Community news: Ursuline College, Serenaders, Thanet FoE, Winter Well, Inner Wheel, New Horizons, Festival Choir, KCF, Probus, Gadds, interfaith service, Gaza demo and Martha Trust

Alfie Mason with his winning photo

Ursuline College

Year 9 Ursuline student Alfie Mason has won a photography competition at Betteshanger, near Deal.

The 13-year-old’s photo is now being displayed as ‘object of the month’ during the month of November. In addition, his winning picture was used as inspiration for an art project at a local residential home and primary school.

Alfie loves photography and winning this has given him so much more confidence in his abilities and is now studying for the Bronze Art Award in photography at UCA in his spare time.

Serenaders Ladies Choir

Following a very successful Summer Concert in July the Serenaders Ladies’ Choir is practising hard for the annual Christmas Carol Concert.

Our charity concert, held in July, was very well supported and we are hoping to once again have a “full house”.

Our annual Christmas Carol Concert is to be held at St Philip’s Church in Palm Bay on Saturday 16th December at 2.30pm. Tickets are selling fast and, at only £5 a ticket, it’s a bargain not to be missed!

We will be having a great afternoon with many much loved carols including ‘O Holy Night’ and many more. The climax to this great afternoon will be “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. So, If you would like to come along, please contact either our Musical Director Janice Regan on 01843 224027 or our publicity officer Chris Buffrey on 07711938373  or email: [email protected]

We hope to see you on Saturday 16th December at 2.30pm at St. Philip’s Church in Palm Bay.

Thanet Friends of the Earth

Members of Thanet Friends of the Earth gathered at The Recycle Shop in Birchington yesterday (November 18) where they met with Labour Cllr Colin Brown, Birchington, Green councillors Tricia Austin,  Central Harbour Ward, Abi Smith, The Villages , Cllr Steve Roberts, Broadstairs and people from Thanet. The Albirr Mosque, Margate, joined Thanet Friends of the Earth to publicise and circulate a petition calling on the government to roll out a rapid, street by street insulation programme to help lower energy bills at a time when many people are experiencing fuel poverty.

Thanet Friends of the Earth Co coordinator, Fi O’Connor, opened proceedings by talking about the efforts made to highlight the need for better home insulation. These efforts have been made by community groups across Britain since 2016. Dr Salah, imam of the Albirr Mosque, Margate, then spoke about the suffering currently being experienced by many Thanet residents who cannot afford to heat their homes. He highlighted the need for compassion for other people and care for our planet.

Green Cllr Abi Smith next spoke about the Save Minster Marshes Campaign.  This campaign has a Facebook page and also updates people via NextDoor.

The group then donned Thanet Friends of the Earth high viz vests for the walk to the Birchington Post Office. North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale, was unable to attend the meeting. The petition, signed by over 170 Thanet residents, was posted to his Birchington constituency address.

Winter Well event

Thanet District Council is working with local NHS and community services to provide advice and support for people and families to stay healthy, safe and warm this winter.

A Winter Well drop-in event is taking place as part of the Margate Christmas Fair on Saturday 25 November, from 12pm to 4pm, Margate Baptist Church, 4 Cecil Square, Margate CT9 5EH

Experts will be on hand to offer advice on physical and emotional wellbeing for adults and children with catch-up flu immunisations for children.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service and officers from the council’s Community Safety team will be providing safety advice. Local community organisations will be giving cost of living support, with tips on healthy food and eating well this winter.

Hot drinks and donated winter coats, hats, gloves and scarves will be available for people who need a little extra help to stay warm this winter. There will also be children’s activities and giveaways.

Cllr Heather Keen, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods at Thanet District Council said: “We’re passionate about helping people in need and making our community a better place to live. The Winter Well event will help us to make sure that support reaches the people in our communities who need it most. It is a great opportunity to bring our community together, giving local people the opportunity to connect with local organisations and agencies that can help them with their health and wellbeing over the winter.”

You can find out more about the event on the Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust website.

Westgate & Birchington Inner Wheel

Inner Wheel is one of the largest women’s international voluntary service organisations in the world.

On January 10th 2024, the Inner Wheel Association in Great Britain & Ireland will commemorate 100 years since its formation in Manchester. Our objects are to promote true friendship, to encourage the ideals of personal service and to foster international understanding.

To commemorate this important anniversary, Westgate & Birchington Inner Wheel, will be hosting a coffee and cakes afternoon on January 10th , in Kearns Hall, where we will be serving coffee/tea and cakes and biscuits, and collecting items for the food bank. We aim to collect at least 100 items for ‘Storehouse’ as part of the National initiative of ‘100 for 100’. There will also be a raffle with funds going to ‘Storehouse’. More information later! Watch this space!

