Sandgate Society – We Want To Support Local Businesses

Dear Sandgate Society Members

We have heard how helpful you found the Hythe list, and although we are a smaller community, let’s pull together to keep our village trading.

Does any member have a business in Sandgate which is still trading?

Would you like us to promote you within our membership and on our Facebook page?

Please come back to us with any details you would like to promote, so our community can see you are still trading during these difficult times.

Do keep safe during the extended lockdown – one day we WILL meet again!

Best wishes

Sal Kenward




Posted in Business, Sandgate Society | Leave a comment

Helping new businesses to grow for the future

In the latest rounds of calls opened for applications, there’s also a chance to create an enterprise hub to encourage local entrepreneurs for years to come.

These opportunities are available through the fifth and sixth phase of the FCW programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund, and interested parties are being encouraged to get in touch with their ideas.

Cllr David Wimble, F&HDC Cabinet Member for the District Economy, said: “This is a brilliant platform to nurture an innovative idea into something which is successful and also supports the local community.

“Our programme management team is on hand to help applicants in making the process as simple as possible. We want projects to succeed just as much as those behind the exciting proposals we’re looking forward to receive.”

Further details of the opportunities can be found here:

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Release The Pressure – Mental Health Support

Mental health support

Life can get really tough sometimes, but talking can help. We have a highly trained and experienced team available 24/7 to provide expert support no matter what you are going through.

Don’t suffer in silence: text the word Kent to 85258 or call the number below

Speak to someone

Text the word Kent to 85258 or phone 0800 107 0160 for free confidential support at any time.

Free expert advice from trained counsellors is available for every mental health concern, including:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • low self-esteem
  • money worries
  • relationship troubles
  • stress
  • suicidal thoughts.

Our 24 hour text support service is powered by our trusted partners Shout and Crisis Text Line.

You can also webchat with Mental Health Matters, an independent charity, who are available 24/7.

Posted in covid, health | Leave a comment

Reminder About Essential Role Of Community Hubs

As the number of calls received by the three community hubs based in Folkestone, Hythe and Romney Marsh reached 14,000 a reminder has been issued about their purpose.

Set up in March and funded by Folkestone & Hythe District Council together with charities, the hubs are working to help those who are vulnerable and isolated with no family nearby to support them during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Volunteers have given up their time and potentially put their own health at risk to deliver essentials, such as food and medicines, but the goodwill of the hub teams is being stretched by the potential misuse of their generosity.

Examples of the misuse include a volunteer delivering a prescription who found that the recipient had gone out for a drive. The contents of a food delivery, in another instance, were rejected because the items were not fully organic despite warnings that substitutions may have to be made.

Cllr Jenny Hollingsbee, Folkestone & Hythe District Council Cabinet member for Communities said: “It is disappointing to hear about this small minority of instances and we must repeat the advice that the hubs are only for those who really need help.

“What this wonderful team of volunteers is providing is amazing but it must be remembered that it is for those who have no-one else to turn to. Their friends may be elderly or isolating themselves and not able to help and family members may live too far away.

“I have read many of the messages in the thank you notes and cards which have been sent and have been deeply touched that together with the charities and voluntary organisations we have been able to provide a lifeline for so many people.”

The local hubs are open seven days a week. Due to the number of applications received volunteer recruitment is currently paused but this will be continuously reviewed. The hubs cannot be visited but can be contacted on:

  • Hythe Community Support Hub – run by AGE UK.

Contact them on: or 01303 269602

  • Folkestone Community Support Hub – run by Three Hills Sports Centre.

Contact them on: or 01303 316186

  • Romney Marsh Community Support Hub – run by Romney Marsh Day Centre.

Contact them on: or 01797 208590 

The council’s COVID-19 helpline is 01303 761116 (open from 9am to 5pm every day) or via email at . Residents and businesses can find out about help and assistance available to them both locally and get signposted to national support. Residents can also feed back helpful information or concerns about their community or individuals.

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To Sandgate Society Members

Dear Members

Well we are still in lockdown with little hope of an immediate let-up, judging by Boris Johnson’s comments this morning.

At least another month.

We are very lucky to be in this beautiful part of the world and our thoughts go out to those who are confined to flats without even balconies and unable to walk along our shoreline where the views help to soothe our anxieties and help keep us sane (along with the gin, of course).

As you may know from social media, our Treasurer Andrew Lawley has delivered a box of chocolates to all the residents of Homevale in the High Street, and is organising to do the same to the residents and carers of Well House.  We have received many thanks – even small gestures are appreciated in these times.

We gave assistance to The Dog House to set up their hot food delivery service, which was up to 58 lunches the other day; this helps ensure some people are getting one hot meal a day at least.

