Grantee profile

The National Literacy Trust

The National Literacy Trust was established in 1992 with the aim of transforming lives through reading. In the UK, 16.4% of adults in England or 7.1 million people, can be described as having ‘very poor literacy skills.’ To address the complexity and scale of this issue, the National Literacy Trust commissions and collates research, identifying attainment gaps to the highest degree of granularity possible. Postcode by postcode, it determines which communities are most in need of intervention and devises programmes to meet this need. Although illiteracy is entrenched in communities across the country, its prevalence amongst the prison population is particularly troubling. As of 2017, half of prisoners in the UK were found to be functionally illiterate, meaning they have a reading age of 11 or lower – with 25% falling well short of that mark. Many prisoners are completely illiterate. A project grant to The National Literacy Trust has enabled the organisation to run writing workshops in prisons, facilitated by authors with lived experience.