Explore our annual impact reports, each a snapshot of the progress we have made to make sure nobody is left out of learning.

Join us in celebrating the progress we make in tackling low literacy and low numeracy, inside and outside of prison, year on year.

You will find the most recent impact report below. View past reports by selecting the desired year in the drop down menu.

2023 impact report

Making sure nobody is left out of learning

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An introduction from our Chief Executive, Ian Merrill

It is my privilege to write the introduction to our impact report covering 2023.

It has been another year of real progress for Shannon Trust in tackling low literacy and numeracy, inside and outside of prisons. My colleagues – our staff team and volunteers – have continued to develop our organisation, and that is showing through in the significant increases in the number of mentors we train, and the learners they support.

The big structural issues that informed the launch of this strategy 2 years ago are still with us. The prison population continues to rise, as do the literacy and numeracy needs of those coming to prison. His Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) is still playing catch up regarding its own workforce and the provision of education, and so Shannon Trust’s peer-led programmes are needed more than ever.

Shannon Trust has been able to drive the growth in its learner numbers by securing contracts in over 60 prisons and embedding our own facilitators. The facilitator role is vital, helping to build relationships across the prison, and ensure our mentors have the best circumstances possible to engage with learners. Our brilliant team of volunteers support our facilitators, bringing their skills and passion to the cause.

Beyond the learning programmes we provide, my sense is that Shannon Trust offers the prisons we work in concrete evidence that positive change is not only possible, but is happening. There are benefits for learners and their mentors, local staff, and the families that we know are so vital in maintaining wellbeing and improving life chances. In these important ways, Shannon Trust is a catalyst for positive change.

We made big strides in the community too, in 2023. We established a countywide programme across Kent, Surrey and Sussex probation, learning valuable lessons about how we can expand our offer to more probation regions in the future. Turning Pages Digital, our exciting digital tool, will underpin that expansion. We expect to launch further probation programmes throughout 2024, as well as working nationally with other community organisations.

Our continued growth in programme delivery was made possible by further investment in our infrastructure, with new colleagues joining across our business support functions. Income grew too, in terms of contracts, grants and donations. All of these ‘behind the scenes’ developments are vital, as we look to continue to grow the number of people we reach, and the impact we have.

All of these positives mean we can look forward into 2024, the final year of our existing strategy, with confidence, knowing we are making a real difference to thousands of people.

As the Ministry of Justice looks to establish the new Prison Education Service, and make good on its ‘One HMPPS’ ambition across both custodial environments and community probation services, Shannon Trust will be there, delivering meaningful change.

In addition, our experience in the criminal justice system, is opening up new opportunities to adapt our programmes for wider use in the community, and we aim to reach even more learners in 2024.

Thank you as ever to all those who supported us, promoted our programmes and helped us to keep getting better through their feedback and ideas. Here is to more progress in 2024.

Ian Merrill
Chief Executive

Ian Merrill, chief executive Shannon Trust

Thank you as ever to all those who supported us, promoted our programmes and helped us to keep getting better through their feedback and ideas.Here is to more progress in 2024.

Ian Merrill

Chief Executive

Who we are

We believe in a future where everyone can experience the positive impact of learning. 

Throughout 2023, we have been working towards this vision, supporting people in the criminal justice system to learn to read and improve their numeracy skills, so they can pursue wider opportunities and thrive in the community.

At Shannon Trust, 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 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.
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.

Established for over 20 years, we support people who can read to teach those who can’t, in prisons and communities.

It’s only with your support that we can continue to work towards our vision. 

Together, we can make sure nobody is left out of learning.

Shannon Trust team photo showing over 60 members of staff. A range of male and female, and different ages.

Our impact in 2023

learners engaged with one of our learning programmes
new learners joined our numeracy programme
Turning Pages manuals were completed
numeracy manuals were completed
new learners joined our reading programme
learning sessions took place in 2023, (equivalent to an estimated 62,500 hours of purposeful activity)
new mentors were trained
new volunteers were recruited, joining a team of 154

Patrick's learner story

"I heard about Shannon Trust from an officer because I was on suicide watch and they wanted to get me out of the cell to help my mental health.

