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Every morn is the world made new.
You who are weary of sorrow and sinning,
Here is a beautiful hope for you,—
A hope for me and a hope for you.

from 'New Every Morning', Susan Coolidge

 

The theme for our daily readings in August is A Time For Holidays, and we've been enjoying poems, stories, audio readings and recommendations that bring us the feeling of sunshine and summer all month long. Check out our calendar and tune in daily throughout August.

In this edition, Professors Philip Davis and Josie Billington from the University of Liverpool present new findings on how reading can promote happiness and wellbeing - read on for more.

Also month we're celebrating our Investing in Volunteers award, new poetry and heritage walks from our HQ at Calderstones and sharing the final part of our Bread and Roses anthology that has brought us comfort and connection during lockdown.

Let us know what your favourite read of this month was by using #SharedReading on Twitter and Instagram.

The Reader Celebrates Investing in Volunteers Award

The Reader has been awarded the Investing in Volunteers (IiV) kitemark – the UK quality standard for good practice in volunteer management. 

Over 1000 volunteers currently support The Reader in its mission to bring about a Reading Revolution so that more people can enjoy and experience literature’s life-supporting benefits.  

All the team at The Reader would like to say a huge thank you to this amazing network of individuals for everything they do – week in, week out for people and for literature, from Boston to Belfast, London to Liverpool and everywhere in between. Thank you to the players of the People's Postcode Lottery for supporting our application to this award.

Find out more

Reading, Wellbeing and Happiness

“Literature doesn’t give answers; what it can do is put questions in ways which make their insolubility more tolerable.” 

In a series of blogs on Reading and Wellbeing, Josie Billington, Professor in English at the University of Liverpool, looks at how Shared Reading has embarked on a new chapter over the months of lockdown. At a time of enclosure and isolation, what is it about reading – and doing so with others – that can help us? 

As part of Happiness Festival 2020, Professor Philip Davis, Emeritus Professor of English Literature at the University of Liverpool, discussed the benefits that reading has shown to have on mental health, and why it can be a welcome escape from reality. 

Read Josie's blog

Watch Philip Davis at Happiness Festival 2020

Poetry and Heritage Walks

Whilst we're not able to throw open the doors to the Mansion House just yet, we are venturing out of doors taking some new activities into the open air at Calderstones Park.

On Thursdays at 11am, join us for a restorative walk in Calderstones Park, accompanied by some nourishing poems. Our walks are a great way to get active, enjoy some poetry and connect with the community.

On the third Wednesday of the month at 11am, we're taking steps through the ages, and learning more about the rich heritage of Calderstones. Each walk will focus on a different topic, so come along to learn something new about the history of the area.

Book a free ticket online to reserve your place

Shared Reading Live

Our Daily Readings used to take place in the foyer of the Mansion House every morning for colleagues, volunteers and visitors to start the day.  Moving online, the Daily Readings have become a big part of The Reader at Home, bringing literature to life in your home, wherever you are. 
 
If you're new to Shared Reading or can't get enough, our live streams are a great way to take part in live discussions, connect with others and discover new literature. Join us every week on Facebook Live Tuesdays at 1pm, and the first Thursday of every month at 7pm. 

Follow this link to take part

The final part of our Bread and Roses anthology is available to download now, featuring poetry and readings from Rabindranath Tagore, Hazel HallWilliam Shakespeare and more. We hope that you have enjoyed this series during lockdown and that you’ll continue to share it with those closest to you.  

Download Bread and Roses

Turkish carpets, geometric tables and a candelabra

What was inside the 19th century Mansion House? 

Next in our series of articles exploring Calderstones' rich history, Heritage Coordinator Holly Gilson investigates what kind of furniture might have been owned by the previous occupants of the Calderstones Mansion House.  

Join our heritage walks on the third Wednesday of the month at 11am and take steps through the ages and learn more about the history of Calderstones Park. 

Read more

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Charity Number 1126806 (Scotland SCO43054), All rights reserved.
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Our mailing address is:
The Reader, Mansion House, Calderstones Park,
Liverpool, Merseyside L18 3JB, United Kingdom

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I look at my own body
With eyes no longer blind ---
And I see that my own hands can make
The world that's in my mind.

from 'I Look At the World', Langston Hughes

 

We hope that this update finds you, and those close to you, safe and well wherever you may be. This month we're updating you on the status of Shared Reading groups across the UK, how we're adapting at Calderstones, we step back in time in the rich history of the area and as always we have our books, plays and poems for this month.