But we want to do more.    We would ask you again to keep an eye and an ear out for any neighbour or acquaintance who you think may need help but may not feel able to ask for it.  Please let us know if there is anything we can do or anybody we can help.

On our Committee, our Events Team are frozen in time – I am sorry to say our Summer Party will not be taking place this year.   Even if restrictions were lifted to allow such a large gathering, Saga would not be able to offer us the space for some time.

We cannot see as far ahead as December and we will be guided by isolation conditions for the over-70s and vulnerable members, access to a venue and numbers allowed.    We really hope we will be able to celebrate at this time – just watch the news!

Although our fund-raising side is suspended, our Heritage side now has the time to do lots of worthwhile but time consuming jobs which can now rise up the To Do lists.

Our technical wizard, Guy Valentine-Neale and our Conservation and Planning Guru, Rosie Sanders, have been liaising on heritage matters concerning our Grade II listed buildings.  They are working together on this and our website is being re-vamped accordingly – we will give you more details later but do please log on sometime and enjoy the easier way of navigating around our site. 

On behalf of our Committee, we send you our best wishes during this very difficult period, and hope you are staying safe, occupied and healthy.

We all look forward to seeing you “on the other side”.

Best wishes

Sal Kenward


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Incredible Response By Folkestone, Hythe And Romney Marsh Communities

A fantastic army of volunteers across Folkestone, Hythe and Romney Marsh has swung into action to meet more than 12,000 requests to help those isolated in their homes due to COVID-19.

Volunteers have been giving up their time to help others and support the work of the hubs since the middle of March. The three hubs, one each based in Folkestone, Hythe and Romney Marsh are led by voluntary organisations and Folkestone & Hythe District Council with grant funding support from the council.

The amazing response by 632 volunteers, who answered the call to assist the district’s three community hubs, has to date resulted in:

  • 7,202 welfare checks made
  • 3,555 hot meals cooked
  • 1005 loads of shopping collected
  • 724 prescriptions picked up
  • 27 walks with dogs

The above are only some of the services that are offered by the hubs.

In addition the council’s own staff have been helping residents who have rung or e-mailed its emergency helpline. The dedicated COVID-19 hotline has received 656 calls and colleagues have responded to 942 emails.

Cabinet member for Communities Cllr Jenny Hollingsbee said: “The district has really risen to this challenge and the response has been amazing. I’ve been closely involved with this social response and I’ve been able to witness first-hand the dedication and passion that has gone into providing these services.

“All the partner organisations, council staff and volunteers involved in this deserve recognition for the fantastic job they are doing in tough circumstances. I particularly want to thank the staff at the three hubs and the volunteers giving up their time and effort to help support vulnerable people in the district. The positive feedback we’ve had just goes to show that the residents receiving these services are so appreciative and that these hubs are really making a difference.”

The local hubs are open seven days a week. Due to the number of applications received volunteer recruitment is currently paused but this will be continuously reviewed. These cannot be visited but can be contacted on:

  • Hythe Community Support Hub – run by AGE UK.

Contact them on: or 01303 269602

  • Folkestone Community Support Hub – run by Three Hills Sports Centre supported by Citizens Advice and Kent Coast Volunteering.

Contact them on: or 01303 316186

  • Romney Marsh Community Support Hub – run by Romney Marsh Day Centre.

Contact them on: or 01797 208590 

The council’s COVID-19 helpline is 01303 761116 (open from 9am to 5pm every day) or via email at . Residents and businesses can find out about help and assistance available to them both locally and get signposted to national support. Residents can also feedback helpful information or concerns about their community or individuals.

For the latest on COVID-19 related matters locally please visit

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Folkestone & District Community Hubs

All three Community Hubs are being supported by Folkestone & Hythe District Council staff and resources.

  • Folkestone Community Hub is being run by the Three Hills Sports Park supported by Citizens Advice and Kent Coast Volunteering
  • Hythe Community Hub is being run by Age UK Hythe & Lyminge
  • Romney Marsh Community Hub is being run by the Romney Marsh Day Centre

For more information about the Community Hubs – how they can support you and where they are check out:

General enquiries regarding COVID-19 should be directed to the council, not the Community Hubs so not to overwhelm them with non-urgent calls.

Folkestone & Hythe District Council COVID-19 Helpline, open  9am to 5pm every day
Call  01303 761 116 Email 

For the latest on local COVID-19 related matters please visit the council website

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So, You Are Feeling A Bit Wobbly?

