Community news: Ella Bella Cup, Monkton Nature Reserve, Global Running, Civic Society, WUSC, Diabetes UK, Your Leisure, Novo Bridal, Dane Valley Woods, camera club, Montefiore concert and EKHUFT

Ella Bella Cup

Ella Bella Cup

The Ella Bella charity match at Ramsgate FC returned for a second year on June 1.

Last year Jim and Danny Ward organised a legends tournament that raised £3,000 for six -year-old Ella Gonzalez-Bello who has White-Sutton syndrome.

Ella is non-verbal, non-mobile and has issues with sight, hearing, eating and development. Ella also has epilepsy.

This has a huge impact on her loving family, parents Samantha and Christopher and big sister Mia. They require specialist home improvements and equipment and while some of the cost is covered by grants, there is a £40,000 shortfall which family are seeking to fundraise.

This year’s match had players including Sean Welford, TJ Jadama, Warren Schultz, Alfie Paxman and former Rams manager Ben Smith.

A fantastic array of RFC legends old and new watched the Ramsgate select team retain the cup 11-7. An amazing amount of £1100 was raised for Ella.

Find Ella’s fundraiser here

National Orchid charity visits Monkton Nature Reserve

On Wednesday 5th June, Monkton Nature Reserve welcomed 15 visitors from the Hardy Orchid Society, a charity that promotes the interest and conservation of wild orchids – members came from as far as Carlisle to see the superb orchids in flower at Monkton.

Led by Reserve Warden, Andrew Wilkinson who with his team of conservation volunteers manages the habitats for these charismatic plants, the group found all eleven of Monkton’s orchids. Recent counts of the rare Man Orchid numbered over 700 flowering individual plants, making this population one of the most important in the UK.

He also showed the visitors a series of experimental treatments to try and prevent our resident rabbits from nibbling orchids – it seems that a home-made concoction of a garlic-based spray is most effective; science in action!

The reserve is becoming well known as a hotspot for orchid diversity; recent visitors have also come from London, Staffordshire and even Belgium to see these flowers. June is the peak season for flowering orchids, and they are easily visible from the network of footpaths around the reserve – come and see them soon.

Clive Nuttman, Adviser to the Trustees, said: “The visit from a national society is a real feather in our cap. Our reserve covers just 16 acres yet contains a wonderful range of flora and fauna with the orchids being the jewel in the crown; such diversity in a small area is remarkable and with growing awareness from ‘orchid fanciers’ regionally and nationally, this little corner of Thanet is a ‘go to’ place for these plants.”

Global Running Day – Thanet

Photo Graham Ó Síodhacháin

Global Running Day (June 5th) saw all those with a shared love of running come together to complete a 5k social run.

Starting from The Boating Pool, Royal Esplanade, Ramsgate, the run was open to all those who run or jog across Thanet to join the thousands of other participants around the world in celebration of a day that encourages everyone to stay active and healthy.

Jon Holl of Thanet Roadrunners brought all local clubs together to celebrate this global event for the first time last year. It proved to be a huge success attracting around 150 runners. This year, the batten was passed to Coastal Striders to lead the way in organising the event which saw an even bigger attendance.

Whether part of a run club, group, Parkrun or an individual, everyone was invited to join. Those representing running clubs and groups across Thanet were seen wearing their shirt colours with pride. Runners included those from each of the two Thanet parkruns (Margate and Pegwell Bay), Thanet Roadrunners, Coastal Striders, Alfie’s Striders, Thanet Athletics Club, Kent County Athletics Association, Vegan Runners, The Illegal Runners, That Running Club, Follow us Running and other informal groups.

Running has been proven to benefit not only your physical health, but your mental health too. Running with others has added benefits of strengthening social bonds, camaraderie, increasing motivation, energy and sense of enjoyment. The number of running groups joining this celebration of running highlights that it’s an easily accessible form of exercise in Thanet that is open to all. If you are interested in starting running or already run and would like to join like minded people, please feel free to get in touch with any of the running clubs listed above who will make you feel welcome to join them.

