Community news: It’s Your Choice, 1st Margate Scouts, Margate Rotary, Co-op, pageant fundraising, St George’s Church, charity quiz and Ramsgate RNLI

Mayor Pat Moore cuts the It's Your Service ribbon By Nick Simmo Photographer

It’s Your Choice

Ramsgate mayor Pat Moore has officially opened It’s Your Choice activity service for adults with mental-health issues and physical and/or learning disabilities.

The service is based at Ramsgate FC’s ground and the official opening was also attended by club chairman James Lawson and members of the group.

By Nick Simmo Photographer

Gary and Dan Burgess, plus partners Kate Raines, Jodie Polidano and family members Steve and Michele Burgess, set up the service at the beginning of this year to provide a place for affordable and accessible activities ranging from bingo to sport and karaoke and arts and crafts.

By Nick Simmo Photographer

It’s Your Choice gives disabled adults the opportunity to learn, make new friends and engage in activities which they may have not had the chance to try before.

By Nick Simmo Photographer

The official opening was also combined with some Red Nose Day fun raising money for Comic Relief with face painting, glitter tattoos and soaking staff member Gary.

Mayor Cllr Pat Moore said: “I was invited to cut the ribbon for It’s Your Choice at the Ramsgate Football Club. There I was met by the Club Director, James Lawson. I was introduced to Dan, who runs the sessions for disabled people. He pointed out his family, mother – in -law, brothers and other members of his family and so many volunteers to help.

“The theme was Red Nose Day, with nose painting and for one young man, his head painted. There were lots of crafts going on, a game of Bingo, a super raffle for later in the day and a wet sponge throwing event!  This went down well with everyone, myself included, having a go at throwing a wet sponge at a poor man sat waiting for it and hoping  we were all poor throwers and would miss him. This caused a lot of laughs and cheers. It was an event with lots of good fun, lots of laughs and good natured banter

“I was shown round the pitch by James. It is a large area with undercover stands with seating. James told me they will try and accommodate any disabled organisation to use the football pitch and the clubhouse, which is also available for hire.

“If the grounds were filled to capacity, with each person paying £1 and even more on the pitch, how much could be made for charity? It might be worth a try.”

Sessions are 10am to noon and noon to 2pm on Thursdays, Cost is £6 per session or £10 for both sessions. Carers and parents go free.

By Nick Simmo Photographer

Call 07803083108

Email [email protected]


1st Margate St John’s Scout Group

The Scouts Group 1st Margate St John’s held their Annual General Meeting along with their Quiz Night on International Women’s Day.

The attendance and speech of the Mayor of Margate made the occasion even more special. The group had faced multiple challenges throughout the last year with the illness and death of their beloved Group Scout Leader John Marshall (Rama). A memorial afternoon will be held for John on May 12th at 1st Margate St John’s Scout Hut in Durban Road. Everyone who knew John is invited to join.

The new Group Volunteer Leader Ian Lowe (Hathi) was officially invested by Thanet District Commissioners, who also awarded the group as Thanet’s fastest growing Scouts Group in 2023. The leaders Danny Ward (Shere Khan) and Eleanor Beeston (Squishy) received service awards for 30 and 5 years. Leading section members received their annual awards for Scouting in 2023.

The Group would like to thank all the participants and supporters for their generous donations, which made the Quiz Night a massive success. Vital funds for renovations of the Scouts Hut were gathered. Special thanks go to the Mayor of Margate and Thanet District Scouts for their attendance on this evening of celebrations!

1st Margate Scouts are also looking for new members and volunteers in all sections, everyone is welcome.

Contact: [email protected]

Rotary Club of Margate

Rotary Club of Margate presents an exciting evening of Opera in Minster on 27th April.

‘Coming Home’ features Baritone Alaric Green, Mezzo Soprano Shana Moron-Caravet, pianist Emelia Noack-Wilkinson and Tenor Emry Lloyd Jones plus Thanet Male Voice Choir.

It will be held on April 27, 6.45pm-9.45pm, at St Mary the Virgin Church in Minster.

Proceeds will be donated to Oasis Charity and the QEQM League of Friends.

Tickets cost £32, including a glass of fizz, and are limited so book early to avoid disappointment by emailing [email protected]

Ramsgate Co-op

On Friday there was a collaboration between Ramsgate Coop store and their two local community fund recipients, Ellington Park Community Cafe and St Johns Ambulance, to provide advice and demonstrations on how to perform CPR and use a community defibrillator.

The Inspire event took place within the cafe area and free refreshments were provided for those that attended.

Pageant fundraising

A Tesco delivery driver from Broadstairs has entered a natural beauty pageant to raise money for charity and is looking for sponsors, raffle prizes and general support.

Emily McDonald, 23, said: “Since getting the finalist title of Miss Glamour South East Kent it has opened up a whole new opportunity for fundraising as people tend to support me more now than they did last year.

“ I have thrown a successful last minute fundraiser for A-Sisterhood an organisation close to my heart and also been invited to many social events where I have attended to support others who are also doing amazing things for the community and local charities. “As part of the latest pageant I will be fundraising for Young Minds and have the opportunity to overcome so many insecurities by stepping out of my comfort zone and walking on the stage to raise as much as possible for fantastic causes.

“It doesn’t come without a cost however and if any local businesses could help sponsor me or donate prizes for fundraising raffles I will be proud to support in return and get them lots of exposure within the Kent pageant community and the rest of the UK.

