Volunteer with Us

What is volunteering all about?

We have a variety of roles at our gardens and outreach sites – from helping us to keep up with all the work on our productive sites, to assisting staff or supporting others. You may have a specialist skill you could contribute, or perhaps you are a seasoned gardener who would enjoy mentoring people to build their skills and knowledge. We need volunteers who understand the positive impact of being in the great outdoors and can help others get the most out of it too.

We have an allotment-based garden, areas for wildlife and beekeeping, and a walled garden in a public park – with extensive glasshouses for plant-growing operations and a plant centre open to the public.

We also have opportunities in outreach projects in schools, hospitals and parks and green spaces in Ipswich and beyond – currently in Sudbury.

You will be joining a team of brilliant volunteers, who support staff and help manage the sites.

You may be interested in supporting young people or people with learning disabilities, or in working alongside older people.

You may be able to contribute gardening skills, or enjoy a bit of hard graft, or want to have a bit of time to yourself.

You don’t need to be an expert – the important thing is enthusiasm and regular commitment to our grassroots charity effort.

If you want to give it a try, please get in touch with Susannah on 07530 407302 or susannah@activlives.org.uk or ActivLives office 01473 345350.

Group Visits / Volunteering

If you’d like to volunteer as a group – for example, as a group of young people, or members of a gardening club – please get in touch to discuss what you’d like to get out the day, and we’ll put together an action-packed agenda.

You are also welcome to visit our project for ideas and inspiration, by appointment.

Our beekeeping project welcomes visitors – we have an area where you can safely watch the hives being tended and be truly amazed by the buzz of thousands of bees!

Volunteering for business teams – Social Corporate Responsibility

We welcome work teams from local business with willing hands itching to get out of the office. It’s a great way of building your team and developing productive bonds between members of staff … and helps us keep on top of the work or complete a big project.

Please get in touch to discuss your requirements, and we will organise a great day at the gardens.

Please note: There may be a charge for a group work day or group visit, to help us cover our own costs.


Susannah Robirosa
ActivGardens Fundraising & Development Manager
Office – 01473 345350, Mobile – 07530 407302 or email susannah@activlives.org.uk



People’s Community Garden, Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE

Chantry Walled Garden, Chantry Park, Hadleigh Road, IpswichIP2 0BS

Belle Vue Park, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2RG or other outreach sites, by arrangement


Dress for outdoor work – we go ahead whatever the weather so please dress accordingly! You might like to bring your own gloves and safety boots, although we do have some to lend. A hat or cap is a good idea.

Bring a packed lunch and bottle of water/ squash if you are staying for the day. Tea and coffee are provided.


For general volunteering, it helps if you can commit to a specific day and time or session within our opening hours. If you can’t come one week, that’s fine – just let us know. But knowing who to expect helps us organise our schedule.




Please note: owing to Covid-19 restrictions we have to limit the number of people at our sites, so we are operating a waiting list for prospective volunteers.

People’s Community Garden – Mon, Wed and Fri 9am to 3pm
Beekeeping takes place on Mondays at 11am and ActivSheds takes place on Fridays 9am to 3pm.

Chantry Walled Garden -Tue and Thu 9am to 3pm.

Belle Vue Park Sudbury – Thursdays 9am to 12 noon.

Patchwork Gardening

Would you like to garden but don’t have space at home? Would you like a piece of land of your own, but don’t have time to keep on top of a full-size allotment plot? If so, we can help you. You can sign up for a patchwork plot at the community garden for just £20 per year. For this, you will be given a key to the main allotment gates, so you can access your plot evening and weekends, when the project is shut, and a toilet key.

When we are open, we can give advice, lend tools and offer a cuppa. You may be a young family with children, an older person who needs a hand, or someone who needs a bit of encouragement to start gardening. In time, you may feel confident enough to put your name down for a half or full-size plot on Maidenhall Allotments. Please contact Susannah if you are interested in taking on a patchwork plot at the community garden.

Donate to ActivLives HERE

ActivLives is a local charity, which relies on grants, trusts, donations, fundraising activities, sponsorship & commissions to enable us to provide & develop our services across Ipswich & Suffolk.