"I have a mentor called Ben. He’s great. I look at him like a father figure. He has time for me. If I get things wrong, he spells it out simply for me. I have sessions twice a week with him. I’ve improved myself because I’m not thinking about drinking and smoking. I just want to get better and get on with my life.

"Things are a lot better since I did Shannon Trust. I had nothing before. I used to sleep rough. Now I’m more positive about the future and I’ve quietened down. I’m going to carry on with Shannon Trust on the out and show my support worker I’ve been doing something good in prison. My reading is better, my writing’s a little bit better and I enjoy it. It’s relaxing learning. My reading helps me understand more and be more independent.

"I’ve proved myself in here. Now I want to prove myself on the outside. When I get out I’m going to the library to read motorbike magazines."

My reading is better, my writing’s a little bit better and I enjoy it. It’s relaxing learning. My reading helps me understand more and be more independent
- Patrick, Shannon Trust learner
A white male sat at a desk writing a letter. His head is bent really close to the table to get a closer look to what he is writing.

Our commitments

In this report, you will read how, in 2023, we have continued to work towards the 3 key goals of our 2022 to 2024 organisational strategy.

1. Increase the number of people completing our reading programme in prisons

We estimate that we are only reaching about 10% of people in prison who might benefit from our programmes. We want to drive up the number of people we reach. 

2. Grow availability of our programmes in the community

Most people in prison will be released, many in the near term, meaning learning is either interrupted or does not start. We want to build on our community pilots, and extend our offer so that prison leavers can continue or start Turning Pages, as well as supporting people in touch with the criminal justice system.  

3. Test new ideas to address other basic skills gaps, scaling what works

Reading is foundational, but part of a bigger picture. We want to test new approaches to address other basic skills gaps, such as numeracy and digital literacy.

My mentor has been unreal, he should be a teacher. Instead of just going through it, he explains it. It's not just about reading words. It's about reading them, understanding them and putting them into sentences. It's rare now that he has to stop me to correct me. I feel so comfortable working with him. 
- Shannon Trust learner, HMP Channings Wood
The back of Shannon Trust learner wearing a t-shirt with the text Shannon Trust - Nobody left out of learning in a classroom

1. Increase the number of people completing our reading programme in prisons

Shannon Trust’s employment of prison facilitators has been a major contributor towards our near-doubling of learner numbers since 2022.

At the end of 2023, we had prison facilitators working across 43 prisons (up from 10 in 2022), all of whom are dedicated to making a positive difference through learning.

The increase in new learners, and the number of mentors trained, demonstrates the value of our prison facilitators. They are helping us get closer to our goal of making sure nobody is left out of learning.

New learners

The number of new Shannon Trust learners across 2022 and 2023. The figures for 2022 shows: Q1 - 323, Q2 - 501, Q3 - 615 and Q4 731. The figures for 2023 shows: Q1 - 688, Q2 - 979, Q3 - 1,311 and Q4 - 1,172.

We have increased the number of learners joining our reading programme in 2023 by 91%, compared to 2022, and this increase is largely due to our team of prison facilitators. In prisons where we have had a facilitator in place for at least 6 months, we have seen new learner numbers increase five-fold on average, compared to the previous 6 months. These figures are testament to the dedication and hard work of our facilitators, and highlight the impact that our permanent staff presence in a prison can have.

It’s always great to see the numbers increase, but it’s hearing from our mentors and learners that really shows how much difference facilitators are making to their lives.

I have had the pleasure to deal with Liz since I became a mentor in May '23. Liz is a truly committed inspirational lady who goes the extra mile. Liz has even set up a book library here on 'J' Wing. Not only supplying donated books, but even organising the shelves. The range of books Liz has sourced is amazing. The prisoners here are very grateful. Liz is a well respected lady here on 'J' Wing and is always approachable. 
- Shannon Trust mentor, HMP Birmingham
A group photo of Shannon Trust's prison facilitators. The group range in age and there are a mix of male and females.

