Like every person and every organisation, we’re changing how we do things in response to the Covid-19 virus.


Like every person and every organisation, we’re changing how we do things in response to the Covid-19 virus.

Our priority is the safety of those who live and work in prisons, our volunteers and staff.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve looked at ways in which people in prison could continue to learn to read with Shannon Trust. As the situation has developed, the reality is that Shannon Trust activity will be paused in most prisons.

We know learning to read makes a difference to the lives of people in prison and to those around them. It helps them stay connected, mend broken relationships and opens up the possibility of a new and different life. And so we’re determined to be ready to learners, mentors and prison staff during restrictions and when they are lifted.

We’re doing this by

  • Creating activity packs for people in prison to use in-cell to help manage isolation. These will help Shannon Trust learners practice and retain their new reading skills. The packs will also be available to the wider prison community.
  • Providing Turning Pages reading books to increase the number and choice available to all people in prison helping address boredom and isolation.
  • Recruiting and training volunteers to support prisons when we are able to visit again. They will be at the forefront of training new mentors and will provide first-line support to prisons.
  • Keeping connected with people in prison through prison radio, television and newsletters. Using radio will allow us to stay in touch with our learners and a large section of the prison community who are unable to read. 
  • Seeking funding to produce a digital version of our Turning Pages reading books for our community partners to use. This will allow them to continue teaching people to read even though they cannot meet. 

We're also continuing work that's not dependent on prison visits. We're keeping in touch with our volunteers by switching from meetings to calls and video calls. And recognising prison staff are working in incredibly difficult and worrying times, we’re keeping communication with them to a minimum while supporting them at the same time.

To help us work as normally as possibly we’re asking you to

  • Email instead rather than sending post.
  • Email invoices and expenses to
  • Call 0203 875 9310 if you'd like to talk to us. Our phones are diverted and will be answered.
  • Switch to online donations rather than sending cheques.

  • Make grant payments by BACs.

Supporting us 

As we’re all getting used to living life differently, reading will play a huge part in how we cope. Whether that’s through escaping into a book, reading a letter or keeping up to date – reading is crucial. There are people in prison today who will be able to read letters from their loved ones because they’ve learned to read with Shannon Trust. But there are thousands more who won’t be able to replace visits from family or friends with a letter because they can’t read. That’s why your support continues to be vital through this crisis as well as in the future. Thank you for helping men and women in prison to unlock the power of reading.


We're dependent upon voluntary donations from organisations and people who believe in the importance of our work.


Our work is made possible by volunteers who work with prison staff to advise, support and grow the Shannon Trust in each prison.