Community news: Steps for MND, QEQM Friends, Pilgrims Hospices, peace vigil, Your Leisure, East Kent Hospitals, charity funding

Deb and Vikki are raising funds for the MND Association

MND fundraiser

Two Ramsgate friends are raising money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association by completing 15,000 steps a day this month and finishing with a walk from Trafalgar Square to Buckingham Palace (Africa Gate) on January 31 to follow in the footsteps of Kevin Sinfield.

Last year rugby league star Kevin completed  an ultra marathon every day for seven days in seven cities in aid of MND.

His last event was in London, finishing near Buckingham Palace.

The star has raised millions for MND since his former teammate Rob Burrow was diagnosed with the disease in 2019.

Vikki Foat and pal Deb Castle were so inspired by Sinfield’s achievement that they are finishing their month’s fundraiser by following the last part of his final ultra marathon route.

Vikki, 54, said: “MND is a good cause and when we saw the challenge on facebook we decided to do it. We are both in awe of Kevin Sinfield and went to London to see him finish his marathon, which was really emotional.

“So, we thought we could do something and it just grew from there.”

Vikki, who runs the Tollgate Kiosk in Wellington Crescent, and retail worker Deb have been getting their steps in by  walking together in their free time.

The pair have invited people to join them on the London finish to their challenge.

Find the fundraising page for Vikkie at

Fundraising page for Deb at

QEQM Hospital League of Friends

We’re thrilled that the charity bookcase at Tesco Ramsgate Manston during November & December raised an amazing £828.63 for our charity to benefit Rainbow Children’s Ward.

Huge thanks to Tesco’s terrific Community Champion Faye, shown presenting the cheque to our Chairman Sylvia Pheils, and to the store’s very generous customers. We’re already in touch with the Ward and will be letting everyone know in due course what this wonderful sum has been spent on.

Pilgrims Hospices

Come wind rain or shine, the doorstep collections of Christmas trees took place over two weekends, 6th – 8th January and 13th – 15th January. More than 3,270 real Christmas trees were collected by Pilgrims Hospices in Ashford, Canterbury and Thanet and recycled by volunteers and representatives of Pilgrims.

Early estimations show that an incredible £60,000 has been raised for local hospice care! Supporters have been helping Pilgrims to take care of the planet, and hospice patients, one tree at the same time, through the generous donations given by members of the community as part of this environmentally-friendly fundraising initiative, which reached a milestone 12 years in Ashford and three years ago ‘branched out’ in Canterbury and Thanet.

Pilgrims wish to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported the charity fundraising scheme. Together, your support helps the hospices to continue providing skilled and compassionate end-of-life care to people living with a life-limiting illness across east Kent.

Kate Duddell, Pilgrims Hospices Head of Fundraising said: “We can only provide the tree recycling service to the local community with the invaluable support of our much-loved and dedicated volunteers who donate their time, vehicles and services for local hospice care, we just couldn’t do it without them. We think you are all amazing.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to everybody who registered their tree for collection, each and every donation makes a difference to the £11 million we have to fundraise each year in order to keep our services running.

“Our thanks also go to our campaign partners; Kent County Council and FCC Environment and all the staff at the Recycling Centres. Additionally, a very special thanks goes to Thanet District Council for their many dedicated years supporting the campaign, Ashford Borough and Canterbury City Council.

“Also, A. Bird Trees and Gardens Ltd, Cordès Horticultural Ltd., Countrystyle Recycling Ltd, David Glew and Sons Garden Maintenance, David Parr Tree Surgeons, Givaudan, Harvey Waste Management, Jenner Contractors, Lord Mayor of Canterbury & Lady Mayoress, Macknade, Martin Fagg Garden Maintenance, MW Cave Ltd, Menzies, Practical Van Hire, Old Dairy Brewery, Pneuma Church, PSR Lighting & Signs Ltd, RE Tanner And Sons, Royal Mail, Select Plant Hire, Shadoxhurst Village Hall, Silent Gliss UK, Streetspace Group, Tree and Grounds Maintenance Ltd, Waitrose & Partners & WW Martin, who all played a big part in helping us extend and deliver the campaign, and we thank each and every one of those involved.”

Each year, Pilgrims Hospices provide care and comfort to thousands of people in east Kent who are coming to terms with an illness that sadly cannot be cured. The charity support patients to live life as well as possible until the end of life, free from pain and distress.

Vigil for Peace

Representatives from faith groups in Ramsgate invite you to join together in a vigil for peace.

Ramsgate Town Centre, Friday 26th January 1pm

Stand together. Show that hatred will not divide us. Silently pray. Silently plead. Silently seek peace.

We welcome banners and signs but ask that you respect the aim of this vigil. Our opinions will differ on the legitimacy of each conflict. On this day we want to symbolise what unites us. That peace is the only long term solution.

For more information please contact [email protected]

Your Leisure

We are recruiting for Bay Inspectors for the Foreshores beach hut season. It’s a great opportunity for people who enjoy working to make their local community a little more special, and like to be outside on the seafront.

