In February 2017, we awarded the Shannon Trust £30,000 towards the Shannon Trust Reading Plan
Shannon Trust operates a reading programme in prisons, and aims to transform lives by inspiring and training prisoners who can read to teach prisoners who cannot. They aim to break the cycle of reoffending, by equipping prisoners with vital life skills that open up new avenues of opportunity, so they can live as independent, contributing society members. The Shannon Trust Reading Plan (Turning Pages) is a simple, effective way of helping people to learn to read, where prisoner mentors work with non-readers on a one-to-one basis. It appeals to Learners who are reluctant to participate in formal education and allows them to progress at their own pace in a safe, confidential environment.
- Shannon Trust worked to further develop the National Reading Network for prisoners and extend the reach of the Shannon Trust Reading Plan. During 2016 they worked in 124 out of 128 prisons and engaged 4263 new Learners and 1944 new Mentors. New Learner numbers represented a year-on-year increase of 6%.
- 9/10 learners reported that taking part in the Reading Plan improved their reading skills and 8/10 said it improved their self-confidence.
- The charity completed a pilot study, working with six prisons to trial new approaches to building a whole prison approach to delivering the Reading Plan. This included working with staff to identify where prisoners who need help with reading skills are likely to be during the core day, evenings and weekends (e.g. which workshops, workplaces, other prison locations); solutions to supporting delivery of the Reading Plan across all areas of the prison; how to foster an environment where the natural response of both staff and prisoners, on encountering someone who is struggling with reading, is to encourage them to participate in the Reading Plan.