2. Grow availability of our programmes in the community

In March 2023, our 2 year community pilot came to an end and we worked with I.G. Advisors to evaluate the impact of this pilot.

Over the 2 years, we worked with 15 organisations and across 27 different locations to offer Turning Pages to the people they support. At the end of the pilot in March 2023, 42 learners remained actively engaged in the programme.

A large proportion of these learners continue to engage with the programme.Through conversations with learners, reading coaches, partner organisations and Shannon Trust staff, we gained a lot of useful information that will help us continue to build on the pilot and expand our work in the community.

  1. The one to one learning approach was highly valued by learners, coaches, and partner organisations.
  2. Reading coaches need to be flexible and adapt the programme to suit the learners' needs.
  3. Receiving certificates at the end of each manual was very positive and helped keep learners motivated and on track.
  4. Learners want more time on the programme, and/or more activities to complete independently.
  5. It’s important to ensure there is a safe and stable learning environment for learners.
  6. Having a structured programme with clear expectations fosters trust and empowers participants.
  7. Coaches would like to dedicate more time to the programme. Paid dedicated staff and constant volunteers, could make the programme even better.
A black male learner reading through a book on a table with a white female member of staff.

This feedback has been vital in how we continue to develop our work in the community. It has given us a more solid understanding of what organisations need from us and we are in a better position to support them. As we expand further into the community, we will continue to test and learn different approaches so we can support as many people as possible to learn to read.

Our Turning Pages Digital pilot in the Kent, Surrey and Sussex probation region also came to an end in 2023. We have a lot of learning and successes to look back on.

We had our first community learner complete the entire Turning Pages Digital programme; we have built on and developed relationships with the probation service in Kent, Surrey and Sussex; and gained invaluable feedback from our community learners and reading coaches that enable us to continue to develop our digital offer.

We have also been piloting the digital tool in the wider community and we will be looking to expand this even further throughout 2024.

3. Test new ideas to address other basic skills gaps, scaling what works

Based on initial assessments, around two thirds of people in prison have entry level numeracy skills. In the past 12 months, we have really seen an appetite from learners wanting to engage with our numeracy programme.

For many people, there is less stigma around getting help with numeracy. Offering numeracy support to our learners has been a gateway to them also joining our reading programme once they have built up their confidence in their ability to learn and trust their mentor. Some of our mentors even took the opportunity to improve their own numeracy skills, so they could better support their learners.

When we introduced numeracy to our learning offer in 2022, our goal was to have our own programme resources, similar to Turning Pages.

Throughout 2023, we worked with numeracy specialists to create our very own programme, Count Me In, to launch at the beginning of 2024.

Shannon Trust are established in the prison setting, so we believe many more people will take up the opportunity to improve their numeracy skills with our new programme, Count Me In.

Numeracy has helped me and it’s also made me realise, with my mentor’s help, that my reading could be better, so to look at that too. So with me it’s a double bonus.
- Shannon Trust learner
A white female learner and a white female Shannon Trust mentor sat at a table in the prison library working through a Turning Pages manual.

Digital developments

Turning Pages Digital pilot

Turning Pages Digital has been a valuable tool to help us reach more learners leaving prison. During our 12 month pilot in the Kent, Surrey and Sussex probation region, we gained useful feedback and insights into how we can best support people on probation and in the wider community.
Those that have engaged with the programme during the pilot have said they value the support of their reading coach, and the easy use of Turning Pages Digital. It’s different to formal education, and learners like having the option to work on the programme on their own, at a time that suits them.

We are really pleased that learners in the community are able to benefit from engaging with the digital tool and focus on developing their literacy skills. But we have also had a lot of learning to take on board, with referral numbers being much lower than we anticipated.

