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Shannon Trust

For most of us, reading is a skill we take for granted. For thousands of people in prison, however, reading a letter from home, a job application or a newspaper is simply beyond them. 46% of prisoners have a literacy level at or below that expected at 11 years old. 

Prisoners teaching prisoners to read make sense.The one-to-one peer mentored approach of Shannon Trust Reading Plan appeals to prisoners who are reluctant to engage in classroom learning because:

  • It's one-to-one
  • They're supported by another prisoner
  • It's private
  • There are no exams and they can progress at their own pace
  • Taking part is their own choice, they are not forced to do it.

The Reading Plan runs in almost all prisons in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Prisoners and prison staff are supported by Shannon Trust volunteers who work together to make the Reading Plan available to non-reading prisoners.

In 2014, 4,400 prisoners decided to learn to read with the Reading Plan. 

"I didn't think that at the age of 72 it was going to be worthwhile. I have now been reading for 2 years and enjoying it."

"It has helped me deal with my dyslexia. I read much better and am aiming to become Mentor."

How your fundraising can help 

The money you raise from your amazing challenge will help to make our vision, 'every prisoner a reader', a reality.

In 2015, we launched our new Reading Programme, Turning Pages. Written specifically for adults in custody, Turning Pages is made up of 5 manuals and 30 readers (emergent reading books). We provide these together with trained volunteers, Mentor training and publicity material free of charge to prisons. 

  • £10 covers the print cost of 3 sets of Turning Pages readers.
  • £25 covers the print costs of 4 sets of Turning Pages manuals.
  • £100 will help us train a volunteer to train and support our Mentors in prison to teach their peers to read. 

We'd love you to join our challenge team and help us transform life, so sign up or get in touch. 


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