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Celebrate heritage, creators and community with The Reader and Independent Liverpool

Written by Emma Walsh, 10th August 2017

Announcing The Reader’s Courtyard Fair in partnership with Independent Liverpool, Calderstones Park, Saturday 9 September 2017

In partnership with Independent Liverpool, The Reader is delighted to announce a bumper programme of family fun, crafts and community activity to celebrate Heritage Open Days at Calderstones Park this September.

Showcasing the vibrant creative culture of the city, Independent Liverpool will bring a selection of their craft and retail partners, such as Jazz Stan and The Leather Satchel Co, to The Reader’s Courtyard Fair, alongside free family fun at The Storybarn and Ice Cream Parlour.

Independent Liverpool’s David Williams said:

“Over the last few years we’ve had the absolute pleasure of getting to know and supporting so many local artists, cheesemongers, candlemakers and more. Just about anything handmade and heartfelt. Liverpool is an incredible city with so much home talent and it’s going to be really special for us bringing that all together in one of our favourite parks in Liverpool. The chance to work in partnership with The Reader is also very important to us - they’re pretty much proof that not all heroes wear capes.”

The day’s events, which coincide with the national Heritage Open Days festival, will include guided tours exploring the rich history of Calderstones Park, incorporating a visit to the Mansion House Garden and the Neolithic Calder Stones currently housed in the Harthill Glasshouse. This will be the last opportunity for the public to view the stones and Mansion House in person before conservation and refurbishment work begins.

Visitors will also have an opportunity to learn more about the future of the Mansion House as The International Centre for Shared Reading with a first look at the architect’s impressions and information about how to get involved and support the charity’s work at Calderstones and the wider North West area.

Jane Davis, founder and director of The Reader said:

“At The Reader we consider ourselves very lucky to call this beautiful park home and to be part of such a wonderful local community. We have exciting plans for the future of the Mansion House but it’s so important to celebrate the history of the park too. This place is full of stories and we want to celebrate them through our Shared Reading activity here at Calderstones.

“Until the doors of The International Centre for Shared Reading are ready to open, days like this are a fantastic opportunity to bring everyone together and we’re thrilled to be partnering with Independent Liverpool to bring such a wonderful day to life!”

Families can enjoy free storytelling fun at The Storybarn with regular sessions with The Storyhunters throughout the day, the big children's book swap (remember to bring along a book on the day), demonstrations and a workshop with our Knit and Natter group.

For those interested in learning more about The Reader’s recently announced Shared Reading North West project, the team will be welcoming visitors to join Shared Reading taster sessions and explore volunteering opportunities across the region.

George Hawkins, The Reader’s Heritage Manager, said:

“We are very excited to be part of Heritage Open Days again this year – it’s a fantastic opportunity for people to come together to celebrate the unique and ancient history of Calderstones Park, especially before our refurbishment work begins. Stories about the Allerton Oak and Jet the Rescue Dog may be well known to local residents but visitors from across the city and further afield may be surprised to discover so much history in one place! There will certainly be something for everyone.”

Limited parking will be available in the park's public carparks so why not travel by bus? Plan your visit now with Merseytravel and Better by Bus:



For further information, please contact: Emma Walsh, Communications Assistant, 0151 729 2200 / 07565 816022

SOCIAL - @thereaderorg @calderstones #Calderstones #SharedReading @IndpndtLiv

About The Reader

The Reader is an award-winning, charitable social enterprise which brings people together, changes lives and builds communities through sharing great literature. Our unique Shared Reading model brings small groups together each week to read aloud a story and poem with group discussion led by a trained Reader Leader.

For over a decade The Reader has been working in partnership with CCGs, Public Health Bodies and NHS Trusts across the UK to support thousands of people with a wide range of health and social issues including, mental health conditions, dementia, chronic pain, isolation and recovery from substance misuse.

Whether delivered by volunteers, partner staff or Reader staff, Shared Reading offers people a practical way to improve well-being, build confidence and connect with others.

The recently announced Shared Reading North West campaign is a collaborative project between The Reader, Nesta and commissioning partners Halton Borough Council, Halton CCG, Knowsley CCG, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Well Halton and Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council as well as 30+ long-standing and new service delivery partners including library services, voluntary sector organisations, other charities and corporate organisations.

About The International Centre for Shared Reading

Since signing a 125 year lease for Calderstones Mansion House in 2014, The Reader have secured over £4 million in investment from Liverpool City Council, Heritage Lottery Fund and other trusts and funds to develop The International Centre for Shared Reading. On completion, The International Centre for Shared Reading will become a hub for Shared Reading and well-being activity, create new businesses and provide opportunities for people to reach their full potential through employment, volunteering and training.

Phase one of this development is now complete with The Reader Ice Cream Parlour opening in the Courtyard in 2015, followed by interactive children’s story centre, The Storybarn, the following year. We are now in phase two which includes a full refurbishment of the Mansion House and conservation work on the Neolithic Calder Stones.

About Independent Liverpool

Breaking free from the Chain Gangs, Independent Liverpool is about linking up all those little places that fill life's little spaces. Funny how many of us go travelling all around the world, yet how often do any of us take the time or trouble to do our exploring closer to home?

Sure too, don't we all know that it's the little things that mark a moment, make a difference, that make you smile... The big idea of Independent Liverpool is to explore what the city has to offer, from the less well-known to the best kept secret gems that deserve a place in your heart. We're looking beyond the uniform. And the uniforms. We're searching for somewhere different, something unique, just like you, for you.

Our website sets out to showcase and highlight the diversity of taste and talent of the individual and the independent places that abound in the city if you care to take delve a little deeper and take a walk around the corner of your eye. We’ve spent the last 5 years writing a love letter to Liverpool and as a result have held events where tens and thousands of people regularly come.

This recently resulted in us officially getting our own warehouse based in the iconic Cain’s Brewery. It’s called Baltic Market and has 8 independent pop-up restaurants, a bar with local beer and alternating markets every Sunday.

Contact us

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You can also speak to us on: 0151 729 2200
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