A huge THANK YOU to Thompson & Morgan!

A huge THANK YOU to Thompson & Morgan!

ActivGardens volunteers and trainees have been planting bulbs kindly donated by Thompson & Morgan.

The bulbs have been made into displays and planted in our borders and are already putting up green shoots.

Come the Spring, the daffs, tulips, hyacinth and Allium will be putting  a smile on everyone’s face as they bloom in vibrant colours.

The local company, just across the park from one of our sites, has also donated a huge box of seeds packed with veg and flowers.

Our volunteers and staff were so pleased – it really gave us all a boost!

Pots of bulbs are available for Mother’s Day on Saturday 13th March 2021 from Chantry Walled Garden. Please email susannah@activlives.org or call Tuesdays and Thursdays on 07530 407302 if you would like to order in advance.

ActivLives Message – 13.01.21

ActivLives Message – 13.01.21

Due to the latest Government announcement and lockdown restrictions, ActivLives had to close all of our activity sessions again, including ActivSheds, the Sudbury project and limit the access to our two community gardens in Ipswich.

Staff are still able to access the office at Brightspace.

 

What are we doing during the Lockdown?

  • We are monitoring the Covid-19 situation and Government announcements very closely and following strict guidance on hygiene / cleaning, social distancing and the wearing of face masks.
  • The ActivOut and About Project continues to support people on a one to one basis who live on their own, are vulnerable or need some social contact and exercise to help with their physical / mental health. The walk may just be around the streets or in a park or green space. We are very grateful to Active Suffolk and Sport England for their support with this initiative. All our other ActivSports sessions are closed at the moment.
  • Having been able to re-start our Step by Step (falls prevention) and ActivSteps sessions in Ipswich, Felixstowe, Woodbridge and Leiston, we have now had to close them all again. However, we are providing Better Balance sessions through live streaming on a Monday, Tuesday and Thursday morning. If you would like to join one of the sessions with our OTAGO Instructors Del Keeble and Jo Powley contact Clare Macdonald at the main office on 01473 345350 for more information. We will restart face to face sessions, as soon as we are able. The Step by Step (Falls Prevention) programme is funded by Ipswich & East Suffolk CCG. We are still accepting referrals from health professionals, Social Prescribing Link workers and self-referral.
  • It is very important that through the lockdowns or if you are shielding that you try and keep active. If you are not into live zooming, then why not visit our Activ@Home page on our website where you can find seated exercise videos with Jo. Please visit: https://activlives.org.uk/activhome/. You will also find quizzes, singing videos and lots more….
  • Our Carers Elderflower Hub, Friday Friends Hub and our ActivSingers community singing groups remain closed, but we are keeping in contact with members and volunteers through regular welfare calls, WhatsApp groups and zoom singing sessions and socials.
  • We are still working on the Bridging the Gap Project in partnership with NSFT / Willows Unit and the Recovery College and are currently working on a new ‘Connecting with Nature’ Webinar, which should be available in March.
  • Our two lunch clubs at St Mary at Stoke Church & the Ipswich International Church remain closed but we are keeping in touch with members and volunteers. Hopefully, they will reopen again later in the year.
  • Our Befriending / Welfare calls, shopping / food parcel delivery and medication collection will also continue, with our most vulnerable members / carers to help reduce their anxiety, loneliness and social isolation caused by the lockdown.
  • ActivGardens – Our two Community Gardens in Ipswich are temporarily closed due to the current lockdown. Our provisional re-opening date is Monday 1st March. This also includes ActivSheds and ‘Grow Your Community’ in Sudbury’s park.

 

Essential work at the gardens and community apiary will continue with key volunteers and some placements will be able to continue to attend their programmes – by prior arrangement with staff.

  • Please do keep in touch with all the activities at ActivGardens via the ActivLives website and social media, and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need more information. Please visit: activlives.org.uk

 

We are obviously following Government COVID-19 Guidance to ensure the safety of our staff, volunteers and members. We will reopen our activity sessions when it is safe to do so, but in the meantime, we will keep in touch with our members / volunteers to make sure they are OK and inform them of any developments with our activity and social programme.

A big thank you to all our funders and the amazing donations we have received to help the organisation through these unprecedented times and to the staff

and volunteers who have gone that extra mile to support our services and each other during the lockdowns. If you require any further information, please contact us on 01473 345350.

Please stay safe.

