Community news: EK Mencap; SpeakUp; PHA Thanet; QEQM Friends; charity match; Twinning; Vindicatrix; Dumpton meeting; Carpets for Kids; Tandem Club; Open Mic; Deaf Friends and Boys & Maughan

East Kent Mencap at the Kent Care awards

East Kent Mencap

East Kent Mencap, a charity dedicated to supporting people with a learning disability, proudly announces the launch of their new ‘About Us’ video.

The video provides an insight into the organisation’s values and its commitment to providing opportunities and choices for people with a learning disability in East Kent.

Created in collaboration with Benjamin Film Photography, the video marks a milestone for East Kent Mencap as they celebrate their 75th anniversary.

The video, which can be viewed on East Kent Mencap’s website at, enables viewers to hear about the experiences of individuals who use the charity’s services, as well as the incredible staff team who make it all possible.

“Each person featured in the video is a star in their own right,” said Jane Brooke, Fundraising Manager at East Kent Mencap. “Their experiences not only highlight the positive impact of our services but also capture the spirit of community that has been at the heart of East Kent Mencap for the past 75 years.”

In addition to this milestone, East Kent Mencap is thrilled to share the remarkable achievements of their staff team at the Kent Care Awards 2023 (KiCA).

The charity achieved six KiCA finalist places; Emma Croucher for the Workforce Development Award, Fiona Wonford for the Putting People First Award, Karen Roberts for the Supported Living Registered Manager, and Lauren Kay for the Frontline Leader Award.

East Kent Mencap secured two awards. Lea Johnson was awarded the Apprenticeship Award in recognition of her ability to effectively transform her acquired knowledge, skills, and behaviours into effective work-based practice.

Alison Fengas, Business Manager, said: “The apprenticeship offered quite a steep learning curve, but it is very clear that Lea seized the opportunity to improve efficiencies and expertise in Human Resources for the benefit of East Kent Mencap and the people who we support.”

Steve Harris was awarded the Supported Living Champion Award and impressed the judges with his dedication to providing person-centred support.

Emma Croucher, Thanet SIS Manager, said: “Steve has taken time to ensure that each member’s needs are considered, and he has implemented different ways of working to improve each person’s independence skills and has given greater input into their support.”

Louise Faulkner, Chief Operating Officer at KiCA, said: “What a fantastic evening of celebrating and recognising the amazing work of our Kent and Medway Adult Social Care providers. The sector has and continues to face significant challenges but the sheer dedication and tireless efforts of our frontline workers shone through.”

Kathy, who uses East Kent Mencap services and attended the award ceremony, said: “I was proud to attend, to be a part of it and celebrate all our wonderful staff and say congratulations to all the finalists and the winners.”

East Kent Mencap invites everyone to watch the About Us video to gain a deeper understanding of the work they do in the local community and to raise awareness for people with a learning disability.


To mark World Mental Health Day, local independent mental health support organisation SpeakUpCIC held an engagement and awareness event at the Margate Caves.

The event, which was opened and supported by Mayor of Margate Rob Yates, was attended by over 70 people with lived experience of mental health illness and service providers from the Live Well Kent & Medway partnership and the Windmill Project.

The event incorporated a variety of wellbeing activities including Doodling Workshop led by Rachelle Francis, creator of the ‘With and Without Diana’ project, Poetry readings by members of the Creative Writing Group, an exhibition of projects created by members of the Art & Craft Group and a postcard competition.

The event provided the opportunity for people to engage with others, meet new people and learn more about the benefits of peer support groups and activities in relation to helping to improve mental health and wellbeing.

Managing Director and SpeakUpCIC founder Maggie Gallant said: “We are delighted with the number of people who joined us. Mental health affects so many of us and it is important that we support each other, more so now than ever before.

“Taking part in peer support groups helps to connect people with others who understand because they’ve been there and do not judge. For some people getting out of bed is difficult but having something to look forward to makes a big difference and gives people a purpose. “Peer support is a lot more than people just sitting around drinking tea, it helps to prevent people from reaching a mental health crisis. I want to thank all our volunteers and helpers for making this such a great event, it was lovely and inspiring seeing so many people enjoying themselves”.

Mayor of Margate Rob Yates added: “Everyone knows that exercise and diet is important for physical health, yet we rarely speak about activities to improve our mental health. This event has helped to showcase what support is being provided to help local residents.

“It was an action-packed day with lots of activities and networking opportunities. During the poetry readings, one of the poems included the phrase “I am un-giving up”, which really struck me as a powerful description of the moment we turn the corner after dark events in our lives. Support for mental health services are harder to find these days, so huge thanks to SpeakUpCIC for all they do to help people through these difficult times”.

