Community news: Chartwell House, QEQM Friends, St John Ambulance, Thanet Rotary, Sea Scouts, IOTAS and festival litter pick

World Book Day at Chartwell House

Chartwell House World Book Day

On March 8th, as the world celebrated the joy of reading on World Book Day, Chartwell House by Boutique Care Homes opened its doors to a heart-warming gathering of young and old alike.

The charming community hub in Broadstairs welcomed visitors from near and far for a day of storytelling, laughter, and shared camaraderie.

World Book Day holds a special place in the hearts of book lovers everywhere, serving as a global celebration of the written word and the boundless adventures it brings to life. It’s a day to honour the power of storytelling, to ignite imaginations, and to foster a lifelong love of reading in people of all ages.

At Chartwell House, this annual event is more than just a date on the calendar – it’s a cherished tradition that brings together residents, team, and members of the local community in a celebration  of literacy and friendship.

Ahead of the event, the community rallied together to collect over 100 children’s books from generous donors in the area, ensuring that children who walked through the door would have a literary adventure awaiting them.

The highlight of the day was undoubtedly the heartfelt exchanges between residents and their young visitors. From sharing favourite stories to colouring in bookmarks together, each moment was imbued with the magic of connection and shared experience. Resident Gerald, with a twinkle in his eye, captivated the audience with tales from his beloved book Just William, imparting wisdom and laughter in equal measure.

Amidst the laughter and chatter, the Chartwell House team added an extra touch of whimsy with their colourful costumes, transforming into beloved book characters that delighted both young and old alike. From the mischievous antics of Where’s Wally to the timeless elegance of Mary Poppins, each costume was a testament to the enduring magic of storytelling.

Another highlight of the day was when Jude Coveney, Admissions Manager guided the children on a literary adventure through the pages of The Wonky Donkey.

Resident Patricia Sansby, brimming with joy, said: “I thought it was a really special day!”

Indeed, World Book Day at Chartwell House was more than just an event – it was a celebration of community, connection, and the timeless joy of reading.

As the day drew to a close and the children bid farewell, their hearts full of stories and their minds ablaze with imagination, the spirit of World Book Day lingered on at Chartwell House. In a world where stories have the power to unite us all, this annual celebration serves as a poignant reminder of the magic that lies within the pages of a good book and the bonds that connect us across generations.

Diane Collins, Home Manager of Chartwell House, said: “The day was about more than just books. It was about fostering connections, nurturing imaginations, and celebrating the beauty of shared moments. We are grateful to everyone who made this day possible and look forward to many more adventures in the pages that lie ahead.”

QEQM Hospital League of Friends

Marie Hepburn was a much-loved member of the QEQM Hospital family who with great dedication and wholehearted commitment managed our Tea Bar, Shop & Trolley well into her 80s. Prior to that she fulfilled other roles in the Hospital, completing 24 years of volunteering there.

We are delighted to have provided a memorial bench, which is in the garden at the rear of the Restaurant conservatory, in commemoration of her wonderful service to our charity.

It’s shown with Pat (who took over the management of our Tea Bar, Shop & Trolley when Marie passed away) and some of our lovely volunteers Helene, Maureen & Moira – all of whom worked with Marie. We hope everyone using the bench will think of her with a smile as Marie liked nothing more than exchanging light-hearted banter.

St John Ambulance Ramsgate

On Friday 15 March, St John Ambulance adult volunteers and Cadets from Kent will be giving free first aid demonstrations at Ellington Park Café in Ramsgate (postcode CT11 9TL).

Members of the public are welcome to drop by between 11am and 4pm and learn some essential life saving techniques including Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and how to use a defibrillator.

There will also be opportunities to volunteer for the nation’s leading health response and first aid charities in a variety of roles. For those who wish to support the charity without training fully in first aid there will be opportunities to join a local team of fundraising volunteers, helping to support St John through public-facing activities.

The event is supported by the local CoOp store, and the café will be providing free drinks and cake for visitors during the event.

Viki Rácz, St John’s Community Fundraising Manager whose territory includes Kent, said: “We are really looking forward to seeing members of the public at our event and showing them some free first aid techniques. We also hope that visitors will be interested in some of the volunteering opportunities we have available locally, especially new non-first aider roles such as our community-based fundraisers.

“We want to tell visitors more about our fantastic charity as well as equip them with some essential skills which could, one day, mean that they can help someone when they most need it and save a life.”

For further information about St John Ambulance and to discover volunteering opportunities and lots of free first aid advice, visit

The Rotary Club of Thanet

The Rotary Club of Thanet is pleased to be able to announce their Annual Band Concert on the 28th April at the Queen’s Road Baptist Church Broadstairs (

The Sandwich Concert Band ( are again the stars, having provided marvellous entertainment in recent years, this year there are popular pieces by Gustaf Holst, John Barry as well as Leroy Anderson, Lionel Bart, John Williams and Edward Elgar, all this and more. A truly varied selection.

Tickets are available for anyone with a love of good music. It’s a fun night out. They can be purchased at the front door or reserved in advance getting in touch with Rotary members Maria and Nigel as set out in the poster shown on the club website:

The concert provides the chance to entertain elderly Thanet residents, who will be Rotary’s guests, and to celebrate the achievements of so many of the groups who strive to make Thanet a great community.

The Rotary Club of Thanet also hope that the evening will raise funds for Their Cinderella Fund which is used to support good causes in Thanet. In recent years the fund has helped individual families, carers and the homeless, local foodbanks, children at Christmas and over the past two years local secondary schools with almost 500 books with our Literacy Matters campaign to encourage literacy among our young people.

