If you are looking for a new direction – how about taking part in a FREE outdoor-based learning programme at ActivGardens? ‘Grow Your Future’ will enable you to learn new skills and gain confidence on your way to further opportunities.
Sign up NOW to attend the induction day on Friday 4th September 2020
The 12-week programme on Mondays/Fridays will include garden maintenance, horticulture and environmental conservation, with a chance to get involved in specialist activities such as woodworking or bee-keeping at The People’s Community Garden, Halifax Rd, Ipswich, IP2 8RE.
Grow Your Future is for anyone aged 16+ who is unemployed or economically inactive, and encourages people who face barriers to work – such as a disability, health condition, or caring responsibilities.
To find out more, or register your interest, please contact Susannah Robirosa on 07530 407302 or email email@example.com.
You can also contact ActivLives on 01473 345350
This project is funded by the European Social Fund and administered by LIFT Community Grants ‘Local Investment in Learning Paths to Work’.
Charities from Suffolk are appealing for the support of businesses across the county, in helping elderly and vulnerable people stay connected with crucial lifelines during the pandemic.
Suffolk Family Carers, ACE Anglia and Suffolk User Forum have identified dozens of individuals who are at risk of missing out on key service provision, or losing all family contact, because of a lack of technology and communication devices.
Alongside a number of other charities, the organisations have been battling on a daily basis to help vulnerable groups deal with a lack of tablets, laptops and mobile phones, as well as 4G or broadband – all of which would help individuals stay in touch, order groceries, or request repeat prescriptions.
The lack of technological devices also means such groups are at risk of missing out on key services and resources available in the community, because they are not able to search the internet.
Participation in the government’s new track and trace initiative will also be prohibitive.
Kirsten Alderson, CEO of Suffolk Family Carers, believes local businesses could play a key part in ensuring vulnerable individuals and households were better supported at this challenging time.
She said: “It’s very easy to assume that everyone has access to the internet these days, or that they can be in touch with friends and family via smartphones and tablet devices.
“The reality is, this simply isn’t the case. Every day we’re speaking to families or individuals who are being deprived of resources, or further isolated in their own lives, because of a lack of technology and communication.
“It would make the world of difference if we could encourage businesses within the county to play a part in helping us at this time of need.”
Some of the ways in which businesses might look to support the initiative, include:
- Donate equipment such as smart phones, tablets or laptops for vulnerable users. This could be used, but ideally would be new.
- Provide technical support services to help configure phones to meet specific user needs or a ‘helpdesk’ to walk people through any basic problems
- Prepare training materials for individuals who are learning how to use technology for the first time. This could take the form of a webinar or be face to face via zoom/MS teams etc
- Provide funding to allow the ongoing connection of the devices to mobile or broadband providers
Andrea Clark, of Ace Anglia, commented: “The Suffolk Learning Disability strategy promotes people living a good ordinary life with the right support at the right time.
“Ace Anglia believe that access to, and the use of technology is vital to support people with a learning disability and or Autism ‘to live good ordinary lives’.”
Jayne Stevens, of Suffolk User Forum, added: “We have completely changed the way we provide our support and know how vital regular contact is for the people who we reach out to.
“Whilst many of us are finding this a stressful time, for people living with mental health problems the impact of isolation can be almost unbearable.
We need to remember that many people cannot afford a smartphone, tablet or laptop and these are essential for staying connected with friends, family, professionals and for accessing online resources.
We are concerned that some of the people who need support most, are the ones missing out. That’s where the wider community can help.”
If you or your business can help, please contact Richard Smale on 07976 722629.
The announcement has recently been made, by Special Olympics GB, that the National Summer Games, which were due to be held in Liverpool in August 2021, have been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Several of our ActivLives regulars had already been selected to participate in these Games as part of the Eastern Region Badminton and Boccia squads.
“This news has come as an enormous disappointment for all of those athletes who were so looking forward to the event in Liverpool. Despite the disappointment, we all understand why the decision to postpone has been taken by Special Olympics GB”, said Mike McCarthy from ActivLives.
The announcement, made by Special Olympics GB, included the following statement:
It was agreed by all, that given the heightened risk to the athletes with intellectual disabilities, who are some of the most vulnerable people in our society and the uncertainty surrounding the impact of Covid-19, postponement is the right decision to protect our athletes and the integrity of the Games. There have been additional fundraising challenges as Covid-19 has impacted the whole of society and in particular charity fundraising.
