Community news: Thanet Squadron, QEQM Friends, Millmead Children’s Centre, Ice House, Climate Ball, Taboo Café, Margate Almanac, Palestine march, Contact and Invicta Lodge

2433 (Thanet) Squadron & 305 (Ashford) Squadron visited RAF Brize Norton (Photo RAF)

2433 (Thanet) Squadron

Recently 2433 (Thanet) Squadron & 305 (Ashford) Squadron were invited by 70 Squadron at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire to visit them. We were hosted by the Senior Engineering Officer, Sqn Ldr Richard Doyle, who extended the invite. Sqn Ldr Doyle was a cadet of 2433 and a C I at 305 (Ashford) Squadron.

For some cadets, it was the first time of seeing what it was like to be on an RAF base.

Photo Flt Lt Darren Thirkell.

When we were up in the RAFs transport plane the A400m Atlas, we flew to MOD  St Athan, near Cardiff and were doing approaches on their runway. We were allowed to be in the cockpit, during this time to watch the pilots.

Cpl Harlan Groombridge was chosen to be up in the cockpit during take-off and Cdt Max  George was picked for landing back at ‘Brize’. Cpl Groombridge said it was ‘ just amazing’, while Cdt George was just in awe of it! Both had big grins on their faces when they came back, as did a lot of the cadets (and staff).

Photo Cdt Charlie Masters

Thanks go to Sqn Ldr Doyle and the staff and crew of 70 Sqn, RAF Brize Norton Royal Air Force and everyone who made it possible.

For anyone interested in joining, they can email the Adjutant on [email protected]

Anyone interested in being a cadet forces adult volunteer can contact [email protected]

QEQM Hospital League of Friends

We are delighted staff working in the Hospital’s Coronary Care Unit are pleased with the patient chair we recently funded at a cost of £487. Unit Manager Billie, shown (standing) with Registered Nurse Samantha, and the chair said: “We are extremely grateful to the League of Friends for their very generous donation of a patient chair. This donation enables the CCU team to assist with supporting and encouraging patients to sit out of bed during the day.

“Research shows an improvement with patient outcomes and experience when this is achieved. These chairs enable patients to sit comfortably throughout the day while reducing the risk of incurring pressure damage.

“We send our grateful thanks to the League of Friends for all they continue to do for patients in the QEQM Hospital.”

Grateful thanks to the store’s Community Champion Tracey and to everyone who kindly made a donation to our recent bucket collection at Asda’s, Westwood Road, Broadstairs which raised £248.62. Shown collecting, with a display showing some of the items we funded, are Maggie, Sue & Terry from our charity.

Whether you wish to make a donation (on which we depend), volunteer with us or are just interested information about our registered charity can be found on our Facebook page and our website

Millmead Children’s Centre

Sensory Room

We have been on Dane Valley Road operating for over 20 years now, even throughout the Covid period. It’s very surprising how many people from all over Thanet and surrounding towns say “we didn’t know you were here or even existed”. We have had families as far as Whitstable and Faversham that have travelled to our Centre for some of our services.

We offer these following services that are available to all residents in Thanet:

  • We have a “NHS Health Child Clinic” (aka Baby weighing) Every Wednesday between 9.30am until 11.30am (FREE OF CHARGE)
  • Department of Work and Pension Clinic – (FREE OF CHARGE)
  • Citizens Advice Clinic – Tuesdays, every fortnight bookable by calling 01843 280555 (FREE OF CHARGE)
  • NHS Health Checks for 40 to 74 year olds – Selected dates bookable by calling 01843 280555 (FREE OF CHARGE)
  • One You Kent  (FREE OF CHARGE)
  • Disability Assist – (FREE OF CHARGE)
  • We offer Family Loyalty cards for Powell Cotton Musuem – available from our Reception upon registration at the Millmead Children’s Centre (FREE OF CHARGE)
  • Kent Food Pantry

We also have a beautiful Sensory Room that can be booked (for exclusive use) via our Ticketsource page for only £1.50. That’s per session and can be used for any age. It is especially ideal for those with babies and those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

We have 2-hour Soft Play sessions for under 5-year-olds on a Monday and Tuesday, again can be booked via our Ticketsource page for only £2.50 per child. Adults are free.

We would love to offer for the whole month of March 2024, a 50% discount code of all Isle of Thanet News readers. When they visit our Ticketsource page – – on checkout if they enter IOTNEWS, it will take 50% off the total for any Sensory Room and Soft Play sessions.

We understand the everyone is suffering from the cost of living and many are trying to get back into work or even just wanting their children to have the best start in life, that’s why our in-house childcare, Meadow Nursery, is charged at only £3.75 per hour, an extremely competitive rate.

