Sporting Memories group at Kingfisher Leisure Centre, Sudbury.

Image: Central are Jan and Adrian Osborne and kneeling third from left is Andy Read the group’s coordinator. Next to Andy is Simon Morgan from NHS Suffolk and North East Essex.



We embed ourselves in the community. Everyone’s important, everyone’s invited.

Our community programmes focus on well-being, physical and mental health, isolation, food poverty, anti-social behaviour and tackling inequalities.

We have a dedicated ‘Active Communities team who look at gaps in provision and work with the community and partners to establish opportunities to be active in the right place and at the right times.

Here are just a few great examples of our community programmes.

Sporting Memories

The Sporting Memories free sessions are open to everyone over the age of 50.

They use sports-based reminiscence resources and develop collections from local groups that rekindle those very special sporting memories and events.

Sessions also incorporate appropriate promotion of gentle exercise and physical activity within a fun and relaxed environment.

The network is part of the Sporting Memories Foundation, the world’s first charity dedicated to sports reminiscence and physical activities, supporting older people to come together in their communities.

We run two groups – one in Sudbury and the other in Mildenhall.

We’re now getting upward of 60 people each week and we have some excellent guests, all delivering something useful and stimulating for the audience. There is a definite camaraderie within this group and I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved here.

Andy Read

Sporting Memories Coordinator, Sudbury

Community groups such as this are fundamental to the town. They help tackle isolation and help people feel connected again as well as encourage physical activity so what could be better?

Abbeycroft are great at what they do and it’s always a pleasure to support them with anything that benefits our communities.

Jan Osborne

Abbeycroft Ambassador, Sudbury

I absolutely love Sudbury Sporting Memories – it’s just the group I’ve been looking for, meeting up with many different people and enjoying the company of both ladies and men, with no barriers as to who is welcome”.

Sporting Memories

Participant, Sudbury

I love having a bit of timeout here, relaxing & generally chilling, no social media, no emails and just remembering what is important in life.

Sporting Memories

Participant, Sudbury

Keep Active

We also run weekly ‘Keep Active’ sessions to encourage physical activity for the over 55’s and all the sessions include refreshments and a chance to socialise.

Sessions include Walking Football, Walking Netball, Keep Fit Aerobics, Dance, Badminton, Table Tennis and Curling.

The Keep Active programme has been supported by West Suffolk Council, West Suffolk Alliance and Brandon Town Council.

Keep Active at Brandon with Cllr Higgins and Cllr Lukaniak

Some Keep Active participants at Brandon Leisure Centre, with Abbeycroft staff plus Cllr Donna Higgins and Cllr Victor Lukaniak.

I love these sessions! Not just because it keeps me a bit active but because it’s something to look forward to each week and I feel part of the community again.

It’s very easy when you live alone to feel isolated, so being part of a group definitely helps and we have a good old ‘chin-wag’ over a cuppa during the session.

Keep Active participant

Other community programmes include

family park cooking

Family Park Cooking

Our unique Family Park Cooking provides families with a whole day of activity and outdoor cooking experience around a campfire. They leave with a food box and recipe cards to encourage cooking healthy, affordable meals together at home.

xmas meals at the college

Festive Food projects

Each Christmas and throughout the year, our Outdoor Activity team works with West Suffolk College, Bury St Edmunds Town Council, Bury Rickshaw and other partners to provide heat-at-home meals for people living in isolation or hardship. 

SEN football group at New Croft, Haverhill

SEN Football at Haverhill

Churchill School, a Special Educational Needs (SEN) school located next to The New Croft in Haverhill, has seen participation in weekly football sessions jump from six students to 15-20, thanks to Abbeycroft’s funding contribution.

The funding has increased participation and strengthened the partnership, as the New Croft Foundation hosts Churchill School’s football matches and supports the organisation of mini SEN football festivals at The New Croft.