Prison Volunteer - West Midlands prisons

Prison Volunteer - West Midlands prisons

Ongoing role
At a glance


  • Mentoring / Coaching
  • Teaching / Education
  • Training


Birmingham, B18 4AS
Mainly at the office
Travel limit? Volunteers should live within an hour of prisons in West Midlands


Mostly during office hours Estimate of time needed:
1-3 hours / week
We ask volunteers to commit approximately 7 to 14 hours a month to the prison volunteer role, spread over 2 to 4 days


23 Aug 2024

Visitors from Fifth Day

Welcome to Reach Volunteering. We are a community and registered charity that connects people, skills and good causes.

To apply for this role, and any other on our platform, you need to be based in the UK, have at least three years of experience using the skills you wish to volunteer in a professional capacity or have lived experience (for trustee roles). Read more about our criteria.

Do you want to join an organisation committed to addressing low literacy and numeracy? 

What will you be doing?

We are looking for a volunteer to provide training and support to our mentors in prisons in the West Midlands. 

Key tasks and activities include:

  • Delivering initial, and ongoing literacy and numeracy training to mentors in prisons
  • Supporting and encouraging the Shannon Trust facilitator and mentors to attract new learners and expand the reach of the Shannon Trust programme
  • Arranging and leading mentor meetings to develop mentors’ skills, share good practice and to provide support to mentors to find solutions to concerns
  • Supporting facilitators to engage prison staff and people in prison to set-up, maintain and develop the Shannon Trust reading and numeracy programmes across the whole prison, and contributing to progress planning for how to progress and achieve this
  • Using your skills to build positive relationships with frontline prison staff, people in prison and other organisations
  • Training and supporting mentors to collect and submit data and learner feedback
  • Supporting with the planning of, and attendance at, celebration events
  • Collecting and sharing good news stories and feedback
  • Attending area meetings and sharing good practice with other volunteers
  • Engaging with quarterly reviews to receive support and discuss progress
  • Acting as an ambassador for Shannon Trust in all that you do, sharing the vision and values of the charity throughout your volunteering

Every prison does work differently and so volunteer roles do also vary prison to prison! We will provide full role information to volunteers as part of your training and induction.

What are we looking for?

We’re looking for people who 

  • Have at least 3+ years professional experience in teaching, education, training or coaching capacity
  • Have a commitment to providing non-judgemental support to people in prison
  • Are able to give a regular, reliable commitment for ideally two years and have flexibility to visit the prison at times required
  • Have strong communication skills and are able to use these to inspire others
  • Are able to deliver engaging training and identify training and support needs for mentors
  • Are able to manage own time and prioritise
  • Are able to keep up to date with Shannon Trust news and communications and share relevant information with the wider prison team
  • Are able to use and regularly monitor Shannon Trust outlook emails, use Microsoft Teams and other computer packages as required

What difference will you make?

Our prison volunteers nurture the growth of the Shannon Trust in their prison. They help unlock the power of reading by delivering training sessions for prison mentors and offering ongoing advice, guidance and support through mentor meetings.

Shannon Trust’s vision is of a future where everyone can experience the positive impact of learning.  As a prison volunteer your role will be at the heart of our organisation as you support our mentors in prisons. This will include delivering training to new mentors and supporting existing mentors to develop and deliver our Turning Pages and Count Me In programmes. You will be volunteering alongside Shannon Trust facilitators and / or frontline prison staff to empower mentors and ensure no one is left out of learning.

Volunteer benefits include: induction training and ongoing training, support and development in the role, flexible working, recognition for your contribution and reimbursement of expenses where applicable. 

The biggest benefit though is our culture – our people really want to be a part of the organisation.

Before you apply

We will respond to all applications. Successful applicants will be invited to an interview between 26th August and 9th September. 

You'll be given high quality training to prepare you for volunteering with Shannon Trust. We ask that volunteers aim to complete the training in one course so you will be ready to start actively volunteering.

Please check that you can attend all of the training the dates prior to applying:

2nd October, 10am – 1pm (via Zoom)

9th October, 10am – 1pm (via Zoom)

16th October, 10am – 1pm (via Zoom)

6th November, 10am-4pm (in person session, London)

  • Education
  • Organisation type: 

    Shannon Trust transforms lives by supporting  people to learn to read. We believe nobody should be left out of learning.

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