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Communities Together East Anglia

Autumn 2022 Newsletter Autumn 

Wise Up For Winter

The Winter months can be challenging for many, and this year will be no different. Our Wise Up For Winter campaign will run from October – February with a mixture of information, weekly tips, recipes and even a knitting competition. We will keep you up to date through local media, community events, social media and of course posters and information on our buses. But a heads up – we are looking for community volunteers to help our more vulnerable people through the winter months through friendship and a weekly conversation – if you think you could spare an hour or more a week to help someone in your community, we’d love to hear from you on 01449 707030.

Our Website Launch!

After lots of blood, sweat and tears (well, not quite!), our new website was launched in August – please check it out at – you’ll find information on there about all of our services, maps to show you where events are going on, and a referral form to help you to access our services, through a single contact form.

Over 1400 people supported through our projects & services

Later Life Community Connect

We hope that you have been able to enjoy the summer, although at times, we may be feeling that we have seen a bit too much sun! So, looking forward to the Autumn and some cooler, fresh days, we have been putting lots of plans in place to make sure that we can support as many people across Suffolk as possible, especially as we approach Winter months and the challenges that the colder months can bring.

  • Here’s a reminder of how we may be able to help you by supporting referrals to other organisations regarding concerns such as:
  • Benefit Entitlements
  • Legal Issues Advocacy
  • Home aids/adaptions
  • Access grants, funds & equipment
  • Signposting/identifying community activities, social groups, lunch clubs, day centres
  • Transport options
  • Source local tradespeople

If you have a problem or query, whatever it may be, why not give us a call on our support line – 01284 334516 to see if we can help. Amanda, Jane and Tracy would love to hear from you.




Say hello to… Jane B

‘My name is Jane Bates and I’m the newest member of the team. I ran a local news-agent for 12 years where most of our lovely customers were over 65 and we were their lifeline when COVID hit. I enjoy spending time with my 4 children and family.’   Jane Bates (Later Life Community Connect Co-ordinator)

Why do we do what we do?

Suffolk is a fantastic county to live in – we have beautiful green spaces, lovely urban centres and picturesque villages and landscapes. We also have huge challenges when it comes to accessing the support and services needed, in a timely way – this is why we are here – to help YOU to access what you need, when you need it. So if you think we may be able to help you, why not give us a call – we always have time to chat!

Featured Organistion – ActivLives

ActivLives is a local small, grassroots charity, working in Ipswich and across Suffolk providing local support. As a diverse organisation it offers a wide range of activities including Horticulture – gardening projects, community singing, falls prevention, sport activities to name just a few. Later Life Community can make referrals to ActivLives for those who are looking for ways to improve their health, fitness and wellbeing which could then lead on to helping people to connect with their local community, reduce social isolation and loneliness. Get in touch with us if you would like us to make a referral for you.

 Later Life Community – BeAFriend

Here at Communities Together East Anglia, we LOVE to chat and know how important it is to have someone to talk to. Through our recently launched BeAFriend friendship service, we can bring together people for a regular chat by telephone, online, face to face and even through the written word – across Suffolk. Although primarily focused on people aged 65+, we know that anyone can feel lonely, and that by building trust and friendship, befriending can help to improve feelings of loneliness and social isolation, through a regular connection with a matched and trained befriending or community engagement volunteer.

Our small but perfectly formed BeAFriend team would love to hear from you if you know someone who may benefit from this service, but also if you could spare an hour or more of your time, once a week to befriend someone struggling with loneliness.

To find out more about the BeAFriend service and other befriending support in the county, you can give us a call on 01449 707030.

If you live in or near Ipswich – come and join us on a Tuesday afternoon at The Unity Centre (Whitton Clinic).
Each Tuesday afternoon we’ll be hosting a FREE activity so come along and join us for a cuppa and cake!

1st Tuesday – Community Cuppa

2nd Tuesday – Physical Activity session – Otago/Boccia*

3rd Tuesday – Tea & Tech (see Later Life Community Online)

4th Tuesday – Physical Activity session – Otago/Boccia*

*Starting October 2022

To book, call 01284 334516/01449 707030

Later Life Community Online

Tea and Tech sessions are for people to access dedicated digital support in a safe, local, and friendly environment, these are 2-hour sessions, once a month held at the locations listed above. You can book, come along with your own device, and receive the help and support you need to be more confident in using it. We also have a variety of spare devices available for you to use and try, this gives you the opportunity to experience what works best for you if you are thinking of purchasing a device. Eligibility: Need to be 55+, if you have a device, bring it along (we have spares for you to try if you don’t have your own).