Some of the challenges we faced throughout the pilot:

  1. Probation and pre-release teams have very little capacity to refer learners
  2. Literacy is not always seen as a priority
  3. The instability some people have experienced upon release has made those referrals more challenging to engage
  4. Not every learner has had access to a device to use the tool
  5. Learners weren’t always given a choice on participating before being referred, meaning they haven’t wanted to engage
What we did in response to the challenges:
  1. We sent out monthly communications to a specific person of contact in each probation office
  2. We attended office team meetings,and middle and senior management meetings
  3. We attended breakfast clubs for men and women – a more relaxed and inviting environment for those too vulnerable to report to the probation office
  4. Those that have struggled with digital literacy/confidence have been happy to rely on the use of their coaches devices
  5. We recruited a peer advocate volunteer who has been in the probation office talking to those who might benefit from the programme
A black man pointing at something on the screen of a laptop, with a white woman leaning in to see what he is pointing to.

Early digital adopters

Thanks to funding from Porticus, in 2023 we worked closely with our tech partner Yalla Cooperative, to continue developing Turning Pages Digital.

To support this, we recruited 8 organisations to help us pilot the tool. We put our prototype version of Turning Pages Digital into the hands of their learners and coaches, and asked them to tell us what they think and how we could improve it.

The early digital adopters were diverse in terms of geography, size and service, helping us to broaden our learning as much as possible. Organisations included a secondary school, a substance misuse service, a housing association, a literacy charity, a refugee centre and a disability support service.

Across these sites, we trained a total of 65 coaches to support 82 learners with Turning Pages Digital.

Their input and feedback has been invaluable in helping us to shape things. Their likes and dislikes, what they found encouraging or frustrating, what they would like to be able to do but cannot; has influenced how we have made changes and improved the user experience. This has ensured that Turning Pages Digital is easy to use and will be responsive to a wide range of needs.
65 coaches were trained
to support...
82 learners with Turning
Pages Digital!

Improving how we record data

Tracking the progress of our learners is key to helping us evaluate the effectiveness of our programmes. Our expansion into numeracy, as well as the growth in reading learners and the increasing number of prisons where we are delivering contract-funded programmes, led to a number of changes to our monitoring and evaluation systems.

Working with an external development partner, we extended the functionality of our existing Salesforce CRM system to allow us to report on our numeracy programme, and improve the way we track our reading learners as well. To allow us to better understand the impact of our contract-funded prison facilitators, we are now able to track the number of ‘re-engagers’ in individual prisons – learners who had previously left our programme for any reason, but have now been re-engaged.

We also improved the way we record and report on learners’ mental wellbeing. This allows us to better understand the difference our work makes to our learners’ confidence and their ability to manage everyday life.

In 2024, we are planning further investments in our monitoring and evaluation systems to make it easier and quicker for prisons and community partners to report on their learners’ progress, supported by the recruitment of a specialist Data Officer.

Developing our resources

Our learners are at the heart of what we do at Shannon Trust. As we continue to grow the availability of our programmes, we have been looking at ways to improve our resources and develop new opportunities for our learners and mentors.

Count Me In

Throughout 2023, we worked on creating our very own numeracy programme.

Count Me In is aimed at people with ‘entry level’ numeracy skills who want to improve their confidence with numbers, in order to help navigate daily life in prison and in the community. The programme is made up of an initial mini-manual and 5 full manuals. The manuals contain regular opportunities for learners to reflect on their progress and they will receive a completion certificate for each one.

The new materials cover the basics of the entry level adult curriculum, building over the course of the programme from basic number skills and calculations, through to problem solving. There is a focus on the practical skills that people need to successfully navigate daily life.

We will offer training to our mentors on how to use Count Me In with their learners – many of the skills they use with our reading programme will be transferable. We are really looking forward to how this programme develops over the next 12 months.

Activity books

When we rebranded in 2022, we decided to look at how often our reading books were being used and how we could improve the experience of the reading programme for our learners.

