Thursday, 28 May 2009

Online petition supporting Kent & British Food

We have received the following from Frazer Thompson (of the English Wines Group) and thought there might others of you who would also want to add your names to the No 10 online petition

"We passionately support Kent business and the need to support local products and services.

Sign our petition and you can not only give the Government an even bigger headache, but also support our County's fantastic Food and Drink businesses!

This isn't some Nationalist scheme advocating isolationism - just a way of ensuring that our food and drink culture starts to become embedded in our thinking and for our obsession with price to be tempered by our awareness of the economic, environmental and social benefits of local sourcing and our pride at the quality of our local produce. KCC have been fantastic supporters of this cause and we'd like that attitude to spread. It starts with HM Government... Sign up now please!

Click this link then respond to confirm as instructed.

Any help you can give to passing this message on would be appreciated

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Special Offer for Chamber Members

Chamber members Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway are offering their exclusive dining train again on Saturday 6th June and a few tickets still remain.

If you would like an evening out with a difference on one of the longest evenings of the year then please give our ticket hotline a call any day between 09.00 and 5.00 on 01797 363256.

Tickets normally cost £40 per person and include a welcome drink, a four course meal at Dungeness, the train ride in one of our first class coaches, which includes the return journey after dark, a particularly magical experience.

Chamber members get 10% off so tickets are only £36 each - a bargain - hope to see you there.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Twitter -

FletchMcGull from Sagittarius and Jo Dodds from Counterpoint Networking and Caroline from the Chamber have just been videoed for a piece for the BBC about Twitter for Business Networking - you can see it here!

Monday, 18 May 2009

New Superstore for Hythe

Board members met today with planning consultants from Sainsbury to discuss their proposals for the Military Road - Hythe site bought earlier this year from Smith Medical. .

The board learned that 300 new jobs would be created by the re-development of this 34,000 sq ft shop, with 270 free car parking spaces. The design is more aesthetically pleasing than the existing buildings and we are confident that any design/parking/access issues can be resolved through consultations starting with the community this week.

The Local Household survey conducted for Sainsbury revealed that 63% of Hythe residents currently leave the town to do their main food shop - we believe that having a store such as Sainsbury in the town will help stem the flow of people, increase choice and encourage more people to shop on the high street. In recognition of Hythe's outstanding tourism offer we have encouraged Sainsbury to explore opportunities to boost tourism/social events in the town through the use of a Section 106 arrangement with an example given of a local town hopper bus service.

Too many times in the past Hythe have turned down or opposed opportunities that could have improved the town for the benefit of all. In the current economic environment we cannot afford to say No to these proposals, we need to work with Sainsbury's to get the best possible outcome for our community as a whole - including residents, young people looking for work and independent traders.

We would encourage local businesses and residents to pop along to Hythe town hall on Wednesday and Thursday of this week between 2pm and 8pm to learn more about the proposals.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Silver Surfers Day

Try Something New Today - Online

@Sainsburys Park Farm, Folkestone

As part of our Digital Mentoring programme we are organising a taster day – with a difference. We will be setting up laptops with mobile internet (thanks to chamber members o2) at Sainsbury in Park Farm, Folkestone from 10am until 4.00pm on Friday 15th May.

The aim is to get people to try something new and take their first steps online. We are looking for some volunteers from the business community to help – if you can volunteer an hour or more of your time we would be most grateful to book a time slot please call Tracy on 01303 270022.

You can find out more about Silver Surfers day at and if you cant take part in our initiative, why not organise you own, invite an over 50 into the office to take their first steps getting on line.

Digital Mentors

The scheme will be bringing together business people who are willing to share their knowledge and experience of the Internet with other people in the community who are interested in getting to grips with new technology. These volunteer Business Mentors will work alongside a range of local voluntary and community groups and their clients to achieve their digital goals.

This mentoring scheme will help drive significant cultural and social change within Folkestone by enabling participants of all ages to make full use of the Internet, using email, podcasts, on line publishing tools and Social Networking sites.

Everyone will be encouraged to make full use of the range of support groups and facilities that already exist within the local community. They will also be encouraged to access the Internet and to take advantage of the expanding 'social networking' opportunities in an effort to improve access to the public services available to them and the wider benefits the digital age has to offer.

Initial levels of interest have been most encouraging - at the moment we are asking would be mentors to sign up with a profile on and we will be in touch with details of training sessions and when we can start.

If you are a potential mentoree or run a voluntary or third sector group in Folkestone that could benefit from support from a mentor to help access these technologies - please call Caroline Chambers on 01303 270022.

Why Are We Running Digital Mentors?
Recently we set up a Facebook group to garner support for keeping the Leas Cliff Lift Open. Within 2 weeks the group had grown to over 2,800 members - from Shepway and nationwide - sharing their views, opinions and offering support for the campaign.

Our Social Networking Explained Course has enabled members of the business community to use these tools to help grow and expand their business. This blog is tweeted and shared with over 1,200 users on Twitter. The possibilities are endless!

Social Networking and Web 2.0 open up all sorts of opportunities for individuals to share photographs with their families, to shop online, access government services, campaign and lobby their council, find out about new products and services and be part of a connected communication process.

Many parts of our community here in Folkestone are simply not able to access these tools, and our new Digital Mentors project aims to connect those that can with those that need.

This project has been made possible by support from Awards for All and the East Kent and Coastal Primary Health Care Trust. Our mentoring scheme will encourage local businesses in Folkestone to support their local community both directly and in conjunction with the voluntary sector, in more ways than just giving money. It gives their staff a real and direct link to the wider community.

Why not join us?