Meet the Transition Exmouth
Transition Exmouth has 100s of members. Each year an Umbrella Group of 12 people is elected. The Umbrella Group has an overview of lots of projects going on in Exmouth. If you have ideas about new projects, or want to be involved in an existing one then chatting to someone on the Umbrella Group is a really good place to start.
This is your Umbrella group for 2022:
Nicky Nicholls - Chair
I have been an activist since writing to Margaret Thatcher about protecting the Amazon rainforest at the age of 7. My first job was in international development, running events and festivals and promoting the Jubilee 2000 ("drop the debt"), fairtrade and Trade Justice campaigns. Martin and I moved to Exmouth in 2003 and I took up the role of running the Exmouth Festival - which I loved! 2 children, 3 houses, 5 years with the Town Council and 5 years at the Children's Centre later, I found my paid work moving further away from the causes of global justice which I am so passionate about. Reinvigorated by my daughter organising School Strikes for the Climate I took the opportunity to step up a gear. I was elected Chair of Transition Exmouth in 2019.
Carol Jay - Secretary
My previous environmental credentials include being Devon Local Agenda 21 Co-ordinator and a Friends of the Earth local Group Chair. I was Secretary of the Recycling in Ottery group when it was set up back in 1992. At that time the Council refused to believe that people would separate their waste! Community groups showed the way forward, and now we take kerbside collections for granted. I'm looking forward to the day when we take all the planet-friendly lifestyle choices on OurPlaceOurPlanet.org for granted!
Care of our planet and fellow creatures has shaped my life choices since the 1970s and I continue to garden organically with my husband, campaign, and share our garden and allotment with hedgehogs, slugs, amphibians and those awful codling moths.
I trained as an Occupational Therapist and prior to retirement worked for a mental health charity setting up and facilitating community networks with the aim of empowerment, inclusion and de-stigmatization of mental health issues. Through valuing everyone's input and linking with other projects our 400 strong network became a force for individual recovery, mutual support and community involvement. Through this work I met some of the bravest people in the world and their contribution to the project continues to inform my notion of inclusion and firm belief in both social and climate justice.
I look forward to meeting everyone in Transition Exmouth, getting more involved in the projects and helping Carol with the very lively and vibrant newsletter!
Mary Sage - Treasurer
I retired to Exmouth in 2012 having previously lived in Rugby for over 30 years. I worked in various capacities as a teacher, manager and project co-ordinator in a range of Further, Higher, and Adult and Community Education establishments in the Midlands. At different times in my career, I was involved with languages, sociology, teacher training and professional skills development. I am also a qualified German to English translator. I am committed to the notion of social justice, equality and diversity, and over the years I have been involved in various political campaigns for social change. I would not describe myself as an “eco-warrior”, but in the 21st century I think it has become very important to support environmental initiatives which address the issues posed by climate change, and to seek more sustainable ways of living, and that is why I volunteered to join Transition Exmouth’s Umbrella Group and agreed to take on the role of Treasurer. I consider myself to be well organised and methodical, good at record-keeping and managing budgets, so I hope that Transition Exmouth’s finances will be safe in my hands. I am also keen to get involved in other projects within the community.
Mike Rosser - Exmouth Town Council Representative
I was training as a Landscape Architect over 50 years ago and became interested in Ecology. I pursued a career in social work. I joined the Ecology party in the 80s (later becoming the Green Party). I am an active town councillor in Exmouth. I am working on getting drinking water refill stations installed (work in progress), focusing on Exmouth becoming more pedestrian and cycle friendly and I am working with others to develop a tree planting strategy for the town. I enjoy walking and cycling. I also garden, dance – learning to tango!, sail, and have joined a Balsam bashing team (pulling up Himalayan Balsam).
I was born and bred in Exmouth and then came back home in my retirement. I have worked all around the world - in training and personnel, transport and government. In Britain, I have worked in railways, docks, and latterly in local government, spending 11 years with North Devon District Council in Barnstaple. Since early retirement, I have been able to give time to political work, another life passion, standing twice as Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate for East Devon. I have been an Exmouth Town Councillor since 2011, and within that role pushed for more environmental action. I put forward the motion in Council to declare a Climate Emergency, and now chair the Council's working party encouraging action locally, a major achievement being to bring in Transition Exmouth as a Partner. I have always had a keen interest in nature and the environment, spending a lot of time bird-watching in Phear Park, on the estuary and on the seafront.
