Ipswich Community Media

ICM awarded nearly half a million pound grant to deliver English language learning


We are excited to announce that we have just been awarded almost half a million pounds from the National Lottery’s Community Fund for the continuation of our successful IConnect project. 

Members of our Integration Team at the 2019 IConnect launch event.

IConnect is our flagship ESOL programme run by our Integration Team, which delivers free weekly English language lessons to over 120 learners from more than 21 different nationalities every week. The project also provides engagement workshops and volunteering opportunities for learners, giving them the tools and confidence to grow and develop within the local community.

As a charity, we are reliant on funding in order to carry out our vital work in the Westgate ward of Ipswich, the most diverse in the county and one of the most deprived in the country. This significant funding will mean we can continue to deliver IConnect for another four years. 

The ICM team, beneficiaries, and guests at the 2019 IConnect launch event.

Many of our previous ESOL learners have progressed with us to become ‘Community Champions’, recently winning the Health and Wellbeing Impact award at the Suffolk Adult Learner Awards for their outstanding contributions to Ipswich. Made up of a mix of economic migrants, others refugees or asylum seekers – their desire to give something back to Ipswich, through volunteering with ICM is what unites them all. 

The group, now made up of over 10 nationalities, comprising mainly (but not entirely) of migrant women have provided huge amounts of support to their communities, especially with translating important medical information during the pandemic. 

The grant, provided by the National Lottery’s Community Fund, is the largest sum the organisation has received thus far, and will help over 120 people each year learn English skills. 

All of our classes are free and are open to adult learners of all nationalities and abilities.

Our Integration Team Director Prachi Katdare says of the news: 

“We are extremely happy to receive this continuation funding from that National Lottery’s Community Fund, it’s testament to the success of our IConnect project so far and it’s great to see that recognised.

Prachi, our Integration Team lead, with then mayor Jane Riley at the 2019 IConnect launch event.

This funding will enable us not only to deliver ESOL courses to the migrant communities but also to offer wrap around support to our learners as well. With this funding we will be able to deliver ESOL courses at different levels according to learner needs, plus workshops and events throughout the next 4 years. Thanks to the National Lottery we will be in a strong position to recruit and support more volunteers, as well as our award winning Community Champions.”

Find out more about our Award Winning Community Champions here.