More information about the Fund and ‘Literacy Matters’ can be found on the club website:

6th Ramsgate Sea Scouts

6th Ramsgate Sea Scouts have recently renovated the Ice House providing new spaces and facilities for the young people. This includes a new workshop for the young people to complete various badges including DIY and electronics badge. Unfortunately we had very limited tools, this is when CJ Sinclair stepped in and made a huge donation of hand held tools for the group to use.

This will make a huge difference and help the group in providing the young people with skills for life.


The Isle of Thanet Archaeological Society (IOTAS) is a long-established society, based in Broadstairs, which exists to promote the archaeology and history of the Isle of Thanet, sometimes venturing into East Kent or even further west.  We are affiliated to the Kent Archaeological Society and have other links with the world of archaeology beyond Thanet.

In 2026 we’re hoping to celebrate 50 years since our beginnings.  IOTAS has its roots in a dig directed by the late pottery expert Nigel Macpherson-Grant and a group of volunteers took place in the long, hot summer of 1976 near the Lord of the Manor, an area known as Ozengell.  What they found, a group of ring ditches including Bronze Age burials and Anglo-Saxon graves, with accompanying grave goods, has continued to fascinate down through the years.  IOTAS also later organised its own digs at Lord of the Manor in 2012 and 2013 and made new discoveries.

The Ozengell artefacts included some beautiful little glass vessels, amazing jewellery – IOTAS’ logo is a gilt Anglo-Saxon brooch (above) – and pottery.  A collection of the artefacts was recently bought by the Kent Archaeological Society (KAS) to save them from being sold and dispersed, and is being kept safely and conserved for future generations.

Like most of you, the last few years have been a real challenge for us!   As of March 2020, gone were our regular live talks, visits, courses and get-togethers.  We went online with some of these, and kept up a stream of virtual talks from other heritage organisations and guided walks round historic places to keep our members connected with the outside world during the pandemic years. However, we are glad to say that our programme last year was entirely live for the first time since 2019.

Now, like spring coming, we’re getting ready for this year.  Our last event in 2023, a Christmas get-together and talk on Palaeolithic hand-axes, included samples which members were able to pass round and handle, brought by our speaker Pete Knowles.  Here’s a taste of what’s to come this year:

Greenwich Royal Museums – with Royal Park behind

Our first talk of the year is on 22 April by our President, Andrew Mayfield, Kent’s Community Archaeologist, on his work with volunteers in Shorne Woods and other parts of north-west Kent. He has also been involved in running a project for the last few years, uncovering the exciting archaeology of the Greenwich Royal Park, and will give us an update on this as well. The archaeology of the park covers many periods from prehistoric to more modern times! We have also arranged a members’ guided visit to Greenwich Park, which Andrew is kindly organising for us in June, details of which will follow.

Anglo-Saxon glassware, incense vessel and pendant recently on display in Maidstone Museum (Ozengell collection)

Another fascinating talk, on 20 May, is by Kent Archaeological Society (KAS) curator Andy Ward, who will tell us about his work for KAS, and also more about the Ozengell Collection which I mentioned in our last piece. The illustration of the pendant highlights the trade links which the Anglo-Saxons had with distant parts of the world at that time. Research into the garnet trade during the Anglo-Saxon period show garnets originating from as far away as Sri-Lanka!  Andy will be bringing artefacts for us to see.  Incidentally, our logo, a brooch found in 1976 at the Ozengell excavations, is one of the artefacts unearthed there!  We hope that we will eventually get some of these artefacts displayed in Thanet.

We also have a series of lectures starting on 11 March by Dr John Grigsby of Canterbury Archaeological Trust, on “‘Faces of the Gods’: The background to some of the most mysterious and magical artefacts and traditions of the Ancient and Medieval World”. Although this will already have started, there should be spaces left for the sessions from April to August for anyone who wishes to join us.

All of the above events, apart from the Greenwich visit, take place at Crampton Tower Yard, Broadstairs CT10 2AB, from 7pm-9pm approximately and are open to all. Admission is free for members, and visitors are admitted on receipt of a small donation.

Do come to these talks and find out what IOTAS is all about!

For more details, get in touch on [email protected] or contact us via our Facebook page.

Text and photos by Margaret Symonds, Chair of Isle of Thanet Archaeological Society

Got The Love Festival Litter Pick

Got The Love Festival is excited to announce its upcoming litter pick event scheduled for 2pm April 11, 2024, as part of its ongoing commitment to fostering community pride and environmental stewardship through the “Got The Love Where You Live” campaign.

The practical application of Got The Love’s community-centred ethos will make tangible difference in the cleanliness and beauty of our shared spaces.

With the participation of local residents, businesses, and community organizations, Got The Love Festival will make a meaningful impact on the environment while promoting a sense of unity and pride in our neighbourhoods.

The litter pick will gather volunteers from across the community to join hands to clean up The Parade, Station Road, Canterbury Road, Crispe Park, and the Minnis Bay Play area.

However, the organizers are open to suggestions of additional locations that could benefit from a thorough cleanup and ask residents to contact them via their social media channels with any other ideas.

“We believe that fostering a sense of community pride goes hand in hand with taking care of our environment,” organizer of Got The Love Festival. “Our litter pick event is an opportunity for everyone to come together, roll up our sleeves, and make a positive difference in the places we live and work. We invite everyone to join us in this endeavour and show our love for where we live.”

Individuals and groups interested in participating in the litter pick event need to follow Got The Love Festival on social media for updates and announcements.

To ensure smooth organisation on the day, people are asked to  register their interest through the Got The Love Festival website or any of the social media channels listed below.

All necessary equipment will be provided on the day of the event.



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