Beyond the walls is a Reading Rooms project funded by Spirit of 2012 

Resettlement of young ex-offenders

We use the shared reading model with young ex-offenders aged between 18 and 30.

These young people are disconnected from their communities and social support structures. They experience mental health issues, compounded by loneliness and isolation.

Cognitive behavioural therapy

The model implements a cognitive behavioural therapy approach (CBT).

We use semi-structured, focussed questioning, allowing for meaningful and insightful dialogue.

Using CBT encourages the young people to become more self-aware, introspective, and reflective.

A catalyst for change

Reading Rooms Beyond the walls empowers ex-offenders to make positive and informed decisions for their futures.

We want to hear their voices and their opinions expressed among a group of their peers.

We promote and celebrate their confidence and self-esteem through engaging in rich and powerful dialogue.

Safe spaces

Verbal provides safe spaces for participants to meet and read together. This facilitates an environment for a non-judgmental, positive focus on the well being of our young people.

Our approach challenges perceptions about ex-offenders and encourages re-connection with community life.

Who we work with

We engage with young ex-offenders through our relationships with the Probation Board for Northern Ireland, the Simon Community, Extern Works, and the Western Health and Social Care Trust 16+ group.

Get involved

If you or your organisation would like to take part in Beyond the walls, please contact Aoife Rodgers