Community news: Mediation centre, civic society, QEQM Friends, Ramsgate self-help group, RNLI fishing comp and a free piano

Nadia Burrell and Leah Brown FRSA from Thanet Mediation Centre

Thanet Mediation Centre

By Leah Brown FRSA

One of the most unique things about Thanet is its commitment to building and maintaining community. But what about when things go wrong? How do we resolve situations with our neighbours, co-workers, business partners, and friends?

Lawyers absolutely have their place; I am one. But there are long delays in local civil courts. Those making claims through Thanet County Court are having to wait over 456 days (15 months) for cases to complete the first stage. It is one of the most delayed courts in the country! Even if you secure a court date, can you afford to see the claim through?

If you can’t afford to take your case to court and you don’t want to wait 18 months to move things forward, mediation may be a good fit. Mediation is a voluntary, confidential, and flexible process that aims to help people reach mutually agreeable solutions. Mediation has an extremely high success rate with 86% of all cases being settled.

Mediation – run by a neutral facilitator – has various benefits including stress reduction, prevention of relationship breakdown, and helps people move beyond difficult experiences.

Thanet Mediation Centre (“TMC”) is a new initiative run by Broadstairs Consulting. TMC provides in-person and virtual mediation services for anyone living or working in Broadstairs, Margate and Ramsgate, and Thanet villages. TMC (currently hosted at The Corner in Ramsgate but available in other locations), offers four kinds of pre-litigation mediation services:

Community: e.g. disagreements between neighbours (over e.g. parking, boundaries, hanging trees), landlords and tenants or school teachers and parents;

Workplace mediation: e.g. managing personality clashes, communication breakdown, bullying and harassment, bridging cultural misunderstandings, and leadership challenges;

Commercial mediation: e.g. disputes over contractual arrangements, or over the product or service that’s been provided;

Faith-based: e.g. disagreements or relationship breakdown between people in the same church or from the same denomination, or even in faith-based schools.

TMC has three key goals: (1) to provide high quality mediation services for people in Thanet; (2) to create a safe space for people to explore and resolve conflict; (3) to impact and preserve our local community through peacebuilding.

The average mediation lasts just over one day, with many manging to settle in a half-day. Set-up is straightforward and friction-free. Around 75-80% of cases settle on the day of the mediation itself and another 10-15% settle shortly after. If you think mediation could help you move things forward, you can inquire about prices and book a session by emailing [email protected] or telephoning 07473 623146.

More information is available at

Margate Civic Society

I am sorry to have to tell you that our President, Ralph Handscomb, sadly passed away on 3 August, shortly after celebrating his 94th birthday with family, which he greatly enjoyed.

At next week’s meeting, following the lecture entitled ‘The Suffragettes and Suffragists – Votes for Women’ by accomplished speaker Melanie Gibson-Barton , there will be a minute’s silence for Ralph, when we will toast his memory with a small glass of wine (or cup of tea/coffee) and Members will have the opportunity to share their memories if they wish to do so.

Venue: Holy Trinity Margate Hall, St Mary’s Ave, Margate    CT9 3TN – ample parking available outside the church.

Time: 1930 hrs – attendees requested to arrive by 1920 hrs latest.

Entrance Fee: Guests and Lapsed Members most welcome:   £3.50 nominal fee.

As aways, refreshments, merchandise and raffle tickets will be on sale during the evening.

The autumn newsletter will also be dedicated to Ralph’s memory and Mike Wilton has kindly composed an obituary, based on Ralph’s life story which was published in previous editions.

I hope you will all support this special evening.

QEQM Hospital League of Friends

Frail patients waiting in the hospital’s A&E are now benefiting from 2 specialist Monaco chairs we funded at a cost of £4,176. A picture of such a chair, which are fully adjustable, is shown.

Sharon Rindsland, the Hospitals Trust’s Moving & Handling Senior Co-ordinator, said: “These chairs have made a huge difference to our patients coming in to A &E, especially in view of the waiting times sometimes involved.

“They are ideal for users with reduced mobility or sitting balance who require comfort & support without compromising independence in transfer and function. Thanks so much as always to the QEQM Hospital League of Friends for your support.”

For us to continue to make a difference to our local Hospital by financing items like these we’re in urgent need of funds. For ways in which you can make a donation or otherwise be of help please visit the Donations section of our website

Ramsgate Depression & Anxiety Self-Help Group

This new group meets from 8-9.30pm on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays in the month from Wednesday 6 September. We meet in the Perry Room, Church Hall, St Luke’s Church, St Luke’s Avenue, Ramsgate CT11 7JX (go to the back of the church and follow the signs).

The group is open to everyone 18 or above and all meetings are free. We will be learning about the causes of depression and anxiety, exploring coping strategies and looking at how we can improve our lives. For more details, contact David ([email protected]) or Pauline ([email protected]).

RNLI Junior Fishing Competition 2023

On Friday August 25th  81 very excited children and 16 charter boats set sail from Ramsgate at 10 o’clock for few hours fishing to raise money for Ramsgate RNLI. Sadly fishing was hard due to very clear water but nonetheless a few fish were caught.

Following the return of the fleet at about 2pm the children were joined by family and friends  there was prize giving by Councillor Pat Moore Mayor of Ramsgate. After this there was a raffle, bar-b-q  with music supplied by a local DJ

The John Parrott and Gary Dunk shield, named in memory of Dawn and Jason’s fathers and given to the child who stood out as the most helpful and caring was awarded to Riley Williams.

The trophy for the Biggest fish went to Alisha Watson who wanted to give her sister credit for helping her land it. It was an 8lb hound.

As always we are extremely grateful to London Array for their continuing generous support.

Total raised this year surpassed all our expectations with a massive £11,388.81

Acol School of Music

We have a piano that needs a good home. It is a Zender modern upright piano, good condition. I’m happy to arrange local delivery to any community venue or residential home, school or dancing school for free so there is no charge for the piano or delivery.  It would be lovely to know my piano will be played & enjoyed at its new home.

For details call Roxanne on 07734 727 915