Fantastic news…

Fantastic news…

Julie Stokes ActivLives CEO was on the Mark Murphy BBC Radio Suffolk show this morning 16/3/22, as ActivLives was shortlisted for the High Sheriff Awards – East of England Co-op – Supporting the Isolated Award. ActivLives was shortlisted with two other amazing organisations Suffolk Libraries and Go Start Community Transport.

The joint winners were ActivLives and Suffolk Libraries and commiserations go to Go Start Community Transport. It was an honour just to be shortlisted and amazing to be a joint winner. Everyone at ActivLives would like to thank the panel, Suffolk Community Foundation, High Sheriff – Edward Creasy and BBC Radio Suffolk – Lesley Dolphin and Luke Deal for their support and we look forward to receiving the Award on the 28 March.

Julie Stokes said ‘ This Award is for all the staff (past & present), our wonderful volunteers, all our members and sponsors, who in very challenging times carried on delivering a very different type of services to make sure people were safe, had food and were still connected by zoom sessions, phone calls, 1-2-1 sessions and activities, on-line plant sales and working in bubbles at our Community Gardens to help people get through the pandemic and not feel alone or isolated.  I am very proud to be the CEO of this organisation and that we have been recognised for the services and activities that we deliver to very vulnerable people living in Suffolk. Congratulations to all the organisations and individuals that were shortlisted and to all the winners.’

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

Funding from East of England Co-Op announced for the Keep Moving Project

Funding from East of England Co-Op announced for the Keep Moving Project

We are thrilled to announce we’ve received community funding from East of England Co-op for the Keep Moving Project.

This amazing funding will help us to hold new chair based exercise sessions and these will improve people’s mobility & give them confidence to enjoy life!

There will be more information on the sessions and how to get involved in the coming weeks but for now we’d just like to say a huge thanks to the East of England Co-op!

Find out more about the East of England Co-Op Community Fund here: Co-op Community: Local Projects | East of England Co-op

ActivLives Lunch Club at St Mary at Stoke Church

ActivLives Lunch Club at St Mary at Stoke Church

The ActivLives Lunch Club was established in November 2008 and was one of the first Hubs to be developed in Ipswich as part of the One Ipswich – Town & Bridge Project, which later became the charity ActivLives in 2012. The Lunch Club was initially funded through the Fit as a Fiddle initiative (National Lottery / Age UK).

The partnership that has grown over the years between ActivLives and St Mary at Stoke Church, wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t been for the support of Reverend Ian Morgan and Anita Bimpson. The Lunch Club started in a small way, but soon started to grow and now caters for up to 30 older people each week. Julie Stokes, ActivLives CEO secured funding from IBC Area Committee to refurbish the kitchen, to enable meals to be cooked on site and to improve the facilities for the Church and other organisations that use the Church Hall.

Anita is still involved with the Lunch Club, she remains the link with the Church and is also a key volunteer with ActivLives and along with the fantastic team of volunteers, run the lunch club and support the other ActivLives activities that take place on a Tuesday in the Church Hall. Other members of the Church help on a rota with washing up, new members always welcome.

What is ActivLives?

ActivLives is a local charity delivering a wide range of activities and projects in Ipswich and East Suffolk for people of all ages to get involved in, such as Community Gardening, ActivSheds, Community Singing, Inclusive Sport, seated and standing falls prevention exercise, health walks and stimulating activities for people living with Dementia, Carers and former carers.

ActivLives activities bring people together; they are accessible and help people keep active, healthy and connected with their community, reducing social isolation and loneliness, improving health and well-being and providing opportunities to learn new skills, volunteer and gain meaningful employment.

ActivLives supports people with long-term health conditions, both physical and mental, people with Intellectual Disability, people with a disability, younger people and adults at risk. We mainly work in areas of deprivation, including urban and rural areas and we work with a diverse range of people, from different communities, ethnicity, faith and religion.

What activities are available on a Tuesday?

10.30am – 11.30am – Better Balance Session – £5.00 per session

If you need help to improve your mobility, strength, co-ordination and balance or you have experienced a fall/s and have lost your confidence then our Better Balance session is for you. The fun seated and standing exercise will help you to remain independent and able to carry out daily living tasks, as well as building your confidence and reduce the risk of falls and fractures. For more information about joining this session please contact: Clare Macdonald Step by Step Development Officer – 01473 345350

12 noon – 1.15pm – Lunch Club – £5.00 for Lunch & refreshments

Perhaps you are new to the area, have lost a partner, are you lonely and want to meet people and make new friends, then come and join us for lunch. It’s great value for money and very tasty with it. The hot two course meal is homemade by our cook and all dietary requirements can be catered for. If you would like to attend the Lunch Club please contact Julie Stokes CEO – 01473 345350 or pop in and speak to the volunteers.

1.45pm – 3.45pm – ActivSingers Group – £5.00 per session (2 & 4 Tuesday of the month)

Do you like singing, but don’t want to join a choir, then ActivSingers is for you. Come and sing a wide range of songs including natural voice songs, rounds, popular songs, songs from the shows and your favourites. The session is very relaxed, welcoming and fun and during the break you can have a chat and make new friends. If you would like to join us for lunch before the session, just let the volunteers know who will book you a place.

If you would like more information about how to join the ActivSingers group contact Julie Stokes CEO – 01473 345350

Volunteering – ActivLives is always looking for volunteers to help with our activities, Community Gardens, Health Walks or in our main office.

To find out more about what other activities are available and how to volunteer please visit the ActivLives website – or contact us on 01473 345350

To find out more about St Mary at Stoke Church Hall please visit


A group of 8 better balance sessions attendees sit in a circle on chairs, they roll a green ball under their left foot. The follow the instructions from the class instructor.
5 people take part in a better balance session, they sit on chairs and raise their arms towards the ceiling.
ActivLives lunch club. People sit at several tables dotted around the room, all are eating their lunch and having a chat.
Activ Lives lunch club. People stand at a table and serve food to the people who have come along to lunch club..