Margate Civic Society – New Walk

A new walk with local historian Robin Colyer begins on Saturday 15th June

Meet at 2pm outside Holy Trinity Church St Marys Avenue Margate CT9 3TN.

Walk lasts approximately 90 minutes.

Suggested donation of £5 to Margate Civic Society.

Booking by text advisable on 07878537448

Westgate United Services Club

The club has two events this June to raise money for its chosen charity – Community Kindness Thanet.

Community Kindness Thanet was set up by Thanet resident Sonia Knight in November 2020. Initially created to help just for the festive season it soon expanded to provide gifts throughout the year, from birthdays to Easter and more.

The scheme operates through referrals from schools, social services and Early Help workers to make sure those most in need are helped.

The WUSC will raise money for the cause with an evening of mediumship with Tracy Edwards on Monday, June 17th. Doors open 7pm for a 7.30pm start and is sponsored by NailsByNard

Tickets are £8.50 and available from the bar.

On June 28, from 7.30pm, there will be a fundraising quiz night at the club. Teams of up to eight players, £3 per player. There will also be a raffle and disco.

Find WUSC at 23 St. Mildreds Rd, Westgate.

Diabetes UK

Staff and volunteers from Diabetes UK will be in Broadstairs on Monday (June 10)  at the Tesco Extra, hosting a diabetes awareness stall for #DiabetesWeek. Please come and chat to us about care essentials and pick up information on living with diabetes.

See our website for information on essential healthcare checks – Diabetes health checks (annual review) | Diabetes UK

Your Leisure

left to right, Warren Reeves, MD at Your Leisure, Connor, Sports Foundation Member and Rosie, Sports Foundation Member (Ismae unavailable)

Your Leisure is proud to announce the relaunch of the YL Sports Foundation and enrolment of its inaugural members. The Your Leisure Sports Foundation is a dedicated programme that recognises and fosters sporting talent by offering discounted access to the facilities so athletes can maintain their conditioning and give themselves that competitive edge.

The Talent Programme is a comprehensive initiative, open to all athletes, including those with disabilities, who meet the defined criteria.

Warren Reeves, Managing Director of Your Leisure, said; “As a Leisure Trust with a mission to ‘To improve the health, wellbeing and lifestyle of everyone within our communities.’  We are committed to fostering talent and promoting inclusivity in sports.

“The Your Leisure Sports Foundation was paused due to Covid and we are so pleased to be now able to relaunch the scheme. Our goal is to provide athletes with access to our facilities so they can maintain and develop their fitness, or help them recover from sporting injuries. The initiative is all about giving back to the sporting community and being part of individual success and on behalf of Your Leisure, I am so proud to welcome the inaugural members.”

Joining the YL Sports Foundation are three talented young sports stars who compete in athletics and swimming.

New Foundation member, Connor, a National 400m runner, said; “I am grateful that Your Leisure accepted my application for the Sports Foundation, as I will be able to use the centres to improve my strength, fitness and recovery.”

Ismae, who is a South of England U15 Long Jump champion, said; “I really appreciate that Your Leisure accepted my application for the sports foundation. I am so looking forward to using the centres to be enhance my performances.”

Rosie, who competes for Thanet Swim Club at regional and national level and has achieved a gold medal, added; “I am excited that Your Leisure have accepted my application for the Sports Foundation. As a competitive swimmer, I look forward to taking advantage of the centres to help me improve my overall fitness and seeing how this helps my times in the pool.”

Your Leisure welcomes you, Connor, Ismae and Rosie, and hopes that you flourish with the support of the Foundation.

If you are a local sporting talent, or you know someone who is, and they meet the Foundation’s eligibility criteria, then applications are now open. Full details on the eligibility criteria and the application process can be found online at

To be eligible, applicants must be 12 years of age and older, performing at the county or regional level in any sport recognised by Sport England (excludes school sports) and must live within the district boundaries of our facilities, presently in Dover and Thanet.

Novo Bridal

Novo Bridal in Margate has announced a collaboration to support the new Mayoress of Margate, Karen Brinkman.

