Ordinarily, if we were venturing to a park in Liverpool, we would choose Sefton Park. Childhood memories and all that!
However, over Easter we decided to break with tradition and try Calderstones Park. I wanted to go to visit a special project.
The Reader Cafe is attached to the Grade II listed, Calderstones Mansion, which is surrounded by beautiful parkland and gardens. It is run by The Reader Organisation, a charitable social enterprise that are all about bringing people and literature together. Cool eh!?
They do this by holding weekly group sessions where stories and poems are shared. There is no pressure on anyone to speak aloud because the group leaders recognise that simply listening, can be powerful enough.
All age groups are catered for and, it is thought that by sharing this sort of experience, that personal and social connections will be made. I think it’s brilliant! You can read more about the organisation, it’s aspirations and mission here.
The cafe offers fresh soups, sandwiches and snacks. We had Ricotta and Spinach Pasties and they were very nice indeed. We ate the first course outside but then ventured indoors for dessert and coffee because it was getting a bit chilly. We were allowed to take the dog inside too!
But as you would expect, the cafe area is littered with books. There are at least two shelves and a quirky birdcage packed with differing tomes.
There was a lovely peaceful atmosphere even though, they really were very busy.
After a slice of carrot cake and a chocolate brownie covered in more chocolate, well it was Easter, we left and continued our walk through the park and past the lake.
It was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours and to think, that by filling up on delicious food, we were also supporting a great cause. Pay them a visit if you are ever passing – it’s very impressive!
Do you have a favourite social enterprise?
Have a lovely day!