Ipswich: Funding boost of £80,000 for outdoors project aimed at helping people in Suffolk

East of England Co-op Directors Phil Hartwell and Tereza Scrogie present cheque to ActivLives CEO Ju

East of England Co-op Directors Phil Hartwell and Tereza Scrogie present cheque to ActivLives CEO Julie Stokes and Mayor of Ipswich - Credit: Archant

Bosses at an Ipswich-based charity are celebrating today after they were awarded a donation of nearly £80,000 for a project aimed at getting people in the town and across Suffolk more involved in gardening, horticulture and nature.

The new ‘healthy living’ partnership between the East of England Co-op and ActivLives will also promote healthy eating and physical activity through different activities.

The new initiative is called CRESS, which stands for Community Resource, Education and Skills Space, and it will allow ActivLives to further develop The People’s Community Garden, in Halifax Road and the Chantry Walled Garden.

Funding from the Co-op for the project was handed over on Saturday at the charity’s Big Garden Party.

Tereza Scrogie, director and chairman of the membership committee at the East of England Co-op, said: “For over 140 years we have been supporting local communities where we trade and the key issues that affect them, including health and well-being.

“The Society is particularly pleased to take part in this innovative initiative.

“Through our partnership with ActivLives and commitment to the CRESS project, we aim to build healthy, more resilient communities and enable more people to live full and active lives.”

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The idea behind CRESS is for people to grow healthy food, boost their skills, get fitter, make new friends and grow communities through a range of initiatives including school gardening programmes, a community cafe and volunteering and apprenticeship opportunities.

After the donation was handed over on Saturday, Julie Stokes, chief executive at ActivLives, said: “The synergy between our two organisations, the values, strategic direction and healthy living agenda are well matched to create a strong partnership.

“This funding will have a significant impact on what we do.

“It means new beginnings for the lovely community garden, the Pavilion and so much more. It’s fantastic.”

The East of England Co-op has already been promoting CRESS at a number of summer shows across East Anglia.

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