In the light of recent global events we have been learning and thinking about the changes we need to make in order to represent the perspectives of diverse people with diverse experience through our work.  We're also sharing part three of our Bread and Roses anthology. 

But in the meantime, we hope that we can help you find some comfort, connection and company through our The Reader at Home services. We encourage you to continue to read together by whatever means works for you – whether via Zoom, over the phone or by any of the other ways you’ve embraced over the last few months.

Stay safe, and take care of yourselves.

Shared Reading group update

Government guidelines have recently been changed to allow some easing of social distancing and places like libraries and cultural venues are getting ready to open. Many of you are asking when you can get back to your physical Shared Reading groups or other Reader activities at Calderstones.

There’s nothing more we’d like than to turn the page and restart our community activities because we know for so many of us, they are a valued part of our weekly routine. However for now, we have to say, ‘Not yet’. ‘They also serve who only stand and wait…’ as John Milton says, in the poem ‘On His Blindness’.

The health, safety and wellbeing of all our group members, volunteers and wider community is the most important factor in our planning. Before lockdown, there were over 500 weekly Shared Reading groups across the UK taking place in a variety of venues – from cafes to hospitals, care homes to sheltered accommodation, in Calderstones to Cornwall. Therefore, giving a green light for all at this point is hard. We need to wait until we have a set of guidelines in place that  most group leaders can follow.

Read the full update

The new edition of Bread and Roses includes pieces to help us reflect on the impact of the Covid-19, but also on the changes we need to make in light of the Black Lives Matter Movement.

You may find some writers in these pages whose names are unfamiliar. Do look them up if you are interested; The Poetry Foundation’s website offers a great starting point.

Download part three

July's Books, Plays and Poems

Our work is based on the belief that all great literature can provide points of connection for diverse groups of people. We recognise that we have a part to play in bringing about the social change that is needed now to make a new world. We know that we have more to do and that we have to work harder.

Greater diversity enriches and strengthens cultures. In the light of recent global events, our immediate focus will be to look critically at the range of literary texts that we curate and use in our Shared Reading groups to ensure that it reflects the perspectives of diverse people with diverse experience.  This month our Books, Plays and Poems selections have been chosen to reflect these experiences. It is a small step in a longer journey – we are working to widen the scope of literature we share and read together, so that we can better understand the lives of others. Shared Reading allows us to recognise what is familiar between us, while also giving us the space to stay open to and explore that which may be unfamiliar through the spectrum of human experience.

July’s stories and extracts look at how the world around us shapes our experiences, and how we might look further beyond to make changes. What happens when we take steps into the unknown? What about when the world holds mystery about who we are? What kind of power do we have to change our circumstances?

Browse the collection

After months of closure, the Mansion House is slowly re-emerging to serve the community at Calderstones once again.  

At Calderstones, the Ice Cream Parlour and The Reader Café are now back open and operating as a take-away service. This weekend we also reopened The Reader Shop and Calder Stones exhibition.

The Reader Café’s new opening times will be 8.30am until 2.30pm, Monday to Sunday

The Reader Shop and Calder Stones exhibition opens 12noon until 4pm, Saturday to Sunday. 

We cannot thank you all enough for the support that you have shown us in this time, particularly as we have begun to operate again. Profits from our social enterprises go directly to support our charitable work and the financial impact of closure has been a huge concern for The Reader. Our staff are eager to get back to work so we can provide opportunities for our community to reconnect whilst generating vital income once more. 

While we’re still unable to welcome you back safely inside the building, we are trialling Summer Eats in The Secret Garden - weekend al fresco dining for families and friends to reconnect in the private gardens of the Mansion House.  

Share in the pleasure of relaxed outdoor eating with those close to you once again, in socially-distanced dining plots with bench-seating and table service. Choose from a specially crafted menu of homemade pizza, fresh salads and favourites like halloumi fries. 

Find out more

The Calder Stones: Mysterious Megaliths

Following the re-opening of the Calder Stones exhibition, our next blog exploring Calderstones' rich history, shines a spotlight on the neolithic Calder Stones. 

"It is now possible to visit the shop and the Calderstones courtyard, the home of our 4800-year-old standing stones. The Heritage Volunteers and I can’t wait to start sharing the history of these mysterious megaliths and their curious carvings with you again. To celebrate we have focused this week’s blog on what we know, and what we wish we knew, about the history of the stones." 