We asked a number of mentor groups about the use of the reading books and, although there was positive feedback, a number of mentors told us some of the content and artwork was not liked by learners and they feel embarrassed to take them from the library.

We have also had learners tell us that when they have a blank piece of paper, they have no idea what to write.

This feedback led to our creation of activity books to go along with each Turning Pages manual. Each book includes activities that are at the right level to help a learner develop writing skills, while being able to practise reading with a selection of our reading books featuring in each of the activity books. There are also some practical exercises that learners are likely to need in their everyday life, such as important names, form filling and writing greetings cards.

We received some useful feedback while we were creating book 1, which helped us make changes where necessary. We also got overwhelmingly positive feedback about the book being a great addition to our programme. Learners really enjoyed using it, some activities gave an opportunity for mentors to get to know learners more, discussions around the reading books helped the mentor to know how much the learner grasped, and the number of activities and layout of the book were pitched correctly.

The first book was available to order in prisons in October 2023 and we are now designing the remaining 4 books and have renamed them Write Now.

Shannon Trust academy pilot project

Following feedback from our mentors, we wanted to look at ways we could make them feel more valued and supported in their mentoring with Shannon Trust.

Mentors felt that one way to do this, would be to help them build on their own skills and portfolios. Our regional manager in the north west sought funding to allow us to pilot a ‘mentoring academy’ at HMP Lancaster Farms, so mentors can gain accreditations under the AQA unit award scheme.

We know that despite delivering the role for us and receiving training, mentors also have gaps in their knowledge and educational/vocational history. This is something we would like to start addressing to ensure they are equipped for their own release, and also to highlight and widen our reach across the prison estate.

The pilot launched at the end of November 2023 and will run until March 2024. It will focus on up to 25 mentors, who will all aim to complete 2 to 3 accreditations each. These will be delivered ‘in house’ and will be additional accreditations that are not currently offered to them anywhere else.

If the pilot is successful, our long term goal is to roll the programme out across the whole prison estate.

Our people

We could not reach the thousands of learners and mentors we support without our incredible workforce and volunteers who are committed to transforming lives through learning.

Growing our workforce

Over the past year, our workforce and the support structure we provide for our learners have undergone a remarkable transformation, underscoring our commitment to growth and the development of our team.

Our staff team has tripled in size, in response to our strategic efforts to expand our reach and impact. To accommodate our growth, we have revised and enhanced our organisational structure, creating development opportunities and establishing a clear line of progression for our dedicated criminal justice team, as well as creating pivotal roles across areas such as IT, learning and development, grant fundraising, and print and production to ensure that we have a team that not only supports our current scale, but also lays the foundation for sustained growth.

Lived experience

Remaining consistent in our commitment to inclusivity and to our promise as a ‘Ban the Box’ employer, our success this year in recruiting staff members with lived experience reflects our unwavering commitment to overcoming hurdles collaboratively, particularly in the challenging landscape of the criminal justice sector. Our onboarding and induction processes have been revamped to provide a seamless integration experience for all new staff, removing barriers and maintaining an environment that values diverse backgrounds.
A white man reading a book in the library.

Equality, diversity, inclusion and belonging (EDIB)

We continue to prioritise equality, diversity, inclusion, and belonging, and formed a focus group comprising of staff, volunteers and trustees. This group will play a pivotal role in driving positive change in the coming year, ensuring that our organisation remains a welcoming and supportive environment for everyone.

As we reflect on our achievements, we look forward to sustaining this momentum in 2024 and continuing to support both our existing and new staff across the organisation.

Volunteer network

We could not reach the number of new learners or support our mentors in prison without the time, passion, energy and knowledge that volunteers bring to our organisation.

As a learning organisation, we are committed to listening, hearing and learning from our volunteers about their experience with us. This has been central to our focus for the volunteer network in 2023.

