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Communities Together East Anglia’s Newsletter

Autumn Edition 2022

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We’ve supporting *** clients within Suffolk. 

Later Life Community Connect

We hope you have been able to enjoy the summer although at times we may have seen the sun a bit too much and could be looking forward to greeting the Autumn Season with some cooler fresher days. We have been busy, seeing the number of people accessing Later Life Connect Service increase as well as welcoming a new member to our team – Jane. We are so happy to have her on board and some of you may already have had the opportunity to speak with her.

‘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)

Amanda Griffin and Tracy Matthews (left to right) lead our Later Life     Community Connect Service

As we continue to grow and develop, we would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the types of things that you can call us about – We can make supported referrals to other organisations so people can access help with Benefit Entitlements, Legal Issues, Advocacy, obtaining aids/adaptions, request Carer/Carer’s assessments Access grants, funds & equipment Locate local Activities, Social Groups, Lunch Clubs, Day Centres, Transport Options Source local tradesperson i.e. Plumber, Handyperson, Gardener, Cleaner etc
Make internal referrals to our new BeAFriend Service for anyone looking for telephone, face to face or Penpal/Email Befriending. Continue to offer regular Catch-up and Chat/Welfare calls if there are no volunteers currently available with BeAFriend.

  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.

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

Being a Community Hero – BeAFriend As part of our Later Life Community service, we have launched a new countywide BeAFriend (befriending) service for people aged 65+ and are looking for willing volunteers to support this exciting new project and join our fantastic volunteer team. We understand the challenges people are facing since the pandemic, and this has led to a need for more community volunteer support – and what a perfect way to get involved – especially if you love a chat. Quite simply, a regular chat with a friendly volunteer can make a huge difference to someone, giving hope, purpose and knowing that someone cares. Volunteers can choose to meet face to face, email or video call, be a penpal or simply phone to offer trusted friendship and a listening ear to an older person. In particular, we are actively looking for friendly, chatty, patient and empathetic individuals (18+) to join our growing volunteer team and help us to help older people across Suffolk with this vital service.

  Over 10% of people aged 65+ say that they are ‘often or always lonely’ sometimes with a month or more of no proper conversation – coupled with mobility challenges, digital exclusion and rural isolation, this can lead to people feeling increasingly lonely and isolated.
  Currently, we have over 50 individuals who are looking for a Befriendee, most would love to meet someone face-to-face; in a public place or in their own home (we risk assess individual’s suitability and safety if a home meeting is requested). You will not be asked to provide care in any form – just be able to hold a conversation and actively listen. For more information, call 01284 334516 or email

Later Life Community Online

Tea & Tech locations: • Stowmarket Library • Ipswich County Library • The Unity Centre (NHS site, Meredith Road) Ipswich • Haverhill Library 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+, bring your own device or try one of ours & free to access Booking is essential: Call Tracey on – 01449 707030

  Tablet course locations starting end of September:

• Newmarket

• Rendlesham

• Ipswich

 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.  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 now looking forward to the Autumn. Our Later Life Engage Co-ordinator, Tracey E has continued spreading the word of the support and services Communities Together East Anglia offer. As a result of this, July was an extremely busy month with the launch of four new Community Cuppa & Chinwag groups, details as follows: Carlton Colville -first Friday morning of the month Wickham Market – second Thursday afternoon of the month Reydon (Southwold) – second Friday afternoon of the month Ipswich – third Wednesday afternoon of the month. Along with the Woodbridge Cuppa (fourth Tuesday morning of the month) and a Sunday afternoon Chinwag (every quarter) and Eye Community Cuppa (last Thursday morning of the month) this now takes our total to six.
New Locations this Autumn We are launching a new group in September at Hollesley Village Hall which will run on the fourth Wednesday of the month from 2pm – 4pm. The group will run for four months finishing with a Festive Chinwag on the 28th December.
  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’
          DATE FOR YOUR DIARY: 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 latest

• 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

• 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

Other Useful Numbers


The Royal British Legion – 0808 802 8080
SSAFA Suffolk -01787 377 850
RAF Benevolent Fund. – 01491 837766 ext 6536 or 5299
The Salvation Army – (020) 7367 4500
Citizen’s Advice – 0800 144 8848
Suffolk Mind – 0300-111-6000
Dementia Connect (Alzheimer’s Society) – 0333-150-3456
Realise Futures – 01473-406777
Ipswich Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) – 07969262404
Stowmarket Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) – 07515-937045
Hadleigh Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) – 07976-603805
Leading Lives – 01473-406777
ActivLives – 01473-345350
Suffolk Family Carers (Carers Support Services) – 01473-835477
Wellbeing Suffolk (Mental Health & Wellbeing Support Services) – 0300-123-1503
Suffolk Mind (Mental Health Support Services) – 0300-111-6000
Lofty Heights Suffolk (Decluttering, Deep Cleaning & more – including enabling hospital discharge / moving into care services)- 01473-345301 Activities Unlimited – 01473-260026
P.A.C.T. (Parents and Carers Together) – 07856-038799

Volunteer with Us

  We are currently recruiting volunteers for the following roles:

Catch Up & Chat Volunteers

Stowmarket Rickshaw Pilots (Riders !)

Driver Volunteers

Community Engagement Volunteers

Meet & Greet Event Volunteers

Be-A-Friend 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. We will pay reasonable expenses if incurred. I look forward to making contact with you.’ Terri-Ann (Volunteering Co-ordinator)