Top photo: The Big Sport group in Bury St Edmunds with Abbeycroft lifeguard, Georgina from Active Suffolk and Cllr Ian Shipp.

Inclusion

Valuing people’s differences and ensuring everyone is treated equally and supported in their community is part of our DNA.

We meet the needs of the entire community. People who are socially excluded or face barriers to participation, including poverty, disability or geography often have poorer health outcomes, so we believe in offering opportunities to lead healthier lives to everyone within our community.

Big Sport in Bury St Edmunds

Delivered by Abbeycroft, in partnership with Inspire Social Care Services, The Big Sport Club has been funded by Active Suffolk’s Together Fund.

The aim is to tackle inequalities and increase physical activity levels for participants with additional needs.

The club takes place on Fridays at Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre and includes a supported swim session, lunch, a sports session including Boccia, New Age Kurling, Table Tennis and Badminton followed by an opportunity to take part in a dance and music session.

Participants can choose from any or all the activities we offer during the day, to help increase movement, improving social interaction, and mental health.

Big Sport in Sudbury with The Bridge Project

We also run a Disability Sports session with partners The Bridge Project in Sudbury.

The aim is to work with their students and tutors to offer appropriate activities to encourage movement, achievement and wellbeing.

The students are offered a secure and nurturing environment to build confidence in taking part in sport and activity, when mainstream settings would normally be unavailable to them, therefore promoting personal growth.

Gt Cornard Big Sport

Working with Abbeycroft has been such a pleasure and they have assisted us with so many things, including securing the funding from Active Suffolk’s Together Fund.

Abbeycroft has brought so much knowledge and understanding of what our students need to this project, so we’re thrilled with this partnership.

A lot of our students don’t have the opportunity to go to gyms or fitness facilities, so offering them something like this is gentle and informal and beneficial for their physical and mental health.

Hannah Seymour

Student and Services Manager, The Bridge Project

Big Sport at Gt Cornard

“I love doing exercise with my friends because it makes me feel relaxed and happy”

“I like doing activity because it keeps me feeling less achey and doing it in this group is just fun because everyone is so nice and friendly.”

Julie and Claire

Big Sport participants, The Bridge Project

gt cornard big sport

Food Projects

Over 100,000 meals

Abbeycroft, together with partners, has delivered a staggering 100,000 meals since
July 2020 through three different programmes, all designed to support families and individuals in financial hardship, as well as tackle food poverty, isolation and inactivity.

Family Park Cooking

Funded from the government’s Holiday Activity Fund via West Suffolk Council and
Babergh District Council – sessions are delivered every school holiday across 8
locations with FREE spaces for families in financial hardship. Families spend a day
together in an outdoor location, doing fun, physical activity as well as cooking by a
campfire. However, what makes this project unique, compared to many other
holiday food projects, is that each family is also then provided with a food meal box for
a week, plus recipes and videos to encourage them to cook, simple, affordable
and nutritious meals together at home.

Over the Christmas holiday, we also deliver Christmas lunch and Boxing Day
ingredient boxes and an activity pack for families across the region.

School Holiday Adventure Days

Our outdoor adventure days for children aged 8-13, delivered by our Explore
Outdoors team include a day of fun, structured, safe activities including lunch.  Places are completely free of charge to families in financial difficulties, or for children that have been negatively affected by bereavement, social isolation, reduced mental health, anxiety etc.

These sessions run across West Suffolk and Babergh throughout the year.

Reducing Isolation with Food (RIF)

Bury St Edmunds Festive Food project and RIF has delivered over 15,500 meals since
2020.

Funded by Bury St Edmunds Town Council and supported by Tesco, West Suffolk
College and Bury St Edmunds Rickshaw – these two projects deliver heat-at-home meals throughout the year and at Christmas (including hampers) to isolated adults
spending Christmas day alone.

Food is prepared by students at West Suffolk College and delivered by the Bury St
Edmunds Rickshaw team as well as local councillors and volunteers and the entire
initiative is coordinated by Abbeycroft’s Explore Outdoor team.

family park cooking
xmas meals at the college
food box - family park cooking
people helping with donations
boy shooting arrow - activity days
family park cooking meals

“These sessions are amazing for the children, small groups, interaction, laughing, fun, new skills, food to take home to help with the situation, family time”

“Doing things in the community and having the confidence to do something you usually wouldn’t do”

“My child has a mother with anxiety and I often worry it will rub off on her, but with
these sessions I can see she’s growing in confidence and able to make friends”

“The children loved the food and we are going to buy a firepit to cook at home
in the garden. They have already independently cooked me two meals since
we attended Family Park Cooking”

“The food box is brilliant and much appreciated as we do struggle especially
since the cost of living crisis! “

“It’s given my daughter more confidence to cook & helped us in these tough times”

“They help me realise that you can make some really yummy dishes without needing lots of expensive ingredients”

“I go to these sessions as I don’t want my daughter to end up with anxiety like me!
These sessions are small enough groups that I feel safe and I push myself to make conversations with people! I always walk away proud of myself, although tired, but it’s always worth it! “

Comments about Family Park Cooking

from participants