“In the past I have collected over 200 Easter eggs and donated these to a local primary school. I also made up some hampers full of tea, coffee, sugar and similar for the local fire, ambulance, police and RNLI stations.

“ I am currently looking for sponsors as well as raffle prizes for my quiz and raffle that’s being held on April, 6 at Roostys bakery function room (Northwood Road, Broadstairs).

Find out more on Emily’s pageant page – Miss Glamour South East Kent 2024.

St George’s Church Ramsgate

Photo Frank Leppard

It was a busy month at St George’s in February, with two concerts offering very different takes on the theme of Love.

St George’s welcomed Coastal Choir and the  BradUKES Ukelele group who put on a fantastic concert of pop, rock, folk and musical theatre, all on the theme of Love. Thanks to the enormous generosity of those involved in putting on this event – The OFFY of Whitstable who supplied the bar and James Brown AV who provided the lighting, all proceeds from the event went to the St George’s Community Meal.

St George’s Regeneration Officer Jemima Brown said: ‘This was a brilliant event and  it was fantastic to raise over £2,000 to help us continue to fund the Community Meal. We are truly blessed with love for our community!”

A couple of weeks later, in collaboration with artist Jemima Sara the church presented ‘SEE WHAT LOVE’, which was an epic night of music featuring Margate’s Social Singing Choir, the beautiful  Starlingsworld  and the extraordinary Ziah Ziah.

On Friday 22nd March St George’s will be pleased to see Neptune’s Choir return for

their Spring Concert, where the choir will be joined by Thomas Abrahams. Doors open at 6.30pm for a 7pm concert and this year’s proceeds will go to supporting Pie Factory Music.

Tickets are £10 and can be purchased at

St George’s Church, Church Hill, Ramsgate

Thanet Quizzes

A charity fun quiz will be held at Westgate Social Club on Thursday, March 28 in aid of Angels 4 Dogs.

Event opens at 7pm for an 8pm start. Teams of up to six, cost £5pp, no need to book.

Ramsgate RNLI water safety

Our RNLI Water Safety Advisors were invited into Sandown Primary School in Deal.

The water safety education presenters based at Ramsgate RNLI regularly visit schools in both Thanet and the surrounding area. Most recently they spent the day at Sandown Primary School in Deal where they spoke about sea, beach and river safety with children ranging in ages from 4 to 11.

It’s essential that our children are taught the basics regarding Water Safety especially for those living by the coast. If any school or youth group would like to take advantage of this free service then please contact the station or message us on social media.

Ramsgate RNLI scroll

L-R Jill Basson, John Ray, Neil Morgans, John Miller , Eric Burton and Chris Smith. By Steve Burton.

Last Sunday morning the Scrollmarking 200 years of the RNLI  arrived at the RNLI Ramsgate Station, driven by Chris Smith, the Bicentennial Event Driver. His job is to drive the scroll all around the country visiting all the RNLI stations.

His rather smart van, supplied by Ford, is a specially designed all-electric E-Transit van to transport the scroll from one RNLI community to the next.

The scroll started its journey on Monday 4th March after being presented as part of the Service of Celebration at Westminster Abbey. It was signed there by the Dean of Westminster, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and our President HRH the Duke of Kent as well as Chief Executive Mark Dowie.

If you look carefully at the signatures you will see that there are two spaces, one for the Patron, which was Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Hopefully when HRH King Charles III has recovered he will take over this role and so the space has been left blank for the time being. The second space is for the new RNLI Chief Executive Peter Sparkes who takes over in June 2024.

The starting point for the scrolls journey was Westminster, and since then Chris has visited Tower Lifeboat Station, Chiswick Lifeboat Station, Teddington Lifeboat Station, Egham Fund Raisers, High Wycombe Fund Raisers, Selsey Lifeboat Station, Hayling Island Lifeboat Station, Emsworth, Walmer and Southend before visiting Ramsgate. The journey will continue onto Margate and then around the UK until it ends its journey in October in Douglas, Isle of Man, the former home of Sir William Hillary.

On this scroll is the RNLI’s One Crew pledge, in which they promise their commitment to saving every one they can, without judgment – staying true to Sir William Hillary’s vision when he founded the charity in 1824. There is also a recording of different crew speaking the words of the pledge that was played before the team at Ramsgate signed it.

During its journey, the scroll will be kept safe in a bespoke case – made from the same materials used to build and maintain our lifeboats, stations and lifeguard units and which was crafted by apprentices on the Isle of Wight.

The spindle attached to the scroll was made by the team at the All-weather Lifeboat Centre in Poole. To commemorate our heritage, Technician Boatbuilder David Martin crafted the spindle ends using a 19th-century flagpole from Ramsey Lifeboat Station, Isle of Man. This flagpole dates back to the early 1890s, when Ramsey’s Norbury Boathouse was built.

The scroll itself is made of bamboo and so the signees were asked to practise their signatures first as the texture of the paper is different.

In total seven representatives from Ramsgate signed the scroll, and as luck would have it as they were signing early on, their signatures will be on the front page of the scroll.

The representatives felt very proud as they signed the scroll, it was a moment in history and something that is hopefully part of another two hundred years of RNLI history.

The signees were John Miller volunteer staff from the Ramsgate RNLI shop, Emma Sutton volunteer crew, Clive Nichols mechanic, Eric Burton Lifeboat Management Chair, John Ray Water Safety team, Neil Morgans for the Lifeguards and Jill Basson for the Fundraisers.