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Coronavirus – what we’re doing & guidance 

Written by Rachael Norris, 12th March 2020

Health and wellbeing are at the heart of The Reader’s work – from our Shared Reading groups around the UK, through to the activities and opportunities at our organisational home in Calderstones Park.  

The safety of the people and communities that are connected through our work is our top priority.  

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, we have set up a dedicated taskforce who are monitoring and staying up to date with UK Government and Public Health England, and following their advice as the situation evolves. 

Looking after each other 

We are encouragingeveryone to continue to follow Public Health England advice on how to stay healthy.  

More information can be found on the NHS Website but here’s a reminder of the key guidance:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available 
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze 
  • put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards 
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell 

Be aware of spotting the symptoms, which are: 

  • a cough 
  • a high temperature 
  • shortness of breath 

Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.

Read NHS advice about staying at home.

Guidance for volunteers 

We completely understand that activity leaders might have concerns about continuing to run groups at this time. Please speak to your local hub lead about any concerns you have or if your group is temporarily paused.  

If you’re a Calderstones volunteer with concerns and wish to cancel your shift in the Mansion House, please let us know by sending an email to: 

Here’s a reminder of hub lead contact information: 

Gill Brownson  /  07535 934598

Sue Colbourn / 07977 223552

Michael Prior / 07949143022

Sophie Verbeke 702850

Alison Finegan  07973 247857

Ellie Hughes     /  07535 934619

Sophie Trow  /   07494 300337

Halton, St Helens, Skelmersdale
Natalie Kaas-Pontoppidan  / 07494 925045

Knowsley, Sefton
Rachel Sumner /  07722 539940

Michelle Barrett  / 07986 134682

London, East
Eve Cantor / 07939 559954

London, North & South
Suvi Dogra / 07812 238375

London, West
Erin Calstrom / 07483 972020

Kate Weston / 07989 257131

Sally Baker / 07484 005102

Julie Gaukroger  / 07753 816352

South Yorkshire
Shaun Lawrence / 07970 247226

Charlotte Weber  / 07807 106983c

Mary Hill  / 07812 238503

Anywhere else in the UK
Esther Harsh  / 07847 796377

For volunteers reading with at risk groups such as in care homes, its highly likely that these settings may be stopping non-essential services. We suggest that you call the group venue to check the latest situation and ask if to be kept informed in case things change. If your group does get temporarily cancelled, please let us know via your hub lead. 

If a group member – or a member of the public – is worried and comes to you for advice about the virus, we encourage you to direct them to the public health information available.  

If you wish to contact your group members because you want to cancel your group, we encourage you to do this in the way you usually would.  

We will be collecting details of any groups and activities that will have to temporarily close and publishing this on this website, as well as posting updates to our social media channels as needed. 

What we’re doing at Calderstones 

We’ve taken a number of actions to ensure safety across our Calderstones site. The situation is being monitored on a daily basis to ensure we’re doing the best we can to keep everyone safe: 

  • Educating our staff on prevention. 
  • There is a designated room on the ground floor of the Mansion House for anyone on site who is taken ill, and needs to immediately self-isolate.   
  • Increased signage in toilet facilities and in public areas with public health messaging.   
  • Radar keys have been chained to the outside toilets so hand wash facilities are easily accessible.  
  • Cleaning high contact points more frequently 
  • Policies reinforced in the Café and new steps taken to prevent contamination and spread. 

We don’t currently have any plans to cancel any activities for health reasons but we will follow government advice and update you as necessary. 

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