The saying goes “charity begins at home”, and with that in mind, we are highlighting five local organisations which do great work on our doorsteps supporting the elderly, the homeless, those in financial problems, children and families, and animals.

If you’re interested in donating, volunteering, or getting help for yourself or a loved one, check out their websites, via the link beneath each one.  You’ll find all the details you need there.


Caring Altogether on Romney Marsh is a registered charity, founded in 1987 with the aim of supporting older people, reducing loneliness and isolation across the Marsh and rural areas of South Ashford including Tenterden, Woodchurch and Rolvenden. It is committed to serving local people who are lonely or socially isolated because of old age, physical or mental disability, bereavement or being a carer.

CARM came about because local churches wanted to show love and compassion to those in need.  Everyone involved is treated with dignity and respect.

CARM’s services include Meeting Points, hosted in eleven villages and towns across their operating area, for those able to get out and about; Befriending for those unable to leave their home without assistance – by regular visits or phone calls and Reminiscence, both talking and musical, which is about sharing memories – a vital link for many, helping unite them with others and revisit happy times in their lives.

A newer initiative is Generations Connect, an intergenerational project with the Romney Resource Centre. Generations will learn with and from each other, sharing knowledge, skills and experiences, and making cross-generational friendships.

Volunteers are always welcome, full training and support is provided, and DBS checks arranged. CARM’s trustees (Management Committee) are also volunteers themselves.



“Because children can’t wait” is what Home-Start Shepway is all about – a voluntary organisation committed to promoting the welfare of families with young children, there at the times when parents need them most.

Being a parent can be difficult for so many reasons, and Home-Start volunteers provide support through practical and emotional advice in the home or by phone/online, so that parents can help ensure their children’s lives run more smoothly.

Building Bright Futures is a five year project, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, to help families make positive changes.  A one-to-one personalised home visiting service is designed to enable families to be better prepared for future challenges, improve life skills, and gain the emotional strength to deal with every day life.  Family Support Groups, held online and with sessions and activity packs for use at home and in the community includes advice on positive behaviour, support for children’s emotional wellbeing, improving communications and the learning gap between home and school – and of course, dads as well as mums are positively welcomed.

Sadly, not every home is a happy one, so Home-Start Shepway, with funding from the National Lottery Community Fund and the Garfield Weston Foundation, has launched the Enhanced Domestic Abuse Project (EDAP) to support women in our area who have suffered or are suffering from the effects of living with domestic abuse.

Women with children under the age of eight can access one-to-one support (by phone and online), with non-judgemental, emotional and practical support around all the issues.

Home-Start Shepway’s approach has been so successful that many families which have been helped have gone on to become volunteers or peer mentors with the organisation, passing on the good karma!



Lord Whisky is a lifeline for all kinds of animals, providing sanctuary to animals who become homeless or have been injured or abused, as well as vital veterinary care to owners on low incomes.

Founded by Margaret Todd MBE, the original Lord Whisky was a little Jack Russell Terrier belonging to Margaret and her family who was put to sleep at the grand old age of 22 years.  Lord Whisky was a bit of a character who need careful understanding, and as a result Margaret and her family realised that a sanctuary was needed to provide the time and expertise to cope with animals like Lord Whisky, and hopefully turn them around so they became suitable for re-homing.

Veterinary treatment of course can be very expensive, so Lord Whisky offers reduced-cost treatment to owners who receive certain benefits, as well as low-cost neutering for both cats and dogs.  Proof of benefits must be provided, and all treatment paid for on the day you see the vet – the consultation fee is just £10, plus extra for treatment.

Oh, and if you fancy a visit, the Lord Whisky Tea Rooms is – of course – dog friendly, and offers a full range of hot and cold meals, a full English breakfast, cream teas, home-made cakes and an ever-popular Sunday roast, as well as a browse through Lord Whisky merchandise, including jams, marmalades, chutneys and selection of good quality bric-a-brac.

The Sanctuary fundraises through a variety of activities, including Boot Fairs, Dog Fun Days, and even a poetry competition!

OK, so you have room in your home and heart for a pet?  Strictly by appointment, by calling 01303 862622.



Kent Coast Volunteering (KCV)’s vision is a future where our coastal communities improve their quality of life – through the power of volunteering and social action, to connect communities across East Kent, and help meet needs and improve quality of life.


The Good Neighbours Service is a volunteer befriending service aimed at reducing the loneliness and isolation many older people in our community can feel.  Not carers, cleaners or nurses, simply a friendly face who’s happy to sit and chat over a cup of tea to bring some joy into an otherwise lonely life.

The KCV Community Transport Service does what it says on the tin – essential, volunteer-led community transport services for Folkestone, Hythe and the surrounding villages, enabling residents to attend hospital, GP and dental services, as well as visit relatives, go shopping or attend social events.  Public transport is of course not always an option, whether due to personal circumstances or disability, or simply because it doesn’t always go the right way at the right time.  It’s a door-to-door transport service for those who would otherwise struggle or become isolated, driven by volunteers using their own cars (all DBS checked and fully checked).

The KCV Volunteering service can connect you with the opportunities above or help you find volunteering opportunities with other local charities and community groups in Folkestone and Hythe.



To find out more, email info@kcv.org.uk or call 01304 367898


RAINBOW CENTRE, FOLKESTONE (2022 Kent Charity of the Year)

From the centre of Folkestone and across the Romney Marsh, the Rainbow Centre supports hundreds of individuals and families facing crisis, debt or hardship every year.  The Christian organisation is committed to serving people of all faiths or none, recognising everyone’s worth and non-judgemental and respectful of everyone they help.

Put simply, the Rainbow Centre wants to help people out of crises so they can sustain themselves – and practically that means collaboration with other local agencies.

There is support for the homeless, including rough sleepers and sofa surfers and the Folkestone Churches Winter Shelter as well as Food Stop;  for those struggling to feed the family via Shepway Food Bank and the newly launched Food Pantry;  the Family Contact Centre provides a safe, friendly and neutral place for children of separated families to spend time with one or both parents or other family members; and Money Matters is a partnership with Citizens Advice helping people struggling with their finances to regain control and get back in the black.