/ About Ramsgate
/ Newington Community Update
I have been involved with Newington Big Local for quite a few years, it never ceases to amaze me what happens there. The ladies who run the Newington Community Association and the Big Local are astounding.
At the Centre they run a youth club, the Newington Chill Club, and before lockdown they had a Breakfast club. The Club would help parents taking children to school to have somewhere to go for a tea or coffee and a chat. The volunteers at Newington are always on the lookout for events to put on. The Copse area is being refurbished and will be available for schools to bring in children to go round it and for younger ones to have a walk in a wooded area.
Before the lockdown Cara, the manager at Newington Community Centre, had an idea to make up food bags for people who would need extra food. This would cost £5 a bag. I was roped in to test drive this idea.
I bought a bag for £5 and wrote a review of what food I had in it and how many meals I could make out of it (four).
Since the lockdown, these bags have been a life saver to many residents of Newington. Entertainment bags were made up for children to give them something to do while they could not go out. These along with food bags helped to keep children occupied.
Some days the volunteers would start at 8am, clearing a space for new food deliveries. Then Cara and a volunteer would drive to Ashford to the FareShare Food distribution centre to collect food. To have it delivered would cost a few pounds, so to save money, they picked it up themselves.
Taking it back to the centre with other food donated by all our local supermarkets, who have done us proud, the volunteers would then offload the van and start to sort the food into bags. I have seen them lined up like a conveyer belt, filling bags and moving on to another. Then comes the delivery. With one volunteer to drive the van and another to deliver the bags, sometimes they didn’t finish until 8pm after clearing up and getting free food ready to go on a table in the doorway for use by anyone who needed it overnight.
My input to this has been by giving my Ramsgate Town Council Ward Funding to help buy a commercial sized fridge and a commercial size freezer, these would enable the Centre to hold more fresh food to give out.
The volunteers have delivered food bags to Thanet as a whole and not just Newington - they went wherever they could to help. They have given any spare food to the Salvation Army in Ramsgate who also do a magnificent job in the community.
Councillor Pat Moore