Community news: Co-op Pioneers, QEQM Friends, RNLI Ramsgate, Margate WI, email from Santa, KCV, Mika’s Mutts, Driftwood Mews and Martha Trust

Birchington Man Shed Project received  £4239.92 from the Co-Op Pioneers

Co-op Member Pioneers

Co-op Member Pioneers across Thanet met with local causes to celebrate the amazing totals that Co-op Members raised for them over the last twelve months.

The Birchington Man Shed Project (who have received  £4239.92), Louis Helping Hands (£4220.95), and the Sunken Garden Society (£4598.56). Despacito Art School (£1063.59), The Garden Gate Project (£1423.96).

Peter Hasted from the Sunken Garden Society, said: “We are very delighted with the support and funding the Co-op have given and continue to give the Sunken Garden Society. We would like to use the funds for two more benches with additional plantings for 2024. With continued support from the Co-op, you can find the sunken gardeners in the garden on the last Saturday and second Tuesday of the month undertaking gardening duties, helping to revive this unique public space.”

Birchington Man Shed: said: “Some of the members of Birchington Man Shed gathered at the Co-op on Saturday to show our appreciation to the many villagers who chose to support the man shed during this year’s Co-op Local Community Fund. We were astounded when we had the final figure of £4,239.92 and each and every member in the present and those to come in the future cannot thank the villagers of Birchington enough. Huge thanks also go to Dave and Tom at the Co-op and of course the Co-op Local Community Fund.

“It was great to see some old members who, through health reasons cannot make it to the Man Shed anymore. You are always welcome to pop in for a cup of tea and a chat. Some of the older members joined before we moved to Quex and I am sure they will see how the shed has grown with the help of the many kind donations and grants we have received.
While we were at the Co-op some people like what we had on view and have placed an order, a few men and women  are interested in joining and plan to come and see what we are up to”

Other recipients

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Broadstairs Folk Week (£1930)

Inspiration Creative Drama Group (£2200)

14th Broadstairs Scout Group (£1800)

Dane Valley Woods (£1321.94)

St. George’s Community Meal (£1214)

East Kent Mencap (£1139)

This month, Co-op Member Pioneers will welcome their new Local Community Fund causes. Co-op Members can find out which causes have been chosen in their area and choose which cause they would like to support on the Co-op app. For every £1 members spend on Co-op products in store, 2 pence goes towards local causes. The causes cover areas from mental health support, groups protecting the environment and biodiversity, groups who help people access food, and groups who support young people.

The groups selected for Birchington and Westgate this year are the Birchington Girl Guides and the Umbrella Club a targeted provision for young people aged 10 – 19 with hidden disabilities.

This Local Community Fund has raised £136 million and helped over 7 million people since 2016.

QEQM Hospital League of Friends

We’re delighted to have funded at a cost of £1,517 a Doppler shown being held by Tissue Viability Clinical Nurse Specialist Kylie with other members of the Tissue Viability Team (at their stand in the QEQM Hospital during Stop the Pressure Week). This device allows the circulation of patients with leg ulcers to be assessed avoiding unnecessary delays in starting or continuing compression therapy, which is a “gold standard” intervention both to prevent and improve leg ulcers.

Following fundraising on our behalf by Jilly-Anne Skinner to benefit the Maternity Bereavement Suite we have funded the cuddle cot shown. This is a portable lightweight unit which enables a baby that has passed away to be kept cool allowing families grieving the loss of their baby to spend more time with them. Jilly-Anne and ourselves very much hope this provides some comfort at such an extremely painful and difficult time. We are very grateful to Jilly-Anne and everyone who kindly donated for bringing this about.

Her fundraising was Jilly-Anne’s way of expressing her gratitude for the wonderful care she experienced in the Maternity Ward at the QEQM Hospital during her own loss. She is pleased something good has come out of something so sad.

Please look out for us at the following upcoming events at each of which we’ll have 2 tables selling handmade Christmas goodies and lots of other attractive items to raise funds for our charity:

Saturday 2nd December Thanet Sunrise Rotary Club from 10 am to 2pm. Table Top Sale at Kearns Hall, Minnis Bay, Birchington.

Sunday 10th December from 9 am. to 1 pm. Indoor Boot Fair at Retort House, Albion Street, Broadstairs.

RNLI Ramsgate

RNLI Crew are constantly being trained and refreshed in all the skills required to Save Lives at Sea so we are very pleased to announce that Becky Cannon has been passed out as helm on the Atlantic 85, our inshore lifeboat.

Becky is only 23 years old making her one of the youngest helms in the country and the first female helm in Ramsgate’s history. Although she only passed her exams on 16th November she has already been helm on two calls.
The sea is obviously in her blood as her father Ian is the current Coxswain at Ramsgate, her Uncle Paul is deputy Coxswain and her grandfather Ron was Coxswain.

This family tradition meant that from a child Becky has dreamt of becoming a Coxswain and has already embarked on her next step as she has been enrolled on the Coxswain Plan.

Well done Becky!

Margate WI

We are delighted to announce that the Margate WI Christmas Fayre is returning to Dreamland once again this year on Saturday 2 December 2023.

The indoor event, set against the retro loveliness of the Roller Disco, provides the perfect opportunity for people to pick up Christmas gifts for loved ones, and also maybe treat themselves (well it would be rude not to!).

We have a brilliant selection of stalls booked, featuring some of the most talented makers, designers and independent businesses in Thanet. They will have greeting cards, jewellery, coastal inspired gifts, bright and beautiful homewares, hand-crafted ceramics, fabric and sewn goods, and much much more.