Read the blog

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The Reader is supported by
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Copyright © 2019 The Reader
Charity Number 1126806 (Scotland SCO43054), All rights reserved.
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Our mailing address is:
The Reader, Mansion House, Calderstones Park,
Liverpool, Merseyside L18 3JB, United Kingdom

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The trees themselves, as in winters past,
will survive their burdening,
broken thrive. And am I less to You,
my God, than they?

from 'Ice Storm', Robert Hayden

 

We hope that this email update finds you, and those close to you, safe and well wherever you may be. Since the last time we wrote, we celebrated National Volunteers Week by launching part two of our Bread and Roses anthology, and, with a special collective reading of 'Not Love Perhaps' by ASJ Tessimond from Reader staff to our volunteers - read on for more.

Last weekend would have seen the much-anticipated return of outdoor theatre to the Mansion House with a run of audience-choice performances from Shakespeare's Globe. Rest assured that we’ll continue with our plans to bring outdoor performances back to Calderstones. Until then, we encourage you to make the most of the free digital content Shakespeare’s Globe are offering via their Globe Player.

Also this month we're sharing an article from the latest issue of The Reader Magazine, and as usual, our Books, Plays and Poems for June.

Stay safe, and take care of yourselves.

National Volunteers Week

This National Volunteers Week we said a huge thank you to our 1000+ volunteers across the country. While we can’t be together in person, the golden thread of literature still connects us, and as poetry can often say what we can’t put into words ourselves we shared a collective reading by Reader staff of ‘Not Love Perhaps’ by ASJ Tessimond. Also we're releasing the second part of our Bread & Roses anthology, poems and short stories to offer comfort and connection, which you can download below.

"Shared Reading has given all of us a reason to be in regular contact while also enquiring about each other's wellbeing during this challenging and often isolating time."

Some of our volunteers from across the UK reflect on how Shared Reading has kept on happening during lockdown. Over on the volunteer site, we hear from volunteers Helen in Shropshire, Dirk in Wirral and Ruksana in West London about how they’ve been able to keep reading and stay connected, and even welcome new readers into their groups - read more.

Download part two of the anthology

Watch the video

Reading for Life

In issue 71 of The Reader Magazine, we met Iona Heath, a family doctor who practised at a London clinic for over 30 years, and a former President of the Royal College of General Practitioners. Dr Heath is known internationally for her impassioned and clear thinking on the causes for which she campaigns, and for her writing in the British Medical Journal. 

In articles and presentations, she very purposefully weaves in quotations from poems, literary essays and novels, from Montaigne to Seamus Heaney, in order to illuminate her thinking. The literature gives force, and a breadth of understanding and human experience to her ideas, which are also brave and revelatory. The Reader discovered how her reading and her professional life first began to blend in this way.

Read more

The Secret Garden

Our Head of Children and Young People, Kara, has been setting off on a magical journey through Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic novel, The Secret Garden. Join us over on our YouTube channel at 7pm every evening, Monday – Friday where you can sit back and watch as Kara reads from this family favourite. You can catch up with the story so far below – don't forget to tell your family and friends to tune in too! 

Read along with Kara

Book Bundles

While we work toward reopening The Reader Shop at the Mansion House in Calderstones Park, we have launched a new book bundle package online for those that are missing browsing in our shop. The book bundles are designed to bring company, comfort and connection during lockdown.

For just £45, get 5 hand-picked books and a free gift (postage included). There are two options to choose from: build-your-own-bundle, or let us choose on your behalf. Book bundles make a great gift for faraway friends and family members, and with Father's Day fast approaching, they could be just what you need!

Visit our online shop

June's Books, Plays and Poems

If you’ve finished everything on your to-read list, this month’s suggestions will give you something new to try.

June’s choices veer from the surreal and unusual, to something a little more sedate, and come courtesy of Chris Lynn from the Learning and Quality Team – and who some of you might be familiar with from leading some of our online volunteer Shared Reading groups on Zoom over the last couple of months.

Browse the collection

Calling all KS2 teachers

We're really excited to be working with Cheltenham Festivals on delivering a network of teacher book groups across the North West. Studies show that children who read for pleasure experience high levels of wellbeing, engage in learning & are more successful. If you or your school want to get involved, make sure to register for the launch event at The Storybarn.

Find out more

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The Reader is supported by
Reader Supporters
Copyright © 2019 The Reader
Charity Number 1126806 (Scotland SCO43054), All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you have signed up to The Reader's newsletter mailing list.


