Community news: Serenaders, coal court, Ramsgate RNLI, Oasis, QEQM Friends, Skip2bFit, Vindicatrix, Sunken Garden, cadets, masons, Defra and air ambulance

Serenaders Choir

Serenaders Choir

Following our very successful Summer Concert held on 15th July, we are very pleased to have raised £1000, for the charity “Still Waters”.

“Still Waters” is a local charity based in Ramsgate which provides counselling for the lonely, those experiencing anxiety and advising on Mental Health awareness.

The concert was very well supported and we are delighted to have raised this considerable sum of money, for a very worthy cause.

During the next few weeks the choir have several events arranged. In September we have been invited to sing for a local Active Retired Club and in October for another local

Club in Westgate. We have several more events arranged between now and Christmas, when of course our very popular annual Christmas Carol Concert is to be held at St Philips Church in Palm Bay on Saturday 16th December at 2.30pm.

Ladies, if you can sing, and fancy being part of a friendly team that has raised thousands of pounds for charity, having fun whilst doing it, then please get in touch with our Musical

Director Janice Regan on 01843 224027 or our publicity officer Chris Buffrey on 07711938373 email: [email protected]

All you need is a love of music

and an ability to sing in tune. Altos are particularly welcome.

Please come along to any of our rehearsals. We meet on a Monday evening at 7.30pm at St. Philips Church in Palm Bay.

Kent Community Coal Court

The current Kent Community Coal Court is pleased to attend the Miners Festival on August 6.

The competition was revived by the original festival committee to honour and represent the original coal queens, who were members of families connected with the local mining scene.

This year, the Kent Community Coal Court were selected on 20th May at Betteshanger Club, Carvell Square in Deal. Five independent judges had the difficult task of deciding which young ladies would be crowned.

The 5 young ladies selected are:

Jessica – Miss Kent Community Coal Queen

Maddie and Cia – Equal Kent Community Coal Court Princesses.

Isabelle – Junior Miss Kent Community Coal Queen

Everleigh – Rosebud Kent Community Coal Court Queen

The court have been selected from different areas in Kent, such as Thanet, Dover and Isle of Sheppey.

The Court have been invited to attend the Miners Festival on 6th August and will appear on stage at 10am for the official opening, meet and greet the public until 11.30 and will then be heading off to Margate Carnival.

They will also be attending Deal Carnival on 27th July. They will also attend, when invited, any heritage days, opening events and any carnival associated events.

The Kent Coalfield Community fund panel- Aylesham and District workshop trust – have sponsored this year’s Regalia and daywear outfits.

For more information or to invite the court to an event please contact Lis Swan on 07816184754.

Ramsgate RNLI open day

Photo Ian Shacklock

An RNLI Open Day is a great example of the volunteers all working together to showcase the station and crew.

Saturday 22 July started off warm and sunny and crowds had begun to gather in anticipation of seeing the All weather boat Esme Anderson and the inshore Claire and David Delves as they entered the inner harbour to take their position alongside the pontoons. As they were tying up the unpredictable summer weather started to change and the skies darkened and it began to rain.

Mayoress Pat Moore braved the weather to meet the members of the various groups who had stalls set up which included the Fund Raising Team, the local RNLI shop, the Education Team, the Water Safety Team, as well as representatives of the Station Management Team, all of whom are volunteers.

She was then taken onboard Esme Anderson to meet the volunteer crew and have a tour of the boat.
With the rain settling in for the afternoon and the wind picking up only the most hardy visitors were visiting the stalls so sadly the decision was taken to curtail the event and both boats returned to station.

The inshore crew had just removed their wet weather gear when they were tasked by HM Coastguard at 15.40 to launch to the assistance of a kite surfer in difficulty in Pegwell Bay. On scene the Claire and David Delves managed to get the kite surfer onboard as well as his kit and brought him back to the Station.

As the Station was still full of crew and volunteers there was plenty of people to sympathise, make him a cup of reviving tea and ensure he was warm.

Coxswain Ian Cannon said: “This was a great opportunity to engage with the public and thank them for all of their support as we are solely funded by public donations.”

Mayoress Pat Moore with volunteer crew member Paul Ionescu.
Both boats moored up preparing for visitors.

Oasis Domestic Abuse Service

Local charity Oasis Domestic Abuse Service raised £430.00 on Saturday 22nd July with an event for the whole family at Broadstairs Bandstand.

The afternoon was organised by Oasis volunteers and included a Tombola, Glitter Tattoos stall, Adopt an Animal stall and the ever-popular Oasis charity shop pop-up, selling fantastic pre-loved clothing and accessories.

Local musicians Jeff Barker & Band entertained the crowds with popular classics such as Beyond the Sea and Moondance, keeping them entertained in the changeable weather. In the end, the rain put a stop to the fun, we can’t thank the crowds enough for staying and singing along under their umbrellas!

