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.

Vote for Us!

Vote for Us!

Dear Friends and Supporters

Aviva has selected two of ActivLives projects to go forward for voting to win a share of the funding for a much needed Minibus to reach more lonely and isolated older people and our fantastic community growing project in Sudbury, which has already clocked more than 1,000 hours of volunteering in the town’s parks and green spaces, housing estates and street plots.

To vote for either or both projects, just follow the link below. You have 10 votes to use across the projects!  Voting closes on 19th November 2017, so please cast your vote asap!





If we secure enough votes, we will win between £10,000 – £25,000 to purchase a new Minibus and launch the second phase of the garden project next year.


Please feel free to share the link with all your family, friends and networks to help us win.


After following the link above, you need to register with a password and login to vote.
It will help you locate our project if you search in the top left-hand box under ‘organisation’ by typing in ActivLives.

Remember, you have a total of 10 votes so you can vote for one project or spread your votes between projects.
If you have any problems, please let us know.

Thanks for your help!

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.

Another year – another AGM

Another year – another AGM

On Thursday 10th August 2017 we had our 11th Annual General Meeting (AGM) at IPCity Centre.
We had 86 people attend, from members and funders, and even the deputy Mayor of Ipswich, Roger Fern!

Julie Stokes, CEO of ActivLives headed the meeting, and had Mark Ledger (Treasurer), Cynthia Glinos (Finance & Office Manager) & Steve Barnes (Trustee – he stood in for Chair of Trustees Keith Richardson, and read a speech that Keith wrote).

We then had some words from a few members, including some new faces who have only recently joined one of our hubs, as well as some very kind words from Deputy Mayor Roger Fern.

Following that, we had 4 songs from our singing group – Keep On Rockin’ – from their new CD ‘We Love To Sing’, which was launched at the AGM.
Speaking of launches – this website was also launched at the AGM, after months of work.

Finally, the day finished with a small plant sale from ActivGardens, games of Boccia with ActivIpswich, and some gorgeous homemade tea and cakes from Julie.

All in all it was a great day, and a great celebration of what we’ve done over the past 12 months!