Regards

Julie Stokes CEO

 

Make sure you follow us on Facebook to keep up with everything – www.facebook.com/activlives

ActivLives Newsletter – December 2020

ActivLives Newsletter – December 2020

In light of the UK lockdown, we unfortunately won’t be bringing our usual bright and colourful newsletter to you this quarter.
However, here’s an electronic version with the added benefit of bigger photos!

ActivGardens

Festive Market a HUGE Success!
Our team at the community garden pulled out all the stops to put on a fabulous festive market on 4th December, and thanks to all our supporters, we made a whopping £568!

As well as freshly picked produce and cheerful plants to brighten up winter days, we had an amazing array of gifts, all made by our volunteers and learners.

Visitors braved the first really bad weather of the season to browse our original range of gifts such as – bee products – including bee bombs, candles and lip balm – a delicious selection of jams, jellies and chutneys, strings of chillies and many other decorations, pine cone firelighters and bird feeders, woolly hats and furry brooches, and a fantastic display of wooden items by the ActivSheds team.

Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make the day the success it was.

It’s not too late to pick up a gift from us! Festive goods will continue to be on sale from our polytunnels until we close for Christmas on 18th December.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas. Thank you for all your support in this very challenging year. We look forward to seeing you in 2021! Gardening and access to the great outdoors has never been more important. The gardens reopen on Monday 4th Janaury 2021.

Grow Your Future learners move on to pastures new as new faces start their garden adventure

Our learners have enjoyed a productive three months at the community garden, and are now moving into work experience in a variety of roles – supporting others, trying their hand at flower arranging with a professional florist, and working at Chantry Walled Garden.

As well as taking part in all aspects of horticulture and gardening, beekeeping and nature conservation – including scything our wild meadow with a local expert, they got involved in preparing for the market too, including making pickles and jams, apple-pressing, harvesting honey and making crafts.

The group is busy looking at progression routes into further training or employment, while our third group of 10 learners enrolled in November, and is now settling in.

These free courses are funded by the European Social Fund.

We still have spaces on this course, which resumes in January. Please get in touch if you or someone you know or support would like to take part.

Grow to Learn gives young and old a taste of the great outdoors

Leading Lives Community Benefit fund has enabled us to provide taster sessions for people with additional needs, both at our gardens and at our ActivSheds project.

Our weekly sessions have enabled young people to enjoy a range of gardening and nature conservation activities, alongside cooking, jam-making and other activities.

While these sessions are fun to take part in, they also enable people to develop practical skills and encourage important attributes such as good communication, ability to work as part of a team and willingness to take on responsibility.

Meanwhile, over at the ActivSheds, Ralph has helped men with living with a range of conditions, including dementia, Alzheimer’s, stroke and post-traumatic stress disorder, to get involved in making, doing, repairing, recycling, upcyling and everything to do with wood.

Those who take part enjoy socialising with others and sharing their skills and knowledge.

 

  • Thanks to South West Area Committee for funding our pop-up garage, which enables more people to take part in a safe, socially-distanced way.

Women’s Shed is now in Action!

Our merry band of ‘she shedders’ now meet every other Thursday afternoon, making all sorts of items from windmill sails (model, of course) to teddy trugs for grandchildren.

We also held a craft afternoon, flower arranging session, jam-making sessions and apple pressing as part of our Women’s Skills Exchange.

  • Please get in touch if you are interested in getting involved.

Walled Garden volunteers bring power of flowers to parks

Chantry Walled Garden volunteers, led by David Sheedy, grew an astounding 14,000 spring bedding plants for Ipswich parks and green spaces.

The pansies and polyanthus were collected by Ipswich Borough Council Parks team in October to be planted all around the town.

As one of our customers said: “It’s so important to have flowers during these difficult times. I’m going to enjoy seeing them all planted out.”

The plants arrive to our nursery as tiny plug plants in August, which then have to be carefully potted up and grown on, to be in peak condition for planting out in autumn. These plants will keep blooming right through winter and into spring.

Thanks to all our team who worked so hard and made such a tremendous effort.

    Helping hands from local business

    Our Wild Zone benefited from Do Good’s corporate networking team in October, when a group of seven people from various local business came to the People’s Community Garden.

    We were delighted to welcome Councillor Nadia Cenci – who has been a great supporter of the gardens over the years – as part of the team, setting her to work on raking up grass as habitat piles and sowing wildflower seed.

    We hope to welcome back Do Good in 2021.

      School puts finishing touches to their new garden with a bit of help from us!

      Lesley visited Stoke High – Ormiston Academy to help children with additional needs put the finishing touches to their garden at the front of the school.

      We took over a selection of plants which children enthusiastically planted up.

      Community librarian Jane Riches, who has led the project for the school, said: “All of the children in this group enjoy getting outside, they feel more relaxed working in a small group and love the garden. 

      “They dug up 60 potatoes yesterday, yes they actually counted them!”

        Update from Belle Vue Park, Sudbury – Bev

        Our volunteers continue to improve the beds at Belle Vue Park. We have been clearing the woodland area of the park. We have cut back large shrubs, cleared pathways, we have moved non-woodland plants and have replaced them with English Bluebell bulbs and woodland plants such as Pulmonaria and Cyclamen.   Perrywoods in Sudbury very kindly donated £50 to enable us to purchase more woodland plants.

        We are putting leaf mould on the beds to protect the dahlia tubers.  The tender plants have been moved to Chantry Walled Garden and winter bedding plants and perennials have gone in.  The Community Wardens have given us a quantity of woodchip that has been placed next to our compost bins ready to use next year.

        We have provided work experience placements for students at the Ryes College – which provides education and care to young people with complex needs. The students have been very courteous and hard-working. They have integrated into the Sudbury team very well with support from Liz Brightwell and other staff from the school.

        Our volunteers say they have become much closer during lockdown – forming friendships, meeting outside of the project to enjoy other activities together, and supporting each other – running errands for each other and calling each other to make sure they are okay.

          “I love gardening. It’s good for my health.  I have made friends at the ActivGardens group and have recently started to support Sudbury in Bloom with Julia.”

          Maxine

          “I need to socialise with others.  I have made friends with Bev and the other volunteers.  I go walking on a Tuesday with Rosemary and meet Bernie to tend the garden at the Railway station.  Gardening keeps me fit, mentally and physically.”

          Hazel

          “I joined to learn life skills and enjoy talking to other volunteers – it makes me feel very happy and useful.”

          Merry

          ActivSports

          Getting Out & About with ActivLives!
          ActivLives members have had the chance to get out of their houses, and go on mini health walks with ActivLives staff – meaning they can get weekly exercise, while staying safe and supervised!

          These have happened in one-to-one sessions, as well as in small socially-distanced groups.

          Here’s what some members have had to say:

          “I enjoy exercising with someone else, it really helps to motivate me.

          “The exercises that we are doing remind of what we would normally do at our badminton sessions.

          “I am feeling so much fitter as a result of these (exercise) sessions, I really enjoy the challenge.”

          MB

          “It has been so lovely to go for a walk somewhere different (on the heath), it’s not something that I would feel safe doing on my own.” 

          MH

          “I have been stuck in the house for so long, these walks are great.

          “I am seeing places that I have never been to before, and I have lived for over 40 years!

          “Thank you Mike, it’s really good to see you both again.

          “My Daughter in Law said ‘Go for it’, when I told her about the walks. I’m so glad that I did!”

          AC

          ActivHubs

          After successfully re-opening some of our Better Balance sessions as well as our ActivSteps session back in September following the end of the first lockdown, another lockdown meant that these had to stop temporarily after not long being started!  During lockdown 2 we were able to offer live exercise sessions via Zoom where some members were able to participate in their exercise class with their instructor from the comfort of their own homes.  This worked really well, with very few technical difficulties and allowed people to maintain their fitness whilst keeping connected with others. 

          Now that Lockdown 2 has finished we have been able to reopen some of our classes again whilst following Covid safety measures.   We ensure that members are 2 metres apart whilst participating in their exercise, frequently sanitise, follow social distancing and face masks are worn (although these can be removed during the exercise).   We are operating 2 Better Balance sessions on a Tuesday morning at Rushmere Village Hall as well as 3 sessions at Walton Community Centre on a Tuesday morning.  St Mary at Stoke Church Hall also has a session running on a Tuesday morning. Our ActivSteps group continues to run at Castle Hall Community Centre on a Thursday morning and Woodbridge also has 2 sessions running at the Fred Reynolds Centre, also on a Thursday morning. 

          We were also pleased to have welcomed back some members to our Leiston Better Balance session on Wednesday 9th December.  This was the first time this group had returned since March and it was lovely to see people back at the King George Community Centre.  Comments from our members were “it’s really good to be back”.

          As some venues are still not opening up, we have been trying to seek alternative venues for some of our other groups.  We are very grateful to the Kingfisher Pub at Chantry which is temporarily hosting our Monday morning class.

