New date for ActivLives Showcase Event coming up in Ipswich

New date for ActivLives Showcase Event coming up in Ipswich

ActivLives has re-scheduled the Showcase Event that it is holding at the Salvation Army Priory Centre, Queen’s Way, Ipswich IP3 9EX. The original event had to be postponed due to the recent snow, the new date is now Thursday 22nd March.
The event, which is being held between 10.30am-2.00pm, is targeted at anyone over the age of 45 (there is no upper age limit!), and who would like to get involved with some accessible physical and sports activity.
The programme will include a variety of tasters including New Age Kurling, Ping Pong, New Age Bowls, Yoga and the Paralympic sport of Boccia.
There will be a yoga taster class in the morning and a Boccia demonstration from local GB Paralympian, Evie Edwards in the afternoon.

“We would encourage anyone who would like to have a go at something new, to come along”, said Mike McCarthy, ActivIpswich Project Manager. “This is inclusive physical activity that anyone can get involved with, you definitely do not need to be ‘sporty’ to enjoy getting active!”
All of the sports and activities at this event can be carried out either seated or standing, including the yoga taster.
This free event is being held in a fully accessible venue and includes a light buffet lunch. If you would like to book your place and lunch, please call ActivLives on 01473 345350.

If you would like to know more about any of the programmes that are offered by ActivLives, please call 01473 345350 or have a look on the website at

ActivGardens: Internship position 2018

ActivGardens: Internship position 2018

Closing date: Friday 6th April 2018 Interviews: Tuesday 17th April 2018
Start date: Monday 23rd April 2018


Where you’ll be working : Mainly the People’s Community Garden, Maidenhall Allotments and the CRESS Pavilion, Ipswich, Suffolk IP2 8RE, but also Chantry Walled Garden, Chantry Park, and possibly on outreach projects in and around Ipswich.

About ActivGardens

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: Assisting staff to help run our gardens and associated projects.

Your role will involve:

  • Assisting staff in organising and running the day
  • Working alongside the people we support to help them get the most out of their sessions
  • Helping run group sessions, including school groups and groups of young people
  • Gardening/ conservation tasks alongside volunteers
  • Assisting in organising and running monthly community market and café
  • Assisting in planning and preparation for our major event: the Big Garden Party on Saturday 21st July 2018
  • Contributing to development of the gardens and its projects
  • Administration
  • Option to get involved with woodworking/ carpentry, cooking, beekeeping, other specialisms

You will gain skills in:

  • Working with a wide range of people, including people with needs; children and young people; refugees and asylum seekers
  • Public engagement
  • Gardening and horticulture
  • Nature conservation and beekeeping (optional)
  • Events organisation


Training available:

First Aid


The time you need to give:
We are looking for a minimum commitment of 15 hours per week, for a six-month period. The internship will begin the week of 16th April, and finish on Friday 12th October 2018, with the possibility of extension.

The skills you need: We are looking for a team player with a positive, friendly attitude and excellent communication skills, who enjoys working with people of all ages and abilities. We need someone with an active, hands-on approach, with a willingness to tackle a wide range of garden-related and other tasks.  Gardening/ horticultural experience will be an asset, but good organisational skills are as important.

  • Experience of working or volunteering with people with needs is desirable but not essential.
  • Experience of working or volunteering with children and young people is desirable but not essential.
  • Skills associated with woodwork, nature conservation, cooking/ hospitality / catering, community education/ teaching, PR / events, will be an advantage.
  • You may be able to contribute a specialist craft skill (eg flower arranging, art, crafts etc – please let us know!) – we are open to new ideas and projects.

What you’ll get out of it: This position is suitable for someone who enjoys working with people and who has a keen interest in community gardening/ food growing projects and/ or nature conservation. You will gain experience of working in the charity sector as part of a diverse, award-winning community project. The project will contribute to local travel costs.


Contact details:  Please email your CV and covering letter (no more than 2 sides of A4) to Susannah Robirosa, ActivGardens Development Manager, detailing your availability, experience and why you would like to join our project. Alternatively, please post 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 6th April 2018.

Groundwork’s community garden award winner announced!

Groundwork’s community garden award winner announced!

