On November 12th at The Falstaff Hotel we presented this year’s Ramsgate Society’s Civic Champion Awards to:

  • The Ramsgate Town Technician Team in the community category
  • The Discovery Planet CIC in the education category

In attendance at the event were Ramsgate mayor Raushan Ara, town councillors Ann-Marie Nixey and Jane Hetherington and members of The Ramsgate Society, including chairman John Walker.

The Ramsgate Town Technician Team of Chris Barton, Maxine Morgan, Gary Mills, Joshua Matthews and Shaun Pengilly were roundly praised for their service to the community and for regularly working over and above their job descriptions. In her explanation of the decision to make the award, Sue Gyde listed many examples of extra help that we have experienced for the Ramsgate Society while knowing that other community groups and charities have received similar support that we do not always know about. In her own words ” Even though only 5 members they are everywhere and they see to do the work of twenty”.

Discovery Planet was founded by Xanthe Pitt and Nikki Hildesley in 2013. Their objective is to bring enriching educational experiences into the heart of disadvantaged communities along the east Kent coast and to increase the participation of an underserved community in their own learning. As well as providing an accessible way to learn, Discovery Planet provides a focus for children, families and adults to weave ideas about science, technology engineering & maths into their everyday lives.

In early 2020 Discovery Planet was awarded funding from the Science and Technology Facilities Council  which enabled them to secure the venue in Ramsgate High Street in partnership with Kent University. At this point Vicky Mason from the university joined forces with Xanthe and Nikki. The grant has enabled Discovery Planet to run a 2 year programme of free science workshops for schools and the wider community.

Competition judges were particularly impressed with the commitment of Discovery Planet to widening participation and to finding ways to engage hard-to-reach audiences. They applauded collaborative projects with organisations like Arts in Ramsgate and London Array and their pioneering work with those of Special Educational Needs and a young migrant youth group.