Shannon Trust fulfils an unmet need around adult learning, supporting people who’ve fallen through the cracks in formal education.
We know a lot of people have had negative learning experiences in the past, so our programme is designed to be different, with no exams and no classrooms. Our unique, evidence-based Turning Pages reading manuals are used by thousands of learners in prisons and the community to improve reading skills.
Shannon Trust has developed their reading programme into a digital, app based programme that is available for prison leavers who are on probation within the Kent, Surrey and Sussex areas. The app is a pilot scheme, and requires Community Coaches to support learners through their reading journey using our app.
By becoming a Community Coach, you will enable people to learn basic reading skills in a flexible way, so that day-to-day tasks like filling in forms or reading a bus timetable become easier.
We provide training for the role via e-learning and training sessions which are a mix of live, online and group training.
As a Shannon Trust Community Volunteer you will work directly with people with low literacy, helping them to improve their reading through the delivery of Turning Pages sessions, as well as supporting the development of our programme within partner services. This may involve working as part of a small team with other volunteers/staff.
A broad outline of tasks and activities to be undertaken:
• You will act as an ambassador for Shannon Trust. Sharing our vision and values.
• You will use your skills to build positive relationships with our learners and other key stakeholders.
• You will be trained to deliver reading sessions using our Turning Pages digital app, and work with learners either on a 1:1 basis. You may also support the recruitment and training of other reading coaches.
• You will ensure that relevant outcome monitoring data is collected and shared with Shannon Trust.
• You will attend regular team meetings and training sessions.
• You will adhere to Shannon Trust’s organisational policies and procedures at all times.
• You will adhere also to all local policies and procedures e.g. safeguarding.
• You will support learners to input into the ongoing design and development of our programmes.
• You may attend any local events to support the promotion of our work, in order to develop relationships and help encourage referrals.
• You will engage in regular catch ups with a Community Manager and to discuss general progress, and receive support.
• You will share good practice with other volunteers and receive regular updates from wider the wider organisation.
• You will encourage learner progression and celebrating success through progress certificates and positive feedback.
We don't need you to have any formal qualifications to become a Shannon Trust volunteer. Successful applicants will however be subject to an enhanced DBS check before they take up their volunteering role. We also require that 2 references be submitted.
As our community based work is in its infancy, it is also worth noting that our models may change and evolve as learning is developed and as things progress. We wish our Community Volunteers to play a vital role in supporting this.
We are looking for coaches who can:
• inspire and support their learner to improve their reading ability – making sure the learner is at the centre of what you do
• deliver the reading programme in a professional and organised way, acting as a representative of Shannon Trust
• offer a non-judgemental approach to those accessing support through Shannon Trust to improve their reading
• give a regular, reliable commitment to volunteering and are able to offer some flexibility when and where needed
• effectively plan, manage their own time and prioritise key tasks
• keep up to date with Shannon Trust news and communications, and share relevant information.
You will always be in control of the hours you can give. You can coach as many or as few hours as you like; we ask that coaches can give a minimum of 4 hours a week which includes any travel time. Each learner will need a different amount of time, depending on their level of need. Some will want weekly one to one meetings, whilst others might prefer to meet less often. How many learners you support will depend on how much time you are able to volunteer.
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