All of us at ActivLives very much hope that these Games will be able to be re-scheduled, hopefully in 2022, and that all of the athletes get the opportunity that they have earned, to represent our region on a national stage.
If you would like to find out more the full statement can be found at https://www.specialolympicsgb.org.uk/news-media/2021-special-olympics-gb-national-summer-games-postponed
A coronavirus test and trace system has been launched across England to help test those who have symptoms quickly, and to trace people they have been in close contact with.
However, as with any newsworthy development, the fraudsters are likely to use this as an opportunity to scam people, by either trying to obtain personal information, or to dupe them into handing over money.
You will be alerted by the NHS test and trace service if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.
The alert can come come by text, email or phone call.
NO FINANCIAL INFORMATION IS NEEDED AS THE SERVICE IS FREE.
Contact tracers will:
✔️ call you from 0300 013 5000
✔️ send you text messages from ‘NHS’
✔️ ask for your full name and date of birth to confirm your identity, and postcode to offer support while self-isolating
✔️ ask if you are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms
✔️ provide advice on what you must do as you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus
Contact tracers will never:
❌ ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to us (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
❌ ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product of any kind
❌ ask for any details about your bank account
❌ ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
❌ ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
❌ disclose any of your personal or medical information to your contacts
❌ provide medical advice on the treatment of any potential coronavirus ymptoms
❌ ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
❌ ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS
Stay scam aware, and report any suspicious approaches to us via 0808 223 1133.
Find out more about the NHS test and trace service here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works
As with many Charities, social enterprises and community groups the Coronavirus lock-down has had a real impact both financially and the way that services are delivered to support people in the community, who are vulnerable and at risk. During the lockdown this is really important as vulnerable people are feeling even lonelier and cut off from family, friends and neighbours.
ActivLives is a local Charity that normally provides a wide range of face to face activities, for all ages, particularly older people and their carers, to keep people active and connected with the community and also provide volunteering and learning opportunities for people who want to share or learn new skills.
Ms Julie Stokes, ActivLives CEO, said “We had to close nearly all our activities down overnight, in Ipswich, East Suffolk and Sudbury. This was very upsetting and emotional for our staff and volunteers, as well as our members, many of them having to self-isolate as they fall in the ‘at risk’ category. So we were really grateful to receive funding from The Suffolk Coronavirus Fund to enable us to establish new and exciting initiatives to keep in touch with our members and volunteers, as well as, the general public.
The funding has enabled us to develop new ways of working to keep our groups connected, we have created WhatsApp groups, run Zoom Social and singing sessions and have set up a Befriending and health check telephone service so we can check our members are OK, if they need anything or just want to have a chat.’
An ActivSinger commented after a zoom singing session,’ I just wanted to say what a boost that gave my spirits. I’m at home alone, so bringing together a few of us and seeing their faces really made my day. Thank you ActivLives for organising.’
ActivLives also wants to support those people who don’t currently use their services, so people can join in with Activ@Home on the website www.activlives.org.uk , there are exercise videos, singing videos, quizzes and a reminiscence / arts project called ‘That Remind Me’ which includes a different theme each week and people can send in photos of what they have created themselves, with their family or people they care for.
The funding has also supported ActivLives, two ActivGardens, the People’s Community Garden and Chantry Walled Garden, which although are closed to the public, are still being maintained by staff and a small core group of dedicated volunteers who are growing vegetables for the local community and have established an on-line plant sales service, so that people who can’t get out, can order plants and have them delivered safely to their door.
A happy customer said, ‘We were thrilled with our plants and happy to support a good cause.’
If you would like to order plants please visit https://activlives.org.uk/activgardens/online/ or contact Susannah Robirosa on 07530407302.
Julie Stokes added, ‘The Suffolk Coronavirus Fund is certainly helping the voluntary sector and individuals to support those in need in the community during the Covid-19 lock-down, please donate what you can, it really can make a difference.’
ActivLives is currently looking at how they can re-open their activities in the future and what they will need to do to ensure the safety of their members and staff. For more information about the services ActivLives provides please contact 01473 345350.