In addition to providing a wellbeing support service, SpeakUpCIC also collect feedback about mental health services based on people’s experiences. Sharing experiences can help to improve services and bring about positive change. So anyone wishing to give feedback good or bad please contact SpeakUpCIC.

For further information about SpeakUpCIC please contact:

Email [email protected]

Peoples Health Alliance Thanet

The Thanet Hub of the national organisation, The People’s Health Alliance (PHA), will be holding two events this month.

On 21st October, members will be in Ramsgate’s British Legion in Cliff Street, where Practitioners will be on hand to talk about their holistic approach to health and healing.

Offering taster treatments and remedies to purchase, this will be an opportunity for the many, whose health has been compromised through not being able to easily access NHS services, to discover what alternatives are available.

It is also a way of understanding that we all have responsibility for the well-being of our bodies and minds and that your GP is not always the best solution.

FREE Entry.

On 27th October, Practitioners will be in Windmill Community Gardens in Margate, for the Pumpkin Party, where they will be offering the same opportunities for shifting the emphasis from treating disease to creating health.

£3.00 entry

QEQM Hospital League of Friends

Huge thanks to the members of the FeelGood Ukulele Group for their very kind donation of over £200. Steve & David, two members of the group, are pictured presenting the cheque to our Chairman Sylvia Pheils. They have requested the money – which they raised at informal performances locally – be used to benefit the Cardiac Critical Care Dept. at the Hospital and we will, of course, honour that request.

Calling all you eggheads! We’ve got a Quiz Night coming up on Friday 10th

November, from 6.30pm at Our Lady Star of the Sea church hall in Broadstairs. Tickets are £6, tables for teams of 8. Bring your own refreshments. Please book early to avoid disappointment.  Tickets by calling 01843 234507 or email [email protected]

Margate FC charity match

Everyone at Margate Football Club would like to thank those that contributed to our Charity Match on Tuesday to help raise funds for Montel Agyemang as he continues to recover from his broken leg.

Monts suffered the injury in our 2-1 home defeat to Cheshunt in August, and Tuesday night saw his Margate team-mates face his SE Dons team-mates in a charity clash at Hartsdown Park.

A thrilling 4-3 win for Margate was played out in good spirits as Montel watched on from the side-lines. As well as admission ticket sales and the selling of his “2Eazy” clothing brand, a Go Fund me page for Montel has collected a total of £975, meaning in total £2,255 pounds was raised for Montel.

Once again, we would like to thank everyone who participated and attended on the night, and wish Montel well for his continued recovery.

Ramsgate Twinning Association

Ramsgate is twinned with Chimay in Belgium; a peaceful small town in the Hainault region and home to the renowned Trappist monks of the nearby Abbey who brew the world-famous Chimay beer that you can find in many supermarkets here. The town features a fairytale castle; home to Prince Philippe of Chimay; and cobbled streets around its charming old town square adding to its many attractions.

Ramsgate’s popular and hard-working mayor, Cllr Pat Moore, accompanied by her mayoress, Cara Thorpe, travelled to Chimay at the weekend to be invested as a Jurat d’Honneur to the court of Prince Philippe of Chimay.

The award is one that has to be proposed by the local municipality and confirmed by a court that consists of several local and regional dignitaries; and the number of members is strictly limited.

The award was made to acknowledge Cllr Moore’s contributions to the town twinning movement and involved a very long and complex ceremony in the ornate theatre inside the castle, which is modelled on the larger one at Versailles.

Proceedings started with a robed and costumed procession through the town accompanied by bagpipers and drummers, who also played at intervals during the investitures. The award ceremony concluded with the recipient being given the embroidered sash of the order, then asked to eat a piece of local cheese and drink a glass of the local beer before being dubbed with a sword by the Grand Master of the order.

Cllr Moore rose magnificently to the occasion, earning a round of applause for her swift dispatch of the amber brew, before leaving the stage.

Also present as witnesses were Terry Fearn, Secretary of the Ramsgate Twinning Association, and his wife, Jackie, who acted as liaison in the arrangements between the Cllr Moore and the Belgian Jumelage (Twinning) committee.

Laurent Brosse; mayor of Ramsgate’s French twinned town, Conflans Sainte Honorine, was similarly honoured at the ceremony, giving an extra boost to the importance of the twinning movement in the three towns.

