Cheerful Sparrows illustration from 1929
The Cheerful Sparrows lapel badge from the early 1900 s
The Cheerful Sparrows (formerly the Brotherhood of the Cheerful Sparrows) was founded during the Boer War. Mr Sparrow, a friendly, popular porter at Honor Oak Railway Station joined the volunteer corps to fight in South Africa. There was no provision for his family whilst he was away, and so the city commuters made regular weekly collections to support his wife and children. This idea gained popular appeal and Cheerful Sparrow branches were formed countrywide, to provide financial help for the poor and needy.
The Thanet (formerly Margate) branch was formed in 1925. It is believed that this branch is the sole remaining of the Cheerful Sparrows Charity.
By 1939 The Cheerful Sparrows (Thanet) Charity had raised almost £25,000 of which £20,000 went towards building the Margate General Hospital. As a thank you, and as a constant reminder, the Cheerful Sparrows Ward was named.
The Cheerful Sparrows (Thanet) Charity still supports all who live in Thanet who are in exceptional need and patients in the Cheerful Sparrow Wards by providing essential items.