ActivGardens: ActivSheds Session Leader
Closing date: Friday 17th May 2019 Interviews: Friday 24th May or by appointment
Initially: Five sessions Mondays 10th June to 8th July inclusive 1pm to 4pm (clients to arrive around 1pm for lunch break and session to run 1.30-3.30pm)
- We hope to add a second session on Monday mornings for people who need a level of support to access the project (for example, older people with dementia, disabilities or special needs)
Rate: £45 per half day session
Where you’ll be working: ActivSheds project, at the CRESS Pavilion (an ActivGardens project near the People’s Community Garden)
Halifax Road, Ipswich, Suffolk IP2 8RE.
ActivGardens are lively, inspiring and very busy community sites which support people to lead an active, healthy life, 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, older people, and refugees and asylum seekers. We run a schools programme working with children of all ages, including those who find it difficult to learn at school. Our core Volunteer Team helps with the day to day maintenance of ActivGardens.
What you’ll be doing:
Main role: Leading sessions for up to six people referred by Suffolk Refugee Support, supported by a translator. We hope to offer a supported session to other client groups, as above.
Your role will involve:
- Organising and resourcing the sessions within budget
- Planning and administration – session plan, record attendance, brief summary of learning/ achievements/ client feedback after each session
- Leading the sessions
- Generating a friendly, positive atmosphere and encouraging communication and integration between members of the group and the wider team
- Working alongside placements to enable them to engage in woodworking and basic construction as part of the ActivSheds project and wider volunteer team
- To help participants develop their own ideas for projects and bring to fruition
- Directing ActivGardens volunteers where necessary/ appropriate
- Health and Safety – session leader is expected to maintain safe working environment/ safe working practices at all times, including safe use of machinery. Group H&S induction will be carried out at first session, supported by ActivLives and Suffolk Refugee Support.
You will gain skills in:
- Leading sessions
- Working with refugees and asylum seekers and other client groups
- Working as part of a thriving community project
- Administration and organisation
You will need a DBS check and an up to date certificate in the following:
- First Aid
- Health and Safety
- Training available through ActivLives
You will need the following practical skills:
- Carpentry, woodworking, construction and DIY skills to a very good level
- Safe and competent use of power tools and electric machinery
- Administrational skills
- Basic IT
Personal qualities: you will be –
- A team player with a positive, friendly attitude and excellent communication skills
- Someone who enjoys working with people and is sensitive to the needs of target client groups
- Experience of working or volunteering in a community-based setting and/ or with people with needs is desirable but not essential.
What you’ll get out of it: This position is suitable for someone with a passion for carpentry and construction, who enjoys working with people and passing on their skills. You will gain experience of working in the charity sector as part of a diverse, award-winning community project.
The sessions may be extended beyond the initial five afternoon sessions to include morning sessions/ other groups.
To apply: Please email a covering letter (no more than one side of A4) explaining why you would like to be considered for the role, together with your CV, to Susannah Robirosa, ActivGardens Development Manager firstname.lastname@example.org, Alternatively, please post or drop in 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 Susannah on 07530 407302 or ActivLives 01473 345350.
All applications must be received by Friday 17th May 2019.
Volunteers are pulling out all the stops in preparation for two special ActivGardens open garden events as part of St Elizabeth Hospice Great Garden Trail.
On Friday 10th May, visitors are invited to explore the People’s Community Garden, bursting with volunteer-grown veg, herbs and flowers, alongside wildlife meadows, ponds and a permaculture orchard.
- Beekeeping demonstration and tour of our Wild Zone is at 12 noon
- The CRESS Community Market and Café will run as usual that day, from 10am to 12.30pm at the our CRESS Pavilion (entry free of charge), so visitors can enjoy this friendly, bustling event and enjoy a cuppa and a homemade cake courtesy of Chantry Academy pupils.
Then on Saturday 15th June, it’s the turn of Chantry Walled Garden to open its gates to invite members of the public to browse our selection of bee and butterfly-friendly perennials and annuals, enjoy a stroll along our flower borders, and enjoy a cuppa and homemade cake in Nursery Cottage garden.
Both gardens are open 10am to 3pm. Entrance to each garden will be £3 (children free), with additional £2 for CommuniBees Apiary Tour. Proceeds will be shared between the two charities.
Parking is available at or near both gardens, and there is wheelchair access to most areas. Well-behaved dogs are allowed on a lead.