Our mailing address is:
The Reader, Mansion House, Calderstones Park,
Liverpool, Merseyside L18 3JB, United Kingdom

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When we look into the heart,
May our eyes have the kindness
And reverence of candlelight.

from 'For Light', John O'Donohue

 

We hope that this email update finds you, and those close to you, safe and well wherever you may be. We write to you this month with news of how we're adapting our work to keep people talking and reading together through lockdown

It's been great to see many of you taking part in our Shared Reading live events on Facebook which are part of our ‘The Reader at Home’ activities and events. The programme also includes a telephone-based reading service for those who prefer a weekly chat with a friendly voice over the phone. If you, or someone you know, would benefit from this service, read on for how to get involved.   

Also this month we're sharing a random act of kindness for Mental Health Awareness Week, a celebrity reading of 'The Lady of Shallott' by Alfred Lord Tennyson, and our Books, Plays and Poems for May.

Stay safe, and take care of yourselves.

The Reader at Home

Many aspects of our usual way of life may have been suspended but literature’s ability to offer us comfort, connection and fellow feeling remains ‘as true as it ever was’. Under the banner ‘The Reader at Home’, we have launched new services to keep people talking and reading together through lockdown.

Along with a public programme of recommended reads, video readings, online events and telephone and web-based Shared Reading services, the new offer includes ‘Life Lines’ –carefully curated activity packs designed to help others, such as care homes and health organisations, support the people they work with.

We're also sharing the first part of our ‘Bread and Roses’ anthology which offers poetry and readings which we hope will nourish the spirit of all. Watch Claire Skinner, actor and Reader patron, read 'Sympathy' by Paul Laurence Dunbar, one of the poems featured in the anthology.

Download the anthology

Watch Claire Skinner read 'Sympathy'

Finding Connection

Could you or someone you know benefit from a friendly chat on the phone during this crisis?

At The Reader we know not everyone can join online activities, so while we can’t meet face to face, our staff and volunteers are offering a weekly phone call to people across Liverpool in need of comfort and connection.

We're looking for people to volunteer a little time every week as part of Finding Connection: sharing stories and poems over the phone. If you'd like to get involved and offer a friendly chat about a poem or story,
call 0151 729 2250 or email .

Share stories and poems over the phone with us

"Reading to each other creates a refuge from thoughts of tomorrow"

Whether you’ve been enjoying trying out Shared Reading online, devouring your reading pile or having trouble getting back in – we know that reading is helping so many people feel better at the moment ...

Writer and Reader patron, Frank Cottrell Boyce, featured on BBC Front Row last week talking about The Reader Magazine and the unique quality of reading aloud in a time when it is increasingly difficult to concentrate. Listen back to the show featuring guests including Maryanne Woolf, author of Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World.

Penguin Books editor in chief, Sam Parker, wrote that 'strange things happen when you read out loud'. This article cites reading aloud as a route back to reading, with The Reader at the forefront of guiding people on their way. "After the corona crisis began, I felt too anxious to read. Until I started doing it out loud" - read on for more.

Philip Davis, Emeritus Professor of English Literature at the University of Liverpool, shares how literature can heal us, recover emotions lost, and help us not only get through tough times, but connect on a human level in this article 'Reading to heal ourselves' in Psychologies Magazine.

United in a common aim to bring people together to enjoy poetry – and great literature – aloud, The Reader and Pass On A Poem send weekly emails and online readings that share favourite poems. Nearly 100 famous faces, including Stephen Fry, Joanna Lumley, Sir David Attenborough, Sheila Hancock and Sir Ian McKellen are featured in a special Pass on A Poem recording of The Lady of Shalott by Alfred Tennyson.

We hope these inspire you to give reading aloud a try – or maybe even start your own Shared Reading group!

Keep up to date with the latest

Pass on a Kindness

Next week (18-24 May) marks Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme is kindness. Inspired by the joy of the rainbow trail, and passing on a poem, we'd like to pass on a kindness to you by way of a poem ...

My heart leaps up when I behold

A rainbow in the sky:

From 'My Heart Leaps Up' by William Wordsworth.

You can read the whole poem by clicking on the download link below. Once you've read it, why not print it off, add your own message then pass it on to a neighbour, friend or loved one? Let someone know you're thinking about them and help us spread kindness this Mental Health Awareness Week.

LISTEN: Professor Phil Davis recently talked to the MARCH (Mental Health and Communities) network podcast about research into the benefits of reading on the brain and wellbeing, and the overlap of literature, reading and mental health. He spoke 'my biggest ambition is not to provide a cure for being alive but that people should be more alive. I think literature can do that' - listen to the interview now.