Earlier in November, our club took part in a District event where we held a stall for the charity ‘Book Bus’. We chose as our theme, ‘Treasure Island’, and our stall sold jewellery. We all dressed as Pirates, and our stall contributed to the overall amount raised for the Book Bus in the District £3,200.35.

The Book Buses travel to remote villages in Kenya and give children the chance to own and use many books. Learning to read gives children a better start in life, and many children have had their lives changed by the acquisition of these books.

On Remembrance Day, wreaths were laid at both Westgate and Birchington War Memorials, and services were attended.

At our November meeting we were delighted to welcome Sonia Knight from the charity

‘Community Kindness – Thanet’ to talk to us. She set the charity up singlehandedly 3 years ago because she was aware of the high level of deprivation and vulnerability in Thanet. She has families, single young adults and any other vulnerable groups referred to her by many different agencies, such as Porchlight, Social Services and other welfare groups. Her aim is to give each person some love and kindness by donating presents for the children and their families at Christmas, Easter, and birthdays, and in many other ways when it is needed.

She works all through the year fund-raising and collecting donations from the general public and also through gifts from organisations such as ours. The gifts are given back to the referring organisation for distribution, and Sonia doesn’t know the families’ names. She is given a blank label such as Mum, Dad, and 2 boys aged 3 and 5, for instance. Our members donated a car boot full of gifts for the ‘Mums’ helped by the charity. One member had sewn 12 Christmas bags and stockings to be filled for the children who will be given presents by the charity, and also a set of 5 sewn ‘Russian Dolls’.

Usually we meet for dinner on the 3rd Thursday of the month (except December and August) at 6.30 for 7pm at St Augustine’s, 125 Canterbury Road, Westgate on Sea, CT8 8NL

Our next meeting will be on Thursday 7th December when we shall enjoy Christmas Dinner, and induct 2 new members.

If you are interested to find out more about us and what we do, please contact Hazel on 01843 833565 or 07889655497 or [email protected]

New Horizons fundraiser

New Horizons, Broad Oak Ltd, based at the Westwood Industrial Estate in Margate, is raising vital funds to have a wet room fitted at its local resource centre.

New Horizons is a support agency for adults who have learning disabilities, physical disabilities, Autism and communication difficulties. The support agency works with people who live in Thanet, Deal, Sandwich, Canterbury and Herne Bay.

The main ethos is to help and support service users to achieve goals and learn life skills for the future using a Personal Centred care plan which includes their preferences, wishes and needs.

The agency is raising funds to have a disability wet room fitted within its resource centre to help support more individuals and expand the care they can offer.

Staff member Danielle Warrington said: “I feel so privileged to work for such an amazing company and support some amazing service users!

“We are kick-starting our fundraising events with a fundraising day at the Red Arrow Club who have kindly donated their hall to us.

“We have several local businesses coming along on the day to sell a range of products. We are trying to raise funds asap to get the work started.

“We will have Alvin Simonds present with a range of different mascots taking photographs with guests.

“Our very own service user Wesley will be doing the music for the event as he has a huge passion for music.”

The fundraising Christmas family fun day takes place on November 25, 1pm-4pm at the Red Arrows Club off Newington Road, Ramsgate. There will be stalls, tombola, raffle, crafts, disco and more.

Find the fundraiser at

Find more at

Thanet Festival Choir

The choir will perform Hande Messiah Part One with soloists and orchestra plus conductor Clifford Lister at Holy Trinity Church, Broadstairs, on December 16 from 7.30pm.

Tickets are £16, call 01304 620560 or go to for details

Kent Community Foundation

A new Kent Community Foundation Eco Coaching Programme will help charitable organisations develop skills and confidence to promote their early-stage ideas, projects and ways of working to improve their environmental impact.

The programme, led by experienced local coach and presenter Liu Batchelor, is open to charitable organisations and is designed to empower ‘the aspiring eco champion’ within non eco specific organisations. Participants do not need existing sustainability knowledge or skills – just a passion to bring the benefits of sustainable values and approaches, both big and small, to the great work they already do.

The free-to-attend online course will be delivered between January and March 2024 in five two hour group sessions.

The course has been designed to allow participants to develop skills and confidence in storytelling and presenting sustainable values and ideas. At the end of the programme, participants will be able to develop a short talk and video about their organisation's new sustainable work, to use within their marketing, community engagement, funder presentations or grant applications.

