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 problems and/or 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/project development, day care for older people 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 and 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 3 days a week. Outside of ActivLives I am kept very busy by also being a magistrate, school governor, trustee of another charity, exam invigilator, health walk leader and volunteering at St Elizabeth Hospice.

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

Sam Thurlow

ActivLives Communications & Assistant Administrator

After leaving Sixth Form with A levels in Fine Art, Graphic Design & Photography, I started work for my dad as a designer and sign maker. I then created my own design & photography business while working 6 part time jobs (ranging from a gardener to evening caretaker at a school). Then in 2012 I was asked by long-time family friend Julie if I could come and work at ActivLives for 3 months to cover a member of staff…and apparently I did a good job, because I’ve been working here since!
I namely design all the posters, leafets and the newsletter, as well as manage the website and social media…and generally help in any way I can – whether it be lifting heavy things or organising The Big Garden Party.

When I’m not at ActivLives I’m an avid video gamer & photographer. But for the most part I’m a percussionist and drummer, and spend most evenings and weekends gigging and recording with bands around East Anglia and in London.

Susannah Robirosa

ActivGardens 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.

Lindsay Bennett

ActivHub Development Officer

After 7 years in the British Army and with a real passion for ‘health, fitness & wellbeing’ I went on to gain various advanced level qualifications within the fitness industry. Working for 13 years teaching numerous fitness disciplines and evolving from there to gym management, before progressing on to setting up and managing my own health club. Wanting to work more ‘sociable’ hours I joined the Town & Bridge Project in July 2008 and spent the next 5 years working on the ‘Fit as a Fiddle Project’ a nationwide project funded by the Big Lottery. This gave me the experience and aspiration to want to continue working with adults aged 45 plus and a real motivation to work specifically around ‘falls prevention’ activities. I look forward to developing the ‘falls prevention’ program and introducing new and exciting activities such as Nordic Walking to help individuals reduce their risk of falls and decrease the number of people who are re-admitted to hospital due to an injury resulting from repeated falls.

Mike McCarthy

ActivIpswich Project 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.

Alison Pearson

ActivLives Community Engagement Officer & Friday Friends 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.

Del Keeble

ActivHubs 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.

Flur Parisi

ActivHubs

Growing up I had a huge passion in art and photography and had always envisioned my career going in that direction. After studying at UCA in Canterbury, Kent I decided not to continue in university and went back to work instead. I have had various jobs such as a body piercer and key worker for young adults before coming back to my childhood routes and fell in love with fitness again. Due to health conditions I turned to exercise and managed to improve my symptoms and health. I knew that I wanted to help others do the same so I decided to become a personal trainer 5 years ago.

From then I have worked in several gyms, taught classes and trained clients. I found I enjoyed helping people improve their health more than the standard weight loss journey so while working at my previous job at Christ Church University I got my qualification in exercise referral. I was teaching a class each week aimed at those aged 50+ and wanted to do more. I saw that there was an opportunity to work at ActivLives and was drawn in by the variety of activities they offered and how socialising was just as important as the activities.

In my spare time I love to keep fit, go rock climbing, play video games, visit museums and do photography.

Donate

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.