WDP and Shannon Trust ’ s groundbreaking pilot scheme to make one-to-one peer-led reading support sessions available to WDP clients is a lifeline for those struggling with literacy , says Scott Haines
Being able to read is something that many of us take for granted . We have likely been doing it from an early age and it ’ s a skill that we use every day . Just this morning , within an hour of waking up , I ’ d read the news , checked my emails , scanned through my social media and reviewed some paperwork I needed to sign . Shortly afterwards I plotted a public transport route to visit a WDP drug and alcohol service in Greenwich , where today I will be delivering training to staff and volunteers .
During the training , a comment from one member of the group really got me thinking – ‘ It ’ s difficult to even visualise what it would be like to not be able to read . I can only imagine how horrible that must feel .’ What would life be like if you couldn ’ t read ? How difficult might you find it to complete many of the routine tasks you undertake each day ? How would it affect your ability to communicate with others or get access to important information ? What type of jobs would you be able to do ? How would it make you feel about yourself ? Reading is fundamental to so many aspects of our day-to-day lives , and yet struggling with reading is a reality for far too many people .
Shannon Trust is a literacy charity that currently operates in every prison in England , Wales and Northern Ireland . We train prisoners who can read to become mentors and teach those who can ’ t using a phonicsbased programme called Turning Pages ( DDN , July / August , page
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