Oasis Head of Income & Engagement, Loukia Michael, said: “It’s been great to see so many people enjoying themselves at our Summer Fun event! Jeff Barker and his Band were fantastic as always, and had the crowd singing along. Thanks to our wonderful volunteers, who do so much to support Oasis. Without them, this event simply wouldn’t be possible.”

The charity would like to thank Mike Bridges for his support with this event and Broadstairs & St Peter’s Town Council.

QEQM Hospital League of Friends

Take a bow all the customers of our Tea Bar & Shop and our sales trolley that goes around the Hospital, not forgetting our wonderful volunteers who staff them. Our income from this service has enabled us to make a real difference to the patients and staff in the Critical Care Unit (CCU) by funding 9 new bed dividers to which are mounted technology pods at a combined cost of £39,710.

Shown is Deirdre McFarlane, Critical Care & Outreach Matron with our Tea Bar & Shop Manager Pat along with two of our lovely volunteers Moira & Helen.

In expressing her gratitude Deirdre said: “The bedside pods you have kindly funded for our 9-bedded CCU in the QEQM Hospital house our new innovative computerised documentation system enabling the medical and nursing team to capture real live data. It transforms clinical data into actionable information, provides standardized clinical documentation, works with other hospital documentation systems and gives you control over your critical care documentation.

“The main focus is to become a paperless unit which in turn will lead to a healthier environment The system will also release time for our nursing team to deliver quality care for our critically ill patients.

“The bed dividers you have also financed are actually combined cupboards and drawers used to store patients’ toiletries, care equipment & clean linen with desk space for observation charts and notes.”

We are always on the lookout for volunteers to help us staff our Tea Bar & Shop and trolley service. Information about the service and the volunteer roles available can be found at our new website


The partnership will allow Skip2bfit to take their innovative skipping workshops to over 70 schools in the UK in 2023 to continue to raise awareness on the importance of an active lifestyle and healthy eating

Leading berry supplier BerryWorld renews collaboration with Skip2bfit to continue promoting an active and healthy lifestyle via bespoke skipping workshops in schools across the UK.

BerryWorld and grower Stephen Taylor, managing director at WinterWood Farms have been supportive of this great initiative since the beginning and have helped give away over £1,000,000 of fresh blueberries in schools across the country.

‘As a business we are very much aligned with Skip2bfit’s values of promoting a healthy# lifestyle with our delicious berries. After the success of our 2022 internal skipping event, we organised a similar challenge a few days ago at our offices to engage our people in the partnership. It was a wonderful opportunity to see how brilliant these workshops are whilst having great fun as a team”, said Paul Avery, sales director at BerryWorld UK.

In 2023, BerryWorld will also be supporting Skip2bfit with the launch of its ‘Skiptember’ campaign which focuses on the back-to-school period to encourage an active lifestyle as children go back into routine after the summer holidays.

“We want every child and adult participating in our skipping workshops to become a better version of themselves, fitter and healthier, whilst having a good laugh. With the support of BerryWorld this year we are going to be able to reach more schools to continue to spread the word about Skip2bfit”, said John McCormack, founder of Skip2bfit.

BerryWorld looks forward to continuing to support the Skip2bfit mission in 2023, raising  awareness on their unique programmes whilst financially supporting schools as they onboard Skip2bfit for their students.

Independent Vindicatrix of East Kent Association – M.N

This year will be 23 years since the Government of the day recognised the Merchant Navy for their bravery and support to our Armed Forces in wartime and declaring September 3rd; as National Merchant Navy Day for ever more.

This came about following a long campaign by the Merchant Navy Association and seafarers and parades / services are held around the country with the biggest being held at the National Merchant Navy Memorial at Tower Hill in London.

As always we will be running a coach there from Thanet for members, families, other seafarers and supporters.  This date was chosen because on that day in 1939 war was declared and within hours a “U” boat torpedoed and sunk the Donaldson Line liner “ATHENIA” with the loss of 118 lives, both passengers and crew.

The Merchant Navy has been involved in war zones for well over 120 years and has supported the Armed Forces throughout and in WW2 alone we suffered a higher percentage of casualties than the Armed Forces with 2,524 ships lost, 30,248 seafarers lost and 15,081 held as P.O.W.’s. Few realize that the Merchant Navy were involved in Normandy, Kuwait, and in the Falklands and many more.

For the past 23 years Margate has flown our Red Ensign from buildings and soon followed by Ramsgate and Birchington and we thank them all for doing this and hope it will continue.  As we are unable to attend any Flag Raising on September 3rd; this year due to being in London we hope Councils & Mayors will arrange for the Red Ensign to be flown around Thanet.  WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.

Sunken Garden Society

L-R: Peter Hasted, Sunken Garden Society founder; Southern Water’s Daniel Rodrigues; committee member Beverley Aitken; and volunteer Shirley Cadge

Southern Water has teamed up with a local community group in Westbrook to help turn a once loved space into a beautifully restored sunken garden for the whole neighbourhood to enjoy.

