meet the team
STAFF & TRUSTEES
Diana is a Chartered Marketer with over 20 year's experience working in public/private sector partnerships. She has been Chief Executive of Merton Chamber of Commerce since 2001 and is co-Chair of Merton’s Sustainable Communities and Transport theme group and the Economic Wellbeing Group. She has a passion for supporting local communities working together for a better environment, and is a lover of trees, plants, gardens and all things “green”!
Merton Garden Streets
Danila has a strong background in Human Resources and has worked across a wide variety of sectors in senior HR roles, including Banking, Telecoms, University and Schools. She has always been motivated by making a positive impact on people’s lives and the planet and can’t resist growing plants and visiting green spaces.
Combining her HR and project management skills along with a passion for plants and community engagement, she found her volunteer work as a Merton Garden Streets Co-ordinator so rewarding she joined Sustainable Merton as the Merton Garden Streets Project Manager in April 2022. A keen gardener with an eye for innovative ways to improve our environment for the benefit of all, she hopes to green up Merton bringing communities together.
Jude has come from 10 years running her own wine business - including hosting tastings and preparing canapés. She also worked as a project coordinator for LOCOG (London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games) and has found success in many sectors including plumbing, travel and tourism and social housing.
Jude's passions are travel, the great outdoors, food and drink, playing sport (England 40s Hockey squad), and her rescue dog Finn.
As one of life's doers, Jude is enjoying getting stuck into the operations of the Community Fridge and can't wait to save more food from waste and help share it with those in need in the borough. Who knows Merton's first wine tasting with surplus food canapés might be around the corner!
Project & Community Champions
Originally from the US, Taylor joined the Community Champions team in 2020 as a Phipps Bridge allotment volunteer and a member of the air quality team. She's excited to continue her involvement with the Community Champions and managing Sustainable Merton's growing number of projects and partnerships in London.
Taylor is passionate about equitable sustainability and developing partnerships for social good. She continues to grow food with the Phipps Bridge team and spends her free time day-tripping from London and hiking around Europe.
Community Activator, The Wheel
Ramya is a doer and mother who is passionate about finding solutions to the climate challenge and building resilient communities. She worked as a scientist, operations and business development professional in the energy sector and served as the community co-chair of the Merton Climate Action Group in the past year. She hopes that her work will help children inherit a safer and healthier planet.
Community Fridge Coordinator
Jackie joined the Sustainable Merton team in 2020 as a Community Champion. Her experience volunteering at the Phipps Bridge garden and Community Fridge has inspired her passion for projects that create fair, local and less wasteful food systems.
Jackie enjoys spending time in nature, learning to forage and grow delicious veggies. Never shying away from a challenge to put good use to surplus food, she loves trying out recipes to preserve, ferment and batch cook! Jackie also enjoys music, knitting and cycling around London.
Community Gardening Training Coordinator
Inger joined Sustainable Merton in the summer of 2021 and is very happy to be involved with their Community Gardens. With a degree in ‘Management of Natural Recourses’ from the ‘Norwegian University of Life Sciences’ and working as a part-time teaching assistant in a secondary school, she is very keen on everything that grows and how we can thrive and grow together in a sustainable way.
Two of her favourite activities are spending time at her local allotment and riding her bicycle.
Growing Spaces Coordinator
Katie has a long career in the voluntary sector, managing volunteer-involving programmes and various community projects and services. An avid gardener and grower, she went back to school in 2020, to undertake horticultural training with the RHS. Keen to combine her passion for gardening and growing with her professional skills, she joined Sustainable Merton in 2022 as the Growing Spaces Coordinator. She has an interest in the role that community gardening and urban/peri-urban farms can play in tackling issues such as food insecurity and biodiversity loss alongside how gardening can support physical and mental well-being. When not gardening or at the allotment, she enjoys dancing, reading and hiking.
Amy joined Sustainable Merton in 2013 as an office volunteer, and later that year took on the role of Office Administrator. She now works with the team to coordinate the charity's growing communications channels, and is proud to support the volunteers who are the heart of the organisation.
Amy enjoys long walks on Merton's commons and wishes to explore more of the UK's beautiful landscapes.
Finance & Accounts
My role at Sustainable Merton is to manage all the financial functions. I started working with Sustainable Merton in 2021 to help them set up systems and financial processes to manage their growing income and grant funding. This has given me the opportunity to use my experience of developing reporting systems to provide useful Financial Information.
Finance & Accounts
I joined Sustainable Merton in 2021 to provide essential day to day bookkeeping support working with the Finance Manager to ensure we pay our invoices on time and also make sure we are receiving monies due to us.
Chair of Trustees
Ben is a teacher and climate change educator. After studying History (Edinburgh) and then Middle Eastern Studies (Harvard), he did a PGCE at Cambridge University to become a history teacher. He taught in London schools for two years before setting up Climate Ed, a charity delivering specialist climate education to children. He is a trained facilitator with Carbon Conversations, a carbon reduction scheme. He is also a board director of the Surefoot Effect Community Interest Company and a Community Champion with Sustainable Merton.
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.
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. She has a BA degree in Fine Art and is on the steering group of the Phipps Bridge Community Garden Project.
Alysha is a qualified accountant with over 20 years experience. She is currently working as a Portfolio CFO, working with many small businesses as well as training future Finance Directors.
She has been campaigning for the environment, saving forests & reducing waste for decades. Alysha moved to Merton 5 years ago with her family. She enjoys cycling locally, yoga and cooking.
Secretary to Trustees
Ruth took voluntary redundancy from university administration in 2005. She is on the steering group of the Phipps Bridge Community Garden Project. She has recently completed an MSc in Environmental Management at Birkbeck College.
Ruth plays the viola in the Wandsworth Symphony Orchestra.
Luisella trained as an architect and has 20 years’ experience in the UK and abroad as a planning and design manager and company director. She currently dedicates her time and efforts on raising awareness of the impact of climate change on the environment. She is active in her immediate community, trying to trigger change one step at a time. She volunteers as a Sustainable Merton Community Champion and promotes eco-friendly activities within her local school (WPPS Planet Team) and local families (SW London mums go green). She has been a Merton resident for the past seven years and enjoys the borough’s magnificent green spaces and helps preserve them by campaigning and personally cleaning them up with her daughter on regular litter picking walks.
Alan has a background in construction materials research and environmental management of major road and rail projects, with a particular interest in sustainability. He has lived in Wimbledon for nearly 40 years, and became involved in local issues through membership of local residents’ associations, the Wimbledon Society and the Green Coffee network, using his professional experience in assessing the impacts of local planning developments. He has also participated in launching the Wimbledon Town Neighbourhood Forum, believing strongly in the need for individuals to help shape the future of their immediate localities.
Community Ambassador & Founder
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. 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.