Community Builder, Frances Palmer, has received an Impact Award from Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner for her work with the Forest’s foreign national community.

Councillor Jackie Dale, Cabinet Member for Thriving Communities, said: “I’d like to say a massive congratulations to Frances. Her commitment to helping the Forest community is truly commendable, so it’s fantastic to hear that she has been recognised by the OPCC for all the hard work she does.

“Fran has worked hard to set up English lessons for the foreign community. I hope that these will bring the whole community closer together.” 

Frances has been working hard to establish free English language lessons for foreign nationals across the Forest after it was identified that language barriers were having a significant impact on cross-community relations leading to a rise in racial tensions. Furthermore, it was noted that the lack of these relations was making it difficult for those in the foreign community to develop their English skills and find employment.

Subsequently, Frances set about working to get English lessons established; finding a suitable tutor, a learning space, and then helped to spread the word of the lessons to the community. As a direct result of this work, members of the foreign national community have been able to learn English for free which has improved integration within the community.