Family Half Term Activity Day

Family Half Term Activity Day

On Friday 29 October 2021 at The People’s Community Garden will be open from 11am to 2pm for a fabulous Family Half Term Activity Day.

Come and explore the garden, take part in fun and educational activities, celebrate our harvest of lovely produce and get closer to the nature that calls the gardens home.

Refreshments will be available so why not pop down to enjoy a cuppa or a glass of squash and whilst you there indulge in a slice of delicious homemade cake and chat with your neighbours. For more information, please email or call ActivLives 01473 345450

Taking place at The People’s Community Garden, Maidenhall Allotments, Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE.

Supporting World Mental Health Day

Supporting World Mental Health Day

ActivLives supports World Mental Health Day. Sunday 10 October is the day that we are being asked to support the campaign to help raise awareness of the importance of mental health, for all of us.

One of the initiatives this year is the ‘Big Mental Health Get Together’. The Big Mental Health Get Together is all about creating a supportive environment for people to reconnect and to talk about mental health if they want to. ActivLives strives to promote positive mental health in a number of ways including: hosting a wide variety of positive physical and social activity sessions in supportive environments, providing mental health awareness support and training to our staff and volunteers, working closely with local mental health providers, supporting local and national mental health campaigns.

Find out more about World Mental Health Day at World Mental Health Day 2021 – Mental Health UK (

Volunteer vacancies at ActivGardens

Volunteer vacancies at ActivGardens

ActivLives is looking to recruit keen gardeners who enjoy working alongside others to its core volunteer team.

Where you’ll be working : The People’s Community Garden, Maidenhall Allotments and the CRESS Pavilion, Ipswich, Suffolk IP2 8RE.

About ActivGardens
ActivGardens are part of Suffolk-based charity ActivLives. Our community garden is a lively, inspiring and very busy community site which supports people to lead active, healthy lifestyles, learn and share skills, and contribute to their community. Our projects work with a wide range of people, including long-term unemployed, people experiencing mental ill health, depression and anxiety, people with disabilities, young people, older people, and refugees and asylum seekers. We also work with local schools and welcome community groups, local business and other visitors.

What you’ll be doing :
We mainly need people who are confident gardeners and can help keep on top of the work. We also need people who enjoy helping and supporting others, and can assist staff in the smooth-running of the day on this busy site.

Main tasks include the following:

  • Working as part of the core volunteer team to maintain the community garden, which includes traditional vegetable plots, sensory garden, herb spiral, polytunnel cropping/ propagation, orchard and fruit-growing, nature conservation areas.
  • Working alongside the people we support to help them get the most out of their sessions
  • Assisting staff in organising and running the day
  • Helping run group sessions, including school groups and groups of young people
  • Assisting in organising and running events
  • Contributing to development of the gardens and its projects
  • Option to get involved with woodworking/ carpentry, cooking, beekeeping, other specialisms

You will gain skills in:

  • Working with a wide range of people, including people with needs; children and young people; refugees and asylum seekers
  • Public engagement
  • Gardening and horticulture
  • Nature conservation and beekeeping (optional)
  • Events organisation

Training available:

First Aid, Safeguarding and other relevant training

The time you need to give:
We are ideally looking for a minimum commitment of 3 hours per week, for a set time each week – although we understand you may need a level of flexibility.

The skills you need:

We are looking for team players with a positive, friendly attitude and excellent communication skills, who enjoy working with people of all ages and abilities. We need people with an active, hands-on approach, with a willingness to tackle a wide range of garden-related and other tasks.  Gardening/ horticultural experience will be an asset, but confidence, initiative and good organisational skills are also important.

  • Experience of working or volunteering with people with needs is desirable but not essential.
  • Skills associated with woodwork, nature conservation, cooking/ hospitality / catering, community education/ teaching, PR / events, will be an advantage.
  • Experience of working or volunteering with children and young people is desirable but not essential.
  • You may be able to contribute a specialist craft skill (eg flower arranging, art, crafts etc – please let us know!) – we are open to new ideas and projects.

What you’ll get out of it: 
Volunteering with us is suitable for people who have a keen interest in community gardening/ food growing projects and/ or nature conservation and enjoys working alongside other people. You will gain experience of working in the charity sector as part of a diverse, award-winning community project.

Contact details:  Please fill out our application form and email to Ian Hirst, ActivGardens Operations Officer Alternatively, please post to ActivLives, Brightspace, 160 Hadleigh Road, Ipswich IP2 0HH. If you have any questions, or would like an informal chat about the role, please call Ian on 07725 327819 or ActivLives 01473 345350.

To download this information in a word document please click HERE 

Fill gaps in your garden at our charity plant sale

Fill gaps in your garden at our charity plant sale

Come along to Chantry Walled Garden, Chantry Park, Ipswich IP2 0BS on Thursday 14th October from 10am to 2pm for our end of season plant sale! There’ll be the chance to pick up an Autumn bargains for your garden, so make sure to pop by and say hello, the team at the Walled Garden will be thrilled to serve you.