In March 2023, we surveyed 174 volunteers and 36 staff about the volunteer network and the experience of volunteering at Shannon Trust. Of those responding, 24% were new volunteers and 49% had volunteered for 2+ years. We gained a valuable insight into the volunteer experience with us and will repeat the survey annually to review and improve our volunteer network and the opportunities we provide.

of volunteers feel excited by their volunteering role
of volunteers agree that they feel valued and appreciated at Shannon Trust
feel a sense of satisfaction from their volunteering
of staff agree that volunteers make a difference to the lives of people Shannon Trust support

Our volunteer exit process has also provided valuable insights in to the opportunities that volunteering with Shannon Trust can bring:
  1. 80% agreed that volunteering at Shannon Trust broadened their experience of life
  2. 73% felt volunteering at Shannon Trust gave them the chance to learn new skills
Volunteers tell us that working with enthusiastic mentors and hearing positive, success stories about learners makes the volunteer role rewarding.

Developments are underway to make changes to strengthen the volunteer network, with improvements to our recruitment and induction process for volunteers. We have improved our communication with prospective volunteers and access to information about how and when we have opportunities for people to join us as volunteers.

We are also making changes to our training platform, Moodle, and have introduced induction pathways for volunteers. This will enable volunteers to have a clearer understanding of the training and induction elements that are required.

Shannon Trust's ethos of supporting people to read sang to my heart, and I immediately wanted to be a part of it. When you're part of Shannon Trust you're part of something special, you get to work with a variety of professionals who provide a fascinating insight into prison education and rehabilitation, of which reading is an integral part.
- Jo Dawes, area administrator and prison volunteer 

Telling our story

Developing our relationship with HMPPS

Shannon Trust has become a trusted organisation across the prison estate and is held in high regard. Charlie Taylor, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, has highlighted our work a number of times in his blog posts, and as part of his inspections with Ofsted, as a positive example of the good work happening in prisons.

We were delighted to have Charlie join us at our team gathering in December 2023, to not only talk about his work in making reading a priority in prisons, but also listen to questions and queries from our prison colleagues. We are grateful to have the inspectorate championing our work.

Celebrating success

Shannon Trust celebration events are not only key to celebrating the success of our learners and mentors, but also in bringing people together. Whether it’s with family and children, governors and prison officers, or librarians and education staff; it’s a chance to recognise achievements and build relationships.

We held a number of standout events in 2023, and they are always excellent examples of the power of peer led programmes.

In August, we had the chance to celebrate the mentors at HMP Wormwood Scrubs, alongside their families and prison staff, after having referred 81 new learners to our programmes in June alone. In October, we joined Shannon Trust’s first family reading celebration event at HMP Wandsworth, where parents, partners and children got to share the success of our learners and mentors. In December, we visited HMP Isle of Wight to see small plaques, shaped like Shannon Trust t-shirts, awarded to mentors of the year.

We know how valuable these events are to our learners and mentors, especially when their families are able to attend. We are looking forward to celebrating with them even more in 2024.

Literacy symposium

In November 2023, Shannon Trust featured heavily in a literacy and rehabilitation symposium hosted by the University of Hertfordshire. We were delighted to see our peer-led criminal justice programmes receive excellent feedback, and many attendees were inspired by the idea that anyone who can read, given the right tools, training and support, can mentor anyone else to do so. We aim to take this message to a much wider national audience over 2024, and into our next multi-year strategy from 2025.
A black male mentor and a black male learner hunched over a table working through a Turning Pages manual.

Working with Prison Radio Association (PRA)

Our work with PRA continues to make an impact on people in prison. They are huge advocates of our work and are always finding new ways to promote our programmes through advertisements and on Free Flow, a weekly show broadcast across prison cells in England and Wales.

In May 2023, we were delighted to win a silver award at the Audio and Radio Industry Awards (ARIAS) for our sponsorship of Free Flow with PRA.

Hosted by Lady Unchained, Free Flow has featured mentors sharing their experiences, helping to reach more people who might benefit from the support of Shannon Trust.

