Community Builder, Frances Palmer, received an Impact Award from Gloucestershire’s Office of the 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 which will help them to become more active members of the local community and economy. I also hope that, at a time where we have seen examples of hate crimes in the Forest, these lessons will bring the whole community closer together.” 

Over the past couple of years, Frances has been working hard to establish free English language lessons for foreign nationals across the Forest of Dean. This was 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.

The Impact Awards by the Gloucestershire Constabulary and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner recognise excellent contributions individuals have made to their community.