ActivLives has been recognised for their ActivGardens programme that works to make the local area a better, greener and healthier place to live.

ActivGardens was set up almost 10 years ago on a neglected corner of an allotment site at the heart of the most disadvantaged area of Ipswich. The vision was to provide a community resource to get people of all ages out into the fresh air, doing something active, growing and harvesting their own food, participating in volunteering and learning new skills, as well as bringing people together to build a more vibrant, resilient community.

In 2011, the group opened a second project – Chantry Walled Garden – in a disused area of a public park on the fringes of a large housing estate as a training facility for young people with complex needs or chaotic lifestyles. Three years later the group renovated a disused pavilion as a community hub, where simple, healthy meals could be cooked using produce they have grown and could also be sold at monthly produce markets. In 2014 a ‘Men in Sheds’ group were formed to work on construction and DIY projects, addressing loneliness in older men.

Last year, 88 people volunteered at ActivGardens, amounting to more than 10,000 hours of health-related activity. The group have also completed an ambitious project to build a garden for older people with neurological conditions, such as dementia, improving access and installing gardening bays for wheelchair users. More than 1,000 people attended open days, events, activities and training courses.


Speaking about winning the award, Susannah Robirosa, ActivLives Development Manager said:

“ActivLives is absolutely delighted to be honoured at a national level. It is a fitting tribute to almost 10 years of hard work by all our staff and volunteers, who have built vibrant community gardens and facilities for everyone to enjoy. We will certainly be celebrating our next birthday. Onwards and upwards!”


Graham Duxbury, national CEO of Groundwork said:
“The ActivLives organisation is an amazing example of why we decided to host the Groundwork Community Awards and why it’s so important to honour and recognise the work that groups across the UK are doing to improve their local communities.

“The group has proven that with the right amount of support, dedication and passion that you really can make a difference.

“We are delighted to have been able to celebrate ActivLives achievements and wish them every success going forward in continuing to be a positive and inspiring voice and example for local people.”

The awards were hosted by BBC presenter and Groundwork Health, Wellbeing and Community Ambassador, Mark Lane. The award was sponsored by Tesco with other corporate sponsors and supporters, Marks and Spencer and Buzzacot also in attendance.

The Groundwork Community Awards were launched by the charity earlier this year to honour small community groups making a big difference to everyone’s quality of life in their local area. The awards received over 250 nominations in its inaugural year, reflecting the huge diversity of projects and services being delivered by community volunteers.

To find out more, please visit

Press release supplied by Groundwork UK.

Falls Prevention – Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

Falls Prevention – Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

We have hubs all around Ipswich and into Suffolk where we run weekly exercise sessions to help prevent falls, and to keep you physically and mentally fit. The video shows you 6 exercises you can do at home, but we like to bring people together to exercise as a group, and then sit down with a cuppa and have a nice chat, making some new friends along the way!

Give us a call on 01473 345350 and we’ll tell you where your closest hub is!

Goodgym Ipswich Launch

Goodgym Ipswich Launch

You can find out more info here


The launch of Goodgym in Ipswich is on Monday 4 September starting at the University of Suffolk Waterfront Building.

Following some formalities and a photo opp Goodgym runners will make their way to the People’s Community Garden to help Danny with various tasks for 30-45 minutes before running back to the waterfront.

These group runs will take place every Monday evening at 6.30pm ( each week we will undertake a different task)

It is free to join the group runs and Goodgym Ipswich has been launched in partnership with Suffolk County Council.

Keep On Rockin’ album – ‘We Love To Sing’ now available!

Keep On Rockin’ album – ‘We Love To Sing’ now available!


“We would like to tank the North West Ipswich Big Local Trust for funding this amazing project.
A big thank you also goes to Trish Bessell (Music Facilitator), David Baalham (guitar), Keep On ROckin’ members and The Recording Booth for all their hard work in making this CD happen and the fun day we had recording it.

Thanks also to Sam Thurlow for the photos and artwork, and Julie Seager for the lovely lunch and cakes.

The sales of this CD will help KOR and other community services delivered by ActivLives.

If you’d like to get your own copy, please call us on 01473 345350. CDs are £5 each.