Doncaster gran prison educator Lynne gets MBE in New Years Honours list

A Doncaster gran who has dedicated her working life to improving the life chances of generations of young offenders has been awarded the MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.

Friday, 31st December 2021, 10:30 pm
Lynne Wade, 61 prison educator at H.M. Prisons Lindholme, Moorland and H.M. Young Offenders Institution Hatfield has received the honour for or services to Prisoner Education.

Lynne Wade, 61 prison educator at H.M. Prisons Lindholme, Moorland and H.M. Young Offenders Institution Hatfield has received the honour for or services to Prisoner Education.

Lynne, who lives in Thorne, said: “I am really absolutely thrilled to bits. I got the letter from the cabinet office informing me that I had been awarded the MBE, completely out of the blue – and I had to email back to say I had accepted it.

"I was then dialled by the Cabinet office by some poor guy who had tried six times to reach me as I thought he was from a call centre somewhere. – it is so surreal to be in the same list that has people like Lewis Hamilton on it.”

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Lynne started her career teaching in schools and further education colleges in the 1980s and then special needs schools, devising a series of courses for them.

"There was nothing available for the lower end to get qualifications so I took them to the examination board and got them accredited, ” she said.

She went on to create further education classes at Lindholme Prison and began teaching at Hatfield Young offender Borstal.

She has helped those who never excelled or even attended school regularly in childhood and those with learning difficulties come to enjoy learning and feel treated like students and not prisoners while in her classroom.

Lynne helps with their English even though she is not their language teacher determined to bring out the best in the most difficult of students, helping one pass exams who had previously been removed from class for being disruptive but she allowed him back in to continue learning.

“The last 10 years of my career were at Moorlands prison,” said Lynne.

"There was nothing for prisoners who had not done formal education I devised a course for the lower level guys so they could access education without feeling intimidated by it.

“Hopefully when they come out of prison they feel a bit better equipped than when they came in.

“You can never stop crime – that’s human nature – but at least when they feel proud of themselves you can see a change in their character.”

During Covid she has helped members of the public set up laptops and tablets remotely to keep them in touch with their families while visits were not allowed.

Her citation recognises she devised a specific course for entry level learners at the lower end of the academic scale for IT qualification and she has a commitment to the mental health of those in her charge.

“She prepares appropriate materials for those with mental health issues and always champions the underdog,” it says.

“She has continually improved her own learning and qualifications to maintain the highest standards of teaching in IT studies as well as literacy and numeracy.

Linda has also qualified in mental health working and counselling.

She said: “I’ve had a wonderful career – you think nobody notices these things – you just do it because it’s your job. It’s more of a passion for me. This recognition is absolutely amazing.”