The partnership not only aims to elevate Margate’s profile, but also highlights

the strength and solidarity within the local business community. Novo Bridal, owned by mother and daughter duo Chloe and Marcia, has quickly established itself as a go-to destination for bridal, mother of the bride or groom and special occasion dresses.

It was here that Karen Brinkman first encountered the boutique when her daughter Sophie purchased her wedding dress.

Impressed by their exceptional service and the potential of their new business Karen, who is  a respected local business advisor, invited Marcia and Chloe to join Thanet Female Founders and other key business initiatives. Inspired by the announcement of Karen becoming the new Mayoress, Marcia was determined to show her support not only for Karen, but also for her beloved hometown of Margate.

Marcia reached out to the internationally acclaimed designer Veni Infantino. Known for her award-winning designs, Veni Infantino had already chosen Margate as one of the select few locations to stock her range. Marcia asked if Veni would supply a dress for the Mayoress to wear to the highly anticipated Dreamland Heritage Trust Gala Dinner 2024.

The Dreamland Heritage Trust Gala Dinner is a highlight of the social calendar, celebrating the rich history of Dreamland, which has been a cornerstone of Margate for over a century. This year’s gala promises to be particularly special, with Wayne and Geraldine Hemingway MBE, the creators of fashion brand Red or Dead, as the special guests. Thanks to Novo Bridal’s initiative, Karen Brinkman will don a stunning dress by Veni Infantino.

This collaboration underscores the collective ambition to make Margate a prominent destination.

Dane Valley Woods group

Dane Valley Woods walk

Our free annual walk and talk is next Saturday (places need to be booked in advance) June 15, noon at Dane Valley Road at junction with Kent Road, Margate.

Isle of Thanet Photographic Society

Exhibition at York Street Gallery Ramsgate from June 12-19

Tuesday-Saturday 10.30am-4pm and Sunday 11am-4pm.

Montefiore Day Concert

This year’s Montefiore Day Concert, entitled “Shir l’Dodi” (Songs to my Beloved), explores the theme of love and marriage. It includes Judaeo-Spanish ballads, songs from Yiddish opera plus wedding music from the Spanish and Portuguese, Ashkenazi and modern Orthodox traditions as well as music inspired by the biblical Song of Songs. There will be compositions by the Renaissance composer Salamone Rossi and by composers and songwriters of the twentieth century.

The music for the concert will be performed by regular guests, Benjamin Wolf and Eliot Alderman. They will be joined by Yoav Oved, who was a hit with last year’s audience, and by harpist Jean Kelly.

The concert is held in the grade 2* listed heritage synagogue off Dumpton Park Drive, Ramsgate, on June 16 from 3pm.

Tickets cost £20 (£15 to RMH members – you may join on the day to take advantage of the lower price) and can be obtained from York Street Gallery, 22 York Street, Ramsgate.


Or by post with cheques payable to “Ramsgate Montefiore Heritage” and sent to

Ramsgate Montefiore Heritage, The Custom House, Harbour Parade, Ramsgate, Kent, CT11 8LP


East Kent Hospitals

A healthcare assistant who joined the team with no care experience has won a place to train to be a doctor less than two years later.

Adam Croft, 23, works on the same-day emergency care (SDEC) unit at the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, but will leave to study medicine at St George’s University in London in September.

He initially only applied for the role after his mum, who is a nurse at the hospital, suggested it but said the experience had helped him decide on a future career.

Adam, who lives in Minster, said: “Working here, as part of such a fantastic team, definitely pushed me towards medicine.

“Healthcare assistants are at the heart of what happens in a hospital and I have had the privilege of being involved with a huge range of patients, which has helped me develop my communication skills as well as how I care for them.

“It can be emotionally challenging at times, but my manager Sarah is a great support, as is everyone I work with across the hospital.”

Healthcare is a family affair for Adam, as his father is also a nurse, working on the renal unit at QEQM, while his brother is a healthcare assistant in outpatients, but will study diagnostic radiography from September.

