THANET'S FAMILIES IN NEED - About Us
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Thanet Families in Need
About Us
 
Kerry Keating (founder and Director) 

How we began
 
Thanet Families in Need was established on July 18th 2012 by myself, Kerry Keating. 
I started the Thanet support group after having a lot of clutter which I refused to let my husband chuck away but was unable to do a boot fair due to dealing with a then newly diagnosed illness which had me bed bound for a year when awaiting diagnosis.

When my new medication started working and after intense therapy I began to want to use the many experiences I have had in my short life so far to help others in some way (aged 28 at that time) rather than waiting for the illness to worsen, also showing my 4 children that they are lucky compared to many so I decided to start a group page to give all the clutter, unused items, clothing, toys our family of 6 had built up to people that seemed to have genuine needs for the items.
Then family and friends started adding bits, followed within a week or two by the community getting involved straight away donating goods that were recycled back out via Facebook trying to ensure they were only going to people that actually had a need rather than just greed.

Within a month of starting this social media group, members of the community were offering their time to volunteer helping with donations, deliveries and collections while the support service was becoming a huge need which from day one was offering anybody help and advice on absolutely anything that I could help with and if unsure of the answers I would research for the right ones and within 2 months had started to sign post clients on to other agencies and we had information leaflets put together by keen members of the public assisting.

In October 2012 I was contacted by the former Margate Town Team Chairman who had been following our short progress and wanted to offer us the use of what is named "No60 High Street" at the former Boots opticians in Margate to run our services from while the landlord was seeking a paying tenant.

This opportunity was taken with both hands, with it being in our biggest area of need at that point when Margate was seeing far more deprivation than Ramsgate which has changed now to an equal footing.

It was a great little set up for the start of my learning curve working in the voluntary sector in the community.

The public helped us with the donations for the children's area which was set up within a week to help parents be able to relax when coming in for support.
Within 4 months of starting up, one to one consultations were taking place, my advocacy role had began and this was just the start of fantastic things to come.



By Christmas 2012, our first soup kitchen for the minimal homeless we in Thanet had been done, we were fully constituted with a mission statement and had just begun the food bank service, the first and only service available throughout the week in the area.

In April 2013 we saw the first of the Tory cuts affecting the people of Thanet with sharp rises in the need for food bank, families, couples and single people alike were starting to see it effect them and the demand for help with food just kept growing so as we have done since day one, we grew with the demand and immediately became a 7 day food and clothing bank with support and advice always on hand whatever the situation.





In that April of 2013 we received our first and only funding so far of £1250 which was used to barter with a local letting/estate agents, Parklands, to get Thanet's Families in Need into its first self reliant base 157 King Street, Ramsgate which we had for approximately 6 months funded with much thanks to an astounding £2000 donation we received that spring from a member of public. 
We have since had use of Paragon House in Ramsgate but the building was not fit for purpose and the landlords were far from community minded.

It soon became apparent that this premises would not give us the space for the demand of the services needed and planned so a new option was being looked at in time for the end of the lease which luckily was only taken out for 6 months initially to give us time to see if the base was right for us.

We have since had use of Paragon House in Ramsgate but the building was not fit for purpose and the landlords were far from community minded.

From November 2015 - December 2015 we were partnered with East Kent Housing for 'The Hub', a pilot scheme we were involved in thanks to East Kent Housing, assisting those in Thanet being introduced to Universal Credit, helping with money and debt management, along with turning point and Step Up which was absolutely fantastic for our old and new clients alike. 
In the summer of 2016 we were awarded at Kent Housing Group's awards ceremony for our work with this fantasic project.

We are now working with multi agencies including TDC, pressing forward with what the committee has been trying to highlight for well over 2 years with our last 2 previous council leaders which is the need for more community networking, emphasising how, with better local community networking we can bring a better service for both service providers and service users.



We at Thanet's Families in need are here to offer free advice and support to anyone in Thanet with housing problems, benefits, employment, support before/during/after diagnosis, for the disabled, less able and for carers, young parents, single parents, new in Thanet, no food and hungry - we do emergency food parcels for those in Thanet, gaps in payment, domestic issues, care leavers, people in help with understanding your rights, help and support in confidential matters and many unforeseen circumstances that people of Thanet, Kent can now turn to us for help for. 
 

We offer goal assessments for those facing more than one issue, we use a stepping stone to tackle each problem one by one. This can be a short term or long term support, whatever the situation we will do our best to meet your needs where possible.

We provide rough sleeper outreach for the homeless with supplies available during both outreach and our soup kitchen's held 4 days a week now.


We can show you how to feed your family on a budget with a trip to local supermarket..please ask for details!

 


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