I am 44 and never went to school as I am from a Traveller background. I came into prison and wanted to learn to read while I’m inside, as I’ve never been able to read a book to my son. I spoke to IAG (information, Advice, and Guidance) and they asked a Shannon Trust mentor to help me.

I want to say thank you to all of Shannon Trust – I never believed in my heart or mind that I would ever be able to read a word, and now I’m reading sentences! I’m now loving learning and finding it a big comfort while going through a difficult time inside.

I’m being released soon, and would like to get my CSCS card, and if I do that then I have a job lined up in a family business. I also want to do Maths and English at college in the community as I’ve never achieved qualifications and now, I feel I can. My mum told me how proud she was of me learning to read and it made me cry – it’s even helped repair our relationship and I can’t wait to show her my certificates.

I want to thank my mentor and all of the Shannon Trust staff – as without you, there wouldn’t be mentors to help people like me! I’m so grateful and wish I could thank every one of you.
- Shannon Trust learner, HMP Wormwood Scrubs

Reaching a bigger audience

As our brand becomes more trusted across the prison service,we’ve been looking at how we can connect more with our existing supporters,while raising awareness with a wider audience.

A key focus for us in 2023, was making our communications more accessible. We recognised that how we communicate with our external audience, was a lot more complex than how we communicate with our learners.

To go alongside our vision of nobody left out of learning, we wanted to make sure nobody was left out of accessing information about Shannon Trust. We are still learning and reviewing how we make our communications more accessible, but we have made small steps in the right direction, including doing an accessibility audit of our website, making sure it is compliant with the latest Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG); creating accessibility guidelines for Shannon Trust staff and providing training around best practise; starting conversations around how to make recruitment and onboarding more accessible; and making our social media posts accessible.

We will continue to champion accessibility within Shannon Trust and look at how we can reduce barriers to accessing content.

We also continue to work with press and other organisations to promote our work, helping us to reach more people.

website views in 2023
people followed us on social media, with a 75% increase on LinkedIn alone
social media posts landed on 271,499 feeds
likes, comments and shares on social media
people took part in our 52 books reading challenge, raising awareness of the importance of reading for pleasure

Finances and fundraising

2023 was a record breaking year for Shannon Trust, with our income more than doubling compared to 2022.

This growth has largely come from securing contracts in a number of prisons, allowing us to scale our programmes and reach more learners.

We continued to diversify our income streams, with grants from trusts and foundations remaining an important source of income to sustain our programmes in our non-contracted prisons and our work in the community.

We are proud to share our success

A table showing the income for 2022 (£1,110,000), compared to the income increase in 2023 (£2,468,000), and the projected income for 2024 (£3,300,000).

Sources of income through 2022 and 2023

A pie chart to show the sources of income for 2022. The sections are split up to indicate where funding came from, matching up with the figures in the table below.A pie chart to show the sources of income for 2023. The sections are split up to indicate where funding came from, matching up with the figures in the table below.
A table listing the sources of income for Shannon Trust throughout 2022 and 2023. For 2022, the sources are split up as: Trusts and foundations - £695,000, contract income - £117,000, individual giving - £97,000, Turning Pages sale - £75,000 and other - £67,000, totalling £1,110,000.     For 2023, the sources are split up as: Trusts and foundations - £834,000, contract income - £1,440,000, individual giving - £103,000, Turning Pages sales - £76,000 and other - £14,000, totalling £2,468,000.

Thank you

We could not reach as many learners and mentors as we do without the support of our volunteers, supporters, donors and grant funders.

Thank you to everyone that supported us over the past year. Your support and dedication means so much to us and has helped us make great progress with our 3 year strategy so far.

It is because of your generosity that we can continue to give thousands of people in prison and in the community the opportunity to change their lives through learning to read and improving their numeracy skills.
A black man sitting with a young child on his lap, looking for a book to read from the shelf of children's books beside them.