So, are you all feeling a bit wobbly? It sounds like there are an awful lot of people having reactions they don’t really understand. Here is some information and good advice which may help. This was written by a mental health first aider/therapist called Imogen Wall and is called Pandemic Anxiety 101!……

IN CRISES, WE START DOING WEIRD STUFF: Over the last week I have struggled to sleep, stayed up late into the night reading endless news articles, bought pasta I don’t even like very much, got angry with my mum for not staying home. My spelling is a disaster and I’m definitely drinking more. I’ve been a bit teary, and all I really want to eat is cake, cake and more cake.

From what I hear, I’m not alone. If you’re having a wobble, you may also have noticed all sorts of weird stuff going on. Are you arguing more, talking faster, struggling to sleep, restless, desperate for information? Or are you teary and overwhelmed, perhaps feeling a bit sick? Struggling to make decisions? Just want to stay in bed? Tummy upsets? Having palpitations, butterflies, headaches? Ranting, picking fights or getting into arguments? Laughing unexpectedly or saying random, inappropriate things? Developing Very Strong Opinions on epidemiology overnight? Or have you just completely gone to ground?

If you are feeling any of these things: good news! You are not going mad. And you are 100% not alone. You are, in fact completely normal: a fully emotionally functional human being. Congratulations! Why? I’ll explain: take a seat and put the kettle on.

WE ARE LIVING IN TURBO-ANXIOUS TIMES. Well, no kidding. We’re in the middle of an unprecedented crisis that has showed up unexpectedly (they do that) and which presents a mortal threat to ourselves and everyone we know and love. It’s frightening and it makes us feel totally out of control. And this is on top of anything else we have going on.

HERE’S THE SCIENCE BIT. When we are exposed to threats and need to deal with them, our brain springs into action. Specifically a tiny, innocent-looking thing buried behind your ear called the amygdala (fun fact: it’s the size and shape of an almond). It’s the bit in charge when we are frightened and right now, it’s in full tin-hat klaxon mode. Unfortunately, it’s a very ancient bit of kit. It came into being when threats basically consisted of being eaten by large scary animals like bears. You know that thing about when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail? Well, to the amygdala, everything looks like a bear. It’s also pretty basic, so it really only has two settings. There is no bear and BEAR!!!.

SETTING: BEAR!!!. Because all threats look like a bear to the amygdala, it preps you accordingly. There are really only two reactions to a bear about to eat you: fight it, or run away really really fast. So this is what the body gets you ready to do. It’s called the Fight or Flight response (there’s also freeze, meaning you just get paralysed). It does this by flooding your body with chemicals like cortisol, and adrenaline. Your heart rate goes up, you feel super alert, your breathing goes shallow, your muscles are ready for action. These chemicals are also largely responsible for a huge range of other cognitive/physical/emotional reactions like this in my intro. l In a group fear situation like a pandemic, this tends to happen whether you think you’re scared or not – anxiety is even more infections than COVID. Your body reacts even if your conscious mind doesn’t.

BEAR V VIRUS: Obviously this is all great if you really are running away from a bear. But we’re now in a situation where we’re being asked to do the EXACT OPPOSITE of running away. We are being told to sit tight. Literally stay still. Process large amounts of information, make complicated decisions, and stay calm. All while a bit of your brain is running around yelling BEAR! BEAR! BEAR! This isn’t easy. The result is an awful lot of stress and anxiety. And if you’re anything like me, you end up feeling really overwhelmed and having all sorts of reactions.SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: Anxiety isn’t just mental – it’s also physical, cognitive and behavioural. You will notice all kinds of things: stomach upsets, headaches, insomnia, changes to eating, changes to the way you talk. It’s also cognitive: it’s very difficult to think straight when you’ve got the BEAR! BEAR! BEAR! thing going on – so we also become very bad at making decisions, absorbing information and generally thinking rationally. Which is EXACTLY what we need to do. SO WHAT TO DO: well, the good news is it is possible to calm down. We can turn the amygdala from BEAR!!! to NO BEAR , and not just by distracting it with cake and tea.

Here are some solid, scientifically proven things you can do.

BREATHE. It’s so basic, but breathing exercises are basically magic. They work in minutes and you can do them anywhere. They work because of all the physical reactions the amygdala triggers, rapid breathing is the only one over which we have conscious control. Control your breathing and you are basically telling your body: it’s OK. There is no bear. Your body will then start to dial down the adrenaline and cortisol and all the other reactions will slow to a halt. How to control your breathing? It’s easy – and if you want help just put “two minute breathe bubble” in into Youtube. The golden rules are these:• In through the nose, out through the mouth. SLOWLY• Make the outbreath longer than the inbreath – imagine there’s a candle in front of you and it mustn’t go out• Breathe from the tummy not chest – really make your tummy go out when breathing in. • Do it for two minutes and see how you feel.

Seriously, try it – this technique is used by everyone from top athletes to the US military to help stay in control while under stress. There are all sorts of versions – from yogic breathing to box breathing to 4-7-8. Google them, mess around, figure out what works for you.

