Garden project promises community cheer at festive market

Garden project promises community cheer at festive market

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

  • CRESS Community Market and Café is Friday 7th December
  • 10am till 12.30pm
  • At the CRESS Pavilion, Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE


Students of Chantry Academy will be behind the serving hatch, with an offer of seasonal goodies they have made, while Ipswich, Holbrook and Stoke academies are preparing a raffle and some fun Christmas games for you to play.

There will be winter greens to keep you healthy through winter, alongside other produce from our community garden.

Pansies grown at Chantry Walled Garden will be available to brighten up your garden and pots, together with hanging baskets, tubs, and Christmas wreaths.

ActivSheds are busy making hedgehog homes, bird boxes and bird feeders as gifts to help our wildlife, mentoring our young woodworkers who will be at the shed offering Christmas gifts with a difference.

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!

For further details, please contact ActivLives on 01473 345350 or Susannah on 07530 407302 or email

Visit from the High Sheriff of Suffolk!

Visit from the High Sheriff of Suffolk!

Lovely day meeting the Suffolk High Sheriff; George Vestey and showing him some of ActivLives activities. George was given a tour of some of our services in Ipswich, visiting Ipswich Borough Council’s Dundee House Sheltered Housing Scheme to meet members participating in our OTAGO Falls Prevention session and then on to the ActivGardens People’s Community Garden meeting staff and volunteers at ActivSheds and the Garden.

George was very impressed with what he saw and how our services impact on individuals, as well as the community. George then presented ActivLives with a ‘High Sheriff’s Certificate of Recognition’ as a token of appreciation on behalf of Suffolk and of all those who have benefited from the hard work and service of the Team and Volunteers at ActivLives.

Vote for Us!

Vote for Us!

Dear Friends and Supporters of ActivLives


Aviva has selected our EverydayActiv project in Ipswich to go forward for voting, to support and develop our much needed activities in Ipswich, which we know you all love to attend.

We need you, your friends and families to register and cast your vote online so we have an opportunity of winning.

You can use up to 10 votes per person to support our project.

Voting closes at midday 20th November 2018.

If we get enough votes we have an opportunity to win £10,000 to support our much needed activities in Ipswich.


Please do share this with your friends, families and neighbours to help us win.

Thank you for your support.

All of us at ActivLives

Women’s Skills Exchange FREE workshops

Women’s Skills Exchange FREE workshops

Empower with flowers Tuesday 9 October 10am to 12.30pm at Chantry Walled Garden
Come and make a bouquet with our in-house British flower grower Emma Powell – enjoy tea and homemade cake too

Core cooking Tuesday 23 October (half term) 10am to 4pm at the People’s Community Garden
Cook with apples and other community garden produce – and eat the fruits of your labours in a shared meal – with Monica Askay, Orchards East

Warm up for Winter Tuesday 6 November 11am to 2pm to at Chantry Walled Garden
Basic gardening skills, preparing for winter, taking cuttings, compost-making, planning for spring at Chantry Walled Garden with Project Co-ordinator Lesley Hartley

Creative Christmas Thursday 6 December 10am to 12.30pm at Chantry Walled Garden
Make a seasonal wreath or Christmas craft over a warming drink and mince pie

Take up tools February 2019 date TBC at the People’s Community Garden
Basic woodworking at our ActivSheds project – make an obelisk or bird box with Elaine

Get buzzing for Spring March 2019 date TBC at the People’s Community Garden
Beginner beekeeping, tour of hives and bee crafts with Betsy Reid


The sessions are designed to be fun, accessible and sociable – but places are limited, so please book.

Further sessions will cover beginner gardening skills, Christmas crafts, construction and beekeeping.

The project, funded through Suffolk Community Foundation, will involve women of all ethnicities in learning and sharing skills and developing new opportunities for themselves.

Existing volunteers will act as “Garden Companions” to help newcomers settle in and learn gardening and horticultural skills.

The project will bring women together in an active way to learn and share skills and improve their health and wellbeing in a welcoming environment. Women will be able to engage and develop at a pace to suit them, fitting around responsibilities of home and children, and doing as much as they are able. It will bring older women and younger women together in a spirit of sharing and co-operation.

To book a place, or if you have a skill you would like to learn or share, please get in touch with ActivLives 01473 345350  or Project Co-ordinator Lesley Hartley

Celebrate local harvest at community garden market

Celebrate local harvest at community garden market

Our stalls will be bursting with freshly picked fruit and vegetables grown at the community garden as part of our produce market on Friday 5th October, at the CRESS Pavilion, Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE, from 10am to 12.30pm.

There will also be a delicious selection of cakes and snacks made with our produce, together with tea, coffee and other refreshments, at the CRESS Café.

Hurry if you want one of our last few jars of honey. Thanks to everyone who has donated to our Communibees in the wake of the devastating fire last month.

Come and share the bounty, meet your neighbours, have a chat, and treat yourself to a cuppa and cake.

  • ActivSheds has had a makeover – our members have almost finished the extension to enable people with disabilities to come and enjoy carpentry and construction, with funding from Suffolk Community Foundation. Please come to see the difference it has made.

There is parking on site and in surrounding roads. The CRESS Pavilion is fully accessible with a disabled toilet.

The last CRESS market 2018 is the Christmas special on Friday 7th December. We will take a break in November to give us time to prepare.

For more information, or if you would like to hold a stand or get involved, please contact ActivGardens Development Manager Susannah Robirosa on 07530 407302 or email or Danny Thorrington on 07532 794173 or email ActivLives office can be reached on: 01473 345350.

Help keep our Bees Buzzing!

Help keep our Bees Buzzing!

Sadly, at around midday on Wednesday 5th September, the shed next to our apiary at The People’s Community Garden burned to the ground.
Luckily staff were on site, and saw the blaze from the cabin. They called the fire department, who came very swiftly to tackle the blaze.

Fortunately no-one was hurt, but we’ve lost valuable equipment that we use to maintain our bee hives – as well as equipment we use with local organisations and schools to teach them about the bees. On top of that, one of our hives has sustained irreparable damage.

The fire crew have told us that they believe it was an ARSON ATTACK, and have passed their report onto the police, who will be looking into it further.

Our apiary is across the site from The People’s Community Garden, on Halifax Rd, backing onto Stoke High School.

**If you have any information about the fire please get in touch with the police.**


We have set up a fundraising page through BT MyDonate to raise enough money to replace the shed and all the equipment that was damaged in the fire last week.


If you’d like to donate equipment or make a larger donation, please get in touch with us via 01473 345350 or email