St Elizabeth Hospice’s Great Garden Trail runs throughout spring and summer to help generate the funds the hospice needs for its invaluable services. For more information and a full list of gardens involved, together with maps: https://www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk/great-garden-trail-2019/
2019 Poster of all garden dates
- The People’s Community Garden, Maidenhall Allotments, Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE, includes vegetable plots, a heritage orchard, sensory garden, wildlife areas and herb spiral. The project enables people of all ages and abilities to get active, learn skills and contribute to their community. It has a diverse volunteer base and works with schools and young people.
- Historic Chantry Walled Garden, Chantry Park, Hadleigh Road, Ipswich IP2 0BS, has flower borders and vegetable growing areas, extensive glasshouses, and a courtyard garden designed for wheelchair users, enabling older people to carry on gardening. Young people on work placement learn about horticulture here and volunteers from the local community help tend the garden and grow plants.
- We accept placements at both gardens, by arrangement.
- Volunteers welcome at both sites.
Future events are Thursday 12th September – Autumn plant fair at Chantry Walled Garden, Friday 11th October – CRESS market, with CRESS Christmas on Friday 6th December. We regret to say there will be no Big Garden Party this year.
Give yourself a treat over Easter time and take a stroll across Chantry Park on Thursday 11th April, to enjoy the walled garden from 10.30am till 2.30pm.
Choose an arrangement, hanging basket or special plant, or pick out a tray of bedding or seedlings to bring your borders and pots alive to celebrate spring.
There will be teas and homemade cakes in at Nursery Cottage, courtesy of our volunteers, and a chance to see the progress we have made at this beautiful heritage site.
If you can’t make it on the day, please note we are open every Tuesday and Thursday, 9.00am to 3.00pm, for sales.
Our Carry on Gardening! project for older people continues to run at the site, as well as opportunities to volunteer and learn about horticulture. Visits, bespoke sessions and placements can be organised by arrangement.
Please do get in touch to find out more or refer someone to our project.
All proceeds from sales are reinvested in our work to enable people of all ages and abilities to get active, learn skills, and become connected in their community.
Access to Chantry Walled Garden is via the path around the outside of the walled garden – turning right from the visitors’ car park. Please call ActivLives in advance to arrange disabled access 01473 345350. See www.activlives.org.uk/activgardens for details of our location with full instructions of how to find us.
Date: Friday 22 March 2019
Time: 10.00am to 12.30pm with cutting of the ribbon at 11.30am
Where: CRESS Pavilion, Halifax Road, Ipswich, Suffolk IP2 8RE
For more information: Please contact Danny Thorrington on 07532 794173 or email@example.com, or ActivLives office: 01473 345350 www.activlives.org.uk/activgardens
In the past year, our merry band of shedders have been working hard to build an extension, as well as designing and making work benches for people with disabilities, alongside other improvements and additions.
The new look ActivShed, part of ActivGardens’ People’s Community Garden, has been kindly funded through Suffolk Community Foundation by Fonnereau Road Health Foundation, Pound Gates and Sevatas and private donors. Representatives of these organisations will be present to cut the ribbon at 11.30am.
The launch will run alongside our Spring CRESS plant and produce market, with seedlings to plant on your plot, bedding plants to spruce up your garden or windowsills, and freshly picked produce to perk you up after the long winter.
Young people from a local school will be hosting our CRESS Community Café with a range of delicious goodies in the spirit of the day.
And of course ActivSheds items such as bird boxes, hedgehog homes, garden obelisks and more will be available for sale on the day. Our enthusiastic team will also be ready to take orders for bespoke items and are happy to quote for renovating garden benches and furniture.
The project, part of ActivLives charity, runs every Friday morning and at other times of the week by arrangement. Our “men in sheds” are keen to pass on their skills to the younger generation, and the new facilities will enable older people who need support or may be in the early stages of dementia to keep active in a social way. Other groups who would like to set up a Shed project are encouraged to come along to the launch to meet our Shedders, or get in touch to share ideas.
Part of an international network, ‘Men in Sheds’, the project is for men who would like to share knowledge, learn new skills, and pursue hobbies and interests to do with carpentry, DIY and construction. It is also an opportunity for them to socialise and make friends in an active way, and share the all-important cuppa while contributing to their community.
ActivSheds is an innovative social programme to keep men socially connected during unemployment, retirement and/ or widowhood. The club is tailored to suit men’s interests and needs and encourages them to use their skills or hobbies so they have a real sense of purpose.
ActivSheds is a place to feel at home and pursue practical interests while meeting other locals in a relaxed informal way. Members share tools and resources, work on projects of their own choosing at their own pace and in a safe, friendly and inclusive venue. It is a forum to share skills, learn informally and pursue personal interests and contribute to community projects, as well as a place to meet new friends and make new contacts and support systems.