We also accept the 2, 3 and 4 year old (15 hour and 30 hour) Early Years Education government funding. Open term time only from 9am until 4pm with morning, afternoon and full day sessions.

6th Ramsgate Royal Harbour Sea Scouts

6th Ramsgate Royal Harbour Sea Scouts would like to announce that with the support of the Bernard Sunley Foundation and the Tudor Trust, we have made our Ice House building accessible to all.

Our new lift has already been used by people who, without the lift, would not have been able to participate in activities in the hall. One person commented on the anxiety that they felt about attending meetings where they needed to climb stairs because the effort in doing so was too much for them to manage, which meant they often chose not to attend.

Our lift has given them the freedom to participate and stay actively involved because, with the help of these grants, we have been able to remove the barriers.

To install the lift, we needed to undertake building works that would allow the lift shaft to get from the ground floor to the top floor. We also need to install an accessible entrance.

We hope these pictures will show you just how far we have come.

The Lift Lobby on the top floor:

We still have some work to do to finish the small ramp just outside the lift door, and the carpenter is working on this. We will also paint and finish the surrounding woodwork in dark blue to ensure the lift surround is visible to people with low vision.

We have contrasted our colours throughout the top floor, and the lift lobby will eventually match this. We have also had braille included on the lift buttons.

The Lift Lobby on the ground floor:

As you can see, there is still a lot of work to be done on the ground floor surrounding area, but the lift is in and working perfectly.

Mayor of Margate’s Climate Ball

The Mayor of Margate’s Climate Ball will be held at Turner Contemporary on 16th March.

Our guest of honour will be KCC Cllr Mike Hill OBE and our guest speaker Helen Pitman from Kent Wildlife Trust giving a short presentation on Kent’s beavers and bison.

There will be a welcome drink on arrival and an optional private viewing of the Turner galleries. Tables seat 8 and dancing will be to Decades Showband.

Food will be provided by a Perfect Place to Grow. The Perfect Place to Grow is a café and training kitchen, situated in Margate, that supports 18-24 year olds

not in education or work, into long-term, sustainable employment. Young people learn in the kitchen alongside working in a wide range of related trades – whether that is at a farm, a dairy or fishing boat – in order to teach the skills and receive the support needed to change their long- term futures.

The menu will be cooked by trainees, mentored by Jooles at The Good Egg in Margate, and will help build skills and to help fund the futures of more people at The Perfect Place to Grow.

The event will raise money for the Mayor’s Charity Fund which benefits individuals and organisations in Margate. There will be a raffle.

Tickets are £45pp including welcome drinks and a three course meal and music. Formal black tie dress. To book email [email protected] or call 01843 448590.

Taboo Café

Maskell & Uden is hosting a new community initiative. It’s a support café for those who may have cause to discuss the taboo subject of death. It’s a conversation that, one way or another, we can’t avoid.

Whether you have lost a loved one, need to support others, or are at an age where you think about your own mortality more often that you used to, this may be for you. Alternatively, perhaps you are just curious and feel you need to think ahead and prepare, and you have some questions.

You’ll meet people with similar experiences to talk in a positive and supportive space, sensitive to your needs.

Book your place at our launch event where you can find out more the about future meetings.

Launch is March 21, 11.30am at The Gap Project, Queens Road Baptist Church, Broadstairs.

Call 01843 862897 to reserve your place.

The Margate Artist Almanac

Margate has witnessed an unparalleled creative regeneration in its arts and culture sector over the past few decades. The Margate Artist Almanac is an annual research project that will celebrate and document the artists, curators, producers, and art organisations, both past and present, who have been pivotal in shaping this creative landscape. Led by artists, this non-commercial project seeks to provide a comprehensive historic snapshot of Margate’s artistic community.

Julie Freeman, founder of Translating Nature art studio and one of the driving forces behind the initiative, has lived in Margate for almost a decade. Through her art practice she translates data from natural sources and living systems into kinetic objects, sculptures, sound compositions and animations.

Julie said: “There are many conversations about the arts and artists in Margate but no-one really knows how many there are and who they are. I hope the Almanac helps to expose the extent of the community that helps to make Margate a great place to live and to visit. I love working with data so it makes sense to use my skills to really understand what’s happening in the area.”

Natasha Caruana, another Margate artist, who runs an online alternative art school called Work Show Grow, has helped with the project. She said: “The launch of this Almanac is not just about mapping the number of artists or charting the ecosystem; it’s about acknowledging and celebrating the collective force that is reshaping the artistic landscape of Margate. This project will not only provide valuable insights into the burgeoning artistic community but will also underline the significant impact art has on the local culture and economy.

