The Lord Lieutenant and Viscountess De L’Isle attended the Westcliff Conservation & Community Association plaque unveiling ceremony at Royal Esplanade, Ramsgate on 24th November. The original plaque, unveiled in 1926 by the then Prince of Wales, later Duke of Windsor, was stolen in 2015 and this new plaque, unveiled by the Lord-Lieutenant, forms its replacement, being 91 years to the day of the first ceremony. The original plaque was laid to commemorate the regeneration of the Westcliff by the Borough of Ramsgate. The new plaque celebrates the continued efforts of of volunteers from the Westcliff Conservation and Community Association who help to maintain this characterful part of Ramsgate which includes maintaining the Rose Garden, the Shelters and litter picking. Before the unveiling ceremony a short prayer was said by the Reverend Councillor Stuart Piper.
In his speech the Lord-Lieutenant said:
” I congratulate all those on the Westcliff Conservation and Community Association who together with Thanet District Council have worked tirelessly since the bronze plaque was stolen in 2015 to produce and fix the facsimile plaque, carved in stone.
Kent is a county full of volunteers performing a wide variety of tasks, which would go undone without your invaluable support and dedication. In this case you are maintaining a wonderful rose garden overlooking the Royal Harbour and out to sea which adds to the quality of all our lives. Thank you very much for all you have done in the past 91 years and for what I know you will continue to do in the future to enhance and maintain the historical significance of Ramsgate and the Royal Harbour.”
Square Pegs, a youth arts organisation for people with special needs aged 7-25 exists for young people who don’t fit in with mainstream activities because of learning or communication difficulties. The group which started 12 years ago, were very proud to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in November, the only organisation in the county in 2017 to be presented with the accolade. Beth James, Square Pegs Director, received the award from the Vice-Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, Richard Oldfield, at a special ceremony to celebrate the occasion.
The organisation holds five weekly drama clubs and monthly singing and film club sessions in Chatham, Maidstone and Canterbury for around 70 young people a week. The next planned progression is for Square Pegs to create a professional theatre company to build on the high standard it has achieved to date. The organisation has also applied for charity status and if successful, it will create more opportinites for funding.
The Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, Mr Richard Oldfield DL, representing the Lord-Lieutenant, addressed the audience at the Royal British Legion’s 70th Festival of Remembrance held at the Winter Gardens, Margate, on 3rd November.
The Royal British Legion is recognised as the national custodian of Remembrance and led the Festival of Remembrance with the Band of the Corps of The Royal Engineers and the Parade of Service Representatives and Standards. The Festival was an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices made by Service men and women and to remember all those who have given their lives for the peace and freedom this country enjoys today.
The Lord-Lieutenant and Peter Blackwell DL were in attendance at two of the many Remembrance Sunday Services held throughout the County on 12th November.
The Lord-Lieutenant attended the Remembrance Sunday Service held at Rochester Cathedral, before attending the wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph in the High Street and taking the Salute at the March-past.
Peter Blackwell DL represented the Lord-Lieutenant at the Remembrance Sunday Service held in Tunbridge Wells, where a record number of people gathered around the War Memorial to honour the memory of the men and women who have given their lives for our country. The parade included the Royal British Legion, 579 Field Squadron, the Royal Air Forces Association, the Freemasons, many Cadet Units, Scouts, Girl Guides and nursery-school aged children.
HRH The Duke of Kent visited three very different venues when in Kent on 9th November –
HRH was greeted by the Lord-Lieutenant and escorted on a tour of Folkestone’s impressive new museum at the Town Hall which The Duke of Kent officially opened on 9th November by unveiling a commemorative plaque. The town council was awarded Heritage Lottery Funding to support the ambitious scheme, which has allowed Folkestone’s history to be displayed properly for the first time in more than 50 years.
Jennifer Childs, Town Clerk, explained: “Folkestone has a huge amount of history but it was stored in various places because there wasn’t a suitable site in the town. The council was determined to bring these artefacts home and we are delighted with what has been achieved at the town hall.” Folkestone architectural consultancy Godden Allen Lawn drew up the plans for the scheme, which included extensive structural alterations, waterproofing the lower ground floor, installing a lift and creating new toilet facilities. Director Nick Lawn said: “It was a privilege to be asked to work with the talented team involved in bringing Folkestone’s heritage back to the town and giving it a new home in what is itself a fine building,”.
The Big Cat Sanctuary was most honoured to welcome HRH The Duke of Kent to the official opening of their new Jaguar Lodge.
The Duke of Kent gained an insight into the work being carried out at the sanctuary – supporting their four pillars of ethos: Welfare, Breeding, Conservation and Education as well as having a guided tour to see some of the incredible cats.
The Big Cat Sanctuary is a conservation organisation for wild cats which also offers sanctuary to retired and homeless cats and are proud to have recently launched an education programme within schools as well as being recognised as the Kent Animal Charity of the year with the Kent Charity Awards. With the knowledge and dedication of Managing Director and Big Cat Expert Giles Clark and the team, the facility thrives in its ethos to give the animals a fulfilled quality of life in captivity – stimulating them both mentally and physically.
A ceremony was held at the company’s Smarden premises, where HRH was joined by the Lord-Lieutenant who read the citation for the award. HRH presented the official certificate and commemorative crystal bowl to Managing Director, Terry Capps. The award recognises the company’s achievement of a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade 2017 and the occasion celebrated the momentous achievement which recognises outstanding sales performance in international territories over the last three years.
A tour of offices and factory included a practical demonstration of some of Premier Coatings protective tape systems. Part of Winn & Coales International’s world wide companies and agents, Premier Coatings Limited is one of the leaders in corrosion prevention and sealing technology.
