Celebrating outstanding achievements

Megan Jackson
June 7, 2024

Yesterday (Thursday 6 June), we had the honour of celebrating some of our incredible volunteers and award winners of the Tom Shannon Award for Outstanding Contribution.


Many of our award winners, highly commended and nominators were in attendance, alongside the Chair of our Board of Trustees, CEO and volunteer team.

Ian Merrill, CEO, couldn’t speak more highly of the team of volunteers: “It was a real pleasure to be involved with our first annual Tom Shannon Award event. It was great to spend time with our award winners and runners up, hearing from those who made nominations, and being able to recognise the brilliant contributions of our volunteers and mentors to the work of Shannon Trust. We created the Tom Shannon Award to commemorate the man from whom we take our name, and yesterday’s event – and all our award nominees – did him proud.”


This award was created in memory of Tom Shannon and is in recognition of all the volunteers who go above and beyond to make sure more people experience the positive impact of learning.


During the event, Michael Wemms, Chair of our Board of Trustees, talked about Tom Shannon’s legacy and how many lives he has touched since he first started writing letters to Christopher Morgan about the low levels of literacy in prisons.


Tom Shannon has changed the world for so many people and that’s why this award is so special, because our volunteers are continuing the work he started.


Amy Boucher, National Volunteer Manager, said: “It was a privilege to celebrate the achievements of our volunteers yesterday and to spend the afternoon with an incredible group of people who dedicate their time, skills and creativity to Shannon Trust. Our volunteers change the lives of hundreds of people: our mentors, our learners and our staff team – we all learn and gain so much from the passion that volunteers bring to the organisation. I really enjoyed meeting our award winners in person and hearing about their volunteer roles and many creative ways of bringing Turning Pages and Count Me In to life.”


Kate Dyson, runner up of the inventiveness award, thoroughly enjoyed being invited to the awards event: “Yesterday emphasised just what an amazing organisation Shannon Trust is, and I feel very privileged to be part of it.”


The event was a brilliant opportunity to celebrate all our volunteers’ achievements and share powerful stories of why they are deserving of the award.


A huge congratulations to all of our winners and highly commended. It is clear that we have so many fantastic volunteers who are passionate about Shannon Trust and it’s an honour to work with you all.


The award winners are:


Individual of the year award
Winner: Henry Rose, prison volunteer at HMP Birmingham
The inventiveness award
Winner: Rob Young, peer advocate for Turning Pages Digital in Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Highly commended: Kate Dyson, prison volunteer at HMP Holme House, and Ruth Hanson, content creator
Team of the year award
Winner: Youth Custody Service volunteers – John Fox, Vicky Bickerton, John Prendergast and Helen Day
Transforming lives award
Winner: Sue Davies, prison volunteer at HMP Warren Hill

Highly commended: Sarah Stokes, prison volunteer and resources development support, and Nigel Richards, prison volunteer at HMP Channings Wood
Outstanding leader award
Winner: Vicky Bickerton, area coordinator for London west and community reading coach for Turning Pages Digital

Chief Executive and Chair’s award
Joint winners: Patricia O’Brien, prison volunteer at HMP Guys Marsh, and Joanne Dawes, area coordinator and prison volunteer at HMP Long Lartin
Mentor of the year – male estate, cat b
Winner: Mr M, mentor at HMP Bullingdon

Highly commended: Mr C, former mentor at HMP Birmingham
Mentor of the year – male estate, cat c
Winner: Mr M, mentor at HMP Channings Wood

Highly commended: Mr M, mentor at HMP Magilligan
Mentor of the year – long term, high security
Winner: Mr P, mentor at HMP Garth

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