Tea & Tech locations:

  • Stowmarket Library
  • Ipswich County Library
  • The Unity Centre (Whitton Clinic) Ipswich
  • Haverhill Library

Booking is essential: Call Tracey on – 01449 707030

What are tablet courses?  

The tablet course is designed to take you through the basic steps of setting   up a tablet, understanding the functions, how to navigate around your tablet   including accessing the internet, most of all increasing your confidence in   using digital technology Eligibility: Need to be 55+, no prior skills required &   free to access.

Tablet course locations starting end of September:

• Newmarket

• Rendlesham

• Ipswich

 8 places available at each location, booking is essential:
Call Tracey on – 01449 707030

Become a Digital Champion and make a difference in your community!
If you would like to help at a Tea & Tech session, then why not sign up and become a Digital Champion, helping others navigate the world of digital! Very  rewarding and you get to develop your own skills while teaching others.

Community Is Key…

In a blink of an eye, we have said goodbye to the summer and are on the cusp of Autumn, and what is looking to be a challenging winter. We are reaching more and more people through our community activities and engagement, and Tracey E and Sharon have been travelling the width and breadth of the county, meetings lots of people through our Community Cuppa and Pop Up Chinwag activities. For a full list of current locations, see below:

East Suffolk

Monthly Cuppa/Chinwag activity:

  • Carlton Colville – 1st Friday of the month – 10am-midday
  • Reydon – 2nd Friday of the month 2-4pm
  • Wickham Market – 2nd Thursday of the month 2-4pm
  • Woodbridge – Cuppas 4th Tuesday of the month 10am-midday Chinwags – Fourth Sunday of the month (Sept, Jan & March) – 2pm – 4pm
  • Hollesley– 4th Wednesday of the month 2-4pm (Cuppa) and Wednesday 28th December, 2-4pm (“Twixmas Chinwag)


  • The Unity Centre, Ipswich – Community Cuppa 1st Tuesday of the month 2-4pm
  • The Meeting Place, Limerick Road, Ipswich – Pop Up Chinwag 3rd Wednesday of the month 2-4pm

Mid Suffolk & Babergh

  • Eye – Michael Burke Wellbeing Centre – Community Cuppa Last Thursday of the month 10am-midday

If you would like us to visit your town, village or community or would like more details about our Cuppa’s and Chinwags, we can be contacted in the following ways: email telephone 01284 334516

We have also been asked about hosting a Chinwag /Community Cuppa in Bungay & Beccles – watch this space for more details. If you would like us to visit your town, village or community or would like more details about our Cuppa’s and Chinwags, we can be contacted in the following ways: email telephone 01284 334516 In the words of a funder ‘these groups are so much more than coffee & cake’




East Suffolk District Council will be bringing their financial roadshow to the Woodbridge Community Cuppa on the 25th October from 10-midday.

Suffolk Carers Matter

The summer has certainly been a sunny period of growth for Suffolk Carers Matter. This is evident from the number of registrations coming through – both personal and professional. The amount of community engagement we are providing face-to-face is ever expanding, plus we continue to offer our Carers Card & Carers Counselling as part of our core services. We hope that you can use these weeks of autumn as a time to reflect & access any of our services that may help you in your day-to-day caring role as we head towards the end of the year.

Suffolk Carers Natter

Our popular Natter groups are an opportunity for family carers to meet others local to them, in a community space, over a cuppa. Over a period of 6-8 weeks we will support attendees to build up a peer to peer support network that can continue independently over time. These are a great opportunity to share experiences and challenges, make friends, and meet up and chat in a safe, non judgemental space. These are free events and there is no need to book – just turn up and join us for a cuppa and chat.





