All a buzz at Ipswich beekeeping project

Volunteers working with bees at ActivLives community garden in Ipswich.
The beekeeping project has

Volunteers working with bees at ActivLives community garden in Ipswich. The beekeeping project has received a £2,000 boost Tesco, from its Bags of Help funding. - Credit: Archant

Community projects in Ipswich could receive a cash injection from the Tesco’s Bags of Help initiative, and beneficiaries like ActivLives are encouraging others to sign up.

Volunteers working with bees at ActivLives community garden in Ipswich.
The beekeeping project has

Volunteers working with bees at ActivLives community garden in Ipswich. The beekeeping project has received a £2,000 boost Tesco, from its Bags of Help funding. - Credit: Archant

ActivLives, with its People’s Community Garden at Maidenhall, has received a welcome boost after an arson attack earlier in the year.

Tesco works in partnership with Groundwork to offer its Bags of Help funding scheme, where the money raised by the sale of carrier bags is being used to fund thousands of local projects in communities right across Britain, all voted on by customers in store.

An Ipswich group which has benefitted from the initiative is ActivLives, a charity that provides learning, training and volunteering opportunities to the local community.

The group secured a £2,000 grant in August, and was able to use the funding to support its ‘Bee Amazed’ project. The scheme enabled the group to offer weekly beekeeping sessions, where participants learned about the importance of bees for the wider environment, whilst also helping to reduce loneliness and build self-esteem.


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Bespoke sessions were also delivered for those with learning disabilities, and equipment is often taken out into the community to deliver presentations on bees. Places that have benefitted from this include Dementia Friends club and Moving Forward groups, which aim to rebuild their lives after caring for loved ones.

Danny Thorrington project coordinator at ActivLives said: “The Bags of Help funding from Tesco has enabled us to expand our educational offering around the wonderful world of bees, and helped us to rebuild our services after the devastating arson attack we suffered this year.

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“Our beekeeping sessions are already making a huge difference to people’s lives across the community. We’ve seen over 1,000 visitors this year, and many of those people are on the brink of permanent exclusion from school or have special needs.

“Our sessions not only enable us to encourage the next generation to take care of our amazing wildlife, but also to teach people valuable work and life skills that they might struggle to learn in a school setting. The grant has made a huge difference and I would strongly encourage any local organisations to apply for the Bags of Help scheme.”

Keith Jackson, Tesco’s Bags of Help Manager added: “ActivLives is a fantastic charitable organisation and we’re proud to have played a small part in the valuable work it does for our community.

“Now we’re looking for other groups and charities that could benefit from a Tesco Bags of Help grant.”

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