Groundwork’s community garden award winner announced!

Groundwork’s community garden award winner announced!

ActivLives has been recognised for their ActivGardens programme that works to make the local area a better, greener and healthier place to live.

ActivGardens was set up almost 10 years ago on a neglected corner of an allotment site at the heart of the most disadvantaged area of Ipswich. The vision was to provide a community resource to get people of all ages out into the fresh air, doing something active, growing and harvesting their own food, participating in volunteering and learning new skills, as well as bringing people together to build a more vibrant, resilient community.

In 2011, the group opened a second project – Chantry Walled Garden – in a disused area of a public park on the fringes of a large housing estate as a training facility for young people with complex needs or chaotic lifestyles. Three years later the group renovated a disused pavilion as a community hub, where simple, healthy meals could be cooked using produce they have grown and could also be sold at monthly produce markets. In 2014 a ‘Men in Sheds’ group were formed to work on construction and DIY projects, addressing loneliness in older men.

Last year, 88 people volunteered at ActivGardens, amounting to more than 10,000 hours of health-related activity. The group have also completed an ambitious project to build a garden for older people with neurological conditions, such as dementia, improving access and installing gardening bays for wheelchair users. More than 1,000 people attended open days, events, activities and training courses.

 

Speaking about winning the award, Susannah Robirosa, ActivLives Development Manager said:

“ActivLives is absolutely delighted to be honoured at a national level. It is a fitting tribute to almost 10 years of hard work by all our staff and volunteers, who have built vibrant community gardens and facilities for everyone to enjoy. We will certainly be celebrating our next birthday. Onwards and upwards!”

 

Graham Duxbury, national CEO of Groundwork said:
“The ActivLives organisation is an amazing example of why we decided to host the Groundwork Community Awards and why it’s so important to honour and recognise the work that groups across the UK are doing to improve their local communities.

“The group has proven that with the right amount of support, dedication and passion that you really can make a difference.

“We are delighted to have been able to celebrate ActivLives achievements and wish them every success going forward in continuing to be a positive and inspiring voice and example for local people.”

The awards were hosted by BBC presenter and Groundwork Health, Wellbeing and Community Ambassador, Mark Lane. The award was sponsored by Tesco with other corporate sponsors and supporters, Marks and Spencer and Buzzacot also in attendance.

The Groundwork Community Awards were launched by the charity earlier this year to honour small community groups making a big difference to everyone’s quality of life in their local area. The awards received over 250 nominations in its inaugural year, reflecting the huge diversity of projects and services being delivered by community volunteers.

To find out more, please visit www.groundwork.org.uk/communityawards

Press release supplied by Groundwork UK.

Vote for Us!

Vote for Us!

Dear Friends and Supporters

Aviva has selected two of ActivLives projects to go forward for voting to win a share of the funding for a much needed Minibus to reach more lonely and isolated older people and our fantastic community growing project in Sudbury, which has already clocked more than 1,000 hours of volunteering in the town’s parks and green spaces, housing estates and street plots.

To vote for either or both projects, just follow the link below. You have 10 votes to use across the projects!  Voting closes on 19th November 2017, so please cast your vote asap!

 

CLICK HERE TO VOTE FOR THE ACTIVLIVES MINIBUS

CLICK HERE TO VOTE FOR THE ACTIVGARDENS PROJECT

 

If we secure enough votes, we will win between £10,000 – £25,000 to purchase a new Minibus and launch the second phase of the garden project next year.

 

Please feel free to share the link with all your family, friends and networks to help us win.

 

After following the link above, you need to register with a password and login to vote.
It will help you locate our project if you search in the top left-hand box under ‘organisation’ by typing in ActivLives.

Remember, you have a total of 10 votes so you can vote for one project or spread your votes between projects.
If you have any problems, please let us know.

Thanks for your help!

ActivLives ‘Grow Your Community –Sudbury’ calls out for votes to bag a share of bag fund

ActivLives ‘Grow Your Community –Sudbury’ calls out for votes to bag a share of bag fund

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme, which sees grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – raised from carrier bag sales in Tesco stores – being awarded to local community projects.