“I’m thrilled to contribute to and support an initiative that shines a light on the dynamic synergy between Margate’s artists and the town’s ongoing rebirth.”

Entries for the Almanac are open to all artists currently based in Margate, as well as those who have previously lived and worked in the town. Additionally, independent producers, curators, and art organisations, are encouraged to contribute to this collective endeavour.

Julie is particularly keen to ensure that people and galleries who have been and gone from the area are also captured in the data collected.

She said: “We’ve had a fantastic response so far as it only takes a couple of minutes to complete the form. Hopefully we will get a lot more as we continue to spread the word.”

The results will be announced at an event in early Summer.

For more information on how to contribute and stay up to date with the Margate Artist Almanac, please visit and follow @juliefreeman_artist on Instagram.

Deadline for entries is Good Friday – 29th March 2024.

Palestine march

Thanet campaigners calling for an immediate ceasefire in Palestine marched and held a meeting in Margate on Saturday (24 February).

At the meeting the marchers were addressed by Andrew Feinstein, a former South African politician who served under Nelson Mandela Andrew Feinstein

Mr Feinstein told the rally he was actively consulting with people about standing against Labour leader Keir Starmer in the next general election,

Mr Feinstein also recalled that when Nelson Mandela left prison in 1990 he said: “There is much work to do because our freedom is incomplete until the Palestinians are free.”

The event followed a landmark motion passed by Thanet council earlier in the week which for the first time called for a ceasefire in Palestine.

The Margate march and meeting was organised by grassroots group Thanet4Palestine in collaboration with the national Stop the War Coalition.

Amber Trentham of Thanet4Palestine told the meeting: “It was a strong march in the wind and the rain, following on from the triumph at Thanet District Council on Thursday night. It is without doubt the actions we have all done together over the last five months here in Thanet – that put enough pressure on the local council to yield this ceasefire vote.

“We are a small corner of South East England. But if all the small corners everywhere were to mobilise – big change would come. We are part of a global movement. We must remember this. And people power works. We do have a voice. And all of us here have a duty to find that voice and use it to speak up for justice, for peace, for equality, for Palestine.”

Other speakers at the meeting included Chris Nineham, vice chair of Stop the War Coalition, and Basma El Doukhi, a Palestinian academic and human rights activist.

Contact, charity for families with disabled children

Highly infectious viruses like RSV, Strep A and flu are common – even at this time of year. RSV for example is one of the main cause of coughs and colds and while most of us only have mild symptoms if we catch it, RSV can lead to more serious breathing problems in younger children and babies with health conditions or complex medical and may need hospital treatment as a result.

As the pressures on NHS services continue to increase and, as a charity supporting families with disabled children and their families, Contact wants to make sure Kent families recognise the signs and symptoms of RSV, Strep A and flu, how to reduce risk of infection in younger children and what action parents should take and when – whether it’s seeking advice and help from your pharmacy or GP or calling 111.

Find out more on our website Being aware of infections like RSV and Strep A, alongside getting the flu vaccination and the Covid-19 booster jab are some of key ways to protect yours and the health of your children with disabilities and health conditions so your family keeps well whatever the season.

Contact is the UK charity for families with disabled children. We support families, bring families together and help families take action for others.

We do this through a national helpline – 0808 808 3555 – and an online advice service, workshops, family events and dedicated support for families whose child is in hospital.

Westwood Cross Retirement Development

Churchill Retirement Living is inviting interested home hunters to its grand opening event at its new Invicta Lodge development in Westwood Cross.

The event, which will take place on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd of March from 11am to 3pm, will give those interested the chance to tour the brand-new show complex and meet the sales team and Lodge Manager- all whilst enjoying a glass of fizz and nibbles in the comfort of the stunning Owners’ Lounge.

The new Churchill Lodge offers a collection of 51 one and two bedroom privately owned retirement apartments, designed to create a relaxing, social and private retirement environment, exclusively for over 60s. The lodge comes with an Owners’ Lounge for events and socialising, a guest suite where family and friends can stay, a Lodge Manager, free parking, secure camera entry and a 24- hour call centre support system.

The apartments themselves are bright and spacious with a lounge, fitted kitchen with built in oven, hob and fridge/freezer, modern bathroom and a walk-in wardrobe to the main bedroom.

With a host of amenities on the doorstep, retirees can enjoy a social and stress free retirement in Westwood Cross.

For more information about Invicta Lodge, visit or call 01843 49276.


  1. I’m curious, did the people calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza also call for the immediate release of all of the remaining Israeli hostages?

    • The call was for an immediate ceasefire and a release of all hostages, both Israeli and Palestinians. A permanent ceasefire is a chance to negotiate release. Israel are currently holding people incarcerated with no trials. Thats how fair Israel is.