The long ceremonies over, the recipients of various degrees and awards left the theatre and mingled in the sunshine with the Prince and Princess and their family and friends in the courtyard, where everyone was expected to drink a “Glass of Friendship” or two before moving to a formal banquet at a nearby restaurant.

Speaking at the civic banquet, Cllr Moore was at great pains to stress her ambitions to involve far more young people and local schools in twinning. “I look forward to the days when I can see Belgian and French children playing with Ramgate’s children together on our beach as they used to,” she said in her well-received speech to encourage greater efforts to recruit participation in exchange visits and shared events.

Cllr Moore has plans for civic and cultural events to which she can invite her European counterparts.

These will include some choral society concerts and multi-faith ceremonies; especially as we approach the eightieth anniversary of D-Day, and which hopefully will involve some of the town’s ex- service associations.

The Independent Vindicatrix of East Kent Association – M.N

We held our final meeting of 2023 at The Racing Greyhound in Ramsgate on Thursday, October 5th with a full agenda.

Our “Sick Bay” list is getting longer now as we all age and have ill-health and a health report was given on 5 members and the meeting expressed their best wishes to them all for their future health and recovery.

It was reported that the Merchant Navy Association e-newsletter has ben closed so will not be able to be accessed from the website but the quarterly magazine will continue to be sent to members as always. It was reported that since Covid struck the 5 yearly return to Dunkirk of the “Little Ships” was stopped but the DLSA have said that they are hopeful that it will be restarted in 2025 so we look forward to that event again.

Members enjoyed a good afternoon visit to a converted Dutch barge moored in Sandwich Marina in August and wish to return next year.

A report was given on our National M.N. Day with local town Mayors flying our Red Ensign and our thanks go to all who remembered the M.N. and their sacrifices during wartime.  On September 3rd; members travelled again by coach to the M.N. Memorial at Tower Hill in London for our service of Remembrance which was held in hot conditions but all enjoyed the day.  We held our raffle on board which raised £118.00p of which £50.00p will be donated to the MacMillan Nurses.

A reminder was given for our annual New Year dinner and more names were added to the list.

The Ramsgate RBL Club are holding a “Festival of Remembrance” in October at the Granville Theatre and our Standard will attend to represent the M.N.  We will also be attending
the Armistice Day service at the St. Peter’s CWGC Cemetery at the grave of the “Unknown Sailor” and the Ramsgate Remembrance Day parade in November.  Other items were the National Coastwatch Institution plans to open a Ramsgate Station, the report on crewless ships, the on-going P&O Ferries situation and that the Historic Ship “Balmoral” is 74 years of age and under renovation for 2024.  Our next meeting will be on January 11th; 2024.

Dumpton/Montifiore Residents Meeting

The residents meeting for Dumpton Park Drive/Montefiore will take place at the Racing Greyhound in Hereson Road at 6pm tomorrow, 16th October. This will include road safety measures following the sad death of a young man in an accident recently.

Carpets for Kids

A fundraiser to help prevent the shutting down of Carpets For Kids has been launched.

Owner James helps less fortunate families by supplying and fitting carpets free of charge using money from paid jobs to cover the cost.

Due to a debt of £3000 -caused by an issue outside of his control- he is unable to go back to the cheaper supplier so unable to carry on doing the free fittings.

Find the fundraiser at:

Tandem Club event in Birchington

Photos by Alan Green

The present club was formed by Sallie Walrond and Lady Vivien Cromwell in 1977 with the aim of maintaining and promoting the art of tandem driving in a “coachman-like style”. Membership is open to those drivers who have demonstrated their ability to drive a tandem competently and safely in public on at least three occasions. Prospective members are scrutinised during the drive at the Meet and assuming that this is completed satisfactorily are then entitled to wear the silver tandem bars badge of The Tandem Club.

The annual Meet is held in different parts of the country to enable as many members and prospective members as possible to attend. The previous Tandem Club, at the end of the 19th century, had rules of delightful simplicity – the entrance fee was to be nil and the annual subscription was under no circumstances to exceed the entrance fee.

Any member falling into arrears with his subscription was to cease to be a member of the Club. The President was entitled to make such rules as he considered desirable and the members were bound to obey such rules as they should think fit. The Rules of the present Club echo these in that there is neither entrance fee nor annual subscription.

Costs are recovered by means of a raffle at the Meet to which those attending are expected to donate a prize and to purchase a generous quantity of tickets.

Regrettably, it is a sign of our times that the Conditions set out on the Entry Form relating to the organisation of the Meet are mandatory and are there for the safety of all taking part. Last weekend the Meet took place in Birchington.

