Universal Credit ~ support to apply online

Computer course at Castle Hill Community Centre.

This course is free and is designed to help people to apply for Universal Credit via the internet. The training will be provided by WEA in our community at Castle Hill Community Centre,. Highfield Road.

Residents will be welcome to take their own tablet or phone but laptops will also be available to use if needed.

To register on the Universal Credit site you will need to bring some forms of ID (driving licence, passport, utility bill, etc).
To book your place ring Castle Hill Community Centre on 01473 747053. Places are limited.


Two Community Champions receive National Awards

British Empire Medal to Jim Manning for services to Young People and the community in Ipswich.

Jim of Whitton Youth Project-WYP is a true champion and ambassador for young people. His commitment and dedication to the children and young people of Whitton, Whitehouse and Castle Hill is an inspiration to us all.

MBE to Diana Porter. Founder of Fresh Start-New Beginnings for services to sexually abused children, young people and their families. (Suffolk)

Thank you Diana for developing such a complex, difficult and sensitive service for young people in Suffolk ( including NWI).

Our Partnership has supported both organisations with funding via our Grants scheme and we are all immensely proud and thankful for all that you have done and continue to do. On Behalf of the NWIBLT partnership group, Congratulations!

The 2017 Christmas Extravaganza in all its glory!

Another successful event, it was worth all the blood sweat and tears!

Here are just a few of the photos taken on the day of the NW Ipswich Big Local Trust Christmas Extravaganza 2017 but there are more on our Facebook page too.

We had so many people to thank but extra special thanks must go to Mayor Sarah Barber for opening the event and joining in all the fun, to Tommy's Entertainments for his Punch and Judy, to Gerry's Art & Crafts group and to the Keep On Rockin choir from ActivLives.  Last but not least to the staff at Castle Hill Community Centre for letting us host the event and for looking after us on the day.

We all had a great time meeting and talking to local residents, hearing their views on how the project is progressing and listening to their great ideas for the community. Santa had many little visitors who walked away very happy after seeing Santa and their lucky dip.

Local resident Jan said afterwards "I took our grandson and he had a lovely time. Thanks to all who gave their time and effort".

Gaining I.T skills

Do you know someone that might be interested in learning how to use a computer, laptop or tablet?
We are looking into the possibility of providing a course that gives adults the confidence to use the new Universal Credit online benefit system. Gaining the skills required to get signed up and accessing the features of the service.
How to search for a job online, make online applications, use the gov.uk verify site and uploading documents.
If this is you then please drop in to see us at the Christmas Extravaganza on Saturday at Castle Hill Community Centre or get in touch via Facebook, Twitter or via our Contact Us tab

Christmas Wreath Making Workshop

Having time out in our busy lives to be creative can be beneficial to our mental and physical health…

Local residents had expressed a wish to create something for Christmas so we held this free seasonal event. Once we had found someone to guide us in creating our designs and a venue we then worked on designing our poster. This time we used Canva.com. Its free and easy to use so if you’re looking for something to help with you designs you may find it helpful.

Whitton Allotments kindly offered the use of the new Lottie Shed for free which turned out to be an ideal venue with its lighting, heating and beautiful views, combined with the attentive hospitality of Roy, Chris and Colin we wanted for nothing!


“A great session with chat and laughter and a beautiful wreath for Christmas to take home!”

“I really enjoyed it, thank you”

“Thank you for the opportunity to make the wreath-I had a lovely time”

“What a great time I had making a Christmas wreath so many people have said how lovely it turned out.  The class was interesting, fun and I met some new people as well.  What a great experience I can’t wait for the next one”.


If you have an idea for a community event but need help we are here to do just that, so don’t put it off any longer…get in touch today.


Pudsey joins the Friday Friends

Latest news from the Friday Friends Dementia Café

Pudsey Bear paid a visit to the café on Friday 17 November for Children in Need and everyone contributed to this very good cause!


Ruth Gillan returned to the café for four weeks between October and November. She based her reminiscence activity on a project being run by Ipswich Museum – In My Life/You Are Here. Over four weeks customers made scrapbooks of places where they worked, what they did for entertainment eg visiting the cinema and bingo, seeing The Beatles perform and where they shopped. Customers were stimulated by objects that brought back memories and also brought in objects that meant something to them. As always, these sessions caused much laughter and enjoyment!

