Working to reduce our carbon footprint

Registered Charity No. 1164715

The Transition Town movement was founded in 2005 in response to a recognition that local action could play an important role in tackling the twin problems of peak oil and climate change.

Friends, Ann Orchard, Gill Gething and Jon Gething, inspired by the aims of the movement, founded Transition Portishead in 2009.


Jon Gething

After gaining a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, Jon joined the CEGB and worked as a controls system engineer for 17 years. During this time he chaired the Avon Wildlife Trust and later became Director of the Trust.  On retirement in 2002 he was elected as a Liberal Democrat town and district councillor for Portishead.  A founder of Transition Portishead and Low Carbon Gordano, Jon has lived in Portishead since 1973 with wife Gill and their four children who grew up and went to school in the town.

Paul Thurston

Paul graduated with a BSc (econ) then trained as a teacher before spending two with Voluntary Service Overseas at a school in The Sudan.He enjoyed a thirty year career as a Probation Officer, latterly as a senior manager before taking early retirement.  After running his own consultancy business for several years Paul moved to Portishead with his wife Pat in 2008.  Paul is one of the founders of Low Carbon Gordano and a director on its board.  He also sits on the Community Benefit Fund grants committee.

Edwina Davis

After qualifying as a nurse and midwife and working in a hospital in Northern Zambia for a year Edwina moved to London with her husband Jed and their 3 children.  Edwina gained a BSc in Psychology and a PGCE then taught in several London Primary Schools  for over 20 years.  Her final appointment was as Deputy Head of a large Peckham primary school, followed by retirement 5 years ago.   She and Jed moved to Portishead to be closer  to their daughter for whom they now provide childcare.  Edwina is particularly interested in Transition Portishead’s education projects in schools.

Jed Davis

After ordination as a Methodist minister in 1970 Jed had three lengthy appointments in urban areas: in inner city Liverpool, in Peckham and in Chelsea.  A commitment to collaborative working has been a feature of his ministry and a desire to see the church open to, and involved in its local community.  In Liverpool he was involved in the establishment of a technology project for young people and this was continued through the Work and School Project.  In Chelsea Jed was based on the Kings Road where he was involved with the West London Churches Homeless Concern, the largest project working with street homeless people in West London.  Jed holds an honours degree in social sciences, is married to Edwina, is the father teachers of James and Edward and general practitioner Alexandra,and grandfather to 4 boys and 1 girl.

Steering Group

Valerie Hampshire

Valerie left home at 16 years to work as a Scientific Assistant for the Atomic Energy Authority at Sellafield and to gain a Higher National Diploma in Chemistry.  Marriage and two children ended her employment in science but she went on to gain an Open University degree, several secretarial qualifications and a career in Higher Education.   Valerie was a University Senior Officer and Student Advisor, and had acquired some lecturing duties by the time she retired at the age of 60. She moved to Portishead in 1998 to live with her new partner and to become involved in his wine businesses.  

Gill Gething

Gill attended Leeds University, graduated in Chemistry and then obtained a PGCE in Primary Education.  After teaching at Portishead Primary School of 16 years she went on to become an Advisory Teacher for Primary Science for Avon County.  After 3 years as Deputy Headteacher at Becket Primary in Weston Super Mare she became Headteacher at Birdwell Primary, Long Ashton.  After 8 years at Birdwell she took early retirement and was a founder member of Transition Portishead. She has lived in Portishead for 43 years, has 4 children and 11 grandchildren all of whom keep her very busy.

Ann Orchard

Ann worked as a primary teacher in London and locally in North Somerset.  She spent some time as an advisory teacher for primary science, then worked in Filton, Bristol as head of infants and deputy head in a large primary school.  She took early retirement, after which she trained as a volunteer for Citizen’s Advice.  She then became a founder member of Transition Portishead.  She has lived in Portishead since 1972.