Not being able to read affects more people than you think, yet learning can be a powerful springboard into so many other opportunities.
Shannon Trust believes that nobody should be left out of learning. We reduce barriers so that everyone has the opportunity to learn, regardless of their circumstances or background.
Learning to read has a huge impact – not just on the person learning to read, but on everyone around them; whether that’s their mentor, their family and friends, prison or service staff, or the wider community.
Our evidence-based, learner-led programmes are flexible, so they meet individual needs. By providing options around how to learn, our informal programmes suit even those who’ve never read a word before.
We’re constantly innovating to improve our ways of working and our services across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Our unique, evidence-based Turning Pages reading manuals are used by thousands of learners in prisons and the community.
An academic review by Birmingham City University has shown its effectiveness in helping adults become readers. The reading books used as part of the programme are suitable for adults, using real life stories, with some mentors also having written our books.
In prisons, we train prisoners who can read to teach those who can’t. Mentors work on a one-to-one basis with their learner in short, regular sessions. Learners set their own goals, go at their own pace, and take breaks as they need to. In the community, we train reading coaches to work through Turning Pages with learners.
The programme is free to all learners, and they can choose between one-to-one learning with a mentor or reading coach, or self-study through a variety of resources.
I am now more involved with my children, making me a better parent. My relationships with friends and family are now more intimate. I can express myself honestly as I don’t have to rely on others.
I’m proud of myself. I’ve achieved things I never thought I would because I doubted my ability, but I’ve found out I’m smarter than I thought.
It has made a big impact on my life because being able to read has made things more possible for me. I can now apply for jobs, college and my driving test.
If my grandmother was still alive she would be so proud that I’ve done this. I know she would say ‘I told you, you’re never too old to learn’ and learning to read at 33 years of age proves just that.