Meet the ActivLives Team

Julie Stokes

ActivLives CEO

After leaving Manchester Polytechnic with a BA Hons Degree in Textile Design, my career path changed course when I joined a Psychiatric Unit as an OT helper at Fairfield Hospital in Bury, Lancashire, working with older people with mental health needs and/or living with dementia. Since then, I have worked with Health Authorities, Social Care Services, Age UK’s across the country, Probation and the voluntary sector. Most of my roles have been in community and project development, developing a new model of day care for people living with dementia, fundraising and research. In September 2006 I joined the Town and Bridge Project funded by the Local Strategic Partnership – One Ipswich to develop initiatives to motivate and support people to improve their health and well-being, reduce loneliness, social isolation and reduce health inequalities. The project has now grown into an exciting independent charity, with an excellent team of staff, volunteers and Trustees.

Call Julie on 07810 801316

Cynthia Glinos

ActivLives Finance & Office Manager

After working for nearly 30 years in the electricity industry and then 7 years with Suffolk County Council I decided to leave working full time in Project Management and take up more voluntary work. That’s how I came to be involved with ActivLives in January 2011, starting as a 1 day volunteer then soon progressing to working as the Finance & Office Manager 4 days a week. Outside of ActivLives I am kept very busy by also being a magistrate, trustee of another charity, exam invigilator and health walk leader.

When I want to relax, I enjoy going scuba diving in exotic locations such as the Maldives and Caribbean.

Jomel Anthony Gutierrez

Marketing and Communications Officer

I have over 16 years experience in the public and private sector as a communications and public relations professional. Working at ActivLives is my first venture in the voluntary and community sector. I started my career in communications through an advocacy work for a poverty alleviation programme in the Philippines in 2013. My latest work prior to joining ActivLives, I was the communications manager of the Integrated Care Academy at the University of Suffolk.

From 2014 to 2022, I led the communications team and was then promoted to Assistant Director of Communications, Knowledge Management, Training and IT of the Public-Private Partnership Center, a national government office in the Philippines.  I was also a former journalist at the London news bureau of a Philippine media company, ABS-CBN Corporation.

I earned my master’s degree in Media Studies at the University of Roehampton in London and my bachelor’s degree in Communications at the University of the Philippines Baguio, with honours.

Throughout my career in communications, marketing and public relations, I led the development and launching websites of different organisations, increased their social media engagements, developed and implemented successful communication strategies and spearheaded several marketing campaigns and events.

Mike McCarthy

ActivSport's Development Manager

I have been working with ActivLives on the ActivIpswich project since August 2014. I love the job – the people who come along to our sessions are brilliant and despite being a project for people who don’t think of themselves as being ‘sporty’, so many of our participants realise that they really enjoy sport and physical activity once they start to get involved. After completing a BA (Hons) in Human Movement and Education at Christ Church College Canterbury I was lucky enough to work for the YMCA in London and Ipswich on their Sport, Fitness and Play programmes. During this time I completed an MA in Recreation and Leisure Studies at the Polytechnic of North London. From 1991 until 2009 I was a Lecturer in Sport and Leisure at Suffolk New College, a job that I really enjoyed and in 2010 I took on the Project Officer role as part of the Suffolk 2012 Volunteering Legacy Project – another great job!

I like to travel and I have been lucky enough to be able to spend short periods of time in South Africa, Uganda and Ethiopia volunteering on various sport and education projects.

Frazier Seager

ActivAgeing Community Development Officer

Although I have never excelled at any sport or discipline -I have always enjoyed keeping fit and active. Over the years my enthusiasm has helped to motivate and influence a lot of the people I have come across in my career to make positive lifestyle choices. I like inspiring people to overcome barriers and to see their confidence grow!

