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Who we are

Our staff and volunteers

Our team is made up of staff and volunteers who work at our headquarters in Ryton, in our organic demonstration garden and out in communities and back gardens across the UK.
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    David Hawkyard

    Project Coordinator - Norfolk Master Composters

    I recruit, train and support volunteers to be ambassadors for home composting in Norfolk, working in partnership with Norfolk County Council. I love the wild parts of my garden (which, frankly, is much of it) and seeing the wildlife it supports - so my tip is don't be too tidy!

  2. Elaine Gould

    Elaine Goold

    Knowledge Transfer Officer

    I teach horticultural skills to a wide range of groups, including schools, adults and carers, to support them in organic growing and facilitate health and wellbeing through gardening and nature appreciation. My children help me grow vegetables and flowers in our garden at home - and I love to see the power of growing for health and wellbeing.

  3. Emma O'Neill

    Emma O'Neill

    Head Gardener

    My job involves all aspects of practical gardening as well as managing staff and volunteers, writing articles and creating the occasional show garden. I also run tours at our organic demonstration garden in Ryton, which I designed and built during the pandemic. I love the way it continues to evolve and grow every year.

  4. Emma Robertson

    Emma Robertson

    Finance Assistant

    I'm part of the Finance team at Garden Organic and look after all of the invoices and expenses. I've had the odd gardening success growing carrots, peppers, runner beans and a sunflower or two. Other than that, I go with my heart, buy plants I like the look of and hope for the best!

  5. Fiona Taylor

    Fiona Taylor

    Chief Executive

    I love to champion Garden Organic with key people and organisations, enabling a lasting impact through our organic growing and composting advice and projects, citizen science and members' experiments and heritage seed conservation. My top organic gardening tip has got to be observation – take time to stop, look, wonder and learn.

  6. Frankie Kennett

    Frankie Kennett

    Project Coordinator - Cumbria Master Composters

    I look after the Master Composter volunteers and associated composting projects in Cumbria. My work includes organising and attending events and running composting courses and Master Composter training. My top organic gardening tip has to be compost, compost, compost - it's such a valuable part of organic gardening!

  7. Gardens volunteers at Ryton Gardens.

    Gardens volunteers

    Our fabulous team of Ryton garden volunteers keep our demonstration garden looking at its best. They help weed, prune and plant - and always do it with a smile on their face. There's a great camaraderie and we try to make the experience fun and informative. The gardens wouldn’t be the same without them.

  8. Hannah Rogers

    Hannah Rogers

    Director of Membership, Marketing & Communications

    Supported by a fantastic team, I’m responsible for ensuring as many people as possible know about our great work, and our new and old members are looked after. My biggest gardening success has been transforming our tired town garden into a vibrant oasis, full of colour and noisy with birds, bees and chickens!

  9. Jules Duncan

    Jules Duncan


    I maintain the one-acre demonstration garden, working in the fruit and veg beds and ornamental garden, and harvesting weekly produce for the local Salvation Army. I also deliver tours to our members and help create show gardens. My top organic gardening tip is encourage wildlife into your garden by creating habitats for frogs, toads and insects.

  10. Kate Eastment

    Kate Eastment

    Project Coordinator - North Somerset Master Composters

    I recruit and support volunteers to become Master Composters in North Somerset, inspiring as many people as possible to compost at home. I love organic gardening because it reminds me that I'm a small part of an abundant, living ecosystem. Every task helps me tune into nature’s amazing ability to recycle, regenerate and provide for all living things!

  11. Lisa Ash

    Lisa Ash

    Marketing Manager

    I support the management of marketing and communications for the charity, working with our team to plan and execute communications across a range of channels to promote organic growing and the work of Garden Organic across the UK. Gardening is great for my wellbeing, and I enjoy my time out in the fresh air.

  12. Lucy Shepherd

    Lucy Shepherd

    Seed Officer - Heritage Seed Library

    I work in the Heritage Seed Library, helping decide what's grown onsite each year by our guardians and contract growers, and what makes it onto the Seed List. I get the seed in a condition ready to be distributed to members and manage supplies. I still find it amazing that one tiny seed can grow into an abundance of food to eat!