How getting involved in a shed project can improve your health
The project draws on the ‘Men’s Sheds’ network, originating in Australia, which has existing projects in the UK, including Suffolk. ActivSheds responds to a priority for Public Health Suffolk, where concerns around lonely, older men reflect national trends, outlined below.
Increasing numbers of men are facing loneliness and isolation in old age, new research suggests. The number of older men living alone is set to increase by 65 per cent in the next 15 years, from 911,000 to 1.5 million by 2030, sparking concerns for a new generation of lonely pensioners as increasing numbers of men outlive their partners.
Men tend to be more socially isolated than women and are often reluctant to join clubs for older people. When their partner dies, often a man’s social life shrinks. With social isolation and loneliness posing a serious risk to their health, local activities must be more tailored to men and we must involve men in designing services – many of our services simply don’t work for men.
The report, ‘The Emerging Crisis for Older Men’ by the International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC-UK) and Independent Age, found:
- Isolated and lonely men were much more likely to be in poor health. Over a quarter (28%) of the loneliest men said their health was poor, in contrast to just 1 in 20 (5%) men who were not lonely
- Mental health, particularly depression, was also important. Over 1 in 4 (26%) of the most isolated men were depressed, in contrast to just 6% of the least isolated
- Around a third of the most isolated men (36%) were in the lowest income group compared to just 7% of the least isolated.
- We are planning a Women’s Skills Share ActivSheds event ‘Take up Tools’ Tuesday 26th February 2019 from 10am until 1pm. The session is designed to be fun, accessible and sociable – but places are limited, so please book. Supervised children are very welcome.
- We need volunteers to help maintain our gardens, grow veg, make flowers bloom, keep our bees buzzing, help in nature conservation, repair our facilities, support staff to lead groups and mentor our young people, drive vans, bake cakes …. There is a job for everyone! Please get in touch if you would like to turn over a new leaf in 2019 and contribute to ActivGardens in Ipswich – People’s Community Garden or Chantry Walled Garden – and Sudbury.
- Thursday 11th April 11am till 2pm: Spring Plant Fair and Coffee morning at Chantry Walled Garden, Chantry Park, Hadleigh Road, Ipswich IP2 0BS
- Friday 10th May 10 am till 12.30pm: CRESS Produce Market and Community Café at the CRESS Pavilion, Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 0HH
ActivGardens Women’s Skills Exchange is offering two FREE workshops in the New Year for you to try something different!
- ‘Take up Tools’ Tuesday 26th February 2019 Basic woodworking at our ActivSheds project, CRESS Pavilion, Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE
- ‘Get Buzzing for Spring’ Thursday 28th March Learn about what you need to start out in beekeeping and essential knowledge for your first year of keeping bees at CRESS Pavilion, Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE. Plus tour of our CommuniBees Apiary.
These sessions are designed to be fun, accessible and sociable – but places are limited, so please book. Supervised children are very welcome.
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.
The project, funded through Suffolk Community Foundation, will involve women of all ages, abilities and ethnicities in learning and sharing skills and developing new opportunities for themselves. It will bring older women and younger women together in a spirit of sharing and co-operation.
The project aims to establish a network of “Garden Companions” to help new garden volunteers settle in and learn horticultural skills.
To book a place, volunteer, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile 07496 762093.
Thompson & Morgan just donated 100s of packets of flower seeds to local charities, ActivLives and St Elizabeth Hospice. The seeds were left over from a promotion that we ran in conjunction with Garden Answers and Garden News, two magazines published by Bauer Media, who were more than happy for the surplus packets to be donated to Suffolk charities.
A sack of seed packets was handed over to Danny Thorrington, ActivGardens Project Coordinator at the charity’s Community Garden on Halifax Road in Ipswich, where he was teaching a group of pupils from Chantry Academy.
“We’re so pleased to receive this donation of seeds from Thompson & Morgan! With our Christmas Community Market event coming up on Friday December 7th, we will be selling and raffling flower seed bundles to raise funds for our ongoing work at the gardens and in the wider community.”
Sonia Mermagen, our Press and Communications Officer, commented:
“The work that ActivLives and ActivGardens are involved in is so beneficial to the local community and completely in line with T&M’s commitment to encouraging young people into gardening and growing. It was a pleasure to see what Danny and his team are achieving in the community garden – and to meet some of the young people who are helping and learning there.”
Gardening Blog | Thompson & Morgan