Chantry Walled Garden launches Spring season

Chantry Walled Garden launches Spring season

We are thrilled to be celebrating Spring and the launch of our bigger and better range of plants on Thursday 24 March, 10am to 2pm – just in time for Mother’s Day.

Please come and pick up a pot of tulips, daffs for your mum or loved one and browse our new selection of perennials, shrubs and climbers at this lovely walled site – Chantry Walled Garden in Chantry Park, Ipswich IP2 0BS – run by community volunteers.

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.

To take a look at the catalogue and order for please click here: ActivGardens Online – ActivLives

We offer volunteering opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. For more information, please contact ActivGardens Operations Officer Ian Hirst on 07599 951060 or email

  • We need more volunteers – especially on Tuesdays.

For details of location and to find out more about our projects, please visit our dedicated ActivGardens page:

  • If you can’t make it on Thursday 24 March, don’t worry, we are open every Tuesday and Thursday 10am to 2pm.

Our catalogue will be available to browse online for orders. Just email over your selection on our order form, or phone Ian on Tuesdays or Thursdays. We will compile your order for you to pick up at a convenient time

ActivLives has been shortlisted for High Sheriff Awards 2022

ActivLives has been shortlisted for High Sheriff Awards 2022

ActivLives has just heard some brilliant news – we have been shortlisted for the Suffolk Community Foundation – High Sheriff Awards 2022.

There were 130 nominations and we have been shortlisted with two other organisations for the East of England Coop – Supporting the Isolated Award. The other amazing organisations are Go Start Community Transport and Suffolk Libraries.

The shortlisted organisations will find out who has won the different Awards when The High Sheriff of Suffolk, Edward Creasey announces the winners on BBC Radio Suffolk from 8.45am on the 16 March. The awards show will be hosted by BBC presenters Lesley Dolphin and Mark Murphy and Tim Holder from the Suffolk Foundation.

Julie Stokes CEO said “ I nominated ActivLives, because I wanted to thank all the staff, freelance staff, volunteers and Trustees (past and present) for the passion, commitment and experience they have bought to the organisation over the years and be publicly recognised for the work that they do each day to support very vulnerable people and adults at risk in the community, including the resilience they have shown through the COVID-19 pandemic. The last two years has been extremely stressful and challenging and is still challenging, but everyone pulled together, not only to make sure our members and volunteers were OK, but that the team were OK as well.”

The pandemic and lockdowns had a huge impact on the charity and everyone involved including the volunteers, members, carers and families.

Julie Stokes added, “Winning an award would also recognise what our members / carers did to support each other, carers helping other carers with shopping etc, and how well they have coped with everything that has happened. We sadly lost members to Covid-19 and through the loss of routine and purpose, so winning an award would also remember them and their involvement with ActivLives over the years.”

ActivLives would like to congratulate all the individuals, groups and organisations who have been shortlisted in this year’s awards. You all do a fantastic job supporting others in the community.

To see the other nominations visit

Below are a selection of photos from Summer 2021, when the High Sheriff visited the ActivGardens People’s Community Garden project.


The High Sheriff visits the Cress Pavoilion. He strands in the doorway and admires the room. Bunting can be seen hanging across the ceiling and there is a dark wooden floor. Tables and seats can be seen around the edges of the room
The High Sheriff visits the Active Gardens, he stands and talks to one of the staff members. He is surrounded by plants and behind him are two big poly tunnels

January in the Park

January in the Park

Every month our freelance worker Haidee will be writing a diary entry in her sustainability calendar. Haidee works for our gardens project in Sudbury and her diary entries give a great sense of what it’s like to work there and the wildlife she encounters. This month she talks about what you can do in the garden to help the wild birds. Take it away Haidee…

The last of the seed heads are hanging on in the garden at Belle Vue park. 

We wait as long as we can before cutting them down to give the birds time to feast on the seeds in the winter months.  Nigella damascena (love in a mist) pods are full of small black seeds that get shaken and scattered over the ground, although I found a good amount of seed still in the pods this morning. Nigella is also loved by bees and hover flies when in flower so it’s a great plant for the wildlife garden. 

Keep an eye out for next month’s entry on our website and across our socials.

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.