Josephine McCartney. Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation, said: “Kent Community Foundation has provided the funding for this eco coaching programme as part of our environmental strategy. We wanted to provide a coaching programme for local charities to encourage knowledge sharing and collaboration by facilitating peer-to-peer insight and inspiration into sustainability issues that are affecting the sector and we are delighted that Liu Batchelor agreed to design and lead the course.”

Local coach, presenter and TEDx Folkestone curator Liu Batchelor said: “As a kid, I had speech therapy and I always struggled to express myself and my ideas; often feeling incredibly overwhelmed and frustrated at not being able to communicate the value I had to give and how my project could contribute to my community. Since then, I’ve spent my life and work overcoming these challenges, and now have designed this course to help others who struggle like I did.”

There is no fee to participate in the eco coaching programme but there is limited space. Applications to participate on the course should be emailed to [email protected] by 7pm on 1 December 2023.

Details of how to apply can be found by visiting

Broadstairs Probus Club

Broadstairs Probus Club provides a friendly group for retired and semi-retired men over 55 who have been involved in a professional or business working life and who currently live in the Broadstairs area.

The Club arranges outings throughout the year and in September members visited the RNLI Ramsgate Lifeboat Station. It was probably the windiest day of the summer so members had a real test of their sea-legs as they were given a guided tour of the Trent Class lifeboat “Esme Anderson “ and the offices of the Station.

Nearly all the staff of the Station are volunteers and have to be available at very short notice to go out on a rescue. They were very helpful in explaining the operation of the Station and all the facilities of this Lifeboat which has been based at Ramsgate since 1994.

Later, on Saturday 11th November, the “Esme Anderson “ was replaced by the Tamar Class “Diamond Jubilee” Lifeboat which is the only “Royal “ named lifeboat currently serving with the RNLI and is now stationed in the only “Royal Harbour ”. When entering the harbour for the first time as shown in the photo, she arrived in style accompanied by the “Esme Anderson” plus the Inshore Lifeboats from Margate, Ramsgate and Walmer.

The ”Diamond Jubilee” is 16 metres long and was launched and named by Her Late Majesty the Queen in 2012. The boat has always been stationed at Eastbourne but later in

2012 it took part in the River Pageant for the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in London. Since then, She has been uprated and now boasts the latest computer systems, GPS and state of the art lifesaving capabilities allowing her to serve Ramsgate for many years to come.

Meanwhile , it is sad to see “ Esme Anderson” leave Ramsgate but she is due for a refit and then remain in service at Eastbourne.

The RNLI is a charity relying totally on public and private donations and therefore, at the changeover, the President of the Broadstairs Probus Club, Michael Bon, presented a donation cheque of £140 to Scott Warren of the Ramsgate RNLI Station and thanked them for the very interesting tour.

The Broadstairs Probus Club meets for a Coffee Morning on the 2nd Tuesday of every month and for a formal Lunch meeting on the 4th Tuesday of every month, both at the Yarrow Hotel. The Club would always welcome new members so, if you are interested in finding out more or perhaps trying out a free Coffee Morning, then please contact Rogan Montgomery-Smith on 01843 603939 or email him on [email protected] for further details.

Little Cracker launch at Gadds

Date for your diaries! SATURDAY 2ND DECEMBER!

Our Yuletide 5% ruby ale, Little Cracker, is gently spiced and is the perfect pint to kick off the festive season.

We hope that you’ll join us on Saturday 2nd December from non-5pm in our Taproom to share a glass of this proper cracking ale. Plus music from Gaddzukes, mince pies & warming curries by Karara and we even have some extra special festive GADDS’ one-off ales… but they’re a surprise

Our shop will be stocked with plenty of gifts, merch & stocking fillers to peruse and pre-order your Christmas Polypin whilst you sup. We hope to see you there!

This year we are hosting a Fundraising Quiz in aid of Oasis Domestic Abuse Service, a charity that does some tremendous work supporting adults, children and young people affected by domestic abuse in Kent and Medway. Tickets are £25 and all proceeds will go to Oasis. This will be on Saturday 2nd December at 6:30pm.

The brilliant Matt Freeman, of the Montefiore Arms in Ramsgate, will host, with plenty of great GADDS’ prizes to be won. Every team will win a prize!

