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Plaques placed around Newington, Ramsgate to honour people for making a difference

By Connor Dunn

Plaques have been placed to honour people for their kindness, generosity, vitality and loyalty.

The tributes have been placed on buildings around Newington, Ramsgate, to celebrate people who have made a difference to the community.

Four plaques have been hung in the area and the people behind them hope it will inspire others to make a positive difference.

Jill Snowdon, Marie Thomas, Pam Bellingham and Elise Howard holding the plaques

Pam Bellingham, Keith Young, Dame Janet Stancomb-Wills and the volunteers of Newington Community Centre both past and present have been honoured.

Arts charity People United, a group of local residents and Big History Ambassadors masterminded the plaques which were funded by Heritage Lottery Fund.

Creative producer for People United Sarah Fox said: “It is such a pleasure to be able to honour local people who, through their kindness, compassion and empathy for other people have made a positive contribution to the place they lived in.

"We hope the plaques will be an inspiration to others to continue this generosity of spirit.”

Pam Bellingham in her Girlguiding uniform (aged 12) meeting Princess Margaret on her visit celebrating the 1,000th home built in Newington in 1950.

The plaque nominees or their representatives and family members attended an event at Newington Community Centre in April to see the plaques for the first time.

Pam Bellingham was honoured for opening Newington’s first dance school and Brownie group in the 1950s.

Mrs Bellingham attended the presentation ceremony with her husband Derek, sister Gill Ralph, one of the original Brownies, and daughters Karen Hunt and Rebecca Bellingham.

Her granddaughters Emilia Hunt and Niamh Bellingham were also present to share photographs and stories of the time she set up the groups for children and young people.

Keith Young was honoured for 'incredible acts of generosity to customers' including how he walked from Broadstairs in a snow storm to open the shop.

Keith Young was remembered as a kind butcher who always believed the best of people.

He was represented by his sister Jill Snowdon and step-granddaughter Rachael Goodwill who fondly remembered Keith as someone who cared about the people in the community.

Mrs Snowdon said: "It was lovely being at the ceremony, albeit very emotional.

"It's wonderful knowing that my brother’s kindness and generosity to people of the Newington community had not gone unnoticed and had been appreciated.

"We felt very proud and it would have meant the world to him.”

Dame Janet Stancombe-Wills was the first female Mayor of Ramsgate from 1923-24 and the first person to receive the Freedom of the Town in 1922.

Teachers Elise Howard and Alex Bole from Dame Janet Primary Academy represented Dame Janet Stancomb-Wills, whose acts of generosity included the purchase of the land for their school.

Marie Thomas from Newington Community Centre collected the plaque honouring those who work hard to give something positive to the community at the centre.

The plaques have now been installed in their permanent positions at St Christopher’s Church, the Spar in Newington, the Dame Janet Primary Academy and at the Newington Community Centre.

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