Council aims to help vulnerable people stay active

Hundreds of vulnerable people in East Suffolk are set to benefit from EAST bags which will help them stay active during winter months.

East Suffolk Council has been putting together 2,000 EAST bags, which will be delivered over the coming weeks to vulnerable older residents who have been identified as being at risk of loneliness and/or social isolation.

The EAST bag (Everyone Active, Supported Together) is a reusable jute bag which has been funded by the East Suffolk Community Partnership Board and Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group.

In the bags are items which will enable recipients to stay active, both physically and mentally, during the winter months. These include resistance bands and exercise cards, a water bottle, hand warmer, recipe cards, freezer boxes, a puzzle book and some seeds to plant when the weather improves.

As an extra treat, the bags also include soft drinks and chutney, kindly donated by Adams, tea bags and biscuits.

Cllr Letitia Smith, East Suffolk’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Leisure and Tourism, said: “We have all been affected by Covid-19 in one way or another, however, for those who are particular vulnerable due to loneliness and/or social isolation, the pandemic has had a huge impact on their mental and physical well-being. The EAST bags are a simple yet effective way for us to reach out to those who are struggling, particular during the colder, darker winter months, and hopefully encourage them to stay active, mentally and physically, during this challenging time.”

Initially, the EAST bags will be distributed across the Council’s eight Community Partnership areas to older people who are living alone or caring for someone, who have been identified as being at risk of loneliness and/or social isolation by the East Suffolk Council Communities Team or local organisations and groups working with the team.

However, the Council is also asking that those who may know someone who will benefit from receiving an EAST bag get in touch by emailing

To further support older residents in East Suffolk, our Communities Team is holding an online quiz on Wednesday 24 February at 10am. The quiz will take approximately an hour and offer an opportunity for participants to meet new people, have fun and even win a prize!

The quiz is open to anyone who has received an EAST bag and to all elderly residents in East Suffolk, whether they live alone, with a partner or in a care home.

Entry is free, however, participants need access to the internet and a computer to take part. If you would like to participate but don’t have access to the internet and/or a computer, please contact the Communities Team using the details below as they may be able to help you get involved anyhow.

To find out more, or to register, please email or call Stuart on 07768 114421 or Zoe on 07825 420378.