Talking Together - COPE Project

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Talking Together

Talking Together

Talking Together is a unique initiative that brings older adults together for stimulating conversations on a wide range of fascinating topics.  This free programme offers weekly telephone-based discussion groups which are joined from the comfort of your home.  No special technology is needed, just your telephone.  Each group, scheduled for 45 minutes, is facilitated by skilled leaders.  

Feedback from previous participants:
‘I was impressed by the ease of conversation and the respect paid to each member's opinion’
‘I found it so rewarding and I liked the experience of a group “phone in”'
‘A much-needed stimulant to my mind’
‘The warmth of the facilitator is much appreciated’  
‘A feeling of belonging in a group’
 Registration is simple:
1. choose your first and second choices of group (see below);
2. email us at OR telephone us on 01223 364303;
3. please include your full name, address and phone number.

Deadline is Monday 18 October 2021

Talking Together Autumn 2021 series (brochure can be read here)

Mondays 25 October, 1, 8, 15 November at 1pm (4 weeks)
Making Sense of the Natural World
Sara Steele
Just like us, animals use their senses to move around their environment. Many of them ‘see’ the world quite differently to how we do and are often better at it.  We will discover how different animals sense the world around them - from the electro-location of a platypus, a polar bear’s long-distance sense of smell, to the unseen world of insect chemical communication.
Sara Steele is the Museum of Zoology learning assistant. The focus of her work is to provide opportunities for anyone, from age 0 to 100 and beyond, to explore, discover and be amazed by the natural world.

Monday 25 October, 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 November at 2pm (6 weeks)
Mill Road Monologues
Kay Blayney
Explore the history of Mill Road as seen by some of its most intriguing residents. Original monologues, written by Kay, will introduce us to an array of hidden and sometimes forgotten local characters and events. Scripts will be provided to participants. This is a special opportunity to share memories and enhance your knowledge of Cambridge history.
Kay Blayney is a Drama and English Secondary teacher and a faciitator.  She has worked in collaboration with professional theatre companies and community groups, including the Mill Road History Society where she was commissioned to write the Mill Road Monologues.

Monday 25 October, 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 November at 3pm (6 weeks)
Patrick Morris
Reading a play in the company of others is a rare but highly pleasurable experience.  We will read The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov together, spending time discussing our individual responses to the play, thinking about character, story and setting, alongside imagining how a production of the play might take shape.  Copies of the play will be provided.
Patrick Morris is Co-Artistic Director of Menagerie Theatre Company, Cambridge.  He specialises in developing & producing new plays as a performer & director.  He runs The Ideas Stage, which acts as a meeting point between communities and contemporary ideas.  
Thursday 28 October, 4, 11, 18, 25 November, 2 December at 1pm (6 weeks)
Discovering DNA
Eleanor McCartney
Your DNA plays a huge role in determining who you are. Join young researchers from the Gurdon Institute (University of Cambridge) to learn about the discovery of DNA in the 1950s lab of Cambridge scientists, Dr Watson and Dr Crick.  We’ll explore how this revolutionised our understanding of living things and share views on the philosophy and ethics around future directions. Participants will be sent illustrated postcards of DNA.  Suitable for those from all walks of life!
Eleanor McCartney is a PhD student as the Gurdon Institute who loves working in the lab to try to discover new science.

Thursday 28 October, 4, 11, 18, 25 November, 2 December at 2pm (6 weeks)
Cambridge University Botanic Garden
Gail Jenner
Autumn in the Cambridge University Botanic Garden is a fascinating time, with changing colours, interesting seed structures and a fine array of late flowering plants.  We will discuss this delightful garden that houses a world-leading plant science laboratory and plays a major role in plant conservation and education.
Gail Jenner, since retirement, has been a volunteer tour guide in the Botanic Garden.  She is also involved with the ‘Schools garden’ and school visits. Gail is a very keen gardener and has been managing her own substantial garden for many years.

Thursday 28 October, 4, 11, 18, 25 November, 2 December at 3pm (6 weeks)
Fenland Memories
Alan Darby
You won’t need to duck your head to experience life inside Fen Cottage, as Alan will bring it to life with tales of the people who lived there and worked on the fen. Fen Cottage at Wicken Fen is one of the last surviving buildings of a once thriving hamlet; from setting up your first home, to family events, village entertainment and more, we’ll share stories of times gone by together.
Alan Darby is a Fen Cottage Room Guide and has volunteered at Wicken Fen Nature Reserve for 7 years. He’s extremely knowledgeable about the social history of the Lode Lane community at Wicken, and also living and working on the Fens more generally.  

Funding for Talking Together is provided by Cambridge Community Foundation, Cambridge City Council and the Evelyn Trust.
Last updated: 22 September 2021
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