The sunken garden was originally created in the 1930s, following excavation of materials to build the railway bridge in Westbrook.

For many years, the garden – with its sweeping ramparts, limestone rock walls, grass pools and lush bedding displays – was a popular attraction for local visitors and holidaymakers.

However, it fell into disrepair during the 1980s, due to a lack of resources, becoming a hub of anti-social behaviour and littering.

In 2018, volunteer, coastal warden and professional horticulturalist Peter Hasted founded the Sunken Garden Society. With support from Thanet District Council and Sunken Garden Society volunteers, the garden is being transformed back to its former glory.

One of the top priorities for the society is to raise money to fill all the empty seating areas in the garden with new benches, creating a safe and tranquil place for people to sit.

Southern Water donated a bench to the Sunken Garden Society, to help the community enjoy the space while improving the health and wellbeing of all the visitors.

Southern Water’s Community Impact Officer Daniel Rodrigues, who enjoyed a guided tour, said:

“I was so pleased to be able to donate the bench to the Sunken Garden Society on behalf of Southern Water and to see first-hand the amount of effort the local volunteers have put in make this place so special.

“It’s a wonderful garden, and it didn’t take long for me to feel extremely relaxed and at one with nature.”

The volunteers meet regularly to maintain the beds and shrubs, along with planting, weeding and general upkeep of the garden.

Committee member Beverley Aitken added: “We aim to be sustainable, providing bio-diversity and an environmental approach to our work.”

The garden has wide variety of wildlife including many species of bees, and the volunteers are learning to plant more drought resistant plants and understanding more about how to garden in an area with harsh winds and hot summers.

The society has further ambitions to fund a new notice board, after the original was damaged, and to fix the pathways.

The garden is already used by many members of the community including dog walkers, families and those who just want to sit quietly in the sunshine, away from the wind. It is also providing local groups such as yoga enthusiasts with a peaceful area to spend time in.

To find out more about the Sunken Garden Society, visit their online page.

Margate Sea and Royal Marine Cadets – Street Collection Regulations Notice

Further to the news article in last week’s Community News, where the Cadets thanked everyone who generously donated toward their fund raising efforts, the following information is confirmed (in accordance with the requirements of the Street Collection Regulations Permit):

The permit was granted to Kate Hart, Chair of the Unit Management Trust

The fund raising was for the charity Margate Unit 235 of the Sea Cadets Corp

The collections took place outside Margate Football Club on 04/03/23 (£113.92 collected); 18/03/23 (£29.80 collected); and 22/04/23 (£35.98 collected).

No expenses or payments were incurred and therefore all funds raised will go directly toward the Sea Cadets activities

Margate Masonic Centre

The Margate Masonic Centre in New Cross Street will have an open day on Saturday, August 5 from 10am to 3pm.

Learn about our history, charitable aims, women’s freemasonry, events, community support and more.

Entry is free. Get tickets at:

Defra award

Westwood Cross Shopping Centre has won the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ prestigious Bees’ Needs Champions Award 2023.

East Kent’s leading shopping and leisure destination, Westwood Cross, was recognised for its efforts to create green spaces to promote biodiversity and encourage pollination within the area.

In partnership with the centre’s landscape gardener, Westwood Cross has created a beautiful outdoor space from waste development land, encouraging the reintroduction of wildlife and pollinators, as well as a second grow wild zone that leaves the wildlife and planting undisturbed.

With five species of grass seed mix and 30 species of wildflower seed mix planted throughout the outdoor spaces, the centre attracts butterflies and insects, and promotes wider biodiversity and birdlife in the area, including Wrens, Goldfinches, and Collard Doves. The team have introduced a range of insect friendly initiatives across the site which visitors can look out for including bee and bug hotels.

The centre also actively raises awareness of the importance of pollination to over 7.35 million shoppers a year, and recently arranged wild seed rosemary and lavender plant giveaways to customers and staff.

Fran Donovan, Centre Manager at Westwood Cross, said: “We’re so pleased to have been recognised for our efforts to create thriving diverse natural areas at our centre. We’re passionate about supporting our local area and are proud of our work with the Thanet Beekeeping Society and Thanet local beekeepers to ensure we continue to create and maintain outdoor spaces that contribute to biodiversity.”

Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS)

Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) is inviting horse riders to saddle-up for KSS Ride, a sponsored off-road hack through the beautiful Bilsington Priory Estate near Ashford, Kent, on Sunday 20th August, to raise vital funds to help save lives.

Riders will follow a picturesque eight-mile route over a variety of terrain, with some wonderful views of the picturesque Kent countryside to enjoy from the saddle.

Participants can even select specific start times so that they can ride together in groups with friends, and there are allocated canter strips along the way.

For further information about KSS Ride and to sign up, please visit

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