Sign up to the next ‘Grow Your Future’ programme NOW! – 18.09.20

Sign up to the next ‘Grow Your Future’ programme NOW! – 18.09.20

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 Monday 23rd November 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 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’.

Outdoor, socially distanced ActivSingers sessions was a great hit!

Outdoor, socially distanced ActivSingers sessions was a great hit!

Some of our ActivSingers got together at The People’s Community Garden last week to enjoy a socially distanced sing-along in the beautiful setting of our garden!

We ensured all of our members stuck to the current government socially distance rules for the whole session, but that didn’t stop the fun as members stood up at their chairs and had a boogie while singing some of their favourite tunes – see them singing and dancing to ‘Jambo Bwana’ among some beautiful plants in the video below:

We’re hoping to start up some of our sessions soon, starting with existing members. If you’re one of our members who regularly attend our sessions, we’ll be in touch soon!​

Outdoor Learning and Skills Programme for young people at school – 29.06.20

Outdoor Learning and Skills Programme for young people at school – 29.06.20

ActivGardens is launching a new learning and skills programme at the People’s Community Garden, Maidenhall Allotments, Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE to inspire young people and help move them on to the world of work.

Starting next term (September 2020), it will consist of half-termly (five-week) programmes, giving young people a chance to learn hands-on in a safe outdoor environment.

The programme will be steered by a Level 6 qualified careers professional, with 20 years’ experience of working with young people, offering a range of activities in gardening and horticulture, nature conservation and beekeeping, woodworking and construction, cooking and crafts.

Schools can choose from a menu of activities to help achieve the required Gatsby Benchmarks 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8 specified in the Statutory Careers Guidance (October 2018). Please see attached table for examples of activities offered.

The scheme will enable young people to:

  • learn practical skills, gain work experience, and take on leadership/ organisational roles in a project embedded in the local community
  • develop competencies such as working as a team, good communication, and being willing to take on and understand responsibility
  • build self-esteem, gain confidence, and feel pride in their achievements
  • develop friendships and form social networks
  • contribute to the local community.

More info can be found in our previous newsletter –


Cost: £100 per two-hour session for up to 6 students for course of five sessions per half term.
Introductory taster session offer – £50

We can also offer bespoke horticultural/ environmental sessions at your school site.

For further information, or to look around our gardens, please contact:

Fundraising and Development Manager Susannah Robirosa on 07530 407302 or 01473 345350

Suffolk Charities united in plea to business:  “HELP US CONNECT THE VULNERABLE AMID COVID CRISIS”

Suffolk Charities united in plea to business: “HELP US CONNECT THE VULNERABLE AMID COVID CRISIS”

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.

2021 Special Olympics GB National Summer Games Postponed

2021 Special Olympics GB National Summer Games Postponed

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

Beware of Scammers with the launch of the new ‘Track & Trace’ system

Beware of Scammers with the launch of the new ‘Track & Trace’ system

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.


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: