Informal reading sessions to help ex-offenders’ literacy

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READING sessions for ex-offenders have started again now the new academic term has begun.

Students from the University of Portsmouth are working with the organisation Read and Grow to act as mentors for people coming out of prison without basic literacy.

It is run by Frankie Owens, an ex-offender from Hayling Island, who is devoted to trying to stop people reoffending.

The sessions take place on Monday evenings at the John Pounds Centre, Queens Street, Portsea, from 6pm to 7pm.

Frankie, from Hayling Island, said: ‘Learning is always at the pace of the learner and if the service user misses a session we simply pick it up and run with it the following week.

‘Teaching mentors are a mix of ex-offenders, university students and people from support organisations that help service users.

‘Session supervisors are qualified and experienced in delivering services to ex-offenders, those at risk of offending, drug and alcohol dependency and those suffering domestic abuse.

‘We have all the required safeguarding procedures in place.’

The sessions are informal and, if learners are not sure if it is right for them, they can visit and chat first. There is no need to book a place – just drop in.

If you would like to find out more information call Frankie on 07778 793574 or email