Download your print-out poem

May's Books, Plays and Poems

Staying at home has become the new normal for most of us, so it’s perhaps not a surprise that thoughts of home, and what that means to us, is a theme for May’s selection of extracts.

Our sense of home can change throughout our lives, not just owing to physical but also emotional circumstances. How can we understand what home really is? How much do our immediate surroundings offer us an escape or solace from what else is happening in our lives? What about when we are uprooted suddenly?

Also touched upon is the notion of isolation, how we might feel trapped somewhere we don’t want to be but have no option in which to remain, and how we can find ways to cope with that.

Browse the collection

Starting from Monday, our Head of Children and Young People, Kara, will be setting off on a magical journey through Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic novel, The Secret Garden. Join Kara over on our Youtube channel at 7pm every evening, Monday – Fridav where you can sit back and watch as Kara reads from this family favourite – don’t forget to tell your friends and family to tune in too! 

Looking for what to read next? Read Kara's list of brilliant books for children that have got the Storybarn team talking from Issue 71 of The Reader Magazine.

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The Reader is supported by
Reader Supporters
Copyright © 2019 The Reader
Charity Number 1126806 (Scotland SCO43054), All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you have signed up to The Reader's newsletter mailing list.


Our mailing address is:
The Reader, Mansion House, Calderstones Park,
Liverpool, Merseyside L18 3JB, United Kingdom

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All things pass
a sunrise does not last all morning
all things pass
a cloudburst does not last all day

from 'All Things Pass', Lao Tzu

 

Since our last email to you, things are looking rather different. We hope that you and your loved ones are doing well and keeping your spirits up. But we know that some of you will have people you love in hospital and some of you will have suffered a bereavement. We want to extend our deepest condolences to those of you suffering in these ways and send our good wishes.

The early female unionists in the United States recognised that life was not only about basic breadline necessities, but also about the ineffable beauty of the world too – “give us bread, but give us roses” they said. We are taking inspiration from this and for the duration of the emergency, we are working under the banner: Bread and Roses. We are focusing on providing food from Calderstones to those most in need and bringing literature to the world in new and alternative ways. Read more info below about how we’re doing this and how you can get involved.

Stay safe, and we hope to see you soon.

The Reader at Home


During these unsettling times, we want to offer you comfort, meaning and connection now more than ever. For the next few months, we will be hosting online and phone events as part of our new initiative, The Reader at Home. We want to continue to support all our members, volunteers, partners, as well as reaching the wider community and stay connected during this time.

From reading resources, to Shared reading by phone or online, here's what else you can expect over the coming weeks...

On Mondays we share our special series of poems to help us through the testing times ahead. This week Charlotte Weber, Wirral Hub Leader and Calderstones Studio Manager, shares her thoughts on Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey by William Wordsworth.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays we'll be hosting Shared Reading live led by a member of our Learning and Quality team. Head to our Facebook page on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1pm to take part.  Follow us to receive notifications when we go live.

The Storybarn Facebook page is a treasure trove of fun things to do and read with children. For those with young ones, you can tune in on Friday mornings at 11.30am to go on a story adventure at home with one of our Storyhunters.

Looking to keep your mind and body nourished? Charlotte, our Studio Manager at Calderstones, has taken her lessons online. Join in with Gentle Morning Yoga on Wednesdays 10am - 11.15am or the regular Friday Flow class every Friday, 5pm - 6pm. These classes take place on zoom and you can book tickets online here.

Each week on Sunday we'll share a poem for all the family and challenge you to learn it off by heart. Last week we read 'The Jumblies' by Edward Lear. Have a go yourself and let us know how you get on.

If you’re a charity, prison, NHS body or other organisation who is keen to bring the comfort and escapism of reading to your beneficiaries, you may be interested in our new free reading activity packs. We’d love to hear from you. Please email us at .

Find out more about The Reader at home

 

Community Kitchen

For the past week, we've been using the kitchens at the Mansion House to make and distribute freshly made, nutritious meals for those who need some extra support during the emergency. We’re working with partners across the Liverpool City Region to distribute these meals to those who need them. Every meal is of course accompanied by a poem so we can help provide some comfort for the mind as well as the body. We are grateful to the Steve Morgan Foundation, LCVS and Councillors Richard Kemp, Kristofer Brown for their support with this. 


