A fundraising event for Oasis Domestic Abuse support service was held at the Botany Bay Hotel, Kingsgate, in celebration of International Women’s Day on Thursday, 8 March.
The event, which raised £1,000 for the charity, was sponsored by Craig Mackinlay MP and the South Thanet Conservative Association. Special Empowerment cocktails and canapés were served at the venue which was filled to capacity.
Guest speakers included Deborah Cartwright, CEO of Oasis, and Priti Patel, MP for Witham and the former Secretary of State for International Development. Those attending included newly elected Thanet District Council Leader, Cllr Bob Bayford, and Kent County Council Cllrs Ros Binks, Sue Chandler, Paul Messenger and Emma Dawson. Many TDC councillors were in attendance, together with a cross-section of members of the public. A generous donation was received from the former Labour Leader of Thanet Council, Clive Hart, and his wife, former Labour Councillor, Sandra Hart.
In a surge of support for the event, the local business community came together with generous donations of high-value prizes for a fundraising raffle. Prizes ranged from meals out in popular restaurants such as Wyatt & Jones, to gift vouchers for Lovely’s Art Gallery, Cliff’s Coffee Bar & Yoga Studio, Beautify by Dionne, Headlines hair salon, Gladwell’s pet store and many more.
The Botany Bay Hotel also waived the normal £150 booking fee for the venue and donated a raffle prize of a meal for two at their award-winning restaurant.
Deborah Cartwright, CEO of Oasis, gave a powerful account of the appalling suffering of victims of violence and told how until comparatively recently women could legally be beaten and raped within marriage. She also spoke of the many women who have turned their lives around as a result of being offered a safe haven to escape abusive relationships and the support of trained professionals to rebuild their lives and self-esteem.
Priti Patel described how in her former governmental cabinet role, she visited many Third World countries where women and girls are still under-valued. She told how they were fed last, coming to the table to eat after the men had finished. She also spoke with pride of how it was the Conservative Party that gave women the vote and the UK’s first female Prime Minister.
A member of the Broadstairs Society, dressed as a suffragette, complete with ‘Votes for Women’ banner, gave the event added authenticity.
Guests were entertained with live music provided by young female musicians from St Lawrence College, Ramsgate. Following their performance, Craig presented them with certificates of appreciation and boxes of House of Commons chocolates.
A highlight of the evening was an auction of an exclusive cruise aboard the USN P22 gunboat featured in the film ‘Dunkirk,’ valued at £1,200. Following a heated bidding war this was won by Lynne Connolly, Chairman of South Thanet Conservative Association. A bottle of House of Commons whiskey, donated by Craig and signed by Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, was also auctioned.
The successful evening concluded with a speech by Craig Mackinlay who pledged to hold an annual fundraising event in support of local charities.
Oasis is appealing for volunteers to work in their charity shop in Margate. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Oasis on 01843 290227 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or in person at the Oasis shop at 170, Northdown Road, Margate, CT9 4GA or visit www.oasisdaservice.org.