ActivBowls are back outdoors!

ActivBowls are back outdoors!

ActivLives bowls sessions are about to go back outdoors for the summer season. We start back at the Kesgrave Community Centre, IP5 1JF, on Tuesday 10 May, 10.30-12.30. It’s a lovely green to play on with plenty of space. The session fee is £4.50. We have spare bowls/woods, so don’t worry about bringing any equipment. ‘First timers’ are especially welcome! Please wear a pair of flat-soled shoes (no sandals).

We are not a ‘bowls club’ as such – just a group of friendly souls who enjoy a bit of sport (and a cuppa!).

All of the details are on the ActivLives Calendar. Thank you to the Kesgrave Community Centre and the Kesgrave Bowls Club for supporting us in getting these sessions back up and running.

So, in this Commonwealth Games year, why not give lawn bowls a try?

It would be great to see you there!


Inclusive Badminton continues to grow with ActivLives

Inclusive Badminton continues to grow with ActivLives

The latest ActivLives Inclusive Badminton Tournament was held recently at Whitton Sports Centre in Ipswich, with 23 athletes competing in both singles and doubles events. The standard of play was excellent throughout the day with some extremely close matches deciding the final medal placings, across the various divisions.

This was the second ActivLives tournament since the pandemic and the first to include competitors from another Inclusive/Special Olympics club. Four players joined us from the Anders Disability Badminton Charity, based in Wimbledon. The event concluded with a very exciting Team Relay match, involving all 23 of the competitors.

“We have had such positive feedback from the players and families, as a result of this event. Everyone has commented upon the great team of volunteers who made this event happen. Huge thanks must go to them as events like this simply wouldn’t take place if it wasn’t for the volunteers who organise and deliver them”, said Mike McCarthy from ActivLives.

ActivLives are very grateful to everyone who continues to support these events including Special Olympics Suffolk, Suffolk Community Foundation, Active Suffolk, Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough Council.

If you would like to find out more about inclusive badminton with ActivLives, call on 01473 345350 or email




Back to Boccia with ActivLives

Back to Boccia with ActivLives

The ActivLives ‘Boccia Festival’, held recently at Whitton Sports Centre in Ipswich, saw some brilliant performances from all of the 13 competing teams.

The event was an opportunity for players, with a disability, to showcase their skills and team work in this most inclusive of all sports.

Boccia, which has been a Paralympic sport since 1984, is designed to be played by athletes of all levels of ability. Players can throw, kick or use a ramp to propel their ball into court, and towards the jack.

The festival had 37 competitors from the Ipswich and Stowmarket areas and was supported by a variety of local disability providers including Wots Up, Papworth Trust, Avenues East, Mid-Suffolk Axis and Genesis (Orwell Mencap), as well as a number of individual players.

This event, which is part of the ActivLives ‘inclusive sport’ programme, was supported by some great volunteers who made it all happen. Many thanks to all who participated on the day. We hope to see you at the next one in the autumn!

If you would like to know more about how to get involved in boccia with ActivLives, please call on 01473 345350 or email


A close up photo of a boccia court. Red and Blue balls surround a white jack ball as a game of boccia progresses.

Above: A Boccia game at this year's tournament in progress!

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.’

Inclusive Badminton Session 16 March – CANCELLED

Inclusive Badminton Session 16 March – CANCELLED

With regret we have had to cancel the inclusive badminton sessions for the 16th March.

We would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused. Currently we are planning on having a session next week but please keep an eye on the calendar and our website for the most up to date info.

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