          We are making lots of wellbeing phone calls to keep in touch with our members and hope that it won’t be too much longer until we are able to resume all of our Better Balance sessions.  We look forward to seeing those members that have not yet been able to return to their class as well as welcoming new people who are interested in joining.

          Message from ActivLives – 27.11.20

          Message from ActivLives – 27.11.20

          Just to let everyone know how ActivLives is managing the lockdowns and Government and Sport’s Bodies restrictions and how we are continuing to support our members and volunteers.

          We have been able to keep our Community Gardens in Ipswich and our Sudbury Garden project open safely, with the support of our dedicated teams of volunteers who are helping to maintain the gardens and grow plants and produce for the local community. The volunteers in Sudbury have been working hard to keep Belle Vue Park looking lovely and keeping on top of the weeding and tidying in preparation for the winter months.

          The staff and volunteers are also working hard to prepare all sorts of jams, pickles,  Honey, fresh produce, bird boxes, garden items, crafts and lots more for the Christmas Market on December 4th at the People’s Community Garden, Halifax Rd from 10am – 1pm. Please come along…

          We have also been able to keep various projects running such as ‘Grow Your Future’ which is giving people skills, work experience and support in finding employment as well as building confidence, self-esteem and helping people with anxiety and depression cope through the lockdowns and the pandemic.

          ActivSheds has been able to keep open with a limited number of volunteers and with the new outside cover funded by SW Ipswich Area Committee, we now have more space for people to enjoy the Shed and keep socially distanced.

          Unfortunately, the Better Balance sessions that we managed to get up and running after the first lockdown had to close again, but for those that could access the internet the instructors have been running live zoom exercise sessions and seated dance and chair-based exercise to keep people moving and connected.

          We have established WhatsApp Groups, run zoom socials and sing-a-longs, including our Friday Friends Hub and kept in touch with our members from all our different activities with the Befriending / Welfare calls to help get people through this very difficult and anxious time.

          During lockdown 2 our ActivOut and About Project returned to 1-1 ‘walks and talks’, encouraging people living alone to have a walk in the fresh air to help with their physical and mental health.

          Check out our Activ@Home page on our Website for exercise / singing videos, quizzes and our themed reminiscence project ‘That Reminds Me’ for things to do at home.

          We are now planning to re-open safely again on the 2nd December, so that some of our Better Balance, Inclusive Sports groups and Carers Hubs can meet again before the Christmas and New Year holiday. We hope to get more of our sessions running in the New Year, if we can.

          A big thank you again goes out to all our funders who have helped to keep the organisation going through 2020 and the generous donations that people have sent in, even people who don’t use our services – thank you.

          Thank you to all the staff, freelance staff and volunteers for your patience, flexibility, creativity and dedication in supporting ActivLives and keeping things going through the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns. Let’s hope 2021 is a better year for all of us.

          For any information about any of our services or activities please contact the office on – 01473 345350 or visit www.activlives.org.uk

          quiz answers week 25

          ‘Think you know it all?’ Answers

          1.  When is St Patrick’s Day celebrated?
            March 17th

          2.  What is a village without a church called?
            Hamlet

          3.  Which male singing voice is between tenor and bass?
            Baritone

          4.  In German mythology what is the name of the siren who lived on a rock and lured boatmen to their deaths?
            Lorelei

          5.  In what year were dog licences abolished in England?
            1987

          6.  What type of leaves does a silkworm feed on?
            Mulberry

          7.  Which UK newspaper had the first colour supplement?
            Sunday Times (4th Feb 1962)

          8.  What type of creature is a mouthbrooder?
            Fish

          9.  What colour is the Mr Men Character Mr Worry?
            Blue

          10.  Which group had three consecutive UK Christmas number ones in 1996, 97 and 98?
            Spice Girls

          11.  In which sport do Great Britain and the USA compete for the Westchester Cup?
            Polo

          12.  In which war was the Battle of Bosworth Field?
            War of the Roses

          13.  Who wrote the opera Cosi fan Tutte?
            Mozart

          14.  Who is generally credited with having invented the telephone?
            Alexander Graham Bell

          15.  What is the US state capital of Arizona?
            Phoenix

          16.  In which century was the first recorded Viking raid on England?
            8th Century

          17.  Olfactory relates to which of the senses?
            Smell

          18.  Rome is on which river?
            Tiber

          19.  What was the name of the bottled water launched by Coca-Cola and then withdrawn?
            Dasani

          20.  Which side of a coin is obverse, heads or tails?
            Heads