Charities news from around Kent this April

All the latest news from Kent's many charities

Charities news from around Kent this April

KAB looks back 90 years

Kent Association for the Blind celebrates its 90th birthday this year and wants to find out about some of the first people to be helped by the charity in the 1920s.

KAB, which provides a lifetime of help and support for more than 15,500 blind and partially-sighted adults and children in Kent, Medway and Bromley, was created in the front room of a house in Sittingbourne in June 1920 to provide help for ex-serviceman whose sight had been damaged during the First World War.

Some were suffering from the effects of shrapnel wounds and bomb blasts and many had suffered appalling damage to their eyes caused by exposure to mustard gas.

Charles Marshall, head of fundraising, thinks there must be someone out there who can help: “Could someone in your family, or someone you knew, have been one of those soldiers whose sight was damaged? Could your grandfather or a great uncle perhaps have received help from KAB back then in the 1920s? Ninety years later KAB’s work is more important than ever, with more than 15,500 people using its services. We would love to know more about KAB’s heritage.”

If you think someone in your family or someone you knew could have been one of these soldiers, please get in touch with Charles on 01622 691357, email charles.marshall@kab.org.uk or write to him at Kent Association for the Blind, 72 College Road, Maidstone, ME15 6SJ.

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On her bike!

Proving that charity begins at home, the Mayor of Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council, Cllr Sue Murray, will be holding a Charity Bike Ride on 11 April 2010 to raise money for her chosen charities, Carers’ FIRST and Age Concern.

The event follows the Tonbridge to Penshurst Cycle Route (regional cycle route 12) and offers an almost entirely traffic-free ride from Tonbridge Castle out into the countryside as far as Penshurst Place, some five miles to the west.

The entry fee is �2 for single entries and �5 for teams or families of up to six people, plus a minimum of �10 sponsorship.

To receive a registration pack, please email: mayors.office@tmbc.gov.uk or tel. 01732 8876005.

It’s a Knockout!

Teams from four different Barclays branches in Kent (Canterbury, Herne Bay, Chatham and Ramsgate) will be taking up the challenge to be part of It’s a Knockout! on 20 June in aid of Children Today, providing vital equipment for local disabled children.

Taking place at Mote Park, Maidstone, the day of team games involves dressing up in silly costumes, then managing a treacherous obstacle course, mostly inflatable, while being soaked or sprayed with foam. There’s generally quite a lot of falling over. 

You can join in the fun for free with a team of up to 10 people (over-16s) and all the organisers ask is that each team raises as much sponsorship as it can.

�–  For further information or a registration pack, please contact Emma at Children Today on 07912 308576 or Ceri on 01244 335622 or email ceri@childrentoday.org.uk.

Queen of Hearts

Helen MacGregor is running the Virgin London Marathon this month for The Abbeyfield Kent Society’s ‘Who Cares?’ Campaign, dressed as the Queen of Hearts.

This will be the tenth marathon Helen, a carer at Greensted residential home in Wateringbury, has run for charity and all of Abbeyfield’s 16 residential and sheltered homes across Kent are supporting and sponsoring her.

Helen has been running for 26 years but last year injured her knee and had to miss out on the 2009 marathon.  But with the help of her trainer, and her collie called Elvis who runs with her during training, she is fighting fit again.

To sponsor Helen and support the ‘Who Cares?’ campaign, visit our website and click on ‘links.’

Kent teens get switched on

Young people in Canterbury have been putting the finishing touches to their new improved community centre, as part of a project run by crime reduction charity, Nacro.

The ‘Switch On’ project helps  young people who are struggling at school, by taking them out of the classroom for one day a week to take part in community work. The sessions offer the 14 to 16-year-olds an alternative to traditional classroom learning and helps reduce the risk of school exclusion.

The group has been busy at the Prince of Wales Youth Centre in Canterbury designing a chill-out area and juice bar, painting a mural and also taking part in DJ and MC workshops. These activities give them a chance to showcase their talents and help boost their self confidence.

The teens involved come from local schools and after the project is finished, they go on to receive one-to-one mentoring from Nacro staff for a further four weeks to help make sure they continue to engage with learning.

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