Currently the Hypatia Trust is in the process of developing new beginnings. Shorn of the direct responsibility for the care of Hypatia’s major collections - our future is for remaking. A number of valuable and unique archival collections remain, and the digital future will ensure an expanding forum for the Hypatia Trust’s work.

Those who will help shape that future are our friends and supporters – some as far away from Cornwall as Japan, Washington, Germany, Australia and New Zealand & places in between. But those, who will ensure and sustain the Hypatia Trust, will be local to Penzance, West Cornwall. Our voluntary consulting team includes the following and will expand and contract as needed and as willing.

 Melissa Hardie -  Operations Lead

Melissa Hardie - Operations Lead

 Miki Ashton -  Design Consultant

Miki Ashton - Design Consultant

 Linda Cleary -  Free Writers Centre

Linda Cleary - Free Writers Centre

 Tehmina Goskar -  Collections Lead

Tehmina Goskar - Collections Lead

 Maggi Livingstone -  Lead Archivist

Maggi Livingstone - Lead Archivist

 Helen Hoyle -  Arts Lead

Helen Hoyle - Arts Lead

 Delpha Hudson -  Events Lead

Delpha Hudson - Events Lead

 Polly Atwood -  International

Polly Atwood - International

 Florence Browne -  Social Media

Florence Browne - Social Media

Polly Attwood is our leader for international links, and the curator for the Collection which focuses on gender equity and advocacy for those who are under-represented or under-served in all countries and communities. A teacher and multi-linguist, she has lived in France, the USA, and now has settled into her homeland of Cornwall.

Linda Cleary runs the Free Writers Centre and has has led workshops, schools and tours all over the world including in Hypatia’s home country of Egypt.  Her home in the UK is Penzance, Cornwall where she has taught Creative Writing since 1999. Her Hypatia part-funded workshops are held on a regular basis at the Morrab Library, and can be booked through her website here.

Tehmina Goskar runs a heritage practice providing services to libraries, museums and archives. In April 2012 she published Curating the Elizabeth Treffry Collection, and helped the trust win HLF funding for History 51 project to promote awareness of women's heritage in Cornwall. See our news page for more about Tehmina's new role at the Hypatia Trust as Wikipedian-in-Residence addressing the gender imbalance on Wikipedia.

Melissa Hardie remains at the core of the Hypatia Trust which she founded in 1996 to promote the concerns and achievements of women. Her main functions are to sustain organisational features necessary to operate an educational charity in today’s bureaucratic world, and to head up the research programme of projects. In 2012, she received an MBE from Queen Elizabeth for her Services to the Arts and Heritage of West Cornwall. The current, almost overwhelming project, is to move the remaining Jamieson Library Collections to new headquarters - to be announced shortly, after refurbishment - in Chapel Street, Penzance.

Helen Hoyle as Arts leader, works hard to sustain and expand the Cornwall Artists’ Index (CAI), founded and sustained on-line by the Trust and its voluntary team of researchers.  In her own right she is an Art Historian and maintains web-logs entitled Dates in Women’s Art (Anniversaries in the Lives of Women Artists) and Women Artists in Cornwall. Working with her as needed is the web designer Nick Harpley.

Rebecca Johnson, journalist, and Eleanor Tench Walsh, post-graduate PhD student in Cornish history, are offering to pitch in where needed in relation to proposed publications and research projects within the newly-constituted working team. Rebecca is also recruiting serving crew for the West Cornwall branch of the Women’s Equality Party (WEP), and Eleanor is heading up the History 51 notices which we all enjoy on Facebook & Twitter.

Maggi Livingstone is our lead archivist, archiving the correspondence, notebooks and original manuscripts in the Hypatia Trust collections so that they can be preserved for the long term and made accessible for future generations to enjoy. 

Florence Browne manages the Hypatia Trust's social media, and has recently arrived in Cornwall after completing an MA in Ethnographic and Documentary Film at UCL. Alongside her work for Hypatia she is helping to develop creative local projects with Awen Productions and is busy promoting her most recent film, 'Just As I Am', an exploration of the experiences of gay clergy in the Church of England. 

Miki Ashton Studied at the Chelsea School of Art and Middlesex University where she received a BA in Product Design.  She was born and worked in London for many years before moving to Penzance, Cornwall in 2003 where she ran several restaurants. Miki is now the director of her own design consultancy 10 Ten Design Studio and somehow still manages to find time to be Melissa's hardest working right hand woman for the Hypatia Trust! When Miki isn't working you'll find her with husband Justin and faithful pooch Eric out at sea fishing off the rocks. However, despite admitting to rarely catching supper Miki wont give away the location of this her prize spot! 

Delpha Hudson is an artist, researcher and writer based in Penzance. Her broad practice is based around women, art, inclusion and representation. When not in her Bread Street studio working she does freelance work, including research and development for Hypatia events initially at the Chapel street base.

Hypatia-in-the-Gardens Project Team

The Hypatia Trust is planning a move into public buildings.  Our partners in this re-formation are the Friends of Morrab Gardens. We are working together to raise support and funds for a fresh approach to care and use of the public gardens of Penzance. Our intention is to open new administrative offices there for the Trust together with the Friends, and to create an open learning centre in botanics, a dry laboratory, lecture hall and reading/research room.

Acting as facilitator and project manager of the Morrab Garden Project is Ingrid Hesiltine of DeFacto Development Consultants. Working directly with us on the design of offices and complex at Morrab Gardens is Design Consultant Miki Ashton of 10 Ten Design (as mentioned above).


Voluntary Research Team

The voluntary research team is open to applications for membership and support on relevant topics to women’s studies. The following are Associates who work with us in relation to the Projects listed above.

