A former lecturer and foster carer with a passion for architecture and history has been awarded the Suffolk Medal in recognition of the outstanding contribution he has made to Ipswich’s people and heritage.

John Norman became only the 14th person to receive the medal – which is administered by Suffolk Community Foundation and is the highest honour the county can bestow – when it was presented to him on Saturday, 3rd February 2024.

Mr Norman is being recognised after spending 45 years dedicating himself to enhancing the county town of Ipswich while inspiring the next generation with his passion for education. At the same time, he has also contributed to community groups, volunteered with local charities and supported heritage organisations.

Mr Norman has also had a significant impact on the development of Ipswich. As well as project managing the £75m scheme to build Suffolk New College, he served as a member of the Waterfront Partnership Group, which helped transform Ipswich docks into the thriving and cosmopolitan Waterfront area of today.

Alongside wife Christine, Mr Norman also spent many years as an active member of the Ipswich Society, as well as welcoming numerous foster children into their home.

Clare Countess of Euston, Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, is Chair of the Suffolk Medal Panel. She said: ‘John Norman is one of a small band of completely extraordinary Suffolk Citizens who transform the lives of all those around them.

He is as remarkable as any of the great people who dip in and out of this county’s history 

Read about his achievements and wonder as I do how he has found time to do so much!

It is a privilege for me as his Majesty the King’s Representative to present him with a Suffolk Medal, the highest accolade from Suffolk to one of its own.’

The Suffolk Medal was launched in 2019. The public are invited to nominate individuals who they feel have made an exceptional contribution to the county and its residents, with the recipients then decided by a panel of local leaders. To nominate visit https://www.thesuffolkmedal.org.uk/nominate/

Mr Norman said: “It is an honour, not only for myself, but also for my wife and family who have supported me in all I do”.