Fife College lecturer wins national award for contribution to the community

2nd June

Fife College lecturer, Lorraine Wilkinson has received a national award for her amazing efforts in the community during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lorraine was recognised for going above and beyond to help her community throughout the pandemic, picking up the Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community Award at The Herald Higher Education Awards in Glasgow on Tuesday (31 May).

A full-time lecturer at the College for over 14 years, Lorraine made a huge difference to those in her community, volunteering with the Kirkcaldy Foodbank during lockdown from the town’s Linton Lane Centre where she was also chair of the board at the time.

On an average day, the Centre supports up to 34 families and Lorraine, a community lecturer delivering on the Step In and Step-Up programmes in Leven and Springboard programme in Templehall Community Centre and Park Road Centre in Kirkcaldy, was on hand to lend a listening ear to those who were struggling mentally and physically with the impacts of the pandemic.

She was also integral to a project which saw the centre support 90 children from a local primary school and their families with packs, which included frozen meals, along with tins, fresh food, activities, and toys, distributed within the community.

Lorraine personally made over 5,000 meals for those needing support throughout lockdown by supporting Linton Lane Centre and the Foodbank with a variety of meals and baked goods. This included providing endless pots of soup, various main courses, and scones and helping the Linton Lane manager guide the centre through some of the toughest days in its history.

Lorraine said:

“I was brought up on the John Wesley philosophy of, ‘Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.’

“I suppose that is what I still strive to do, and it works for me!

“I would like to thank Linton Lane Centre manager Mandy, for giving me the opportunity and free rein to support the community through the Centre. Thanks to my family too, who have been so supportive in every venture I have undertaken, my husband does make a very able and patient potato peeler!”

“I also work in an amazing Community team at Fife College, which I am grateful for. The classes we put on are so important, allowing us to reach many individuals who just need someone to believe in them.”

Geoffrey Proudlock, Director for Faculty of Business, Enterprise and Tourism with Supported Programmes at Fife College, said:

“We are so proud of Lorraine. She is someone who goes above and beyond every day, supporting anyone who walks through the doors of the College or the Linton Lane Centre.

“Modest and selfless, Lorraine has a huge heart and community spirit, as well as a dogged determination to get things done for the benefit of individuals within her community.

“Her contribution throughout a difficult period has without a doubt made a real impact on people in her community and she is absolutely worthy of this recognition.”

Fife College student Tali Fisher, from Dunfermline, was also recognised at this year’s Herald Higher Education Awards. Tali was commended in the Outstanding Contribution from a College Student for her fantastic efforts to support others and improve awareness of the needs of British Sign Language (BSL) speakers and deaf individuals.

Born profoundly deaf, Tali has overcome many barriers in own her life to make a significant impact on the lives of other BSL speakers at the College, leading several projects and initiatives that have improved the student experience for BSL users.

Tali, who is the Fife College Students’ Association (FCSA) President of Welfare & Equality, has also influenced change at a regional level through her volunteer work with Fife's Deaf. Communication Service in reviewing and improving the Fife Council BSL Local Action plan. Her work has helped ensure that BSL user residents throughout Fife receive appropriate support in all aspects of their lives.

Now in their seventh year, The Herald Higher Education Awards recognise the outstanding performance of colleges and universities across 16 categories.

The awards touch on all key aspects of higher education and help to build future excellence by facilitating the sharing of good practices. The year’s awards took place on Tuesday 31 May at the Crowne Plaza Glasgow.

Photograph: Fife College lecturer Lorraine Wilkinson is pictured receiving her Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community Award at The Herald Higher Education Awards in Glasgow.

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