The very last of our stock will be on sale, with a chance to look around this lovely walled site. Tea, coffee and cakes will be available at Nursery Cottage – so join us for a cuppa and chat to find out more about what we do.



Priority Services Register for Anglian Water

Priority Services Register for Anglian Water

The Priority Services Register provides free practical support to a range of people who might need extra help due to varying factors including age, ill health or disability. This includes families with young children or those with caring responsibilities.

The wide range of support services includes:

  • Sending bills in alternative formats
  • Proactively contacting our customers in the event of an incident and if necessary, supplying bottled water to them
  • Helping read our customers water meters if they’re unable to do it themselves
  • Protecting our customers against bogus callers and scams with our password scheme
  • For our customers whose first language isn’t English, we can communicate through over 3000 languages using an interpretation service & also Sign Language.
  • We have our knock and wait service, for our customers who need a little extra time to get to the door

For customers to find out more about the Priority Services Register and to sign up, visit: or call our dedicated team on 0800 232 1951.

Job Vacancy: Grow Your Community Sudbury and Great Cornard Project Co-ordinator – Freelance

Job Vacancy: Grow Your Community Sudbury and Great Cornard Project Co-ordinator – Freelance

Post: ‘Grow Your Community’ Sudbury and Great Cornard Project Co-ordinator – Freelance

Rate: £90 per day (7.5 hours)

Hours: Total 7.5 hours per week. Hours can either be worked on one day or split into two half days – one of which should be Thursday morning. Additional hours may be offered, including occasional evenings or weekends.

Duration: 12 months from September 2021 to August 2022 – extension dependent on continued funding

Base: Sudbury and Great Cornard parks and green spaces with hot desk/ home working for administration (to be agreed)

Office: ActivLives, Brightspace, 160 Hadleigh Road, Ipswich IP2 0HH

Reporting to: ActivGardens Fundraising and Development Manager

Job Summary

The post holder will co-ordinate an existing community horticulture project to provide opportunities for local people to get involved in volunteering and improving their environment in Sudbury and Great Cornard’s parks and green spaces.

A key role will be to facilitate volunteering in Sudbury’s main park, where an established group meets every Thursday morning.

The post holder will also work with young people aged 16 to 24 in building their skills towards employment through horticultural training and work experience as part of a funded programme with specific targets and outcomes.

Aims and objectives

  • To bring local people together and foster a sense of community through volunteering in parks and green spaces, building skills, confidence and local pride.
  • To enhance the health and well-being of local people, including older people and those experiencing disadvantage and/ or social isolation.
  • To co-ordinate a horticultural learning programme for young unemployed placements as part of a specific funded project – building their skills and confidence to help them move towards further training/ employment.
  • To improve the environment of Sudbury and Great Cornard and surrounding areas to make it a healthier, greener place.

Main Duties of the post holder:

  • To provide opportunities for people to volunteer in parks and community green spaces in order to gain social and health benefits and improve their environment.
  • Main session is Thursday mornings 9am to 12 noon in Belle Vue Park
  • To work with disadvantaged young people aged 16 to 24 to build their skills and confidence towards accessing further learning, training, work experience and employment at key sites in Sudbury and Great Cornard, as part of a programme with specific targets and outcomes.
  • Working closely with the ActivGardens Operations Officer ensure that the site is adequately resourced and materials ordered, to ensure the smooth running of project sessions.
  • To liaise with Public Realm managers and contractors to make sure we fit in with their work plans to help meet their needs.
  • Working closely with the ActivGardens Fundraising and Development Manager, develop good working relationships with groups and stakeholders, including employment agencies, support groups for disabled people, community mental health teams, social landlords to encourage the people they support to get involved.
  • The post holder will support the ActivGardens Development Manager in promoting what we do to the local community, key groups and organisations, and may attend events and deliver presentations to business, councils and agencies.

General duties:

  • To keep ActivGardens Fundraising and Development Manager fully informed of plans and progress of project.
  • To collect monitoring and evaluation data relating to the project, as required.
  • To comply with ActivLives policies including Equal Opportunities & Diversity, Safeguarding Children and Young People and Vulnerable Adults, Health and Safety, First Aid and Volunteering.
  • To ensure safe working practices and a safe environment at all times – including Health and Safety and Safeguarding induction of all participants.
  • To maintain clear and concise records relating to volunteer induction, Health and Safety etc., as necessary.
  • To contribute to good communication between those involved with the project, including stakeholders, external agencies and other organisations and services.
  • This post may include occasional weekend and evening work.
  • The post holder must be prepared to undertake induction and training, and participate in supervision and personal development in order to fulfill the duties of their post.


Please send a CV and covering letter – of no more than 2 sides of A4 – stating why you feel you are suitable for this post to: or by post to ActivLives, Brightspace, 160 Hadleigh Road, Ipswich IP2 0HH. Please head email/ envelope ‘Sudbury position’.

For an informal discussion about the post, please call ActivGardens Fundraising and Development Manager Susannah Robirosa on 07530 407302.


  • CLOSING DATE: Thursday 5 August 2021 at 5pm
  • INTERVIEWS: Tuesday 10 August 2021 during the morning at ActivLives main office, Ipswich.