Shannon Trust wins Action for Equity Award for combatting inequalities

Shannon Trust is delighted to be awarded the first Action for Equity Award for combatting inequalities through the Reading Plan. The Action for Equity Award, part of the Atlantic Fellows programme for Social and Economic Equity, based at the London School of Economics and Political Science, seeks to champion and support the ongoing work of charities who are working to address major inequalities in society.

Shannon Trust is delighted to be awarded the first Action for Equity Award for combatting inequalities through the Reading Plan. The Action for Equity Award, part of the Atlantic Fellows programme for Social and Economic Equity, based at the London School of Economics and Political Science, seeks to champion and support the ongoing work of charities who are working to address major inequalities in society.

Not being able to read is a major barrier to successfully engaging with society; finding a house, applying for jobs, voting in elections all require the ability to read.  At Shannon Trust, we support prisoners to remove this fundamental barrier and empower people to make a difference in their lives.

We’re thrilled to be chosen for this important award. Learning to read with the support of a peer transforms the lives of thousands of prisoners a year. It not only gives them a vital life skill but opens up worlds, allowing prisoners to see themselves as people who can live positive lives with access to the same services and support as everyone else. The Action for Equity award is a credit to our Learners and Mentors who are changing their own lives and the lives of those around them. 

George Alagiah, chair of the Action for Equity Award jury, said “Our prison system often makes the headlines – I should know.  Mostly it’s about what is going wrong behind the walls.  Well here’s an example of what is going right. The Shannon Trust is addressing illiteracy in the prison population through a truly innovative model of supportive mentoring. Not being able to read and write is one of the biggest obstacles to rehabilitation.  It also leads to inequality of opportunity.  Well done Shannon Trust.”

As part of the Award, Shannon Trust will receive £50000, and be connected to Atlantic Fellows and academics across LSE.

Professor John Hills, co-Director of the International Inequalities Institute, said: “The jury had a difficult task given the range of exciting and important work being done by nominated organisations, but we are delighted that the Award will support the Shannon Trust and connect them with our incoming Atlantic Fellows. The Trust are doing extraordinary work in supporting literacy education across the UK’s prison system. There is a lot to learn from their experience and we are very glad to be able to help them expand their work.”

Shannon Trust was selected from an initial long-list of 17 organisations, selected by a jury of key individuals from the civil society organisations and academia.

Thank you to everyone who makes it possible to unlock the power of reading.