We had so many expectations and hopes for this weekend, but our focus was to support The Reader Organisation prepare to launch a programme called Liverpool – City of Readers. The quirkiest part of our weekend is that everyone involved was recorded reading for the Readerthon to create material to promote the weekend. All the links for the team are connected to their youtube video but videos and tech support created this website.
Calderstones Mansion House was a marvelous base for the weekend. I was based in a B&B nearby and walked through the Calderstones Park each morning to start work. Whilst the weekend had some torrential rain and freezing winds, the mornings started clear and cold. once inside we had a huge open plan room with space for everyone to work, with the exception of the reading recording and the room decorating. The Mansion House was full of volunteers and staff all weekend, because in addition to over 50 volunteers popping in and out, The Reader Organisation were running a children’s reading group and supporting a tour of the park too.
The core team was simply amazing and there will be some mini-blogs about each of them appearing soon. But with so many volunteers I cannot mention everyone by name so please check out the YouTube channel that records their input in a unique way. The core team with their video links (where I could find them) were:
- Emma Melling – project manager of Liverpool City of Readers
- Hakim Cassimally – volunteered to build an app for city tours
- Paddy Morrison – kept us all fed and was a video editor whiz
- Hayley Trowbridge – volunteered from We Heart Tech CIC and trained up the team in WordPress
- Pauline Doyle – volunteered to get the plan sorted and stayed all weekend
- Jane Davis – Director of City of Readers led the room decorating effort
- Leon Brown – volunteered to create an app to gamify reading
- Karen Leigh Anderson – general facilitator and runner
The results of the weekend were a launch website and a project website for Liverpool City of Readers, loads of videos of reading and an initial marketing and operational plan for the year. Alongside this the project office was painted out and two fun applications were started. The project launched last Friday softly, allowing the team to test everything before promoting it too widely.
Dan Lynch joined us for the presentations at the end of the weekend – which entailed loads of people popping up to share their fabulous achievements. This was reflected in Emma’s thanks to the volunteers:
“Just to say a big thank you to you all for your support over the weekend. The sharing yesterday showed some real progress and we look forward to launching City of Readers in March with much of this progress.”