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Outstanding Service to Adult and Community Learning Award

ICM Co-founder and Lead ESOL Tutor Linda Vines has been honoured with the ‘Outstanding Service to Adult and Community Learning Award’ at The Suffolk Adult Learners’ Awards 2023.

"Linda is a pillar of ICM and our community’s language learning."

Linda at the Suffolk Adult Learners' Awards

The Suffolk Adult Learners’ Awards, organised by Suffolk County Council, have been running for over ten years recognising and celebrating the hard work and dedication of adult learners, volunteers, and teachers within the local community. The awards have become a staple of the ICM calendar - including this year sponsoring the Volunteer of the Year Award for the first time - and we’re so glad to have this opportunity to celebrate the contributions and stories of our learners and the people around them.

As one of ICM’s Co-Founders Linda has been an invaluable driving force behind ICM’s growth and development. With 25 years’ of experience teaching English, Linda has been responsible for designing many of our English language courses from scratch, including English for Work, Digital Media and English for Health. Our Integration Team now runs over 20 English language (ESOL) courses to over 200 learners every week. It’s a testament to tutors like Linda that many of our learners stay with us for years and then go on to volunteer in the classroom, become one of our award winning Community Champions, or even end up joining our team.

Linda's unwavering dedication to her profession and her commitment to empowering adult learners have earned her this well-deserved recognition.

At our inception in 2015 Linda brough with her an impressive 17 years of experience in the field of teaching, and an incredible passion for not just teaching but applying those skills to empower others. Over the years Linda, alongside the other talented and passionate members of our team, has nurtured a safe and supportive environment that encourages growth and inspires our learners to reach their full potential.

ICM’s Integration Team Director Prachi Katdare says “Linda is a pillar of ICM and our community’s language learning. She’s an excellent tutor and one of the kindest people I’ve ever known. She’s genuinely interested in and supportive of every one of our learners, volunteers and staff and has changed so many peoples’ lives through her work”.

As Linda has said herself: “Our Community is like a big family. When you come into work, everyone is pleased to see you. You can forget everything and just get in the moment.”

Strike up a conversation with any foreign taxi driver in Ipswich, and it's highly likely that they will know Linda. Her impeccable English skills and remarkable impact on the community have made her a familiar and respected figure among the local drivers. The reach of Linda's influence extends beyond the confines of the classroom, touching the lives of individuals from diverse backgrounds.

As our Director Bruce says “Attempting to have a quiet coffee with Linda in any of the cafes and restaurants along Norwich Road is an exercise in futility. Former students will form a queue, eagerly sharing the latest news of their work, life, and families. Their enthusiasm is a testament to the profound connections Linda has forged with her students and the enduring impact she has had on their lives.”

Linda with Professor Helen Langton MBE who presented her award

Not only is Linda cherished by her students, but she is also held in high regard by the PCOs that patrol the town centre and the current Community Engagement Officers. They recognize and appreciate Linda's tireless efforts in promoting good community relations through her teaching and her broader dedication to the local community. In Suffolk's most diverse ward, Linda has become a driving force for fostering understanding, unity, and inclusivity.

The debt owed to Linda by the PCOs, the Community Engagement Officers, and the wider community is immeasurable. Her work extends far beyond education, as she passionately advocates for inclusivity and harmony among diverse groups. Linda's commitment to fostering good community relations has made her an invaluable asset to Ipswich.

Linda began her ESOL teaching at Suffolk College in 1998. From here she moved to CSV,

and then on to become a leader at ICM. As Lead Tutor at ICM Linda has been central to

every success that ICM and its learners have celebrated at the Suffolk Adult Learning

Awards over the years, this has included: Project of the Year; Inspirational Learners of the

Year; Outstanding Learners of the Year; several Volunteers of the year; numerous runners

up awards for our learners; Health and Wellbeing Learner of the Year Health and Well-being

Project of the Year.

Her energy is second to none.

Linda Vines' recognition with the Outstanding Service to Adult and Community Learning in the Adult Learners Award celebrates her exceptional contributions to the field of adult education. Her unwavering dedication, expertise, and genuine care for her students have positively transformed the lives of countless individuals within the community.

This achievement also reflects the remarkable work carried out by Ipswich Community Media in empowering adult learners and cultivating a love for lifelong learning. Linda's accolade further solidifies ICM's reputation as a leading institution committed to providing exceptional educational opportunities and positively impacting the lives of those it serves.

Thank you Linda for everything you do to help our learners and the diverse communities of Ipswich to thrive. Your commitment to helping others and your passion for teaching has truly touched countless lives. We could not be more proud to have you as a member of our team.

Linda and one of our learners Celina, with their award certificates

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