Shannon Trust transforms lives by supporting people to learn to read.

We are a registered charity, and work across all prisons in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to train and inspire prisoners who can read to teach those that can’t. 

Each year, we help thousands of people in prison to learn to read, so that they can build a different, more positive future for themselves and their families. We also work in partnership with organisations in the community to offer reading support to those who are caught in the criminal justice system.

We provide everything needed for someone to learn to read, including our reading resource, Turning Pages. Sessions are one to one, take place outside formal education, and learners work at their own pace.  

Our reading programme enables more people in prison to gain a fundamental skill that they need to navigate daily life. It provides prisoners with access to education, training and rehabilitative courses that will help them to address their offending, gain new skills and to move into employment.

For thousands of people in prisons, and in the community, learning to read can completely transform their life.

Nobody left out of learning

Our purpose

We support people in the criminal justice system to learn to read and improve other basic skills, so they can pursue wider opportunities and thrive in the community.

Our vision

A future where everyone can experience the positive impact of learning.

Our mission

To connect the power of volunteers, mentors and partners to offer a range of effective, accessible and informal learning opportunities in prisons and the community.

We value

The individual

We are supportive and non-judgmental – with our learners, mentors, volunteers and each other. By focusing on learners’ unique and individual needs, we can grow skills and confidence so they can reach their full potential.


We can’t achieve our vision alone, so we are resourceful and collaborative. By working with mentors, volunteers and partner organisations, we can ensure our programmes are widely accessible across the criminal justice system and communities.


We know reading can be the first step to transforming lives, yet we also recognise wider needs. Ambitious, energetic and creative, we take a learner-led approach to innovation to increase the breadth and impact of our work.

With your support, we can help people to learn to read, access education and training opportunities, build relationships with their families, and have more hope for the future.