Our Team

The Transition Turriefield team is made up of Board members, staff, and volunteers.

Penny Armstrong has a degree in Community Education and has worked in the voluntary sector for over 30 years. She has skills and experience in running all aspects of third sector organisations including management, strategic development; project planning and development; recruitment, management, and employment of staff; securing relevant funding, budget management; monitoring and evaluation. Penny has many years of experience in recruiting, supporting, and managing volunteers. Her management roles have included partnership working with the Scottish Government, many Scottish local authorities, Health Boards, Police Services, and voluntary organisations.

Alan Robertson worked in the music event industry for over 15 years before becoming a full-time grower. He has skills and experience in managing operational teams; organising and delivering logistical systems; devising, planning, and constructing apparatus and equipment. He is responsible for organising and supervising Transition Turriefield’s volunteer workdays. Alan is practically minded and has skills in crofting, joinery, and construction.

Penny and Alan are both full time employees and Board members. They are the founders of Transition Turriefield and have over 42 years combined experience in horticulture. Penny and Alan work as lead growers and their diverse roles also include education and community development, working to increase the quantity of locally grown produce across Shetland.

Jeffrey Gaskell was previously a commercial crop grower and RBG Kew trained landscape designer, before becoming an independent commercial and social enterprise advisor lecturer and trainer initially in Northwest England before moving to Shetland in 2009. Jeff’s key skills are the preparation of feasibility studies, business planning and financial forecasting for commercial and third sector enterprise; legal compliance; market research; risk analysis and mitigation; strategic planning; third sector governance development; volunteer recruitment and management. He has a been involved with Transition Turriefield since 2009 and a Director since 2012 and also volunteers as a Board member of Shetland Islands Citizens Advice Bureau and as a HM Coastguard volunteer Coastal Rescue.

Deryn Relph has been a Director since 2018. Deryn has many years’ experience in growing fruit and vegetables broadened in a Shetland context through many hours volunteering at Transition Turriefield. As a self-employed Textile Designer, she has experience in developing and managing her own creative business; working in partnership with international businesses to achieve mutual benefit and marketing products for social enterprises including the proactive use of social media platforms. Deryn has skills and experience in teaching adults and young people in creative arts. She is also the secretary for the committee running Sandwick Community Allotments, supporting the community to increase local food growing.

Fiona Stirling joined the board of Transition Turriefield in 2018, bringing her experience of 20 plus years working in community development to the organisation. Fiona has first-hand experience of all project stages from ideas generation and community engagement through to dealing with the complexities of large-scale ventures. Trained in community education, Fiona has worked in the education and training sector; holds a post graduate certificate in Social Enterprise and primarily, through her current work with HIE, has supported community led economic development. A relatively recent but keen veg grower, Fiona has learned from Transition Turriefield’s expertise and volunteer days, understanding at first hand the impact the organisation makes and is keen that many others benefit from similar experience in future.

Frances Taylor is one of our original customers, joining the veg box scheme in 2012. As our enterprise grew, she offered to come along and help pack the produce. In return for a share of the harvest, Frances efficiently weighs and bags for us every Thursday, a role we now can’t do without.

Daisy Taylor has been working with us for over 5 years. Daisy started as a volunteer and became employed as our harvester 3 years ago, helping reduce the many hours we spend cutting leaves.

Our Volunteers include our veg box customers who, through our CSA scheme, contribute at least 4 hours of their time per season to help us grow the produce. We also have other volunteers who come along for many different reasons including enjoying the social side of working with people who share a similar interest, learning or gaining new skills, reducing carbon footprints, or improving mental health. Our Volunteers add a great deal to our organisation and our work. For more on volunteering with us click here.

Trainee positions are offered through various pathways. Working on a seasonal basis the young people work as assistant growers learning the day-to-day care of crops and weekly process of getting produce to market. For information on traineeships please get in touch info@turriefieldveg.co.uk.