I started my career in the fitness industry at 17, completing a fitness instructor apprenticeship with Ipswich Borough Council. During my time working at Ipswich Borough Council I became involved in Adult Weight Management working in partnership with what was LiveWell Suffolk- and we managed to achieve a record weight loss of over 100kg collectively as a group. This spurred me onwards and since then I have worked in both the private and public sector in various roles related to Sports and Fitness or Health and Wellbeing.

Up until recently I worked at the NHS for the Physiotherapy services in Pulmonary Rehabilitation, which made me realise that I particularly enjoyed helping older adults get more active, despite the challenges of long-term health conditions. During my time working at the NHS, I returned to college to complete my Level 3 GP Exercise Referral qualification and my independent/chair based older adult.

Following this I started to work for ActivLives as a freelance instructor initially. During my time working for ActivLives as a freelance instructor I was greatly impressed by the fantastic work they do and I wanted to become even more involved with the charity. I saw my opportunity when a post became available in early 2023  and I left the NHS to become an ActivAgeing Officer, which is my new role. I absolutely love the work I do- it is rewarding to help all sorts of people reap the benefits of a more active and healthy lifestyle.

Alison Pearson

ActivLives Community Engagement Officer & ActivFriends Co-ordinator

Having worked in the commercial world in sales and marketing for many years, in London, Wiltshire and North Yorkshire, I moved to Suffolk in 2001 and met my husband and stayed in this lovely county.

I decided to completely change industries in 2013 as I had always wanted to work in the charity sector, and enjoyed success in services promotion and fundraising for other local charities before starting my role in October 2017 as Community Engagement Officer for ActivLives, which I am delighted about.

I like the challenges of a blank canvas, meeting new people and making a difference, working in the local community is my dream role, which I really enjoy and every day is so different. I can honestly say I love my job and the work that ActivLives does in Ipswich and throughout Suffolk makes such a difference to people’s lives, something I see every day. 

When I am not out and about I like to relax at home in Woodbridge with my husband, dog, and friends. I love any excuse to cook and love to experiment with new recipes from all over the world, Suffolk is such a great county, a foodie’s paradise and I feel very privileged to work and live here.

Moira Hoogendyk

ActivCommunity Support Worker

I am Dutch and moved over to North Norfolk when I was 10.  Now, in Bury St Edmunds my main work has been from an educational background, assisting children of all ages and in many aspects of special educational needs. I have also worked in the community with Leading Lives offering support in all running of people’s lives. I have worked in a Dementia Home where each day I offered an assortment of activities depending on each personal need. Having worked in Mental Health and Old Age Psychiatry has also helped to give me much knowledge in many aspects of people’s lives. It is an honour to give love, support and respect to all the people I have met and will meet during this role.  

My hobbies are very varied as I enjoy learning and experiencing life.  My love is music, I listen to a varied amount of music and love to play hand drum and sing with others. My aim is to assist in the community, work with your strengths and interests and connect you to people you can build with and continue to create your beautiful tapestry of life.


Call Moira on 07999 975474

Del Keeble

Step by Step (OTAGO) Coordinator

I have been working for ActivLives since May 2015 and I enjoy my job because I can make a difference to the quality of peoples lives. Before that I worked in the fitness industry as a Personal Trainer at DW Sports and Gym and Trim. Other jobs have been as a Post-lady and a Support worker for Mencap .

My hobbies are watching Ipswich Town and keeping fit.  My claim to fame is that I was one of the first triplets born at Ipswich Hospital in 1972.

A photo of Active Lives Step by Step Co-ordinator Jemma Prentice. Jemma smiles as she looks into the camera. She has shoulder length brown hair and wears a black zip up jumper.

Jemma Prentice

Step by Step Development Co-Ordinator

I have been working with ActivLives on the Step by Step project since April 2022. I coordinate and develop sessions for older people to help with the prevention of falls and improve their mobility and strength. I love meeting new people and I feel so privileged to work for ActivLives, and offer this vital service to older adults in our community.

My previous employment includes working for Age UK Suffolk as a support worker in the community. I have always had a passion to work with older adults, I was very lucky to grow up with my grandparents and enjoyed looking after them in their later years.

