Tell us a bit about you/your organisation
I’m Olivia, Community Engagement Manager at Lister Steps, a charity based in Tuebrook. Day to day we run a nursery & childcare facilities to support children & families but we also have funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to restore The Old Library, a much-loved Grade II listed Carnegie library on Green Lane, into a new multi-use venue for our community. Building work is still underway but we hope to move in at the end the year and re-open as a place for people to come together, have fun, get support & learn new skills.
What sort of work do you/your organisation normally do in the community?
As well as caring for children from babies up to secondary school age, we also put on a range of community events and activities to bring people together. In the past we have organised things like litter picks, family fun days, business fairs, historic talks evening & a photography competition, and this year we also started running regular social groups, such as Knit & Natter, belly dance class, and a local history group. We have also partnered with other organisations to run training such as Periscope CiC, who helped us train six volunteers in community journalism, and the Museum of Liverpool who carried out an archaeological dig with local volunteers in the grounds of The Old Library. We try to offer activities that people of all ages and backgrounds will enjoy and have worked with local schools, older residents groups and other community organisations to bring new opportunities to L13.
How are you staying connected with the community during lockdown?
We had to close our childcare facilities and postpone our face to face activities when the current crisis started but since then, we’ve been checking in with our partners & volunteers, and working from home to try and keep people connected & entertained online. Our Knit & Natter group have moved to WhatsApp and Margaret & Frieda have been spreading joy by sharing photos of their knit & crochet projects online. Our local history group volunteers, Susan & Heather, post a weekly case study from their research with interesting stories about the history of L13 and some of the more unusual residents who used to live there. Our fabulous belly dancing teacher Carolyn now does a free live session on Facebook every Tuesday evening and our Instagram-whizz Chris has been running a photo challenge with a new theme every week for people to get snapping around the house & garden. We’ve also been joining in with national campaigns like the 2.6 Challenge to raise money for UK charities who are missing out on their usual fundraising events and World Book Night, asking people to show us what they’ve been reading at home during lockdown.
Anyone & everyone is welcome to join (now and always!) and you can follow us @ListerStepsHub on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. We also have a website www.listerstepshub.co.uk where you can sign up for monthly newsletters to keep in touch with what’s going on.
Are you taking part in any fun activities to help you through lockdown?
Since joining the Knit & Natter group, I’ve made very slow progress…I don’t think I’m a natural knitter! But I have discovered embroidery after ordering a beginners kit online during lockdown. I’m still learning but I’m already addicted and looking at new threads and patterns to order! Alongside working from home, I’ve been trying to take advantage of the slower pace of life, doing things like reading, cooking new dishes and planting seeds. My tulips are flourishing and I’ve got radishes and sunflowers on the way!