Research Director: Dr Melissa Hardie BA, PhD, FRSA, FLS, Hon Fellow, Exeter University. Research Associates: Polly Attwood, Linda Cleary, Dr Tehmina Goskar, Tom Goskar, Nick Harpley, Helen Hoyle, David Philp, Eleanor Tench Walsh.


Dr Melissa Hardie MBE
Founder & Director of the Trust, Cornwall

Andrew Bell, OBE
Retired Company Director, Cornwall

Philip Budden
Retired dental surgeon, Treasurer of the Trust

Doreen Pinfold
Head of Library & Information Services at Falmouth University, Cornwall

Miki Ashton
Design consultant, Penzance, Cornwall

Linda Cleary
Poet, writer, performer & Director of The Free Writers Centre 


Hypatia’s Friends represent a wide spectrum of women's achievements, these 33 women have made outstanding contributions in the world of arts, sciences, the media, industry, commerce and learning. Over the years they have taken a special and long-term consultative role to the Trustees, we are very grateful for their support.

Kate Adie OBE (Broadcaster and international correspondent, Courage in Journalism Award 2011, London)

Jordie Albiston (Poet, playwright and academic, Melbourne, Australia)

Rupam Baoni (Poet, author and painter, India & London, UK)

Caroline Carver (Canadian-English poet & broadcaster, Hawthornden Fellow, Cornwall)

Professor Mary Ann Caws (Academic, art historian, New York City)

Dr A E L Davis (Academic, Mathematician, Imperial College, London & Australia)

Professor Maria Dzielska (Author of Hypatia of Alexandria, Jagellonian University, Crakow, Poland)

Professor Penny Florence (Author, Emeritus Professor of Fine Art History and Theory, The Slade School of Fine Art, London & Cornwall)

Barbara Flynn (Actress, classic & contemporary film, TV, London)

Theresa Gilder (Sculptor, Teacher, Penzance, Cornwall)

Dr. Jane Griffiths (Poet, Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford)

Professor Amy Hale (Anthropologist, On-line learning specialist, Oakland, California)

Anne Harvey (Actress, broadcaster, poetry and literary anthologist, London)

Elma Heidemann (International Health consultant, author, Ottawa, Canada)

Joanna Hodgkin Hines (Novelist & biographer, London)

Dr Barbara Hosking CBE (Women’s issues & broadcasting, London & Cornwall)

Alice Kavounas (Poet, lecturer & tutor, The Lizard, Cornwall)

Professor Cheris Kramarae (University of Oregon Centre for Women’s Studies, Eugene)

Dr Nancy Lane (Cell biologist, Founding Director, Women in Science & Engineering Initiative (WiSETI), University of Cambridge

Lee Langley (Novelist, film script-writer, journalist, Richmond, Surrey)

Professor Patricia Laurence (Academic, biographer, critic, New York City)

Jessica Mann (Novelist, journalist, broadcaster & public administrator, Cornwall & London)

Professor Kath Melia (Academic, social scientist, author, Edinburgh, Scotland)

Professor Pamela Gerrish Nunn (Author, art historian, curator of exhibitions, Christchurch, New Zealand)

Sally Sedgman (Performance artist, broadcaster, public speaker, Devon)

Wendy Shillam (Architect & town planner, expert in ‘green eco-development’, London)

Professor Sabine Sielke (Academic, Director of North American Studies & Women’s Forum of Gender Studies, Bonn, Germany)

Heidi Stephenson (Author, playwright, animal rights campaigner, Totnes, Devon)

Dr Katherine Russell Tait (Biographer and critic, Porthcurno, Cornwall)

Dr Ann Thwaite (Prize-winning biographer and lecturer, Norfolk)

Professor Johanna van Maanen (Nursing Sciences and administration, Netherlands)

Professor Dame Marina Warner DBE, CBE, FBA, FRSL (Author, academic, Reith lecturer, etc. etc.! London)

Julia Watson (Actor, classical and contemporary, TV & stage, author, London)


John Ryton Andrews 2008

Wilhelmina Barns Graham, 2004

Andrea Garrihy, 2016

Dr James (Jim) Gibson, 2005

Lady Mary Holborrow, 2017

Jessica Mann, 2018

Frances Partridge, 2004

Dr Elspeth Pope, 2013

Hilary Richings, 2015

Professor Charles Thomas, 2016

Hon David Treffry of Place, 2000

Eva Tucker, 2015

Marion Whybrow, 2015


We are immensely grateful to the following people and organisations who have made significant donations to the Hypatia Trust since its foundation in 1996.


Budden family (Cornwall)

The 20-40 Project (London and Cornwall)

Andrews-Westlake family (Exeter, Devon & Cornwall) 2009

Community Chest (Penwith Community Development Fund) 2006

Cornwall Council (Arthur Q Couch Fund)

Cornwall Counselling Service (C & J Leigh)

Eric and Deirdre Dare (Truro)

Exeter University Special Collections & Libraries

Healthy Living Initiative (Small Grants fund) 2006

The Heritage Lottery Fund (History 51) 2012-13

Home Front Recall (2006) Heritage Lottery Fund (The Land Girls of Cornwall)

Norna Jamieson (London & Shetland) and family

Daphne & James Laing of St Andrews, Scotland

The Millennium Fellowship Programme (2000) National Lottery

Friends of the Morrab Gardens, Penzance

Penwith District Council

Penzance Town Council

Dr Elspeth Pope and Professor James Holly and their family 2013

Tabb House Publishers (Padstow) 2012

The Tanner Trust (UK and Cornwall) 2007, 2013, 2016

The Hypatia Trust is one of very few organisations in the UK dedicated to promoting education and research in women's studies, and supporting the intellectual endeavours of women so that their contributions are maximised.