        • All war is abhorrant, Ceasefire for everywhere and everyone Ms Pink. TBH i’m Not sure what you were expecting me to say, most people who go on anti-war protest marches are doing it for exactly that reason, hence the umbrella coalition of ‘Stop the war’. Perhaps you should come along to one and talk to us in real life.
          Coincidentally, did you attend the Ukraine ceasefire demos?

    • Well “Mudboy” I have a cutting from a well known national newspaper from the 14th February, that says in part “Israeli forces have seized 7,000 Palestinians in the West Bank, and Gaza since the bloody war with Hamas began on the October 7th. The prisoners were lifted at their homes, or military checkpoints” The figures show that about 2,000 of the prisoners are being held without charge, and about a third are lined up as possible hostage swaps and are under the age of 18″.

      I have contacted Craig Mackinlay MP for South Thanet, after the appalling shenanigans in Parliament recently, over disputing the meaning of a “Ceasefire”. In view of the fact probably 30,000 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli’s, probably more as many are still buried under the rubble of bombed buildings, “70% of them women and children, and babies” according to the same report, none of whom could possibly be active supporters of Hamas. I asked Mr Mackinlay do you agree that Israel is guilty of committing war crimes? Finally, it is little known that Israel held hundreds of Palestinians hostage BEFORE the Hamas attack on 7th October, which was probably why they felt they had no option but to do the same!

      Donations can be made over the phone to Medical Aid for Palestinians on 020 7226 4114, and Action Aid who primarily take care of women and children on: 01460 238000

    • Mudboy, I will try again and help people understand a little more about the Gaza/Israel situation, my last attempt failed didn’t it Kathy! People would be best advised to read Shlomo Sand’s book The Invention of the Jewish people, he is a distinguished Emeritus Professor at the Tel Aviv university. I contribute to obscure religious journals occasionally, and one thing I have learnt is people are not born Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Hindus etc, they become them!

      Shlomo Sand’s book is heavily researched and he proves categorically Jews are not a race, they are a religious faith, the same as Muslims, Catholics etc! So whenever you hear someone criticise Israel they are NOT being anti-sematic, or racist! I have in front of me a cutting from the Daily Mirror dated 14th February which has a headline nearly 4cm high (One and half inches in old money) that shouts 7,000 TAKEN!

      This refers to a report and I quote that “Israeli forces have seized more than 7,000 Palestinians in the West bank and Gaza since the bloody war with Hamas began on October 7th” It goes on to say “the figures show that about 2,000 of the prisoners are being held without charge, and about a third of those are lined up for possible hostage swaps are under the age of 18”. It goes on to say “fatalities have taken the death toll in Gaza to 28,473…70% of them women and children”

      I have emailed the MP for South Thanet Craig Mackinlay and asked him if killing thousands of innocent women, children, babies the sick and elderly, is a war crime? I believe it is, and if so then the perpetrators should be bought to justice, and their crimes cease, as they are ongoing! Kathy, please publish this, as many people are being misled or are confused!

      • Thanks Kathy, I was getting paranoid, especially as my computer kept saying “I am not connected”and I could’t access The Isle of Thanet News!
        Damn Fujitsu, Duurh!

  2. Just learned Thanet District Council discussed a motion asking for a ceasefire in Gaza, this is right and proper because Thanet people must be made aware that Israel is committing a war crime against innocent women, children, babies, the elderly, and disabled in Gaza, and the West bank so they can hold the 2 Thanet MP’s to account. They should ask Craig Mackinlay, and Roger Gale what are they doing to condemn Israel to stop them continuing with their war crime against the Palestinian people, because killing thousands of innocent people is NOT defending their boarders!

  3. That is a totally different situation, and once again Ms Pink you are trying to muddy the waters! Putin is criminally insane, and has invaded a peaceful neighbour, are you suggesting that Benjamin Netanyahu the Israeli Prime Minister is also criminally insane, which is a possibility I suppose because he has invaded a peaceful neighbour! None of the tens of thousands of babies, children, women, elderly, and disabled Palestinians killed by Israeli forces were members of Hamas. Hamas is a terrorist organisation, that killed 1200 Israeli’s and kidnapped at least 240 others. Israel is using tanks, artillery, and jet fighters to raise Gaza to the ground, and has killed at least 30,000 Palestinians and kidnapped around 7,000 more, and are holding thousands hostage, including children. I can see the comparison that Israel is a terrorist state, and defending the war crimes it is committing in Gaza, and the West bank is totally unforgivable, and you should be ashamed of yourself Ms Pink (AKA Peter Checksfield) so why don’t you come out and condemn the Israeli’s too if you have any decency, and honour?

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