Three groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.

Grow Your Community – Sudbury, led by ActivLives, is one of the groups on the shortlist.

 

Volunteering opportunities for local people in Sudbury’s parks and green spaces to improve their health and well-being, learn skills, and make their community bloom!

Members of the community will get active to build strong communities where people are proud of where they live and what they can achieve together. Building on a pilot project, this new phase will inspire and empower increasing numbers of residents and groups to adopt green spaces and plots where they live. Our project will establish volunteering groups in housing estates, blocks of flats, pocket parks and neglected areas of town, and give them the support they need to become self-sustaining. It will work with people who lack confidence or need support to enable them to take part.

Project Co-ordintor Dan Wheals said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to be supported by Tesco shoppers. People will have the chance to make a difference in their local area – to turn round and say, we did that! And feel better too.”

Voting is open in all Tesco stores throughout November and December. Customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop.

Tesco’s Bags of Help project has already delivered over £36 million to nearly 8,000 projects up and down the UK. Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups every time they shop. Every other month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions will be awarded funding.

Alec Brown, Head of Community at Tesco, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for November and December. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see these come to life in hundreds of communities.”

Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said:

“We’ve been thrilled to see the diversity of projects that have applied for funding, ranging from outdoor classrooms, sports facilities, community gardens, play areas and everything in between.

“We’re looking forward to learning the results of the customer vote and then supporting each group to bring their project to life.”

Funding is available to community groups and charities looking to fund local projects that bring benefits to communities. Anyone can nominate a project and organisations can apply online. To find out more visit www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp

ActivGardens nominated for ‘Best Community Garden or Green Space’!

ActivGardens nominated for ‘Best Community Garden or Green Space’!

Groundwork has launched the Groundwork Community Awards as a way of honouring small community groups making a big difference to everyone’s quality of life in their local area and to celebrate and reward groups who often get little recognition and support.

Groundwork will be unveiling the winners at an awards ceremony on 2 November 2017 in London, attended by ActivGardens Development Manager Susannah Robirosa and ActivGardens Project Co-ordinator Danny Thorrington.

 

The People’s Community Garden was set up almost 10 years ago on a neglected corner of an allotment site at the heart of the most disadvantaged area of Ipswich. The vision was to provide a community resource to get people of all ages out into the fresh air, doing something active, growing/ harvesting their own food, participating in volunteering and learning new skills, as well as bringing people together to build a more vibrant, resilient community.

In 2011, we opened a second project – Chantry Walled Garden – in a disused area of a public park on the fringes of a large housing estate as a training facility for young people with complex needs / chaotic lifestyles.
We then set up a beekeeping project as a skills share initiative between older and younger people. Three years later we renovated a disused pavilion as a community hub, where we cook simple, healthy meals with our produce and extend our reach into the local community at our monthly produce markets.
In 2014 we formed a ‘Men in Sheds’ group, to work on construction and DIY projects, addressing loneliness in older men.

ActivGardens have encouraged Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic participation and promoted inclusion and multi-culturalism. We have assisted a number of BAME people to obtain their own plot either with us or on the wider site, encouraged them to attend and stalls at our events, and worked with Suffolk Refugee Support Forum to organise group visits, multi-cultural feasts and encourage people to take part in volunteering. We supplied veg packs to welcome Syrian refugee families to Ipswich — a diverse town where more than 70 languages are spoken. We have helped BAME people understand how to grow and cook traditional English produce.

Last year, 88 people volunteered at ActivGardens, amounting to more than 10,000 hours of healthful activity. Our garden projects got more than 400 primary school children active in the open air, growing, harvesting and cooking healthy meals. We completed an ambitious project to build a garden for older people with neurological conditions, such as Dementia, improving access and installing gardening bays for wheelchair users. More than 1,000 people attended open days, events, activities and training courses.

