You can find out more about who our trustees are and what they do.
Ruth Baber – Trustee / Secretary
Ruth took voluntary redundancy from university administration in 2005. She is on the steering group of the Phipps Bridge Community Garden project and helps in Sustainable Merton’s office. She has recently completed an MSc in Environmental Management at Birkbeck College. Ruth plays the viola in the Wandsworth Symphony Orchestra.
David Bell – Trustee
Graduating from Warwick University in 1991 Dave worked as a Building Services Engineer for 12 years. Now a local authority Energy Manager responsible for purchasing around £3.5 million of electricity and gas each year and ensuring that it is used wisely. Climate change is important but he is more concerned about how Peak Oil will impact on everyday life. He is a volunteer at several music festivals and enjoys going underground caving.
Rachel Burgess – Trustee
Rachel graduated from Kingston University with a degree in Sustainable Development in the summer of 2012 – a change of direction from a background in graphic design driven by a long-held love and interest in nature and the environment. Bringing the two passions together, Rachel now works as an Interpretation Officer for a gardening charity. She is still a keen volunteer with a variety of conservation and sustainability projects and also enjoys homemade arts and crafts.
Juliet Boyd – Trustee
Juliet is a retired consultant anaesthetist and palliative care doctor. She joined Transition Town Wimbledon in 2009 and became chairman in 2011. This organisation merged with Sustainable Merton in 2013. She campaigns on the links between climate change and health. She coordinates the Wimbledon Churches green group which promotes the Christian responsibility for sustainability.
Bex Dawkes – Trustee
Bex graduated from the Forum for the Future ‘Leadership for Sustainable Development’ Masters degree in July 2016 and is now the Communications Executive at a charity advocating for business to be ‘a force for good’. She is very passionate about enabling people to act on climate change and sustainability, and does so via writing, blogging and convening a Young Professionals Network. In her spare time, Bex is a keen cyclist, sailor and weekend adventurer.
Sandra Jarzebska – Trustee
Sandra is an experienced volunteer manager and an advocate for sustainability and social action. She coordinated volunteering programmes of all shapes and sizes for regional and national organisations, including Sustrans, London Youth and Oxfam. Currently, she works at the CIPD in Wimbledon, where she runs a mentoring programme supporting jobseekers across the UK. She has a keen interest in air quality, enjoys cycling, walking and exploring London.
Gillian Leigh – Deputy Chair of Trustees
Gillian is a retired doctor who worked part time while bringing up her twin sons. She started a club for mothers of twins and is author of a self-help book All About Twins. She did voluntary work for Home Start Merton, Sustrans Cycling Campaign and the Medical Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons. In 1996 she completed a a BA degree in Fine Art and works from her studio in Merton. She is on the steering group of the Phipps Bridge Community Garden Project.
Caroline Pankhurst – Trustee
Caroline is Education & Project Manager at the South London Botanical Institute. She was formerly Greening Business Operations Manager for Merton Chamber of Commerce and coordinated the National Trust’s Livinggreen Project at Morden Hall Park. She was on the Steering Group for Transition Town Wimbledon and coordinated their Food-Growing Group. She has a background in fundraising, languages, voluntary sector management, sustainable development, ecological science and food security. She enjoys gardening with adults with learning disabilities at Thrive.
Mike Morris - Chair of Trustees
Bringing a working knowledge and a theoretical understanding of energy conservation in buildings, Mike, who is retired, can assist in promoting Sustainable Merton’s agenda. Other voluntary work includes being a member of a steering group which is promoting the construction of a turbine on the River Thames and providing business advice to voluntary organisations.
Justyna Sieczkowska-Clarke – Trustee
Justyna is a full time mother to her two young children. She graduated from Kingston University in 2016, where she completed an MSc in Environmental and Earth Resources Management. She joined Sustainable Merton as a volunteer shortly after this, and is now a registered Community Champion – representing her fellow Colliers Wood residents and encouraging people across the borough to lead more sustainable lifestyles.
Tom was trained in applied biology before becoming a green activist first with the Green Party and then as a co-founder of Sustainable Merton 9 years ago. He has always believed in the vital role we all have in helping to solve the problems of climate change and the role of grassroots organisations like SM reflects this. Tom is married to Wendy and has two grown up children, Ben and Katie.