lives.

If you are interested in supporting Oasis, either by donating, fundraising or volunteering, then please visit their website for further information.

Alternatively, if you would like to help Rotary play a part in providing community service to both local and international communities, then please contact Dave Alker on 01843 845783 for further details about Rotary. Do have a look at our website for more information:


’The Swirl’ ice cream parlour fundraiser helps Wildernesstowonderland to maintain community gardens at Margate Railway Station.

Wildernesstowonderland promote diversity, inclusion positive mental health by building communities who look after community gardens for residents, visitors and bees to enjoy. Last weekend The Swirl sizzled over 400 sausages and supporters turned up in their hundreds to buy the hot dogs.

Big thank you for the support from The Swirl and the good folk of Margate.

Checkout Wildernesstowonderland on Instagram and facebook. We always welcome new volunteers and sponsors.

Arriving at the Prom in style

Charles Dickens School student Matthew Holton arrived at his Year 11 Prom in style after being flown in by helicopter.

The Birchington teen had told other students he might not attend the end of school event but dad Paul decided to hire the helicopter to reward his son for studying hard over the course of his secondary school years and working through the pandemic.

Matthew  jetted off from Manston to the party at Quex, dressed up in a sharp black suit and white carnation.

Paul said: “I asked his head of year a year ago, any ideas where the prom would be, as I did wonder, so when I found finally found out, I was happy, but Matthew wasn’t told until a week or so ago”.

The 47-year-old added: “Thanks to Nathan our pilot, we hovered around the venue and circled before we landed. All the other students were cheering and calling out his name, which was unexpected, but so nice, and was appreciated.

“He got a real buzz out of that.”

Parents Paul and Sally say they are extremely proud of Matthew and acknowledge it has been a tough time for their son and other youngsters, having lessons online during covid and then catching up, but say the school has been amazing.

Petrol station worker Paul, who is also involved in musician management, said, “Helicopters are a cool way to travel and anyone can hire a charter flight with the company based at Manston but, obviously landing on a private estate needed permissions, and more to think about and organise.

“Matthew has worked hard and kept his head down, and although there are a lot of cool cars, and motorbikes, it just seemed cool to arrive last, and take in Thanet from the air, plus certainly beats the traffic.”

Matthew, Paul and pilot Nathan from Polar Helicopters set off from Manston for the journey to Birchington. Paul said: “Matthew never asks for anything, he is such a good lad so when I asked, he simply said, he wanted to arrive in style. He will have memories to last a lifetime, and his beaming smile, was worth it

“He really loved it.”

Paul says Matthew is a “down to earth lad” and appreciative of his end-of-school gift.

Having completed his GCSEs, he is hoping to go to Canterbury College in September.

Paul offered thanks to teachers and support staff at Charles Dickens School, Quex Park Weddings and Events and Quex Park Estates, and Polar Helicopters.

Paul will be donating some money to a charity of Quex Park’s choice for letting them land on the grounds and giving his son a great experience.

Photos Paul Holton and Alan Green

Shottendane Nursing Home

Our fete and open day take place on the 22/7/23 at 11am until 3.30pm

Lots of stalls, live music Greyhound Buskers

Shottendane Nursing Home, Shottendane Rd, Margate CT9 4BS

Margate Rotary

Join us for Margate Rotary Boot Fair- Sunday 27th August 2023

Time to sort out your unwanted goods and join us for our second Boot Fair of the Year.

Palm Bay Recreation Ground CT9 3PP.

Gate opens at 7am


Cars £8

Vans £12

Vans with trailers £12

Just turn up at 7am to secure a pitch.

We look forward to seeing you there.

UK Coastline solo trek for Surfers Against Sewage and Sea Changers

North Yorkshire artist Blue Wilson is due to pass through Thanet on July 30 as she undertakes a solo walk around the UK coastline.

The 49-year-old has so far walked 1,918.47 miles in 111 days and reached as far south as Oare Marshes in Kent and as far north as Portgower in Scotland in a continual line. #

The walk is raising funds for Surfers Against Sewage and Sea Changers.

She said: “I am taking on this challenge in stages due to other commitments and alternate sometimes between heading north from last most northerly point reached and heading south from last most southerly point reached in a continual line. I have also walked other long distance paths and conquered a fair few summits but am now focusing on this.

“I am fundraising in aid of Surfers Against Sewage and Sea Changers, two marine conservation charities. So far I have raised £2,533 split between the two.

“During my treks I have become increasingly aware of the perils endangering our oceans, marine life, coastal communities and climate. I have seen firsthand some of the great work my chosen charities have done and I want to help by contributing as much as possible to their future projects.

“My challenge is completely self funded including all travel to and from start and finish points, accommodation, sustenance and kit. I use my weekends and annual leave off work to complete each stage.

“I have recently got back from another eight day’s walking 157.9 more miles back up in a very sunny Scotland taking on some of the John O’Groats Trail along the way.

“My next stint will be from 29th July for eight and a half days continuing southwards from Oare Marshes, completing the Kent and East Sussex coasts and hopefully reaching Aldrington just west of Brighton by 6th August before heading home again.

“Every year I hope to complete as big a section as possible until successfully completing the entire UK coastline in an estimated five years.

“I cross all rivers and estuaries by nearest bridge or path so often it’s a long walk inland. I’ll only use a boat to get to an island and even then only if not accessible by bridge or causeway.

“I have seen and experienced some incredible things so far on my journey and made some amazing new connections with fellow coast walkers. All doing it in their own way and for their own reasons and/or fundraising.

“The thing I have found most heartwarming is the support and utter kindness and generosity of friends, family and complete strangers, many of whom will see my fundraising top that I wear whilst walking and stop me to ask about my challenge and often donate money too which I always add to my Just Giving total.”

Blue has a fundraising target of £4000 per year per chosen charity with a grand total aim of £20,000 for each by the end of the full challenge. People can donate via the Just Giving page.

For further information on my challenge please go to:

Puddle Ducks

Puddle Ducks East Kent, North Kent & South East London, a baby and child swim school, is seeking new pools and swim teachers in East Kent, North Kent & South East London, to meet growing demand, especially now, as it’s the time of year when families look to go on holiday and children want to enjoy the water throughout the hot summer months.

The successful swim school already provides swimming lessons across the local area, and in order to get more children skilled in swimming, to be confident in their abilities and most importantly stay safe, they are asking owners of pools to come forward.

Victoria Rowley, owner of Puddle Ducks East Kent, North Kent & South East London commented: “We currently provide lots of classes in different locations across Kent & South East London, but as demand grows, we need more pools and more swimming teachers to get children in the water and off the waiting lists. For anyone with a pool in Kent & South East London who could accommodate our classes, we’d love to hear from you.

“We can help fill your pools with lots of happy children learning a valuable life-skill whilst enjoying themselves. Our lessons will also help with the viability of running your pool, providing you with an extra income stream to support the energy and running costs”.

If you want to know more about Puddle Ducks East Kent, North Kent & South East London, are interested in a role as a swim teacher, or can help with hiring a pool, please call 01622 236111 or visit

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