A regular volunteer says: “Since coming to ActivGardens I have been reborn. I was an alcoholic but I am now learning how to live a normal life and socialise with people. From the moment I met the team, I felt comfortable, at home and welcomed. I don’t feel judged. I enjoy it all, every day is different – groundwork, landscaping, weeding, planting … and not forgetting watering!
“I like interacting with people, having a laugh and joke.I feel better outside, keeping fit, helping others, and I have learnt to share and listen and accept other people’s opinions. Activgardens has given me somewhere to go and belong in the week.
“And I have achieved my personal goal of getting my own allotment! I am using my new gardening skills and knowledge.”

 

Watch this space to find out if we have won!

www.groundwork.org.uk/communityawards

What an amazing start for Goodgym Ipswich!

What an amazing start for Goodgym Ipswich!

30 runners, some supporters, spectators and an array of photographers – it seemed- descended on the University of Suffolk Waterfront building.
After the formalities of posing for photographs (you at the back move a step to the right please!) for the local media and a welcome briefing Goodgym Ipswich was ready to launch it’s inaugural run.

The tension got the better of Goodgym Trainer Ian and he false started before bringing everyone back for the official countdown by our specially invited guest – international transplant athlete and world champion Michelle Mitchell…… And then we were off running past the plush boats, early evening diners and the best view in Ipswich.

Goodgym Colchester regulars Chris, James had come along to lend their support with Colchester Trainer Angela who took up back marker duties.

We re-grouped a few times, including a quick sessions of squats for the quicker guys. Anyone entered in the forthcoming Great East Run had a small preview of part of the half marathon course on the run out along Wherstead Road.

Arriving at the Activ Lives Peoples Community Garden from under the railway bridge it looked like a small army was marching towards the gates! Our host Danny was waiting to welcome us with a quick briefing and outline of the task for tonight.

Splitting into three groups everyone dived in enthusiastically grabbing spades, forks, wheelbarrows and hoes. In 30 minutes a large brassica bed was weeded, another two massive beds dug over, weeded and barrow loads of debris cleared to compost. An enormous amount of works was done and everyone gathered for a team photo with the resident scarecrow., before we headed back to our new base.

Following the same route for our return, re-grouping involved some “Barrier” press ups. A short session of “easy & quick” interval runs between lamp posts along the riverside, was incorporated into our run back to the waterfront where we stretched out to finish off the evening as the light faded.

A wonderful night – Big thanks to our guest star Michelle for coming along to officially launch Goodgym Ipswich – apologies that I almost forgot why I had invited her! Michelle is an inspirational athlete and is keen to raise awareness of organ donation as well as support Goodgym.

Thanks also to University of Suffolk who are hosting Goodgym Ipswich – as a meeting point and with free use of the car park on a Monday evening. – Also to Suffolk County Council who are working in partnership with Goodgym to set up the Ipswich project.

Even bigger thanks to everyone who came on the run – it was a fabulous first one! We’ll meet every Monday from now on 6.15pm ready to set off at 6.30pm at the Waterfront. Look out for details of next week’s Group Run on the website and there is also a Goodgym Ipswich Facebook group that will become our social channel for info and chat!

 

Original post: https://www.goodgym.org/reports/the-lady-who-launches-goodgym-ipswich-eventually

Urban Buzz Ipswich

Urban Buzz Ipswich

Background

The UK has lost over 90% of its wildflower rich grassland since the 1940s, with a move towards more intensive farming and development being the two main causes for this loss of habitat. Many of our pollinator species are in decline with some species restricted to certain parts of the UK. Three bumblebee species have become extinct within the last 50 years with many other species at risk.

Why help pollinators?

If you enjoy chocolate, coffee, strawberries, apples, cherries, and many other of our fruits, vegetables and flowers then you need pollinators! One out of every three mouthfuls of food depends on insect pollination. We need to protect pollinators, as they provide us with all of these luxuries and more, as well as pollinating many of our much loved garden and wildflower plants, providing a service worth millions of pounds!

 

buglife.org.uk               01733 201210           @buzz_dont_tweet

Buglife The Invertebrate Conservation Trust is a registered charity at Bug House, Ham Lane, Orton Waterville, Peterborough, PE2 5UU
Registered Charity No: 1092293, Scottish Charity No: SC040004, Company No: 4132695