We recommend teams of 6 – 8, but if you’re struggling to make a team (or have any other queries) email: [email protected]


Ticket includes:

  • 1 x Entry to the Quiz (all proceeds go to OASIS)
  • 1 x Raffle Entry with the chance to win great prizes donated by local businesses (To be drawn Monday 4th December)
  • A delicious curry meal by Karara Foods and nibbles.
  • A pint of Little Cracker Ruby Ale

If you can’t make the quiz, we are also running a raffle with some great prizes donated from local businesses. Tickets are just £2 and can be purchased here:…/RAFFLE-TICKET..

Canterbury interfaith service

On November 12th, Raushan Ara, former mayor of Ramsgate and a Muslim, and Rabbi Cliff Cohen, of Thanet & District Reform Synagogue, attended the Remembrance service at Canterbury Cathedral as invited interfaith guests.  Regarding their appearance together, Rabbi Cliff commented that it would send a message about interfaith relations in Ramsgate/Thanet and support those who willingly work together for peace and progress.

Both had been participants in the Ramsgate Town centre multi faith service of remembrance on Saturday the 11th November at the 11th hour, together with Cllr Pat Moore,  the current mayor of Ramsgate and Captain Carl Whitewood of the Salvation Army.

The Canterbury service was led by David Monteith, Dean of the Cathedral.  In his sermon, Dean David spoke of the price of war and the price of peace and made reference to current conflicts in the Ukraine and in the Middle East.

Gaza demonstration

Photo Frank Leppard

People gathered at the King’s Steps in Margate yesterday (November 18) to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Demonstrators demanded an ‘end to apartheid’ in response to the Palestine-Israeli conflict that escalated last month.

Photo Frank Leppard

The rally, one of many held across the country, was organised by the Thanet branch of the South East Kent Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Yolanda Williams who took part said: “The event was Margate at its best. Men, women and children, people of all ages, cultures and faiths united with love and true humanity, all wanting peace and justice for the people of Palestine.”

Also at the rally was Kate Adams who said: “I was uplifted by the numbers and the strength of feeling. The protests will continue and grow not only here in the UK but across the world.”

Some 12,000 people have been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7. In Israel, the official death toll in Hamas’s attacks stands at 1,200, according to latest reports from Aljazeera.

Martha Trust

The annual Martha Trust Christmas Fayre is being held at the Sandwich Guildhall on Saturday 25th November from 10-4pm.

Father Christmas will be in residence from 10-3pm and will be helped by his trusty elf.

Stalls sold out in advance of the event with 28 different displays ranging from hand-made Christmas decorations, candles, soaps, cards, jewellery, stocking fillers and much more.

The Landmark Show Choir will be entertaining the crowds in the foyet from 11.30-12noon and then again from 12.30-1pm.

Visit the stalls upstairs, have a browse, see Santa and enjoy tea, coffee, and a range of cakes kindly donated by local businesses and residents.

Admission is free and a visit to Santa plus a token gift is £3.50. There will also be a chance to buy nearly new and new books and jigsaws, guess the name of the cow, plus there will be Anna’s Face Candy onsite for face painting. 20% of all sales will be donated back to Martha.

Joining the event also, will be Superior Healthcare Group who are Martha’s 2023 Event Sponsor.

There will be a bottle tombola too plus a usual tombola too and colouring corner for the children.

Martha has been running a colouring competition with local schools and there will be a chance to enter and colour on the day too in the refreshment area. The Deputy Mayor of Sandwich will be in attendance to judge the entries there will be 3 winners in each category. Winners will have their prizes presented to them at their schools.

Martha’s big Christmas raffle tickets will also be on sale however they can also be bought online at

This year, the raffle has been supported by some fabulous businesses with NWR Ltd giving £500 as 1st prize, Postage Supermarket giving £200 for 2nd prize and Town & Country Garden Services giving £100 as 3rd prize. There are also 17 other prizes too ranging in value from £25 – £200.

If your business could sell some tickets for the charity, please contact them directly. On 01304 610448.

Fundraising & Events Officer Kerry Banks BEM said: “We love Christmas at Martha and we are really looking forward to seeing lots of you at the event.”

For more information, please contact Kerry Banks BEM

E: [email protected]

T: 01304 610448

W :


  1. Looking at the comments the amount of deaths in Israel is many umderstandingly they fight back HAMAS is the problem in Palestine supporting ha
    HAMAS would be classed as anti semitism that is illegal in this country labour is guilty of that no wonder they are in trouble in parliament Tony Blair got rid of extreme members in the party also causes devision within communities.Freedom of speech is allowed

  2. I had to snigger at Thanet Friends of the Earth walking from Birchington Recycle Shop to Birchington Post Office… that’s would’ve taken them less than a minute!

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