Help with Reading-Shannon Trust

If you or someone you come across in prison struggles with reading, help is available.

Each year, over 4,000 people learn to read in prison with the Shannon Trust Reading Plan.  The Reading Plan is a simple, interactive way for someone to learn to read. Prisoners who can read help those who can’t.

How does it work?

Shannon Trust trained Mentors meet with their Learner

  • 5 times a week
  • 20 minutes a day
  • It’s the Learners own choice at their own pace – there are no exams
  • Sessions are private, one to one and in a quiet place
  • Shannon Trust’s Turning Pages manuals were written specifically for adults learning to read in prison

Getting help to learn to read makes it easier to:

  • Keep in touch with family and friends
  • Order food and canteen items, make applications and manage money.
  • Make the most of education and training programmes
  • Communicate with legal advisors

Men and women in prison who learn to read with help from Shannon Trust mentors report that their self-confidence and communication skills improve, that they intend to go on to do more learning as a result,  and that they feel more positive about the future.  In their own words;

“I can read really well.  I’ll be released much more confident about doing all the day to day things life involves.  I’ve used my time really well”

 “For 49 years I couldn’t read.  Now I’m reading letters from my grand-children”.

People who need help with their reading can get involved by speaking to a Shannon Trust Mentor (wearing a blue T-shirts) or a wing officer.

You can find more information about Shannon Trust here;

On Tuesday 24th March it was announced that all prisons in the UK would go into a "lock down" state, as a result on Covid19.  In simple terms it means that prisoners will be confined to their cells for the vast majority of each day, being unlocked only for meals and very limited exercise periods. All social visits are cancelled with immediate effect.

The prison staff will ensure that medical requirements will be met as per usual but there will be no "association periods" for the prisoners. Undoubtably this will be difficult and stressful for a number of prisoners, but the prison authorities are acting for the greater good of the majority of prisoners and staff.

Any establishment specific queries you may have should be directed to the prisons