Volunteer Opportunities

We currently have three types of volunteering opportunities, all of which are challenging, very flexible and extremely rewarding.

All roles require some daytime mid-week availability. If you are interested in becoming a prison representative or area coordinator you will need transport to visit your designated prison(s). Full training will be provided for all volunteer roles. Out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed.

Appointments to prison representative and area coordinator roles are subject to successful completion of security vetting/disclosure and completion of training.

  • Prison Representative

    Prison Representatives nurture the growth of the Reading Plan in their designated prison. They offer advice, guidance and support to the prison staff member facilitating the Reading Plan and prisoners who Mentor. The role is wide and varied. It includes attending monthly meetings with the Reading Plan Lead and Mentors to jointly review progress and make plans to extend the reach of the Reading Plan in your prison. They will involved in training prisoner Mentors, arranging award ceremonies, speaking with the Prison Governor, and maybe making a presentation to prison staff – don’t worry full training and induction is provided and support is always available. There is some necessary post meeting admin to ensure Shannon Trust remains effective so internet access is needed. It can take several months to complete Shannon Trust training and prison security clearance / training and the success of the Reading Plan often depends on building and sustaining key relationships, which takes time. Shannon Trust is therefore looking for people who are able to stay with us for a while, ideally a couple of years. The role requires daytime mid-week availability between 7-14 hours per month over 2 to 4 days and the flexibility for monthly prison visits to be determined by prison staff availability.

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  • Area Secretary

    The Area Secretary role is relatively new and is already proving indispensable in areas where secretaries have been appointed. The main purpose of the role is to provide administrative support to the Area Coordinator and area team through collecting (via email) and collating monthly activity and data reports from prison representatives and facilitators in the area (between 4 – 16 prisons). They also provide administrative support for three area meetings a year. Area Secretaries are home based but need to be able to attend day time area or regional meetings.

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  • Area Co-ordinator

    Area Coordinators coordinate and support a team of volunteer prison representatives. They have a key role in the recruitment and induction of new volunteers in their area and provide a first point of contact for advice and support. Area Coordinators play a pivotal role in coordinating and building a pro active and solution focused team ethos within their area. Area Coordinators receive their own induction and on going support from their Regional Manager. As senior volunteers they are regularly consulted and contribute to new developments within the trust. The Area Coordinator role is a substantial volunteer role which would suit someone who has experience of people management, is confident to deliver presentations, and has good interpersonal and communication skills. It can take several months to complete Shannon Trust training and prison security clearance / training, and the success of the Reading Plan in prisons in your area often depends on building and sustaining key relationships, which takes time. Shannon Trust is therefore looking for people who are able to stay with us for a while, ideally a couple of years.

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