We're keen to hear from local organisations in need of food – either to support people they work with or their own staff. Please get in touch via  if you think we can work together or have suggestions.

Follow the story on Twitter

 

The Reader Magazine

The Reader magazine, which started life in 1997, has relaunched as a biannual publication and what great timing it is – The Reader magazine celebrates great books and poetry that can help with the difficult stuff of ordinary human life, as well as the uncertain days we find ourselves in right now. We hope that the words within these pages will provide inspiration and comfort in equal measure.

Issue 71 Includes contributions from voracious reader (and Oscar-winning director) Danny Boyle and The Reader’s founder and director Jane Davis, as well as our regular features and interviews. Follow this link to watch Jane Davis, The Reader’s Founder and Director, reading And Yet The Books from the magazine. 

The new edition is now available to buy online or you can subscribe for future copies. If you’re on social media, please give the magazine a shout out by using #TheReaderMagazine on FacebookTwitter or Instagram to let everyone know it has relaunched at last.

Buy online or subscribe to The Reader Magazine

 

Shakespeare's Globe

Together with our partners at Shakespeare’s Globe, we’ve taken the decision to cancel the scheduled Globe on Tour performances that were planned for June.  We hope this isn’t too disappointing, and we’re sure this news isn’t entirely unexpected given the current circumstances. 

All ticketholders are entitled to a refund on the costs of your ticket/s to these performances – our team will be in touch with you as soon as possible about this, there’s no need to contact us.

Once these unprecedented times are behind us, rest assured that we’ll continue with our plans to bring outdoor performances back to the Mansion House’s Garden Theatre so that people of all ages can get together and experience the joy of great literature – alive and aloud!  

Until then, whether you’re a die-hard Globe fan or just Shakespeare-curious,  Shakespeare’s Globe offers some free digital content via its #SuchStuff podcast and Globe Player. Find out more here or follow @The_Globe on social media to tune in and escape to the world of the Bard from wherever you are!  

Follow The Globe online

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The Reader is supported by
Reader Supporters
Copyright © 2019 The Reader
Charity Number 1126806 (Scotland SCO43054), All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you have signed up to The Reader's newsletter mailing list.


Our mailing address is:
The Reader, Mansion House, Calderstones Park,
Liverpool, Merseyside L18 3JB, United Kingdom

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Always a night from old to new!
Night and the healing balm of sleep!
Each morn is New Year's morn come true,
Morn of a festival to keep.

From New Year's Morning By Helen Hunt Jackson.

 

Welcome to the first Reader newsletter of 2020!

In this, our first issue of the new decade, we have news of the return of outdoor theatre to our home in Calderstones Park and we look back at Jane's 2019 TEDx talk. We share stories from some of the people powering the Reading Revolution across the UK, including the London volunteer who was recognised in the Queen's New Year's Honours list.

We also have details of what's happening at the Storybarn this half term, along with our latest job opportunities and, of course, the books, plays and poems of the month.

Shakespeare's Globe comes to Calderstones

The Reader is bringing Shakespeare’s Globe on Tour to our home in Calderstones Park, Liverpool, this June, with a programme of four outdoor performances over three days.

Shakespeare’s Globe Touring Ensemble will offer audiences at Calderstones a choice of three plays, each exploring themes of nature, the city and the places beyond: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It and The Tempest. In keeping with tradition – and with thrilling unpredictability – the choice of play will be put back into the hands of the most powerful members of the house – the audience. The crowd will be asked to cheer, clap and shout to vote for the play they want to see.
 

Enjoy outdoor theatre at Calderstones this June

 

Jane Davis TEDx Liverpol

Back in November, our founder and director, Jane Davis, took to the stage at TEDx Liverpool to tell the world about Shared Reading's power to help us connect and to feel better.

Jane and our patron, Frank Cottrell Boyce, were among an eclectic line up of speakers with “ideas worth spreading" who inspired a packed audience at the ACC Liverpool.

Watch Jane at TEDxLiverpool

 

'It is a great, mind-broadening experience and often my own views are challenged.'

Damien has been part of the Wirral Shared Reading community for over a decade. Read his story to discover how he got involved and the positive impact that Shared Reading has had on his life.

Read Damien's Story

Flights of Fancy at the Storybarn

Saturday 15 - Sunday 23 February
Tickets £3.50 per person. Under 1s go free!