Link: Bay Inspectors: Seasonal Bay Team – Your Leisure ( )

Role: Bay Inspectors. Site: Seasonal Bay Team Thanet Bays. Hours: Can be tailored where applicable; weekend work. Salary: £11.44 ph

We seek enthusiastic Bay Inspectors to join our Seasonal Bay Team and help everyone to “Live Better by the Seaside”!

The key focus of the Bay Team will be to support Beach Hut hire to ensure customers and other beach users are safe and receive great service.

The Bay Team are responsible for:

Carrying out service checks on the bay to ensure compliance.

Enhance customer satisfaction.

Basic maintenance and cleaning tasks on the foreshores including painting and repair of beach huts.

The team will also be responsible for advising beach users regarding local amenities and communicating basic beach codes and rules.

The ideal candidate will love the outdoors, have basic maintenance and or DIY skills and be confident in dealing with members of the public. You will need to be flexible in your approach to work. Full training will be provided including an Emergency First Aid Qualification.

Successful candidates will be subject to a DBS check.

If you think you’ve got what it takes, then we want to hear from you!

RECRUITMENT DAY: 2pm, 26 January at Ramsgate Leisure Centre.

East Kent Hospitals Charity

Are you looking for a new challenge for the new year? How about a wing walk in aid of East Kent Hospitals Charity?

It’s one of many fundraising challenges you can sign up to and raise money to support patients and staff across East Kent Hospitals.

The wing walk takes place most weekends at Headcorn Airfield, and you will get the chance to soar at 120mph on top of a biplane in the skies over Kent.

Last year’s wing walkers raised thousands of pounds for the charity, including Carly Larkin, who works as apprenticeship and learner support lead for the Trust.

She took to the skies in memory of her parents, and handed over a cheque for £1,300 to head of charity Dee Neligan on 28 December, which would have been her mum’s 70th birthday.

Carly said: “The wing walk was a truly epic experience, and a very emotional day.

“At times with the amazing height and steep wing dips I literally felt like I was a bird soaring through the skies, and just that little bit closer to my dear parents.

“I carried a photo of them with me during the flight and it was a very special moment.”

She raised money to support the chemotherapy units at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital, William Harvey Hospital in Ashford and the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate.

Carly, 42, from Faversham, had to overcome her own complex health conditions to take the flight, including Ehlers-Danlos syndrome fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and other auto-immune conditions.

She said: “Taking on the wing walk in memory of my parents, and defying all my health complexities and disabilities made me feel incredibly proud.”

If you are interested in taking on a challenge to support East Kent Hospitals Charity, visit

As well as the wing walk, there are marathons and half-marathons, and fun 5km runs and assault courses.

Movement for Good Awards

Benefact Group’s Movement for Good Awards is back. Now in its sixth year, the awards are giving residents in Kent the opportunity to nominate a charity of their choice to receive £1,000.

The Movement for Good Awards will once again see more than £1million donated to charities up and down the UK and Ireland. From today, Kent residents can quickly and easily nominate a good cause online at

Winners will be drawn at random and the more times a charity is nominated the more chance it has of being selected.

There will also be a series of special draws where charities operating within specific sectors can be nominated to receive a grant of £5,000, the timetable of draws can be viewed at and donations will be announced throughout the year.

The Movement for Good Awards has donated over £5million to charities in the UK and Ireland since the initiative started in 2019. Children on the Autistic Spectrum Parent’s Association (CASPA), which provides art and leisure activities for children on the autism spectrum from disadvantaged families, The Howbury Tumblers, a parent-toddler group, Spirit Of Peace, which focuses on bringing communities together and 1st Rainham Brownies, the girl guide organisation, are some of the Kent causes that have previously benefitted from the funding thanks to nominations from the public.

Mark Hews, Group Chief Executive of Benefact Group, says: “Benefact Group is a family of award-winning specialist financial services companies and the third largest corporate donor to charity in the UK. Owned by a charity ourselves, charitable giving is at the heart of what we do. All of our available profits go to good causes and the more the Group grows, the more the Group can give.

“We are delighted to be able to donate over £1million to good causes each year through our Movement for Good Awards and are grateful to all our supporters, including the customers of the trusted insurer, Ecclesiastical, and the responsible and sustainable asset manager, EdenTree. Our Movement for Good Awards help charities change lives for the better and we know that for many charities, £1,000 can make a real difference.”

Benefact Group has donated over £200million to charitable causes since 2014 and last year was recognised as the third biggest corporate giver in the UK1. The organisation aims to reach £250million in donations by 2025.

Movement for Good is funded by EIO plc, part of the Benefact Group.

Visit to nominate a charity now.

1 Comment

  1. I will be at the vigil in prayer, but not in person, as frailty won’t allow! The Israeli Defence Force have caused the deaths of close to 30,000 Palestinians, including around 10,000 children and babies, how many of them were supporters of Hamas? They are also raising Gaza to the ground, have cut off the water supply so not even toilets can be flushed! They only allow starvation rations into Gaza, and virtually no medical aid! So what is the difference between these tactics, and the German NAZI’s in 1944 when they did the same to Warsaw? It is possible to make domations to Medical Aid for Palestinians over the phone on:
    020 7226 4114.

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