Support the ‘Women’s Skills Exchange’!

Support the ‘Women’s Skills Exchange’!

We’re raising money for our new project – the Women’s Skills Exchange, which is a project that will bring women together at our community gardens – we want to develop it to encourage women of all abilities to learn, share skills, and develop new opportunities – as well as make some new friends along the way!

But to develop the project, we need some funds – that’s where you come in!

We’ve launched a crowdfunding page in connection with the Aviva Community Fund, and have some rewards up for grabs in return for your donation to our project.

The crowdfunder closes at 23:59 on 20th December 2019 – so get your donations in now!

Click the link below to find out more information, and to have a look at the rewards we have on offer!


We also made a film to show you what the Women’s Skills Exchange is all about!

Dreaming of a green Christmas!

Dreaming of a green Christmas!

A wonderful selection of crafts, plants, seasonal arrangements and produce will be on offer at our festive market, all made or grown at ActivGardens.

  • CRESS Community Market and Café is Friday 6th December
  • 10am till 12.30pm
  • At the CRESS Pavilion, Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE

Young people from a partner academy will be behind the serving hatch at our community café, with seasonal goodies they have made.

There will be fresh produce to help keep you healthy throughout the winter, all grown at the community garden.
Pansies, viola and wallflower grown at Chantry Walled Garden will be available to brighten up your garden and pots.
ActivSheds’ hedgehog homes, bird boxes and bird feeders will make wonderful gifts to help our wildlife through the winter.
ActivLives community singing group ‘Keep on Rockin’ will be in full voice on this special occasion.

Every pound you spend with us will go into our gardening, construction, beekeeping and nature conservation programmes for the whole community, including long-term unemployed, people with learning disabilities, older people with dementia, members of minority ethnic communities, and young people.

So why not come and join us and pick up some original gifts for a greener Christmas! It’s a great chance to have a chat and cuppa too – accompanied by a delicious homemade cake! For further details, or if you would like to hold a stand at the event, please contact ActivLives on 01473 345350 or Susannah on 07530 407302 or email 

Turn over new leaf at ActivGardens in free learning scheme

Turn over new leaf at ActivGardens in free learning scheme

If you are looking for a new direction in 2020 – how about taking part in a free outdoor-based learning programme at ActivGardens, part of local charity ActivLives?

‘Grow Your Future’ will enable you to learn new skills and gain confidence on your way to further opportunities and employment.

The 12-week scheme will include garden maintenance, horticulture and environmental conservation, with a chance to get involved in specialist activities such as woodworking or bee-keeping.

Grow Your Future is for anyone aged 16+ who is unemployed or economically inactive, and encourages people who face barriers to work – such as a disability, health condition, or caring responsibilities.

The programme is funded by the European Social Fund and the Education & Skills funding Agency, and administered by LIFT Community Grants ‘Local Investment in Learning Paths to Work’.


  • If you would like to find out more, please come along to our open day on Thursday 23 January from 1pm to 3pm at the People’s Community Garden, Maidenhall Allotments, Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE. There will be hot drinks and food, and a chance to look around the gardens and speak to members of our friendly team.

Please contact Susannah on 07530 407302 or email or ActivLives on 01473 345350 to find out more or to register your interest. The first session will start on Monday 3 February.

Go Dawn Go!

Go Dawn Go!

Dawn Gillet has been a volunteer with ActivLives for a number of years leading ActivWalks in Christchurch Park every other Monday. Dawn has completed 5 Marathons (26.2 miles) and over a coffee after the walk, decided she would enter the Stort30 race as she needed a new challenge and thought it would be a good way to raise some money for ActivLives. The Stort30 is a 30 mile race, which takes place on Sunday 27th October and runs along the River Stort Navigation channel in Hertfordshire.

To sponsor Dawn on her 30 mile run, click here:

Sponsorship forms are also available. Thank you Dawn for doing this to raise funds for ActivLives, we really do appreciate it!

ActivLives announces New Ipswich Carer’s Project – Elderflower Hub

ActivLives announces New Ipswich Carer’s Project – Elderflower Hub

ActivLives is delighted to announce that they have received funding from Suffolk Community Foundation for a new carers project in Ipswich; we have been very busy behind the scenes putting things in place for the 12th September when the new Elderflower Hub opened at 10.30 am for its first 3 hour session, refreshments are also provided.

ActivLives organised a focus group of former carers who met up to support the development of the Elderflower Hub and assist in any way they can. The funding will enable local carers to meet up regularly, on a Thursday with other carers and the people they care for, in a social, inclusive, fun and relaxed environment with volunteers and staff on hand to chat to about any problems. The Hub will meet weekly and will be a one stop shop for information, offering signposting and will provide on-going support.

Carers and cared for from across Ipswich and surrounding villages will be able to access the service at the CRESS Pavilion on site at ActivLives Peoples Community garden in Maidenhall, Ipswich, IP2 8RE.

The Elderflower Hub is next to the People’s Community Garden and ActivSheds Project and so participants will have access to a wide range of inclusive, interesting, fun, meaningful and social activities.

Andrea Pittock, Head of Grant Programmes from Suffolk Community Foundation said “One of the key challenges facing people in Suffolk is that of social isolation and loneliness. This project has been designed to support the needs of a group of people who are perhaps most badly affected by this issue, those who require specific care and the people who care for them. Suffolk Community Foundation are delighted to be able to fund The Elderflower Hub to provide an opportunity to socialise, share their problems and find out what other support might be out there to improve their lives.’

Julie Stokes CEO of ActivLives said “This new hub will provide a much-needed social hub for local carers. All the activities will be tailored and designed to meet the needs of both the unpaid carer and the cared for, with volunteers and staff on hand to provide any advice needed, in fact a one stop hub for local carers”


For more information, please contact Alison or Gina on 01473 345350 or email