Join the Storyhunters on a quest for myths, legends, fairy tales and all things magical! Explore the hidden depths of the Storybarn, from dungeons and dragons to fairies from faraway lands. Whether we're crafting our own mythical story, or embarking on daring quests, bring your courage and imagination.

Incy Wincy Rhymers, for ages 0 - 3, is a fantastic opportunity for little ones to discover new rhymes, sing-a-long, be creative and get involved with take-home crafts.

The Storyhunters, for ages 3 - 8, will get the youngsters to explore their imaginations and will take them on a theatrical, literature based adventure in the magical surroundings of The Storybarn.

Book your tickets

 

Queen honours London Volunteer

Kate Fulton, a former media lawyer who gave up her career in 2005 to concentrate on voluntary work for The Reader, has been awarded a BEM (British Empire Medal) for services to the community in the London Borough of Barnet.

Kate’s story with The Reader began in 2011 when she sat in on a group at health and social care organisation, Jewish Care. Following the session, Kate enrolled on The Reader’s transformative training programme, Read to Lead, before becoming a fully-fledged Reader Leader in 2016.
 

Read Kate's Story

 

 

January's Books, Plays and Poems

This month’s books, plays and poems feature a selection from across the ages, dating all the way back to the 16th century.

As we move forward into a new decade, take a look back through the centuries at a diverse collection which explores a range of themes, from emotional upheaval to perspectives on marriage and politics.  

This month’s titles include extracts from Julius Caesar and Middlemarch, as well as a selection of poetry that will take you on a transformational journey from winter to spring.

Discover our January reads

 

 

Join the Reading Revolution!

We're currently looking for people to join our catering, events and heritage teams here at our Calderstones HQ. If you - or someone you know - is looking for an opportunity to make a difference then we want to hear from you!

See our website for details of all our live job vacancies.

See our Jobs

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Liverpool, Merseyside L18 3JB, United Kingdom

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And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
From 'Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C Moore.

Welcome to the last Reader newsletter of 2019! We have literary gifts in store for you this December.

Thank you to all of our partners, volunteers and supporters who have supported the Reading Revolution this year.


In 2020 we're looking forward to bringing more people together and books to life, re-launching The Reader Magazine and launching our Spring/Summer programme at Calderstones.

A gift for you - our Home For Christmas poetry anthology to download and share. Let us know what you think by using #SharedReading to talk to us on Twitter or Instagram.

If you're still looking for gifts to give this festive season, you can help support the work we do by gifting a Reader Friends Membership this Christmas.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas from everyone at The Reader!

Home for Christmas

The Reader team has been counting down the days to Christmas the only way we know how - with a poetry advent calendar in the entrance hall at our HQ.

For those who haven't been able to pop over to Calderstones Park to take their pick - we've pulled together a special collection for you to download and share.

Whether you are involved in Shared Reading or not - we hope you'll love the poems we've picked for you this festive season.

Download our Home For Christmas anthology
 

The Penny Readings 2019

This year’s Penny Readings took place for the first time in our new home at the Mansion House in Calderstones Park as a thank you to our incredible volunteers and friends.

Alongside The Reader’s founder and director Jane Davis on Saturday night was patron and author Frank Cottrell Boyce, BBC North West Tonight’s Mairead Smyth, BBC Radio Merseyside’s Roger Philips.

Read more about the event
 
Leonie trained with us two years ago at “an unplanned crossroads” in her life. Since then, she has run two Shared Reading groups where she lives in North Derbyshire, including one in sheltered housing accomodation.

The “small but fantastic” group have read poems from Emily Dickinson to Simon Armitage, and have built strong bonds - “this has created a wonderful blending of ideas and sentiments with a group of residents who previously didn’t know each other – even though they live in the same place.”
Read Leonie's Reader Story
 

'It gave so much to me that I wanted to give the same joy back to others.'


Shared Reading is a great way to improve wellbeing and reduce social isolation - never is this so important to many of us as at Christmas. Read our article in this month's SAGA magazine to find out more.

“At this time of year – as the days get shorter and darker – the need for connection and meaning-making is, for many of us, at its strongest. Getting together around great literature is an ideal way to meet this need and beat the winter blues. There’s never been a better time to give it a go!”
Read the article
 
Give the gift of Friendship

You can help support The Reader this Christmas, and spread the word about Shared Reading, by gifting a Reader Friends Membership. With a welcome gift, priority booking for selected events and 20% discount on all purchases at The Reader Café and Ice Cream Parlour, a Friends membership is the perfect gift for the book-lover in your life! Email  to find out more.

