Pat Abel has been Chair of Transition Edinburgh South since 2009. She also covers the role of Treasurer while we recruit for this role.  She chairs the TES management group which meets several times a month and includes Norrie MacPhail, Lynn Jamieson, with attendance as needed from the Development Consultant and/or Garden Coordinator. She is a member of the Mansion Development Trust Steering Group.


Pat is on the board of Nourish Scotland, Scottish Communities Climate Action Network, Edible Edinburgh and she chairs the Community Growing Forum Scotland. She has more than 25 years’ experience in strategic planning issues, including published work.


Professor Lynn Jamieson is Vice Chair of Transition Edinburgh South, and a member of the TES Management team and the Mansion Development Trust Steering Group. She has also provided support and guidance to the TES Our Gracemount project. 


Lynn is an academic with expertise in all aspects of social science research. She has been Vice Chair of Transition Edinburgh South for seven years, is currently also Chair of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and is a trustee of Befriending Network Scotland.


Rita Budavari

Rita Budavári is  Youth and Children’s Worker at Transition Edinburgh South and brings valuable experience to our team through her extensive background in language education. She previously worked as a PSA at Gracemount Primary School, giving her a strong familiarity with the Gracemount area and its families. Since 2019, she has been an active member of Trees and Seas Outdoor Adventures, a local community interest company. Her involvement includes leading Hungarian Forest Families sessions and being a forest school assistant with Forest Under Five and Forest Fridays programs.


Rita’s enthusiasm extends beyond traditional classroom settings. She is passionate about both teaching and creating enjoyable outdoor activities. Rita’s personal interests align seamlessly with her professional pursuits, as she enjoys trail running, hiking, camping, and exploring the hidden gems of Scotland.


Norrie MacPhail

Norrie MacPhail leads on the installation of a portacabin on site, which will serve as the project hub and is scheduled for early 2022.  He is also a member of the TES Management team and the Mansion Development Trust Steering Group. 


Norrie is an experienced asset manager and builder within the social housing sector.  He has expertise in sustainability leadership and renewable energy, with strong team building, negotiating and people skills. Norrie is a Trustee of Berwickshire Housing Association, and a member of Cohousing Scotland.


Richard Whiston is our Garden Manager. He delivers open gardening and learning sessions for a range of participants and visitors, including children and young people, adults and community groups, such as school groups, youth organisations, disability services, and pre-school groups. Some of these individuals have additional support needs and are referred by partner agencies. Richard has worked for Transition Edinburgh South since 2013, developing the Gracemount Community Garden as an outdoor learning, meeting, food-growing and recreation space for public and community benefit. He has extensive experience as a community gardener in Edinburgh, having worked and delivered programmes for Bridgend Growing Communities from 2013-16, a youth programme for Edible Estates in 2016 working with 17-25 year olds, and leading community garden sessions for Bridgend Inspiring Growth 2016-17. He previously helped establish and lead a community growing space at The Salisbury Centre in Edinburgh. He has been a self employed garden designer and builder for more than ten years.



Tricia Kaminski has recently joined TES as a trustee. She was a social worker for over 30 years in the criminal justice system. She is aware of the role trauma can play in peoples’ lives and believes that we need to build systems that allow people to grow in resilience with improved mental, physical and spiritual health. She lives locally, volunteers regularly in the community garden, and is a member of the Friends of the Mansion Group.  She is part of SEECAT (South East Edinburgh’s Churches Acting Together) and through that feels increased commitment to the need to protect creation, the community garden being an important part of that.  She also volunteers as an ESOL tutor, visiting people to teach English and befriend.


Johnny Smith

Johnny Smith is our Manager at Transition Edinburgh South, he’s specialised in Youth Work, Conservation and Community Learning and Development. He started out volunteering with the Scottish Conservation Project back in 1992 where he realised his passion for the outdoors, nature and education. Johnny has worked for many organisations throughout the city but has always worked in education using the outdoors as a means to do so. For over 30 years Johnny has been providing training whether it be formal or informal to both young people and adults and he thrives on seeing people achieve.


Before Joining TES Johnny always had strong links working in and around the Gracemount Community Garden which he holds close to his heart, for over 10 years he used the garden and Richard the now Garden Manager to deliver college courses such as ROOTS Rural Skills or awards such as John Muir, Dynamic Youth and Saltire. Johnny was based at the mansion during his secondment to Dunedin Canmore Youth Projects and sees the garden as a special place where people can come to learn, enjoy, relax and feel welcome being part of something.


Chris Macefield

Chris Macefield is Workshop Leader for Transition Edinburgh South. He delivers outdoor learning programmes for a range of groups, including adults and children with additional support needs. With a background of working in NHS Public Health, Social Work and Voluntary Sector organisations, Chris has over 20 years experience of coordinating community food growing projects in different therapeutic settings. This includes hospital growing and therapeutic greenspace projects at: Midpark in Dumfries, Royal Edinburgh Hospital and Midlothian Community Hospital; along with various schools and community settings. As well as his role with Transition Edinburgh South, he is currently working for The Orchard Project in different locations in Edinburgh. Having studied horticulture, he has delivered accredited training courses in growing your own fruit and veg.


Kirsten Foggo

As the Food and Wellbeing Worker at Transition Edinburgh South, Kirsten Foggo brings with her a wide range of experience, from growing produce and teaching cookery to confidently engaging these skills and passions with the community. 

Recognising the need to increase food knowledge in the community, Kirsten is committed to sharing her understanding of the connection between the food we eat and our physical and mental health, as well as our overall general well-being. 


Just as importantly, Kirsten loves to share her own enjoyment of food with others!