Dozens braved the wintery weather to turn out for our first ever Give A Bag Some Life auction, which took place at the Comfort Inn Hotel on Friday 8 March.

The event was no ordinary charity auction. On offer was a huge and colourful array of canvas bags, beautifully decorated by members of the Thanet Good Neighbours Service which prevents the feelings of loneliness experienced by so many of Thanet’s older residents, by visiting individuals in their own homes, helping with shopping, decluttering, and dog-walking, or simply sitting down for cup of tea and a chat.

Service Coordinator Rebecca Bullivant said:

“We are really delighted at how much pleasure people have got from the project.

“When we started handing out blank canvas bags to our members to decorate, we thought it would be a fun way of enabling them to express their creative sides.  We had no idea the project would become so popular. Over the months, people of all ages and abilities got creative on behalf of our service, and we even received completed bags from New Zealand!”

Good-natured bidding wars broke out throughout the evening, with two bags eventually being sold for £50 each - thanks to the expert performance of Ramsgate Town Promoter Rebekah Smith, who was the auctioneer.

Rebekah said:

“When I heard about Give A Bag Some Life, I fell in love with it and jumped at the chance of getting involved.

“It’s possible that one day, we may all need something like the Good Neighbours Service to support us in our times of difficulty, and this project is a wonderful thing.”

Jackie Collins, one of our volunteers with the Thanet Good Neighbours Service, went beyond the call of duty by designing not one, but eleven bags, all of which contributed to the exceptional quality of the 70-odd bags involved.

Jackie said:

“I took part in decorating the bags because, as a volunteer with the Good Neighbours Service, I can see how important the service is. People are living longer, and I feel our befriending service allows people to keep their dignity, but we are there if anything starts to go wrong or they don’t seem to be coping.”

As well as raising much-needed funds, we hope the initiative will also encourage new volunteers to get involved.

“Give A Bag Some Life helped bring our members together in a really fun way.  It made everyone feel good and fostered a sense of community spirit”, said Rebecca.

“We are always looking for people who are interested in giving a small amount of time towards being a ‘good neighbour’ to some of Thanet’s most isolated older residents, and we hope this project acts as an incentive to join us.

“The project has been such a hit that we will definitely be looking at keeping Give A Bag Some Life going for as long as it is successful”.

Find out more about the Thanet Good Neighbours Service by calling 01843 609335, or emailing

Published: 18th March, 2019

Kent Coast Volunteering Head Office
Kent Innovation Centre

Millennium Way
CT10 2QQ

01843 609337

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