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The Reader is supported by
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Copyright © 2019 The Reader
Charity Number 1126806 (Scotland SCO43054), All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you have signed up to The Reader's newsletter mailing list.


Our mailing address is:
The Reader, Mansion House, Calderstones Park,
Liverpool, Merseyside L18 3JB, United Kingdom

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O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
October by Charles Dickens

As October comes to an end and the clocks go back, our minds are on last-minute, half-term holiday plans. While the Storybarn's Spooky Roots sessions and Wondrous Welly Walks have limited availability - we might just be able to squeeze you in if you're quick - and there's lots more to explore at The Reader at Calderstones over the next week...

Liverpool-based dance company Movema are hosting two new, energetic storytelling workshops - one for adults and one for the whole family - plus, there's yoga in our Studio and a brand-new Shared Reading group that will take you around the world with poetry.

Looking further ahead, Shared Reading favourite George Eliot would have turned 200 in November, so we're celebrating throughout the month - read on for all the details and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for our latest announcements.

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Storytelling dance workshop for adults

Moving Tales: Storytelling dance workshop for adults
Monday 28 October, 6pm - 7pm
£5, pre-book online

Join this special workshop for adults run by the Liverpool-based dance company Movema, who are known for their high-energy and fun classes, choreographed and taught by global experts. Make sure to wear comfortable clothing and footwear.

Book Tickets

Storytelling Dance workshop for families

Moving Tales: Storytelling dance workshop for families
Friday 1 November, 2pm - 3pm
£3.50, pre-book online

A family-friendly dance workshop that uses the body to tell stories from across the world, suitable for adults and children (5+). Accessible and inclusive, this class explores different cultures through the joy of dance. Make sure to wear comfortable clothing and footwear.

Book Tickets

 

George Eliot in the World:
Conversation and reading

Friday 22 November, 7pm - 8.30pm, Free, pre-book online

Join Professor Alison Liebling from the University of Cambridge and the University of Liverpool's Professor Philip Davis as they ask how George Eliot can help us think about some of the hardest problems in today’s world.

Book Tickets

George Eliot

George Eliot at 200:
Reader Day

Saturday 23 November,
10am - 4.30pm,
£50, pre-book online

It’s 200 years since Marian Evans was born, daughter of an estate manager, near Nuneaton. That midlands country girl grew up to be one of the world’s greatest writers, George Eliot, and this day is a celebration of her life and work.

Book Tickets

 

A Poetry World Trip
Every Wednesday, 4pm - 5pm
Free, drop in

Travel across the globe using great poetry as your guide - explore places you might never have been, see things you might not otherwise see. 

Perhaps you’d like to come along before joining our Language Café, happening at the Mansion House straight after.

Find out more

 

The Friday Flow

The Friday Flow
- Yoga @ The Mansion House

Every Friday, 5pm - 6pm
£5, pre-book online

‘We think by feeling’, Theodore Roethke wrote. Join us for an energising Vinyasa yoga flow class to end the week. It uses breath and continuous, repeated movements to help enable more feeling, less thinking. Suitable for beginner to intermediate level.

Book Tickets

Practice with Poetry

Practice with Poetry
- Yoga @ The Mansion House

Every Saturday, 10am - 11.30am
£7.50, pre-book online

A gentle yoga practice, followed by 15 to 30 minutes sharing a selected poem together – expand body and mind, and connect to the world we live in. Suitable for people who are new to both yoga and poetry.

Book Tickets

 

Volunteer at Calderstones

Be part of the next chapter

Want to make amazing things happen? We’re looking for people of all skills, interests and ages to help make the Mansion House a home.

Maybe you saw a show in the Garden Theatre, celebrated your wedding here, or walk the dog in the park. Whatever memories you have, help make more for future generations and become part of a warm family.

Find out more

Hire a space

Hire a space and make a difference

The magnificent 1940s Garden Theatre is back to its former glory and is now a licensed space for events. You can hire it for family celebrations and corporate occasions, and we can even lay on a spread from our new catering kitchen.

There's the Studio at Calderstones for wellbeing activities, the Making Room for crafts, and many more spaces besides. We have dedicated parking, AV, whatever your requirements – just ask!

Find out more

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Copyright © 2019 The Reader
Charity Number 1126806 (Scotland SCO43054), All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you have signed up to The Reader's newsletter mailing list.


Our mailing address is:
The Reader, Mansion House, Calderstones Park,
Liverpool, Merseyside L18 3JB, United Kingdom

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