Charities news from around Kent

PUBLISHED: 17:39 16 January 2011 | UPDATED: 20:41 20 February 2013

Charities news from around Kent

Charities news from around Kent

A round-up of all the latest activities and plans from our leading charities

Charities news from around Kent

Drive to improve

The new head of a childrens charity is promising to take personal charge of a big improvement drive at a special needs college after a critical government inspection.

Tom Pey, chief executive of the Royal London Society for the Blind, says he is concerned by the Ofsted report which gave poor marks to the organisations Dorton College of Further Education in Seal, near Sevenoaks.

Now the charity is investing 1m to improve standards after inspectors said the college which has around 50 blind or partially sighted students over the age of 18 -

was inadequate in a number of areas.

The Seal campus also houses Dorton House School, for five to 18-year-olds, and Dorton House Nursery, for two to five year olds. The last Ofsted nursery inspection said it was outstanding.

Dr Pey, who joined the society in October, says all the education facilities at the Dorton Campus will now be directly managed by the RLSB, instead of at arms length, as in the past.

At least new six front-line jobs will be created at the campus, which Dr Pey says will demonstrate the organisations commitment to ensuring the whole site provides an exemplary education for all the children and young people whom it is our privilege to serve.

What a cracker

The new John Lewis at home shop played host to two special afternoon tea parties this Christmas.

Working in partnership with Tunbridge Wells and District Age Concern, John Lewis at home welcomed 14 guests from the charitys Day Care Services centre, including the charitys ceo Sandra Springett. The guests enjoyed an afternoon of company and conversation in the shops caf, accompanied by festive-themed refreshments.

Tunbridge Wells and District Age Concern is an independent charity that aims to ensure older people have the opportunity to enjoy full and productive lives, with access to help and support if and when they need it.

The charity offers a range of services to residents aged over 55 years in the borough, including an Independent Living Support network and a Day Care Services Centre providing advice on health, exercise and personal care and social interaction through its programme of events and activity classes.

● For more information about the Tunbridge Wells and District Age Concern, tel: 01892 522 591 or email:

Canterbury diamonds

The Canterbury Branch of Save the Children celebrated 60 years of fundraising with a Concert and Gala Dinner at Shirley Hall, Kings School, Canterbury. The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, the Sheriff of Canterbury, and the Bishop of Dover were among the 700-strong audience who attended the event.

International pianist Freddy Kempf enthralled the audience with a stunning performance, which followed a clarinet recital by Eleanor Eden, Marlowe Young Musician of the Year 2009.

The diamond anniversary event raised a net total of 10,000 towards Save the Childrens campaign to stamp out poverty, illness, and abuse of children around the world.

For further information about Save the Children in Canterbury, please contact Carol Reed, chairman, tel: 01227 451192 or email:

Help for Heroes

Expedition Pyrenees 2011, an on road/off road challenge from Deal Castle to the Pyrenees across 1,750 miles is the first of hopefully many expeditions in support of Help for Heroes.

The teams will be set tasks and questions on the way through France, Spain and Andorra, following a point-to-point route via GPS with area mapping to find the answers.

En route the team will stay over in the village Oradour-sur-Glane, where in 1944 an SS troop massacred more than 600 inhabitants, including women and children. The village has been left untouched since then as a memorial to the people who lost their lives.

The aim is to have up to 40 teams enter, each paying an entry fee of 700 to cover the costs of the rally (ferry tickets, campsite fees, event fees, etc). Any unspent funds will be passed on directly to Help for Heroes as a donation. More than 15,000 has already been raised and the organisers hope to reach well over 50,000.

The teams will be responsible for their own charitable fundraising through the medium of BMyCharity:

● For further information, contact John Marshall-Redding, Help for Heroes Volunteer local co-ordinator, Kent tel: 01843 843638 or email:

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