Meet the Team

Partnership Co-ordinator
Anya Keenan

Anya is a professionally certified community and youth worker, concerned with how people can take action together to gain access to affordable, fresh produce. She has coordinated innovative urban food and farming projects to support the health and well-being of people and communities in London (Spitalfields City Farm, SLaM NHS Foundation Trust) and Edinburgh (Gorgie City Farm, Edinburgh Garden Partners). In her role as Partnerships Coordinator she engages and supports our growing network of garden partners, and builds strong strategic alliances across sectors to promote and sustain the garden-sharing movement.

Edinburgh Garden Partners’ Board of Trustees

Nancy Fancott
Nancy has a background in social welfare and charity law and currently works in social care policy. She has been an EGP garden volunteer for six years and joined the board in 2015. She loves the outdoors, is obsessed with her EGP garden plot, and is evangelical about the benefits of sharing time together in the garden. Her favourite plant is the artichoke — delicious and beautiful in equal measure!

Ben Thurman
Ben Thurman joined the board in February 2017 and is EGP’s Treasurer. He has been a garden volunteer for four years, working with two others to establish a dementia-friendly garden at a residential care home in Colinton. Outside of EGP, Ben works as a Policy & Research Officer for the youth charity, Mentor UK, and loves anything to do with cricket, mountains, OS maps and bicycles.


Nicola Hancock
Nicola has been an EGP volunteer since Autumn 2015 and joined the board in 2017. Having grown up in Hong Kong and living in cities since moving to Scotland, EGP was her first opportunity to get space to garden. While she spends most of her working week at a desk, she looks forward to getting outside and her weekly catch ups with her garden owner, who has a lot in common with her granny (who she first caught the gardening bug from) – Scottish, called Betty and with a very cheeky sense of humour.

Alison Parker 
Alison moved to Edinburgh in August 2017, to undertake a part-time master’s degree in Outdoor Environment and Sustainability Education at the University of Edinburgh and joined the EGP board in January 2019. She has a background in project management, communications and administration within Higher Education and nonprofit organisations. She has a keen interest in environmental education, sustainability, community and development. She is passionate about working with organisations, like EGP, that have a vision to change the world for better with a strong social or environmental mission. Alison is also a keen open water and wild swimmer and through her studies is exploring connections between water, swimming, identity, wellness and sense of place. She feels passionate about the educational potential of drawing these elements together to foster positive relationships with nature through immersive learning swimming experiences, and visual, creative storytelling.

Stephen McConnachie
Stephen joined the board in January 2019 after moving back to Edinburgh from London, where he and his wife somehow managed to get an allotment after only a one year wait. A social anthropologist by training, Stephen is particularly interested in the social benefits of gardening, and has researched the social value of urban nature in South London. He misses his allotment and is looking forward to volunteering with EGP.

Koreen M. Reece
Koreen is an avid gardener, an experienced NGO advisor, and an anthropologist at the University of Edinburgh. Originally from Canada, she conducts research in Botswana, and has called Edinburgh home for a decade, creating pop-up gardens in many a shared tenement space. She is excited to get to know EGP’s volunteers and garden partners, and to share the secrets of growing in an Edinburgh environment from them.