Tag Archives: Cambridge

Library vortex, image and web link
Into the library vortex of knowledge and imagination…

We have, with our new Libraries news-feed page, given our readers the opportunity to keep up with latest news from across the UK.

We are rotating our topical feeds across University libraries, feminist collections and featuring, as we must, the go to public library resource, PLN.

Library image by Jaredd Craig…

Check our our Libraries page below and keep coming back to stay informed.

    See more: http://www.conversationseast.org/libraries/

In The Guardian you can find an encompassing article that sums up the decline of the local library. Picturing a library using population that has tumbled by 30% in a decade. See more

The study it regales us with is Taking Part (.pdf) from the DCMS. It found that…

The greatest fall in adult library usage was seen among 16 to 24-year-olds, according to the DCMS report. In 2005, figures showed that 51% of this age group used the library. In 2015, the figure fell to 25.2%.

Statista, the Statistics Portal, offers detailed annual library visits data, from 2002 to 2014.  Here the analysis shows that from a peak in 2005/, with a total of £42 million visits, by 2013/14 this figure had declined to just over 282 million visits.

It is never too late to fight back and get into good library habits. We like the 10 Reasons to use Your Library article, on the web journal Ten Penny Dreams. Elegantly laid out, the author, a North of England writer, gently chides us to remember why using a library is such a joy and a revelation. See more here

If you need it, visitcambridge.org in the East of England are offering public tours of the Parker Library, including parts of Corpus Christi College. Where you can ‘…sample its amazing collection which includes the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, principal source book for early English history, the sixth-century Gospels of Saint Augustine, the Bury Bible and the best manuscript of Chaucer’s Troilus…

Proof, if proof were needed, that librarians are keepers of our collective culture, and that libraries, as buildings, are the engines of our future dreams. Don’t lose it, use it!

    See more: http://www.conversationseast.org/libraries/

Enlightenment in the East of England



The JDRF One Walk Cambridge event is taking place again on Sunday 11 June, 2017.

If you haven’t signed up yet, why not get your friends and family and sign up today?

”The One Walk Cambridge is a family friendly event, that has something for all ages and abilities, from the littlest legs to the briskest power-walkers with our 5km or 9km route. Visit our walk village at Christ’s Pieces with refreshments and activities to keep the whole family entertained”.

You can join hundreds of people across the country walking and raising money for type 1 research this Spring! See you there?

  • You can still get involved as a volunteer, if you would like to support our favourite charity as a event crew member. See more here

conversationsEAST and SmithMartin LLP are delighted to be supporters of JDRF.

One day, we will create a world without type 1 diabetes. Until that day, your support is vital for our world-class research, improving treatments until we find the cure”.

Source: JDRF web pages – accessed 07.03.2017

Get walking to change the future for children and support JDRF.

Download your event poster here…pdf

Christ’s Pieces, Cambridge
Sunday 12 June 2016 from 10.30am
5km or 10km walk
£10 for adults, free for under 18s

This is another great JDRF fundraising event. Why not get your walking shoes on and meet the JDRF team at Christ’s Pieces on Sunday 12th June.


interneticon You can register to take part in this great event here at JDRF.ORG.UK/ONEWALK

If you would like more information about this event, or how to support children and young people with Type 1 Diabetes, and support the work of JDRF, you can email the fundraising team here  – cjoseph (at) jdrf.otg.uk

Editor’s Note:

There are currently 400,000 people in the UK with type 1 diabetes, over 29,000 of them are children.

We are committed to eradicating type 1 diabetes and its effects for everyone in the UK with type 1, and at risk of developing it’.  Source JDRF web pages/2016

The conversationsEAST team are steadfast in their support of JDRF. The charity’s fundraising team at JDRF are committed, enthusiastic and ethical…with a boundless energy to match. We recommend you support them too.

They would make a great ‘most favoured ‘ charity for your organisation too.

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Technology to help JDRF…

We were delighted to hear that JDRF, our favourite Eastern Region charity here at the conversationsEAST offices, have been chosen as one of the Cambridge News Cash for the Community featured participants.

Cambridge News are providing their readers with the opportunity to clip coupons from the paper, starting with twenty four coupons on Monday, which readers can then use to vote for their favourite regional charitable good cause.

JDRF provide significant and telling support to young people with Type 1 Diabetes. You can find details of a recent JRDF Conference we attended here.

JDRF events? See more…

For more details of why JRDF deserves your support you can visit their main web pages here. The research that JRDF funds provides life changing opportunities for children and young people.

You can visit a Cambridge News web page to find out more about the Cash the Community competion here.

Support JDRF…all the technology you need is included in the image above.

If you do, thank you. We’ll be going clipping crackers too!

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Benedict Dellot of The RSA has recently authored a new report on the growing phenomenom of Maker Spaces. There’s one near you…did you know?

The report defines MakerSpaces as ‘…open access workshops, hosting a variety of tools, from 3D printers and laser cutters through to sewing machines and soldering irons’.

