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Iceni Ipswich founder receives Honorary Doctorate

19 Oct 2016 4:15PM

The founder of Suffolk charity Iceni has been honoured with a Doctorate from the University of Suffolk.

Brian Tobin has worked in the charitable sector since 1990. He remains passionate about supporting people who struggle with addiction.

The philosophy Brian introduced to Iceni was "To not judge a person by their past if they are making an honest attempt to change. After all, they are they are simply humans who have made mistakes, need help and compassion, not judgment, castigation and isolation.” He has never lost sight of and remains steadfast in maintaining the independence and values of the organisation.   

Brian said “This award came as a huge surprise to me and I feel very proud, especially as someone who hasn't been through the Higher Education system. To be recognised in this manner is both flattering and humbling. I am privileged to have worked for 25 years in the charity sector and deeply honoured to be awarded in this manner for doing something I enjoy. This accolade is perhaps a reflection of the people who have contributed to the work of Iceni Ipswich since its inception in 1998. I also receive this award in honour of those incredible individuals who work or volunteer in the charitable sector who go about their work without the fruits of their labour ever being recognised. We have worked with the University on numerous occasions and taken social student work placements to some great successes.”

Brian spoke of the students graduating today from Department of Psychology, Sociology and Social Work saying “They have the grounding now, any academic qualifications will give them a good foundation in terms of their careers what they could add to that is the lifelong learning, what we pick up as we go through life, and that includes things like compassion, tolerance, empathy for people that perhaps struggle in life and a bit a love maybe for your fellow human being. If you put all those together with the academic qualifications that should help these fantastic students go on to productive and fulfilling lives.”

Brian says there have been many ‘highlights’ so far in his career and notes the long term outcomes of Iceni’s work in assisting women out of the street sex industry after the murders in Ipswich in late 2006. In the last 6 years he has also been responsible for securing over two million pounds of funding from outside of Suffolk.

Honorary Awards recognise notable contributions to the educational or cultural well-being of society. This can be in business, industry, commerce or enterprise, for academic distinction, for public or community service or an exceptional involvement in the University.

1,342 students will be conferred at ceremonies in Ipswich this week. The ceremonies mark the graduation of the last full student cohort of University Campus Suffolk. Next autumn will see the conferral of the first degrees awarded by the University of Suffolk.



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