  • Brandon, Tilly’s Tearooms Wednesdays fortnightly – 10am – 12pm
  • Wickham Market, Vida Haus Café 1st Tuesday of the month – 10am to 12pm
  • Morrison’s Café, Pakefield 3rd Tuesday of the month – 10am to 12pm
  • Felixstowe, The Cliff Top Café Thursdays fortnightly – 10.30am to 12.30pm Woodbridge, Christine’s Tearooms 2nd/4th Wednesdays – 2pm to 4pm
  • Thurston, The Fox and Hounds Pub Thursdays fortnightly 2pm to 4pm The other groups alongside the Dementia Cafés are;
  • ITFC Dementia Café, Hall of Fame 1st Thursday of the month – 11am to 1pm 
  • Unity Centre, Ipswich 1st Monday of the month – 10am to 12pm

Summer Drop in Sessions

Our Summer drop-in sessions for both Carers and Cared-For were a fabulous way not only for accessing information, support and guidance face-to-face, but also for peer support and friendship building. We were delighted to see new faces and old at all three sessions along the A14 corridor, from Felixstowe to Bury St Edmunds and then Stowmarket. Copious amounts of refreshments and cake have been provided at each setting which were thoroughly enjoyed. Do keep an eye out for future events planned as we head towards winter & the festive season!

New SCN Groups (from Sept)

• Eye, The Bank Arts Centre – Thursdays starting 15th September fortnightly 10.30am – 12.30pm

• Needham Market, Roots and Shoots Garden Café – Tuesdays starting 11th October (2nd/4th weeks) – 10am to 12pm

• Stowmarket, Langams Café – Tuesdays starting 11th October (2nd/4th weeks) – 2.00pm to 4.00pm

• Morrison’s Café Ipswich – 4th Thursday of the month – starting 24th November – 10am to 12pm

Community Transport

In a rural county, getting from A to B can sometimes be difficult – we cannot always connect to the right form of transport to meet our needs, perhaps because of mobility difficulties, connections to mainline transport, or maybe there simply isn’t a bus service in your area that can get you to where you need to be.

With our small fleet of mobility friendly minibuses, operating across Ipswich and Mid Suffolk, we can help you to get to where you need to, 6 days a week (Monday – Saturday) between 7am – 7pm (subject to availability). With fares starting from just £2.50 for a single journey, our friendly bookings and driving team are here to help you get to your destination, safely and with a lovely chat on the way! This service is part of a wider Suffolk transport scheme – Connecting Communities – so if you live in a different area, these are the numbers you need:

Suffolk Coastal – 01728 635938
West Suffolk – 01638 664304
Babergh – 01473 826242
Waveney – 01986 896896

Register with us for a quicker booking!

If you are travelling with uor the first time, we will need to take some information from you, so if you think you may like to use our service, it’s a good idea to register before you need to book and then we will be ready to get you booked in when you need us.
You can call us on 01449 614271 between 9am – 4pm, Monday – Friday and speak to Jo, Katie, Linda, Jan or Andrea who will be happy to help you.

Do you need a minibus for an activity or event – our 14 seater private hire minibus is fully wheelchair accessible and your hire comes complete with a friendly driver to take you to where you need to be. For a competitive quote, give us a call on 01449 614271.

Our Rickshaw Project is based at Red Gables in Stowmarket. Rides can be booked in the immediate local area by calling us on 01449 614271.

Other Useful Numbers


ActivLives – 01473 345350
Activities Unlimited – 01473 260026
Citizen’s Advice – 0800 144 8848
Dementia Connect (Alzheimer’s Society) – 0333 150 3456
Hadleigh Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) – 07976 603805
Ipswich Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) – 07467 336348
Leading Lives – 01473 406777
Lofty Heights Suffolk – 01473 345301
P.A.C.T. (Parents and Carers Together) – 07856-038799
RAF Benevolent Fund – 01491 837766 ext 6536 or 5299
Realise Futures – 01473 406777
SSAFA Suffolk -01787 377 850
Suffolk Mind (Mental Health Support) – 0300-111-6000
Stowmarket Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) – 07515-937045
Suffolk Family Carers (Carers Support) – 01473-835477
The Salvation Army – (020) 7367 4500
The Royal British Legion – 0808 802 8080
Wellbeing Suffolk – 0300 123 1503

Volunteer with Us

We have big plans but need your help to spread the word.

We are currently recruiting volunteers for the following roles:

  • Be-A-Friend Volunteers
  • Community Car Drivers
  • Stowmarket Rickshaw Pilots (Riders !)
  • Community Engagement Volunteers
  • Meet & Greet Event Volunteers

Full training provided & DBS checks undertaken

Contact us on 01449-707030 OR Email


‘Volunteering is fun and rewarding. The benefits are enormous – exchanging experiences and learning, giving back to the local community, being a friend to someone in need, getting role specific training, feeling valued and having purpose. You can shape both your own and someone else’s world with just the giving of your time.’
Contact us on 01449-707030
or email