I started working as the librarian in July 2021 when the previous librarian moved onto pastures new. Although, I had been involved in Shannon Trust activities since I started at HMP Dartmoor in July 2019.
I see my role to help the mentors deliver the programme and ensure that the administration is completed. It is a whole prison effort, with support from officers who are vital in ensuring that sessions can take place, and staff from other departments who support and promote the scheme.
Mentors do a wonderful job in identifying potential learners on the wing, but I also receive referrals from other departments, such as the offender management unit, industries and the allocations team which I pass onto the mentor coordinator.
The library is the central point of the Shannon Trust operation here.
I enjoy meeting the mentors and learners, and seeing how both groups gain experience and confidence through their respective Shannon Trust journeys.
The increased confidence of the learners - after following the scheme, being able to join reading groups and read passages out aloud - would not have been possible without the Shannon Trust programme.
The success of the programme is a 2 pronged one - the scheme itself, its resources and that it is led by prisoners for prisoners which gives so many more access opportunities for the learners and the fact that it has the support of the whole prison community so its importance is recognised by all.
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