These unique spaces attract hackers, roboticists, traditional engineering and technical enthusiasts, along with a variety of arts and craft specialists. There is something of a William Morris, Arts and Crafts revolutionary aspect to their public face. Offering as they do, spaces for making and experimentation in a collaborative and supportive atmosphere.

See more here…pdf

Morris would have it that you should ‘…have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’. Perhaps in the 21st Century, in a MakerSpace context, their motto should be ‘…beautiful, useful and technically collaborative’. (…great sign over every MakerSpace door?…Ed.)

As part of the RSA report (Ours to Master…)a survey finds that people, when asked, express an interest in Maker philosophy and practice, and would be interested in accessing such facilities. The survey found…

  • 26 percent of people regularly make things for their own use, 49 percent fix things that are broken and 21 percent modify products to better suit their own needs
  • 57 percent would like to learn how to make more things they and their families could use
  • 61 percent would like to have a better understanding of how the things they use work
  • 78 percent think our society is too materialistic and our economy too dependent on consumption
  • 43 percent often feel confused by the pace of technological change and struggle to keep up
  • 24 percent would be interested in using a makerspace in the future

You can read more about MakerSpaces on the pages of The RSA. here. (The report is freely accessible to all).

Maker Spaces in the East of England?

Ipswich Makerspace:

‘Ipswich Makerspace is a Suffolk based group of like minded makers who get together to learn, build and experiment with a huge variety of hardware, software, and technology in general’.      (Source: Ipswich Makerspace, December 2015)   See more here.

Chelmsford Makerspace:

‘Chelmsford Makerspace is a non-profit, community of makers in Chelmsford. We are a group of makers and hackers that get together to share tools and knowledge’. (Source: Chelmsford Makerspace, December 2015). See more here…

Colchester Makerspace:

‘We are developing a maker workshop offering affordable access to basic equipment such as workbenches, pillar drills, soldering irons, sewing machines and saws etc’. (Source: Colchester Makerspace, December 2015). See more here…

Cambridge Makespace:

‘Makespace is a community workshop in Cambridge for making and fixing things, meeting people, working on projects and sharing skills’. (Source: Cambridge Makespace, Decembre 2015). See more here…

Hitchin Hackspace:

‘Hitchin Hackspace is a community organisation devoted to providing everyone with a place to explore all kinds of creative technologies and crafts’. (Source: Hitchin Hacspace, December 2015). See more here…

Thank you to Benedict Dellot for another interesting and cutting edge report. It is interesting to see old concepts of craft and sharing being developed in contemporary communities, to deliver accessible, technology related products and learning. ‘Social engineering’ in its purest form perhaps?

We are surprised, in our brief survey of MakerSpaces in the East, to find no representative group for Norwich. If you know of one, use our contact form and let us know. We’ll run a supplementary piece to spread the word about them, if we missed an opportunity to do so here. Happy making! Ed.

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Be the Change in Cambridge are holding a community event on Saturday 14th March, 2015. This is an opportunity to help ‘…facilitate the creation of ideas and bring the city together to make Cambridge greater than the sum of its parts‘.

Anglia Ruskin University
East Road
CB1 1PT Cambridge
United Kingdom
Saturday, March 14, 2015 from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM (GMT)

This short video below helps explain their mission.

vimeoVideoButtonpic-mYou can see the original film on Vimeo here.

eventbriteButtonYou can book your free ticket on-line at Eventbrite here.


What Be the Change say about their event…


  • ‘This is a project to bring Cambridge’s many communities together to do more than just talk about our city’s future, but to decide what shared actions to take in order to shape it
  • We’re particularly encouraging young people – in particular those in further education – to take part. This is our response to research showing 18-24 year olds are least likely to vote as an age-cohort.
  • We’ll be asking everyone to commit to either a one-off small action, or a small behaviour change as a result of taking part. If dozens of us do that, our impact could be greater than the sum of our parts!’

If you are in the city on Saturday, March 14th this is a great opportunity to get along to Anglia Ruskin and contribute to the debate, to the generation of ideas and to the creation of community change.

See you there?

If you are a Fellow developing or leading a community change event or  project you can send copy, links and editorial contributions to the team at conversationsEAST.

We’ll be happy to feature your work, twitter our followers and generally spread the word.

If formally invited along, we’ll write a review and supporting article too. Tell us at editor (at) conversationseast.org. or use the drop down ‘contact us’ box on any of our web pages.



Volunteer for Cambridge

Saturday 28th February, 2015 – There is a great day of volunteering opportunities for the Fellowship in Cambridge this weekend. Visit The Guildhall and see!

Members of the regional Fellowship will be abroad, supporting 80 Cambridge based organisations who are ‘…working to create positive social and environmental change through volunteering‘.

Visit the Volunteer for Cambridge event page here...