Ramsgate Festival of Remembrance

The Ramsgate Festival of Remembrance is taking place at the Granville Theatre on Friday the 27th of October. Doors open at 7pm.

Featuring Snowdown Colliery Welfare Band, Swingtime Sweethearts, Queens Regiment Corps of Drums and act of Remembrance. Tickets £10. Call 07711928469

Totally Classical Open Mic

Rosslyn Court, Wednesday, November 8th, 7:30pm
Introducing a brand new classical music open mic event.  Encouraging anyone with a taste for classical to pop down. Play anything from a few bars of a work in progress prelude, to a seemingly impossible etude.

Whether it’s your very first time performing or you are Franz Liszt reincarnated, anyone of any age can have a go.
A piano will be provided, please bring any other instruments that you wish to play. Bonus points for anything unusual!
Free entry, spectators welcome. Address: 62 Sweyn Road, Cliftonville

Thanet community safety

PC Steve England and CLO Daiga Jansone with the Deaf Friends book club.

Thanet community safety officers were given a warm welcome when they paid a visit to a local community group in Westgate.

The town’s neighbourhood beat officer, PC Steve England, and community liaison officer for the district, Daiga Jansone, visited Deaf Friends, a book club aimed at those who are deaf or hard of hearing on Saturday 30 September 2023 at St Saviour’s Church.

As part of Books Beyond Words, a programme which aims to make reading accessible, the attendees read a book about the daily work of police. PC England was able to talk to them about his experience of being a police officer and answer any questions they might have about his job.

They also got to see the equipment carried by police, as well as a chance to sit in a police patrol car.

PC England said: ‘It was a complete pleasure to meet the group and we had such a warm welcome from everyone including the amazing volunteers who work with them.

‘I talked to them about their book, about my duties as a beat officer, and how they feel about police in general, as well as the kit that we wear while on duty. I hope they feel reassured after meeting us that police are here to help the public and keep people safe.

‘This meeting allowed us to learn how we can tailor our policing to meet their needs, to ensure that we deliver that first-class service to all members of our communities.’

Thanet Community Safety Inspector Jim Woodward said: ‘Our beat officers are a vital part of neighbourhood policing and work hard to build relationships with the communities they serve.’

Boys & Maughan

Boys & Maughan’s property litigation and family legal teams have achieved listings in the 2024 edition of the legal industry guide, The Legal 500, appearing in its rankings as amongst the best in Kent, Surrey, and Sussex. The Legal 500 benchmarks the very best lawyers and law firms in the UK.

This year’s edition additionally identified Andrew Baker, Jonathan da Costa, Paul Reeves, Matt Champ, Wendy Burgess, Geena Parsons, and Joana Daraskeviciute among its individual Recommended Lawyers. The guide has recommended Wendy, Geena, and Joana for the first time.

Boys & Maughan Senior Partner Andrew Baker is singled out for particular praise. A contributor said, “Andrew Baker is excellent. He is very knowledgeable, helpful, and attentive; I have also found Andrew to be very responsive and available to cases, tactics, and queries and to have a very pragmatic approach to litigation.”

The editors have this year emphasised the experience within Boys & Maughan’s family lawyer team, which “spans the Margate and Canterbury hubs” and “handles all types of family cases. Our practice is, “Known for its representation of children and parents in divorce and separation matters and care proceedings.”

The editors commented on our cross-border matrimonial expertise,  highlighting a case where we assisted a father with his two children, aged nine and six. The mother of the children (who have dual nationality) is from Taiwan, which is not subject to the Hague Convention and has no bilateral arrangements with the UK.

The guide commentary states that Team head Jonathan da Costa is “A very safe pair of hands. He is unflappable and has an excellent manner with clients. He has many years of experience, including running complicated high-asset cases. His approach is measured, strategic, and fair.” An expert added, “I find Jonathan da Costa a highly engaging practitioner with an excellent grasp of detail and a human approach to family law.”

Andrew, Senior Partner at Boys & Maughan, said, “It was particularly pleasing to see recognition for the contributions of Wendy Burgess, Geena Parsons, and Joana Daraskeviciute this year. Our presence in the guide underscores the talent across our family and litigation teams at all levels, and this independent assessment of their skills and commitment is hugely appreciated.”

It’s the ninth time Boys & Maughan’s family team has featured in The Legal 500, and our firm’s property litigators are recommended for the fourth consecutive year.

Boys & Maughan’s Legal 500 submission, like those of firms across the country, was subjected to extensive analysis, and clients, referees, and other firms gave interviews to the editors. More than 40,000 clients and specialists contributed to The Legal 500’s 2024 UK research.