The Hypatia Trust

The Hypatia Trust

Listen to Melissa talking about The Hypatia Trust, a charity she founded to record and celebrate the achievements of women in all aspects of their lives.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.



Interviewer: Hello, Melissa.

Melissa: Hello, Joanna.

Interviewer: What would you like to tell us about today?

Melissa: I would like to tell you about the organisation which is called The Hypatia Trust, erm, located in Penzance in Cornwall, that I founded in, er, 1996. It is allied to Exeter University and it is a, an institute which encourages lifelong learning for women. We concentrate on women's lives, both their careers and their family life, and virtually anything which they have accomplished – which often, in history, is, erm, swept over or sort of edited out of normal histories.

Interviewer: Do you want to tell me about some of the projects that The Hypatia Trust has been involved in?

Melissa: Yes, yes, I would like to. Er, we have, for example, we have a Wikipedia group which, erm, spend a lot of time and effort in their own homes working on the entries for women on the net, on the internet. This is very helpful because very often men forget that women are there when they're talking about their lives and their achievements! This is one project. We also have art exhibitions of women's art, er, craft. Er, er, that might be sewing, that might be needlework, you know, it might be needlework or it could be painting or any sculpture, that sort of thing. And we also have lectures where women who have climbed Everest or done something else remarkable will come and tell us about the experience. Erm, we have some very fine offices with meeting rooms that the community can also use for their projects. Altogether we are a kind of a community centre, but basically we are a women's learning institute and we promote anything which leads to lifelong learning …

Interviewer: For women?

Melissa: For women.

Interviewer: OK.

Melissa: Though we don't, erm, disinvite men attending, because they need to learn as well.

Interviewer: Exactly. OK. Thank you very much for talking to us.

Melissa: You're welcome.

If you'd like to find out more about the work of The Hypatia Trust, have a look at their website:


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Average: 5 (3 votes)

Submitted by englishnote on Wed, 28/06/2023 - 11:26


It was sad that often anything they have accomplished that was edited out of normal histories. Also, it was very interesting that men aren't disinvited to this organization because they want the men to be here for learning about women's achievements.

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Submitted by danisep on Wed, 02/12/2020 - 16:27

I would enjoy exhibitions and lectures, if they are under my interest, if it is something about technology, music, self-development or how improve relationship and influent in others would be a very interesting lecture. when I used to go frequently to church there was a group of young people that helped others taking them food and stuffs.

Submitted by senes19 on Sat, 18/07/2020 - 17:33

I enjoy very much joining the exhibitions. It makes me fresh. But I don't think so joining the lectures. They make me bored. There are some organisations which is found for supporting the women. Sometimes I attend such as organisations. I believe women should be not only in home but also in the society of the world. I mean women and men are completely equal. Only they have different features. It is based on their nature. If we set up a totally equal opportunity for them, it is not necessary to create like the Organisation which is mentioned in the passage.
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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Tue, 19/05/2020 - 02:19

Yes. I does. Yes. There are such organization where I live.

Submitted by nikoslado on Sat, 09/05/2020 - 18:17

Dear friends, on the occasion of ''The Hypatia Trust'', I'd like to note that Hypatia -spelt ''Yπατια'' in Greek-was a great Greek woman personality, Neopatonist philosopher, in Alexandria of Egypt, during the late roman years and the start of byzantine era, about 360-415 AD. She had founded her own School of philosophy, where astronomy, mathematics and platonic philosophy were taught. Unfortunately, she was assassinated by wild crowd christian people because of her ideas, due to be considered as Anti-christian at that time. (more about in: With regards Nikoslado

Submitted by Uche_Blessing on Mon, 24/02/2020 - 20:00

Exhibitions are fun to attend. I am a very creative and aesthetic person. I love to see other people's work and appreciate the beautiful mind behind the amazing crafts. Lectures are okay...if centered around Education, Psychology, Development work, Technology...then it gets me excited. Other than that, I just manage to hang in there. Well yeah, there is. Though i am not very familiar with them, i am aware of very few religious/social groups that cater for Women and Girl-child development. I am more into Education as relates societal (community) development. I have volunteered for a few organizations and handled personal projects in that line.

Submitted by cittàutopica on Thu, 23/01/2020 - 18:42

I'm keen of going to exibitions, especially about the 1900s painting; therefore I try to visit the most important exibitions, at least in my country (Italy) and, if it's possible, also abroad. I like to attend also the book launchs. In my town there are many organisations which undertake to do group activities in the fields where The Hypatia Trust works.

Submitted by AZEEZ K I on Sat, 04/01/2020 - 07:41

Yes, I enjoy going to lectures, exhibitions and seminars mainly to learn about the making if great people. Yes, I am aware of the Inner wheel society for women.