My recent employment was working for the NHS as a Physiotherapy Assistant on the Trauma and Orthopaedic wards, this is where I developed my passion for exercise and rehabilitation. Alongside this, I studied and trained as an Instructor for older adults working on the elements of balance / strength and worked as a self-employed instructor, delivering sessions in Suffolk and Essex. I am currently working towards my Level 3 Adapting Exercises for Older Adults.

In my spare time I enjoy running, Paddleboarding and Salsa dancing.

A photo of Active Lives Step by Step Co-ordinator Jemma Prentice. Jemma smiles as she looks into the camera. She has shoulder length brown hair and wears a black zip up jumper.

Laura Lopez

Step by Step Co-Ordinator

Bio coming soon

Susannah Robirosa

ActivGardens Fundraising & Development Manager

I have spent the past 10 years developing two redundant urban green spaces into creative, innovate and diverse community resources offering volunteering and training opportunities in horticulture, the natural environment and other related areas. The People’s Community Garden includes a community apiary, CRESS community hub and ActivSheds construction project, while Chantry Walled Garden is a plant nursery growing 25,000 plants for Ipswich parks and open spaces, together with an accessible Garden for Older People. I also manage outreach projects in Ipswich and, currently, our main outreach project in Sudbury. My job with ActivLives represented quite a career jump – as an English graduate, I worked for many years as a journalist in London and Melbourne before settling on the Essex/ Suffolk border with my husband and three children in 1995. While working as a sub editor at the East Anglian Daily Times, I decided to study for an RHS Diploma in Horticulture at Writtle College. I briefly ran a gardening business with a colleague, before landing a job with the Town & Bridge Project, now ActivLives, in 2008.

Ian Hirst

ActivGardens Operations Officer

I am honoured to be appointed the new Operations Officer for ActivGardens, the horticultural branch of ActivLives. I will be overseeing the everyday running of Peoples Community Garden at Halifax Road and the Walled Garden in Chantry Park. I am a huge wildlife enthusiast and have an intense passion for gardening and the environment.

My background includes management roles in retail and hospitality industries, and more recently experience in the education sector working with SEND students. I am an autistic spectrum advocate online, and volunteer some of my spare time to supporting other fellow late diagnosed autistic adults come to terms with their late diagnosis. I have spent a few years creating and delivering a bespoke mentoring programme for autistic students, supporting the acquisition of their official diagnosis, raising awareness of sensory processing differences, and establishing a support programme for each student, whilst promoting the awareness of neurodiversity across many educational establishments across Suffolk through the creation and delivery of training packages.

Over the past few years, I created a gardening nurture programme for teenagers, based upon the social and therapeutic benefits of horticulture (Ecotherapy). The purpose of this programme was to ensure students were able to create and maintain an allotment plot, on which they could grow their own food, whilst developing as well-rounded, grounded individuals, equipped with the tools to manage their own physical and mental health.

I have a Royal Horticultural Society qualification in practical horticulture, a certificate in Ecotherapy, my personal licence from the BIIAB and a university degree in Sociology with Youth Studies.

Sam Grainger-Cowles

Gardening in Mind Project Officer

Bio coming soon

Phoebe Hyett

ActivGardens Grow Your Future Project Officer


Bio coming soon

Jack Cook

Community Gardener ActivGardens - New to Nature Placement

I am the assistant of Operations Officer Ian and I maintain the sites and ensure the volunteers are both safe, productive and entertained. Before being a member of staff, I was a volunteer for ActivGardens for over a year, ensuring that my fellow volunteers were okay and that staff received assistance when needed. I have diplomas in both Agriculture and horticulture as well as plenty of experience in the nature sector prior to my acquaintance with ActivGardens.


ActivLives is a local charity, which relies on grants, trusts, donations, fundraising activities, sponsorship & commissions to enable us to provide & develop our services across Ipswich & Suffolk.