Who are Shannon Trust and what is Turning Pages?

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

Our reading programme, Turning Pages, was designed to support adults in prison with low literacy. The programme is made up of 5 friendly manuals, and learners work through each manual with their mentor (a person who can read). Sessions are short and can take place where the learner feels most comfortable.

Turning Pages is now being turned into a digital app. This will help us to expand the programme in the community and reach more learners. The app will allow learners to access the reading programme at any time to fit into their everyday life.

We are looking for volunteers in the Kent, Surrey and Sussex regions to become coaches and support our learners throughout their learning journey. By volunteering as a community coach, you will be helping our learners transform their lives through learning to read.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for coaches who can:

  • inspire and support their learner to improve their reading ability – making sure the learner is at the centre of what you do
  • deliver the reading programme in a professional and organised way, acting as a representative of Shannon Trust
  • offer a non-judgmental approach to those accessing support through Shannon Trust to improve their reading
  • give a regular, reliable commitment to volunteering and are able to offer some flexibility when and where needed
  • effectively plan, manage their own time and prioritise key tasks
  • keep up to date with Shannon Trust news and communications, and share relevant information

What is the time commitment?

You will always be in control of the hours you can give. You can coach as many or as few hours as you like. Each learner will need a different amount of time, depending on their level of need. Some will want weekly one to one meetings, whilst others might prefer to meet less often. How many learners you support will depend on how much time you are able to volunteer.

Why be a coach?

Seeing someone gain confidence and change their life

We are supportive and non-judgmental – with our learners, coaches, 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.

The positive benefits you get from volunteering and helping others

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

Give someone more control of their life by learning how to read

By supporting someone to learn to read, or improve their reading, you are helping them increase their independence, develop their skills and maximise the opportunities available to them. Our learner led approach means that learners have control and oversight of their learning journey, ensuring they are able to learn at their own pace.

How does it work?

You will be fully trained on how the app works, as well as how best to support your learners and guide them through the app.

You will have access to training materials on the rules around confidentiality and disclosure – yours and our learners’ safety is very important to us.

The amount of learners you will coach will depend on your availability. We will discuss this with you in the training.

To help manage your coaching, you will have an online tool to use. You will need to work with your learner to find out how they can get the most out of the learning.

Application details

To apply for this programme, you will be directed to an interest form including your personal details, why you want to volunteer with Shannon Trust, how many hours you're available and the skills you can bring to the role. We'll also go through a criminal record declaration and equal opportunities. We can't wait to hear from you!

We would love to have you as a coach. To apply for the programme, please fill in the interest form.

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