CALL A FRIEND: Don’t suffer alone. Call a mate – someone who’ll listen while you have a bit of a rant, or a cry, or a general wobble. Someone you can trust not to judge you and who’ll just sympathise. And if you get one of those calls, just be nice to them. You only need to be kind. You can’t fix what’s going on so just give them a bit of space to rant. And if you’re OK, call your friends and check in on them. Especially if they’ve gone silent.

LAUGH: it doesn’t matter what is funny – laughter is a huge releaser of endorphins. Silly memes, silly jokes, stand-up, rolling around with your kids – videos on youtube. The sillier the better. Also v good for bonding with friends, which will also help you feel less alone.

DO SOMETHING WITH YOUR HANDS. Yes you can meditate if this is your bag, it’s amazing. But if it’s not, and personally I’m rubbish, then trying to start when you’re already anxious is really hard. So do something instead. Cook. Tidy. Knit. Draw. Bake. Garden. Mend things. This is what nice middle class therapists like me call Mindfulness.

TREAT YOUR BODY: We hold stress in our bodies at least as much as our minds. Take a bath or a shower. Put on things that feel good on your skin. Use nice smelling body creams. Stretch. Skip. Do yoga. Dance. Eat healthy but delicious things – fresh if you can get it. All of these will help calm you down.

SUNSHINE. It’s SPRINGTIME amid this horror – enjoy it. If you can’t go outside, open the windows and feel it on your face. If it’s safe for you to go outside (maybe you live in the country) do it, while of course observing social distance. Go for a walk. Being outdoors, connecting to nature, is hugely calming.

STEP AWAY FROM SOCIAL MEDIA/THE NEWS: All it will do will scare you more and make things worse. Turn off the telly and for gods sake avoid the psychopathic digital wild west that is Twitter. Stick to sensible sources like the BBC and the NHS, and limit yourself to short need-to-know bits a day. You’ll feel better immediately.

STEP AWAY FROM TERRIBLE COPING MECHANISMS: They will all translate as BEAR!! to your poor brain. Especially don’t get drunk, especially if you’re alone (BEAR!!), take drugs (BEAR!!), stay up all night reading (BEAR!!), get sucked into conspiracy theories (BEAR!!), pay attention to ANYTHING Donald Trump says (BEAR!!). See? Stress levels going up already. Breathe.

BE KIND: to yourself and others. Now is not the time to go on a diet. Nor is this the time to start on Proust or makeover your life. You’ll probably struggle to concentrate, fail and make yourself feel worse (hat tip Laura Gordon for this bit). Don’t make this more stressful than it already is. Think comfort books, comfort telly, comfort everything. Everyone is wobbly, everyone is going to have a meltdown at some point. Understand that if someone is angry or aggressive, then they are also just scared. And eat more cake. Cake makes everything better.So, there we go. Hopefully a bit less BEAR!!. Now, that kettle should have boiled by now. Go make a nice cup of tea, sit by a window and drink it in this lovely morning sunshine. We are British after all. And save me some cake .

Posted in health | 1 Comment

Kent Council Briefing – Covid 19.

For residents in Kent, we face a huge challenge from coronavirus and its impact on our lives and work.

We are committed to ensuring we continue to deliver services – though we recognise that in these challenging times, some of these will be affected as we follow government advice.

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New Sandgate Website

Having taken the plunge int0 WordPress and, due to LockDown, now having endless time to sit down and do the work – I have created a new Sandgate website!

It will still contain all the information it contained before plus new information about Sandgate – but the cleaner, less cluttered lines, will I hope will make it easier browse.

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Creative Folkestone – Looking After Yourself And Each Other

In these unprecedented times, the creative community is facing challenges that we have never seen before. We must work together to ensure that we can continue to make and create in the future. In a series of news stories on the Creative Folkestone website, we will share the most up-to-date information available to help support our creative community of artists, creatives and businesses.

So far, we have shared information about financial support for individuals, artists and businesses. But these are incredibly stressful times and the strain can be felt on our bodies and our minds. We have started to collate a list of helpful hints and tricks to keep our minds and bodies active and feeling good. More at:

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Stay Home Save Lives

Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) for individuals and emergency measures for business.

A series of new measures to stop COVID-19 from spreading have just been announced by the Prime Minister. They include staying at home except for a number of very limited purposes such as shopping for essentials.

Please think of others – especially at this time. More advice here  For the latest information on Coronavirus, including the situation in the UK and information about the virus and its symptoms, please refer to NHS England guidance.

Posted in covid, health | Leave a comment Covid 19

Stay at home

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
  • If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Do not meet others, even friends or family. You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.

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