I trained as a clinical psychologist, then worked in Maidstone and Harlow hospitals, spent a year travelling in Africa and settled in East Anglia working in a Norwich hospital. After moving to Somerset with two young children, I worked part-time as lab technician, welder and gardener and later trained as a primary school teacher, teaching in Bridgwater and then leading Milverton School's transformation to Green Flag Eco-School status. On retirement, I chose to live in Exmouth a few years ago. In the 90's, realising we faced a climate crisis, I became a volunteer with Sustrans believing cycling should be promoted as a climate-friendly alternative to local car journeys. I now attend the Exmouth Transport Partnership and the Public Rights of Way committee, looking for opportunities to encourage Active Travel. I have raised awareness of swift and hedgehog conservation locally and co-founded Exmouth Wildlife Group to protect our urban wildlife and green spaces in Exmouth. I am a volunteer with Devon Wildlife Trust, I survey dormice across East Devon, process marine strandings and investigate the diet of otters on the River Otter.
As a keen environmentalist from a young age, I am excited to be on the Transition Umbrella Group and get involved in projects across the town. I have previously been involved with Exmouth in Bloom and Refill Devon and currently I’m an Orchard Guardian (as part of the Wild Exmouth project). Working in Waste Communications, I hope to use my experience to spread awareness of the work of Transition Exmouth as well as how everyone can lead a greener, more environmentally-conscious lifestyle.
I am a research scientist and project manager by trade, and am therefore naturally comfortable with technology, organisation and other behind-the-scenes leg work. In my spare time, I help my husband with his new framing business and am writing a children's book. I love sea swimming, running, walks and a good view with a pint! I make respectable efforts to recycle, eat and shop responsibly and locally. I am chomping at the bit to do my part for my community. In particular, I'd like to help improve facilities and awareness on how to look after our ocean, beach and beautiful countryside. I also hope to help improve awareness of Transition Exmouth and the wonderful new Our People Our Planet website.
I am new to the Umbrella Group this year. I’ve been on the “Town Team” for several years and had organised the ‘Big Spring Clean Up’ with the Chamber of Commerce in March 2020, that was sadly cancelled due to Covid-19. This was designed to make Exmouth Greener and Cleaner and the take-up and support for the event was superb so I’m really looking forward to organising it for 2021.
I previously ran a Love Local website of local products which featured in the Queen’s official 90th Birthday book alongside 100 other UK companies. Liz has a passion and an understanding of supporting local businesses and wants to be part of a community that builds on this.
I joined Transition Exmouth in 2013, shortly after relocating here from ‘up north’. I run the monthly Exmouth Green Drinks, officially listed in 2014 as part of the Green Drinks International network: http://www.greendrinks.org/Devon/Exmouth . I have helped promote and organise the “29 Minutes” sessions. I’m the admin for Transition Exmouth’s Facebook Page and Twitter & Instagram accounts. Being slightly obsessed with trees, I set-up the Exmouth Tree Project in 2018 and then “accidentally” became the Tree Warden for Exmouth (via EDDC / Tree Council). Amongst other things, I am also involved with Exmouth Wildlife Group and the Plastic Free Exmouth. Previous vocations have included: guitarist; snowboard salesman; website manager; and a misguided attempt at primary school teaching!
I first lived in Exmouth in about 1990 and have stayed connected ever since. At that time, I was running a paper recycling business in Tiverton. I spent a lot of time working abroad, later settling into conventional employment in Hertfordshire where I was heavily involved in Friends of the Earth, the Green Party, and similar local activism. On returning to live permanently in Exmouth in about 2006, I became involved in Transition Town Exmouth as it was then, joining the Umbrella and eventually becoming Chair. These days I find myself occupied full-time with running the Joanna Toole Foundation, a charity set up to continue the work of my daughter who died in 2019.