And of course, as we are the Women’s Institute, we will be running our ever-popular tombola for people to try their luck at winning prizes, while helping local good causes in the process.

Meet representatives from our charity of the year, the Cheerful Sparrows, and purchase your very own ceramic festive sparrow decoration, as kindly made and donated by awesome ceramicist (and WI member!) Jayne Wright of JAW Ceramics.

There will also be an opportunity to find out more about our own project to make and provide patchwork cot quilts to the babies at the Special Care Baby Unit in the QEQM hospital.

If you are looking for a fun festive event, full of magnificent must-haves, gorgeous gifts and fun stocking fillers, then pop along to our fayre.

Margate WI Christmas Fayre runs from 11am to 4pm and has free admission.

Email from Santa’s workshop

A Margate carer has set up an email service to Santa for Thanet families.

Ellie Small, 20, says she hopes to bring some festive magic to children who may not be able to visit Santa.

She said: “This year, I have decided to open an email service completely free for children to email to Santa’s workshop for a response from either Santa’s elf, Mrs Claus or Santa himself! Each email will get a personalised response.

“I am doing this for children as a way to keep the magic alive this Christmas for those who cannot visit Santa. It’s also a way to cut down costs on a Santa visit by writing to him for free.”

Email [email protected]

Kent Coast Volunteering

Kent Coast Volunteering (KCV) was delighted to support staff from Broadstairs College to volunteer during the College’s recent Community Week.

The Student Services team were keen to volunteer their time and contacted KCV’s Thanet Connectors to find out more about local opportunities.  KCV got in touch with local charities to ask if they could use several extra pairs of hands and Monkton Nature Reserve, Powell Cotton Museum and Mama to Mama all welcomed groups during the week.

The volunteers got stuck in to a variety of tasks including sorting and categorising baby clothes, raking and mulching leaves, digging out an old box hedge and moving logs to assist in the construction of a new pathway.

Not even the rainy November weather could dampen their enthusiasm and the feedback from both the volunteers and the host organisations was fantastic.  KCV would like to thank Broadstairs College Student Services team for their enthusiasm and positivity, and also Mama to Mama, Powell Cotton Museum and Monkton Nature Reserve for welcoming and supporting the teams.

If your organisation is looking for volunteering opportunities or if your charity would like to welcome a group, please contact [email protected]

Mika’s Mutts

We know it’s that time of year when everyone is struggling especially with Christmas coming up .

If you can sponsor a dog this Christmas we at Mika’s Mutts Dog Rescue would be very grateful.

They didn’t ask to be in kennels, homes are getting harder to find it seems. I think of my dogs all nice and cosy with a sofa or bed to lay on and lots of love and attention, and although our dogs in kennels get treated extremely well it’s not quite the same.

Our vet bills are going to be huge with Benny having his operation in December so by sponsoring a dog will help alleviate our costs a little. PayPal [email protected] using friends and family quoting kennels

An appeal for Benny to have surgery for uxating patellas in both back legs, cruciate ligament damage, and hip dysplasia can be found at

Driftwood Mews

On Friday 11th November, Sir Roger Gale, MP, joined Square Circle Developments to mark the official opening of Westgate-on-Sea’s first eco-new build development, Driftwood Mews, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. I wonder if you would be interested in featuring this event?

These properties are net zero carbon ready and optimised for a decarbonised grid, with each home featuring solar panels, significantly more insulation than standard homes, cycle storage, and an electric car charging point.

Bonkers in Barcelona – Martha Trust

The intrepid teams who took part in Bonkers in Barcelona in September in aid of local charity Martha Trust raised just under £23,000 in sponsorship. All the teams made it back in one piece following a 850 mile trip from Dover to Barcelona in just four days.

The aim of the challenge was to raise funds for Martha Trust, a charity that supports people with profound disabilities across Kent and Sussex. Each year they hold a charity car challenge taking in major cities such as Monte Carlo, Florence and Rome. This year the destination was Barcelona.

Martha have been running their car challenge fundraiser for 14 years. And, in that time they have seen 98 cars and 230 participants join their adventure raising £337k in sponsorship.

Julie Gayler, CEO at Martha Trust and a team member of the ‘The Flamencos’ described Bonkers in Barcelona as their best challenge yet: “We’ve had the most fantastic time, and met some great people! The trip was amazing, with stopovers in Chateauroux and Andorra, the camaraderie was great and best of all, we have raised almost £23,000 in sponsorship when all funds are in.”

Two teams from the Keaveney Group – key suppliers of contracting and plant hire services to the construction industry, based in Ashford took part this year and raised an incredible £9,000! Noddy and Big Ears stole the show in ‘Revs’ a convertible beetle wrapped in red and yellow. It was a sight to be hold.

Bonkers in Barcelona would not have been possible without the generous support of all the participants and their sponsors, in particular this year’s main sponsors – Superior Healthcare Group, Nick Cunningham Plumbing and Heating Engineers, Sota Solutions, Agilico and their channel crossing sponsor Eurotunnel Le Shuttle.

Special thanks to the sponsors of the Martha car – Blueleaf Care, Fowler Swimming Pools, KW Security, Southern Care Maintenance, Wyman Electrical and TREK Plumbing.

Martha are excited to announce their 2024 car challenge will be going back to the popular destination of Rome in ‘Rome or Bust’ setting off on Saturday 21 st September 2024. If you would like to register your interest please call Carol on 01304 610448 or email [email protected]