Last Friday we officially launched our new IConnect project. Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, the project aims to build on our previous work providing English language and engagement workshops to local migrant communities.
Over the course of 3 years the ‘IConnect’ project will provide weekly English language classes to over 300 local migrants from a mixture of backgrounds including Roma, Syrian refugees, Third Country Nationals and Asylum Seekers. Learners will also receive free workshops providing skills and knowledge in key areas such as health and well-being.
A key part of the project is developing a team of Community Ambassadors and Champions made up of learners who will support their peers to access the project and support friendship groups to help address social isolation. One of our new ambassadors and ex student, Daniel Banceanu, had this to say about his experiences with us:
“Thanks to ICM and its dedicated team of tutors I have been able to progress my English from only a handful of words to now being able to work professionally here as an interpreter for patients in hospital. I can’t praise them enough.”Daniel Banceanu, an ex ESOL student and community Ambassador for ICM
You can hear more from Daniel and some of our other learners in this fantastic clip from Look East at 1:53 – 3:36
We had a fantastic turn out to the launch event with over 50 volunteers, learners, and partners coming along to support and celebrate the project. The plaque itself was unveiled by the Mayor of Ipswich, Jane Riley, following speeches by Cad Taylor and Prachi Katdare. We want to thank everyone that came along to the event, and everyone who has helped us reach this point, especially Suffolk Refugee Support who we partnered with to secure a new premises at 34 St Matthews Street.
Look out for more coverage from the launch on our website and social media over the coming week!