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

Announcing The Reader’s Courtyard Fair in partnership with Independent Liverpool, Calderstones Park, 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 9th and will run from 10am-5pm. 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.

We are beyond delighted to be involved. 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 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 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.

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.