The Kent County Council Civic Launch of the 2017 RBL Poppy Appeal was held at County Hall, Maidstone, on 25th October 2017. Among the invited guests was Mr Bill Cockcroft DL representing the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, The Viscount De L’Isle MBE.
The Royal British Legion is the UK’s leading Armed Forces charity, providing financial, social and emotional care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces, past and present, and their families.
Kent’s finest have been honoured by The Queen with the presentation of their British Empire Medals (BEM). Chosen for their outstanding and dedicated community work and public service the 3 recipients, Mr Henry Austin (Tonbridge), Mr Dean Faulkner (Sheerness) and Miss Melanie Hipwood (Sittingbourne) were named in The Queen’s Birthday Honours list after the medal was reintroduced in the Diamond Jubilee year.
The Lord-Lieutenant, Viscount De L’Isle MBE, held an Investiture at Penshurst Place on 17th October to present the 3 Medallists with their award, following the official announcement in June. The short citations were read by Mrs Louise Bryant, a Deputy Lieutenant and one of the Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets, Cadet Warrant Officer Bradley Relyea from 2158 (Sevenoaks) Squadron also assisted the Lord-Lieutenant during the Ceremony.
Mr Henry Austin has dedicated over 47 years as a volunteer for The Boys’ Brigade and has held over 12 positions in the Tonbridge and North West Kent Battalions. When he was made Vice President, he supported 15 other Boys’ Brigades, mentored new Captains and was instrumental in the inclusion of females which saw 10 young girls achieve The Queen’s Badge – the highest honour available.
Mr Dean Faulkner has dedicated many years to St John Ambulance since joining as a young Cadet. He was made a Cadet Leader at the very early age of 16, which was a considerable achievement. His continued dedication to the organisation was recognised in 1995 when he was made Assistant County Commissioner. In addition to this very demanding voluntary role, he is a member of the Isle of Sheppey St John Ambulance Band since 1976 and is an active fundraiser to ensure the band continues for many more years.
Miss Melanie Hipwood has worked as a Civil Servant for the Department for International Development (DFID) since 1993. She was instrumental in the successful move of this Department to Whitehall, which significantly reduced estate costs and enabled them to be one of the leading Whitehall departments in adopting modern work practices. It has been her outstanding service to public administration, ‘going above and beyond’ for the benefit of others, that she has been recognised with the British Empire Medal.
In presenting the medals on behalf of The Queen, the Lord-Lieutenant congratulated the recipients for their dedicated work on behalf of others.
The Lord-Lieutenant, greeted by Zach Miles, Abbeyfield Kent Society Chairman, and Leon Steer, Abbeyfield Kent Society Chief Executive, was in attendance and taking a reading at the Golden Anniversary Service of the Abbeyfield Kent Society held at Canterbury Cathedral on 10th October. The Service celebrated the Society’s fifty years of caring for the older people of Kent and included a performance by the Invictus Games Choir.
The Abbeyfield Kent Society is a registered charity that provides housing and care to older people at a number of locations in Kent and prides itself on its core values of care, compassion and companionship, based on Christian values and ethos.
The Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L’Isle MBE held his annual awards presentation at the Salomon’s Estate in Tunbridge Wells on 26th September 2017. Twenty-two outstanding members of the Reserve Forces and Cadet Movements from all three services – Sea, Army and Air – were presented with medals and certificates in recognition of their dedicated service throughout the County. In addition, the Lord-Lieutenant has appointed seven Lord-Lieutenant Cadets for 2018 who will accompany him on County engagements throughout the year.
The event was attended by the Chief Executive of SERFCA, Colonel Patrick Crowley with dignitaries from across Kent present to witness the ceremony, which was also attended by family, friends and colleagues of those receiving awards.
The Shepherd Neame Best Reservist Award winner was Lance Corporal Dan Campbell from C (Royal West Kent) Company, 3rd Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment. Chief Executive of Shepherd Neame, Mr Jonathan Neame DL presented the award.
Congratulating all the award winners, The Lord-Lieutenant said in his speech –
‘The Reserves are a vital asset to the nation, contributing to its security, its safety and its place in the world. They are made up of volunteers drawn from across society, who are trained and equally equipped to work with the three Regular Services.
These men and women are well-respected and well-rewarded: they enjoy the kind of challenge and comradeship which are rare in civilian life and yet are able to balance military service with their responsibilities to their families and civilian careers. In the words of Field Marshal Lord Slim they are ‘twice the men and women’ as a result.
The support that you provide to these volunteers is extremely important and I urge you to continue to promote their commitment. In particular, the volunteers need the support of employers that some of you represent or know; whether it is your giving Reservists time off to train or having Human Resources Reserves-friendly policies in place. Your help is invaluable and in return you have people, who through their training and time on duty, are a great asset to your workforce on their return to work.
Similar support applies to the four cadet forces. The cadets only flourish because of the dedication of the Adult Volunteers. I would like to repeat my plea for all of you to do what you can to encourage more adults to serve, as there is an increasing challenge to find adult volunteers across many civilian youth organisations as well as the cadets. The four cadet forces provide fantastic opportunities to the cadets in developing their life skills for future careers and adult volunteer instructors gain great satisfaction in seeing their cadets thrive from their training and care, as well as honing their own management skills.
You have also heard from SE RFCA about how you can help these marvellous volunteer organisations. I urge you to understand, support and encourage volunteer service in both the Reserves and Cadets.
None of this voluntary service is going to work without the support of families and friends. I take this opportunity to thank them for the sacrifices they make for such worthy causes.’