Adam, who previously achieved a degree in biomedical science, said: “Working as a healthcare assistant has been an honour, because it allows me to provide real personalised care and comfort.

“It’s a role that’s often overlooked, and while for me it has inspired me to go on to further study, it is also a valuable role in itself.

“Healthcare assistants are some of the brightest, kindest, smartest people I have ever met and we don’t recognise them enough or how important they are to our patients.

“I will miss working with the team – it is a fantastic place to work and it definitely persuaded me to pursue a career in medicine.”

SDEC manager Sarah Hyman said: “You can’t imagine my joy that Adam has turned out to be the person he is.

“I took a chance when I recruited him but the feedback from patients is excellent, and he is so lovely with everyone.

“He is such a gentleman, he is like a breath of fresh air.

“Adam is an excellent example of what a role as a healthcare assistant can lead to – there are so many options in theatre, pathology, phlebotomy, or training to become a nurse or a doctor like Adam, and I look forward to seeing him achieve his dreams.”

East Kent Apprenticeship Awards

The apprenticeship team at East Kent Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (EKHFT) have been awarded the highest prize at the East Kent Apprenticeship Awards.

Now in its sixth year. this prestigious annual event celebrates the achievements of those completing apprenticeships across the area as well as the public and private sector employers who support them.

Organised by leading Kent marketing agency, Pillory Barn, the Awards are open to all apprentices, businesses and public sector organisations across Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone & Hythe, Swale and Thanet.

Twenty-four finalists were invited to The Yarrow in Broadstairs for a special gala reception and awards ceremony on Thursday (6 June) where the winners in eight categories were revealed, including Carly Larkin and her apprenticeship team at EKHUFT who were named East Kent Apprenticeship Champion of the Year.

This award is given in recognition of the person or team who has done the most for apprenticeships over the previous 12 months with Carly and the team receiving praise for their ‘tireless’ work since 2017.

The Awards depends on the generosity of sponsors, and this year included: EPS Logistics, Morgan Sindall, Nuclear Restoration Services, Chartway Building Supplies, WW Martin, Otterpool Park, Willmott Dixon, Spyder Creative and Cactus Graphics

For full details on EKAA 2024 and to enter next year’s event once nominations open, visit: Follow @EKAA2024 on X, EastKentApprenticeship on Instagram or East Kent Apprenticeship Awards on LinkedIn for future updates.

Further afield

JP Live Forever Memorial Festival

Sponsored by Remland Carpets

Folkestone Invicta & The Dugout, Cheriton Road CT19 5JU

Saturday 13th July 2024

Tickets are available from:

The JP Live Forever Memorial Festival started in the summer of 2022 following the passing of Jason Prebble on New Year’s Eve 2021. The festival was created in memory to continue and honour the legacy that he bestowed upon everyone he touched. JP was a larger-than-life character and always wanted to give people the best of himself and asked for nothing in return other than love and kindness.  His continued act of kindness made his family believe he would have loved nothing more than in his memory to try and bring our community together.

The family also wanted to give back to The Three Wishes Project who cared for Jason and his family while Jason was undergoing end-of-life care.

The JP Live Forever Memorial Festival concept blends JP’s loves of Football, Music, festivals, and Family.

Adult tickets for this year cost only £5 with child tickets available for Just £3 including access to all children’s activities.

At 2pm, the continuance of former Kent football teams and fierce rivals Rendezvous FC and East Cliff Pavilion FC commences.

Indie cover band Turmoil return with their resident afternoon slot brought back to the event due to popular demand. The prime-time evening booking is the first Oasis tribute to play the event: OASIIS. One of the UK’s biggest Oasis tributes head from Birmingham to Folkestone signifying the growing stature of the family festival. Signing off the night will be up-and-coming Kent-based DJ Leon Hines as his club takeover Gruuvments will take us into the night!

There will also be kid’s activities, plus food and festival stalls.

Funds raised go to supporting future JP Live Forever Events as well as charitable donations toward The Three Wishes Project:

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