£5,000 Thanet Iceberg Project grant lifts 35 children off the ground by providing beds – The Isle Of Thanet News

Roarke says the project has been inundated with requests from families whose children don’t have beds

A £5,000 grant to the Thanet Iceberg Project has helped provide 35 beds for children on the island who would otherwise sleep on the floor.

Off The Floor is a program launched in April by the project, run by Alexander Roarke – known as Roarke – and Ann Newstead, who also run The Lounge community cafe on Westwood Industrial Estate.

The goal of the program is to build wooden beds and provide them to every family in Thanet who needs them.

An estimated 300 children in Thanet sleep on the floor, on sofas or share beds with siblings because the families live below the poverty line.

Roarke says Off The Floor has been inundated with requests for help with many families saying their children are using coats as mattresses.

Thanet Iceberg Project applied for funding from the Kent Community Foundation and received a £5,000 grant from the Albert Burns Children’s Charitable Trust Fund.

Alexander Roarke and Ann Newstead

Established in 2018, the Thanet Iceberg Project helps individuals and households in Thanet combat the causes of poverty while overcoming its symptoms. They run three projects, The Lounge, where the community can gather over a drink and snack, The Loft, where second-hand furniture and small household items are donated to those in need – encompassing the Off The Floor project – and Crossroads offer advice, support and, where necessary, practical assistance.

The living room

Roarke said: “When we applied to the Kent Community Foundation, we were inundated with heartbreaking requests for beds and bedding from families where children slept on the floor and often used coats as mattresses.

“Before applying for a grant, we spoke with a mattress manufacturer to negotiate a special discounted rate and contacted a carpentry company who agreed to help us find and custom cut the wood needed to make it. box springs.

“Since we received the grant, we have been able to provide beds for 35 children. A mom of two said to us ‘I can’t believe you would do this for us’ and when we delivered a bed to a child they said ‘What? It’s mine?’ before running around the room singing ‘I have my own bed; I have my own bed. “

Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive of the Kent Community Foundation, said: “We know from the Kent Community Foundation needs analysis report that Thanet has the highest number and proportion of children living in low-income families in the county.

“Add to that data showing Thanet residents have the lowest median full-time weekly earnings in the county, and it clearly shows how important community charities like Thanet Iceberg Project are. We have commissioned the needs analysis report to ensure funding is reaching the right people and it is clear that the £5,000 grant from the Albert Burns Children’s Charitable Trust Fund has been awarded to a charity supporting those most poor people in Thanet district.

“Our needs analysis has looked at where support is most needed in each district of Kent, and we have funds available for charities and community groups that support priority people. We encourage new organizations and those who have already applied to tell us about how our funding will make a difference for adults and children in their community.

The report shows that 24% of Thanet’s children live in low-income families and the same percentage receive free school meals. It indicates that many low-income families are at risk of falling into food poverty and debt.

To contact the Kent Community Foundation about funding charities and community groups, call 01303 814500, email [email protected] or visit www.kentcf.org.uk/funding

Project Thanet Iceberg


Off The Floor program launched to help hundreds of young Thanet without their own bed

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