11am to 4pm, Saturday 28th Feb. – The Guildhall, Market Square, Cambridge.

‘The aims of the fair are to get more people involved in volunteering, bring together organisations with shared aims and to break down the town/gown divide by opening the event up to students and locals alike. Anyone and everyone in Cambridge is welcome to attend!’ The Cambridge Hub

This is a great event that offers many opportunities for Fellows, anybody in fact, to seek out and engage with a broad range of organisations in Cambridge.

Volunteer and donate time and your specialist knowledge to any one of these great organisations. If you are a Fellow in Cambridge, or its hinterland, here is the event to start your journey with a new community.

phoneIconYou can book your free tickets on-line with Eventbrite here.

phoneIconFind the event on Facebook too. Visit the event page here.

By supporting The Hub, you are also helping students at Cambridge support and make a contribution to communities, helping them tackle their social and environmental issues.  Working in a collaborative and supportive way. You can see the story of The Hub here.

Image credit: Painting for the community – picture courtesy of The Cambridge Hub.




On Saturday 7th February, 2015 conversationsEAST are sponsoring an informal Open House drop-in event at their offices in Cambridge. Tim Smith FRSA will be holding a Fellowship Counsellor surgery, in his role as Fellowship Counsellor for the East of England. (Tim’s sponsored programme covers the region at monthly intervals or so. See more here...)

He’ll also be wearing his hat as Editor of this on-line publication, so a well as his Fellowship Council agenda, if you have a Fellow led project you would like support for, or to talk with another Fellow around funding, governance, communications or operational development…Tim will be on hand from 10.00am.

If you are intending to bring a charabanc of a dozen Fellows or so, do let Tim know, as our loft space will quickly fill up. See more details of Tim’s agenda and contact details for the day, including the creation of a women’s group to advance the interests of female Fellows in the region, here…

 RSA Engage

‘The Power to Create is the theme of much RSA work this year and this Connect event will bring local Fellows (an interested others) together to discuss both local issues and exciting work coming out of the RSA’.

The RSA are currently about to deliver a suite of RSA Engage events in the Eastern Region. There are forthcoming events in Ipswich, Cambridge and other Fellow population centres. See details below.

  • RSA Connect Ipswich on 9 Feb
  • RSA Engage Cambridge on 21 April
  • RSA Connect Bedford on 12 May
  • RSA Connect Peterborough on 8 Sept

You can find an EventBrite booking page for the forthcoming Ipswich event here.

These Engage events are a great opportunity to meet the team from The House and to develop contacts and share ideas with other Fellows, or yet to be Fellows too. See you there?



The Fellow led RSA Cambridge Network are offering their support to the Abbey People community project.

This is a call to action for new volunteers from the Fellowship in the East of England and beyond.

Abbey People is a community group working to support residents in the Abbey Ward , located in the east of Cambridge City. This is  a dynamic, energetic and committed community that are responding to a need for change in community resources, the environment and in their economic landscape too. Can you help?

This great short film, made by Hilary Cox for Abbey People, conveys the energy and enthusiasm of the community. (…and some stirring and engaging piano playing too…Ed.)

See the movie on YouTubeYou can see the original film on YouTube here.

The group are currently looking for Trustees and other support for their governance and project development…

View, print or download this information and contacts here…pdf version

“…Trustee roles
We have bi-monthly Trustee meetings, usually on a Monday evening. In addition to meetings Trustees contribute their skills to different aspects of our work e.g. events, projects, consultation.

pdfIcon4You can download a pdf copy of the original call for Trustees document here…

Treasurer – We are looking for someone with the financial skill and experience to become our Treasurer. We anticipate this role will take approx. 5 hours per month, including meetings.

Trustee – Someone who is keen to support our aims in the Abbey ward and who has skills, time and experience to contribute. We would be interested to hear from anyone with an interest in developing a particular area of work e.g. supporting Older People, Improving our Environment

Supporting roles
We are a young community group with ambition. To help us fulfil our potential we would appreciate support from people with expertise and time to offer in these areas

• Administrative support – including taking minutes, collating information

• Book-keeper ideally a volunteer, but will consider small remuneration. To maintain the accounts using Quick Books (training can be provided) ensuring payments are made, correct recording, running payroll monthly, dealing with HMRC, liaising with the Treasurer. Approx 8 hours pcm

• Marketing and Communications – including developing our communications strategy and use of social media

• Volunteer Coordination – including recruitment, development and retention…”

We support Abbey People too! Go volunteers!

You can discover Abbey People, their projects, ambitions and enthusiasm on-line here.

As a Fellow, wherever you are in the world, the power of your imagination and the internet can help you to help the people of Abbey with their project aims.

To get connected you can download the Abbey People notice above. Or you can securely send your contact details, immediately below, to conversationsEAST and we’ll speedily forward them to Stuart, Wendy or Sam.


Image credit:

News Desk image by Markus Winkler, Creative Commons, Unsplash...