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Information day will help vulnerable in ex-mining areas while launching local branch of Unite Community

By Beth Robson

An information day will be held for retired, unemployed and vulnerable people.

Gary Cox, founder and former chairman of the Kent Miners Festival, is organising the day in association with Unite Community today (Saturday.)

He is in the process of forming a localised branch, called the Unite Kent Coalfield Community Network, and so far there are about a dozen members but more are invited to join from the former coalfield areas of Deal, Betteshanger, Tilmanstone, Elvington and Aylesham.

Gary Cox

Gary Cox

It will be held at Betteshanger Welfare Sports and Social Club, Cavell Square, Deal.

It opens at noon with a talk from former miner Terry Harrison, a theatre workshop will be held by Gary Clarke, director of theatre show Coal, Lord Gawain Douglas, will recite his poem about the Kent miners and Darran Cowd, curator of the Kent Mining Museum, which opens this spring, will speak of its progress.

Mr Cox added: “This is a dual event with the emphasis on how we can benefit our local and wider community.

“The benefits on offer are numerous and could be life changing for many people living in our communities.

“Unite Community has invited us to set up a local group of volunteers, to help retired, unemployed and disabled men, women and children, in our community.

“If you are struggling to survive and you are in need of our help, by joining our group, we can help you obtain the many benefits that will be available to you.”

Among the benefits of joining are free personal and fatal accident cover, there is a legal helpline, assistance with personal injury claims with a Unite solicitor and debt counselling.

The event opens at noon. Soup and bread and butter will be served. Entry is free and donations of toiletries are invited for Deal Foodbank.

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