Turn over new leaf at ActivGardens in free learning scheme

Turn over new leaf at ActivGardens in free learning scheme

If you are looking for a new direction in 2020 – how about taking part in a free outdoor-based learning programme at ActivGardens, part of local charity ActivLives?

‘Grow Your Future’ will enable you to learn new skills and gain confidence on your way to further opportunities and employment.

The 12-week scheme will include garden maintenance, horticulture and environmental conservation, with a chance to get involved in specialist activities such as woodworking or bee-keeping.

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.

The programme is funded by the European Social Fund and the Education & Skills funding Agency, and administered by LIFT Community Grants ‘Local Investment in Learning Paths to Work’.


  • If you would like to find out more, please come along to our open day on Thursday 23 January from 1pm to 3pm at the People’s Community Garden, Maidenhall Allotments, Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE. There will be hot drinks and food, and a chance to look around the gardens and speak to members of our friendly team.

Please contact Susannah on 07530 407302 or email susannah@activlives.org.uk or ActivLives on 01473 345350 to find out more or to register your interest. The first session will start on Monday 3 February.

Women’s Skills Exchange FREE workshops

Women’s Skills Exchange FREE workshops

Empower with flowers Tuesday 9 October 10am to 12.30pm at Chantry Walled Garden
Come and make a bouquet with our in-house British flower grower Emma Powell – enjoy tea and homemade cake too

Core cooking Tuesday 23 October (half term) 10am to 4pm at the People’s Community Garden
Cook with apples and other community garden produce – and eat the fruits of your labours in a shared meal – with Monica Askay, Orchards East

Warm up for Winter Tuesday 6 November 11am to 2pm to at Chantry Walled Garden
Basic gardening skills, preparing for winter, taking cuttings, compost-making, planning for spring at Chantry Walled Garden with Project Co-ordinator Lesley Hartley

Creative Christmas Thursday 6 December 10am to 12.30pm at Chantry Walled Garden
Make a seasonal wreath or Christmas craft over a warming drink and mince pie

Take up tools February 2019 date TBC at the People’s Community Garden
Basic woodworking at our ActivSheds project – make an obelisk or bird box with Elaine

Get buzzing for Spring March 2019 date TBC at the People’s Community Garden
Beginner beekeeping, tour of hives and bee crafts with Betsy Reid


The sessions are designed to be fun, accessible and sociable – but places are limited, so please book.

Further sessions will cover beginner gardening skills, Christmas crafts, construction and beekeeping.

The project, funded through Suffolk Community Foundation, will involve women of all ethnicities in learning and sharing skills and developing new opportunities for themselves.

Existing volunteers will act as “Garden Companions” to help newcomers settle in and learn gardening and horticultural skills.

The project will bring women together in an active way to learn and share skills and improve their health and wellbeing in a welcoming environment. Women will be able to engage and develop at a pace to suit them, fitting around responsibilities of home and children, and doing as much as they are able. It will bring older women and younger women together in a spirit of sharing and co-operation.

To book a place, or if you have a skill you would like to learn or share, please get in touch with ActivLives 01473 345350  or Project Co-ordinator Lesley Hartley lesley@activlives.org.uk