ActivLives Message – 13.01.21

Due to the latest Government announcement and lockdown restrictions, ActivLives had to close all of our activity sessions again, including ActivSheds, the Sudbury project and limit the access to our two community gardens in Ipswich.

Staff are still able to access the office at Brightspace.


What are we doing during the Lockdown?

  • We are monitoring the Covid-19 situation and Government announcements very closely and following strict guidance on hygiene / cleaning, social distancing and the wearing of face masks.
  • The ActivOut and About Project continues to support people on a one to one basis who live on their own, are vulnerable or need some social contact and exercise to help with their physical / mental health. The walk may just be around the streets or in a park or green space. We are very grateful to Active Suffolk and Sport England for their support with this initiative. All our other ActivSports sessions are closed at the moment.
  • Having been able to re-start our Step by Step (falls prevention) and ActivSteps sessions in Ipswich, Felixstowe, Woodbridge and Leiston, we have now had to close them all again. However, we are providing Better Balance sessions through live streaming on a Monday, Tuesday and Thursday morning. If you would like to join one of the sessions with our OTAGO Instructors Del Keeble and Jo Powley contact Clare Macdonald at the main office on 01473 345350 for more information. We will restart face to face sessions, as soon as we are able. The Step by Step (Falls Prevention) programme is funded by Ipswich & East Suffolk CCG. We are still accepting referrals from health professionals, Social Prescribing Link workers and self-referral.
  • It is very important that through the lockdowns or if you are shielding that you try and keep active. If you are not into live zooming, then why not visit our Activ@Home page on our website where you can find seated exercise videos with Jo. Please visit: You will also find quizzes, singing videos and lots more….
  • Our Carers Elderflower Hub, Friday Friends Hub and our ActivSingers community singing groups remain closed, but we are keeping in contact with members and volunteers through regular welfare calls, WhatsApp groups and zoom singing sessions and socials.
  • We are still working on the Bridging the Gap Project in partnership with NSFT / Willows Unit and the Recovery College and are currently working on a new ‘Connecting with Nature’ Webinar, which should be available in March.
  • Our two lunch clubs at St Mary at Stoke Church & the Ipswich International Church remain closed but we are keeping in touch with members and volunteers. Hopefully, they will reopen again later in the year.
  • Our Befriending / Welfare calls, shopping / food parcel delivery and medication collection will also continue, with our most vulnerable members / carers to help reduce their anxiety, loneliness and social isolation caused by the lockdown.
  • ActivGardens – Our two Community Gardens in Ipswich are temporarily closed due to the current lockdown. Our provisional re-opening date is Monday 1st March. This also includes ActivSheds and ‘Grow Your Community’ in Sudbury’s park.


Essential work at the gardens and community apiary will continue with key volunteers and some placements will be able to continue to attend their programmes – by prior arrangement with staff.

  • Please do keep in touch with all the activities at ActivGardens via the ActivLives website and social media, and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need more information. Please visit:


We are obviously following Government COVID-19 Guidance to ensure the safety of our staff, volunteers and members. We will reopen our activity sessions when it is safe to do so, but in the meantime, we will keep in touch with our members / volunteers to make sure they are OK and inform them of any developments with our activity and social programme.

A big thank you to all our funders and the amazing donations we have received to help the organisation through these unprecedented times and to the staff

and volunteers who have gone that extra mile to support our services and each other during the lockdowns. If you require any further information, please contact us on 01473 345350.

Please stay safe.


Julie Stokes CEO


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Message from ActivLives – 27.11.20

Message from ActivLives – 27.11.20

Just to let everyone know how ActivLives is managing the lockdowns and Government and Sport’s Bodies restrictions and how we are continuing to support our members and volunteers.

We have been able to keep our Community Gardens in Ipswich and our Sudbury Garden project open safely, with the support of our dedicated teams of volunteers who are helping to maintain the gardens and grow plants and produce for the local community. The volunteers in Sudbury have been working hard to keep Belle Vue Park looking lovely and keeping on top of the weeding and tidying in preparation for the winter months.

The staff and volunteers are also working hard to prepare all sorts of jams, pickles,  Honey, fresh produce, bird boxes, garden items, crafts and lots more for the Christmas Market on December 4th at the People’s Community Garden, Halifax Rd from 10am – 1pm. Please come along…

We have also been able to keep various projects running such as ‘Grow Your Future’ which is giving people skills, work experience and support in finding employment as well as building confidence, self-esteem and helping people with anxiety and depression cope through the lockdowns and the pandemic.

ActivSheds has been able to keep open with a limited number of volunteers and with the new outside cover funded by SW Ipswich Area Committee, we now have more space for people to enjoy the Shed and keep socially distanced.

Unfortunately, the Better Balance sessions that we managed to get up and running after the first lockdown had to close again, but for those that could access the internet the instructors have been running live zoom exercise sessions and seated dance and chair-based exercise to keep people moving and connected.

We have established WhatsApp Groups, run zoom socials and sing-a-longs, including our Friday Friends Hub and kept in touch with our members from all our different activities with the Befriending / Welfare calls to help get people through this very difficult and anxious time.

During lockdown 2 our ActivOut and About Project returned to 1-1 ‘walks and talks’, encouraging people living alone to have a walk in the fresh air to help with their physical and mental health.

Check out our Activ@Home page on our Website for exercise / singing videos, quizzes and our themed reminiscence project ‘That Reminds Me’ for things to do at home.

We are now planning to re-open safely again on the 2nd December, so that some of our Better Balance, Inclusive Sports groups and Carers Hubs can meet again before the Christmas and New Year holiday. We hope to get more of our sessions running in the New Year, if we can.

A big thank you again goes out to all our funders who have helped to keep the organisation going through 2020 and the generous donations that people have sent in, even people who don’t use our services – thank you.

Thank you to all the staff, freelance staff and volunteers for your patience, flexibility, creativity and dedication in supporting ActivLives and keeping things going through the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns. Let’s hope 2021 is a better year for all of us.

For any information about any of our services or activities please contact the office on – 01473 345350 or visit