"I have been a mentor since September 2020 and have worked with many learners, but COVID has stopped me seeing people more often. Plus I moved to HMP Dartmoor in March 2021 and had to retrain, which I did in September 2021. I am now a coordinator and I have 5 learners.
"I got involved with Shannon Trust as I heard many great things about them and I like helping others. I applied and was glad I did as I enjoy what I do.
"I felt great when I first become a mentor. My hope was tohelp others progress, to help better their lives and be more confident within themselves. I had no fears as it was the job I wanted to do.
"I have gained a lot of respect from some officers and staff, and I have a better outlook on life as helping others is what I want to continue to do upon my release. I enjoy watching the learner progress onto different books, and seeing them grow in confidence, especially when they can read their own letters they have had sent in from family and friends.
"I feel really good knowing I have changed someone else’s life for the better.
"It’s been tough with COVID and red regimes through the prison in Dartmoor, so I have been unable to see my learners as often as I would like, but the best bits have been watching the learners grow in confidence and also having a great bunch of mentors to work with.
"What makes the Shannon Trust reading programme a good experience, is the mentors who are patient and positive. Learners are under no pressure as there are no set exams and they have a mentor’s full attention to it being 1 to 1.
"Shannon Trust is a great scheme to have."
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