Each week the café provides a 2 course lunch cooked on the premises. We provide alternative options for diabetics, those who are gluten-free and Vegetarians/Vegans.

Since October the café has been holding a weekly raffle. This is helping to raise funds to pay for activities where a charge is made. This Autumn these activities included: An Accordion Band, a Ukelele Band, and visit from a print artist where customers made Christmas cards and wrapping paper. There are always lots of prizes donated by customers and volunteers.

Coming up in the new year…..we are planning on having some physical activities eg sitting Boccia, Kurling and once a month running a sporting memory session.

Christmas Extravaganza

To celebrate this Christmas season North West Ipswich Big Local Trust is inviting the local community to their big CHRISTMAS EXTRAVANZA.

The date to remember is 16th December at Castle Hill Community Centre between 1.00pm to 4.00pm, don’t be late.

Entrance is free and there is lots for all to see and do. Father Christmas in spite of his busy schedule will be there as well as Punch and Judy, Activlive’s choir, face painting, stalls displaying local handcrafts, raffle, lucky dip, refreshments and much more.

Come and have a cuppa and catch up on what has been happening in your community through out the year.

While you are there why not tell NWI BLT your views and ideas on how you want your community to develop, especially what needs to be addressed and possible ways to do it.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Christmas Wreath Making Workshop

We are hosting an event for residents of Whitton, Whitehouse and Castle Hill to provide the opportunity to make your own wreath…for FREE! Materials provided will include an oasis base, greenery and a few decorations but to make your design truly unique you are encouraged to bring some of your own along. If you have secateurs please bring them with you.

We are excited to be using the new community building at Whitton Allotments, the Lottie Shed. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise! It’s like a tardis, and comes with heating lighting and great views!

See poster for details on how to book your place.



Information about how to keep safe during Halloween season

Avoid Halloween Horrors

Suffolk Trading Standards would like to ensure that Halloween is a safe and enjoyable event and asks consumers to take a few simple measures to avoid the use of hazardous accessories:

  • Only allow children access to toy axes, swords and other costume accessories under strict supervision.
  • Do not give children products that are intended for adult use only.
  • Look for the CE European Safety Mark when purchasing Halloween costumes and associated items. Use well established shops to ensure that the products come from reputable suppliers – avoid purchasing items which do not carry the mark.
  • Flowing items such as fake beards, or capes can become hazardous if they are likely to be worn near naked flames such as candles.
  • Ensure that you use only fire retardant costumes and masks for dressing up.
  • Remember that plastic capes and bin liners which are sometimes used as a Halloween costume can pose a fire risk.

If your children are going out trick or treating please think about the costumes you buy and where you get them from.

Halloween is a fun and exciting time for children and we would like them to be able to enjoy it safely.

In recent years, Trading Standards services have uncovered novelty torches that burn hands, flammable spider webs and face paints containing heavy metals such as lead.

Every year children and adults around the UK are injured in accidents where lighted candles or fireworks have ignited flammable fur and hair on Halloween costumes. Plastic capes are also a risk and even home-made costumes containing crepe paper, bin bags or sheets may be hazardous.

Costumes should have a degree of fire resistance so if they caught light, for example on a candle at a Halloween party, they would burn slowly, allowing the wearer to remove the item before an injury was caused.

In the UK the labelling of cosmetics is governed by the Cosmetic Products (Safety) Regulations 2003. These Regulations define a cosmetic as being a substance that is used on the skin, lips, teeth, nails or hair which has the effect of cleansing, perfuming, protecting, changing the appearance of or correcting odours.

Products that fall within this definition include lipsticks, face paints, deodorants, soaps, creams and eye shadows. These products must

  • declare a list of ingredients;
  • the contact details of the manufacturer;
  • a best before date;
  • a description of what the product is; and
  • any warnings/precautionary information to adhere to.

When choosing Halloween make-up please ensure that all of the above information is either on the outer packaging of the item, on the item itself or on a label attached to it. Also ensure that all warnings are followed and that these products are used only in the way specified on the product itself.