meet the team


Diana Sterck


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”!



Rachael Edwards

Community Champions Project Manager & Volunteer Coordinator

Rachael is a passionate environmental social scientist and a frequent visitor to Merton’s many beautiful green spaces. 

She is currently pursuing a PhD in Planning exploring cultural diversity in the use of public open space and has previously completed degrees in Conservation and Biodiversity (MSc) and Biology (BSc). Through her work and research, Rachael aims to improve community wellbeing and environmental health by promoting sustainable behaviour change and fostering a connection to nature.


Tom Walsh

Community Ambassador

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.

Ruth Baber

Secretary to Trustees &

Community Gardening Coordinator

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.

Isabelle Bano


Isabelle has over 20 years of experience in international sales and marketing, working for small businesses and large organisations, across various sectors such as

 technology, logistics, and consulting. She holds The Chartered Institute of Marketing’’s Postgraduate Diploma and speaks French and Spanish. Isabelle has a keen interest in resilience and well-being and is a Certified Professional Coach.  She enjoys walking in nature with friends and family and being a Community Champion with Sustainable Merton.

Juliet Boyd


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 Leigh


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.

Amy Coyne

Communications & Office Coordinator

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.



Ellie Smallshaw

Projects  Campaigns Coordinator and Green Coffee Coordinator

Ellie started her journey as a Community Champion for Sustainable Merton and has since joined the team as Projects and 

Campaigns Coordinator. Ellie has a degree in Geography and has recently become an associate member of IEMA (The Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment).  Ellie is passionate about raising awareness of environmental issues with individuals and businesses within our community, inspiring collaborative action at all levels to mitigate the impacts we have on our environment.




Sue McGhie


Sue is a Merton resident with over 40 years experience in finance. She has been a founder and board member of a number of community-based organisations.

Her interests include travel, gardening, food preserving, sewing and stained glass. She and her husband are eco-conscious and are very interested in the welfare and rich history of the River Wandle, which runs behind their home.

Ben Cuddon

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.

Paola Bertocci


Paola is a finance associate with over 10 years of experience in capital markets and real estate. She completed a MSc in Economics cum laude at University of Pisa.

Paola is passionate about caring  for the environment, using local, sustainably grown food and the promotion of sustainable lifestyle and habits. Before joining Sustainable Merton, she volunteered with Sutton Community Farm and the Wandle Trust. She enjoys taking long walks with her husband Piero and has recently completed the London Capital Ring Walk.

Vera Lahme


Vera spent over 13 years working in commercial roles in Purchasing and Finance in the automotive sector. After obtaining a certificate in Business Sustainability Management

by University of Cambridge in 2017, she decided to leave her job and pursue a more purpose led career path. In 2018 she was awarded the MSc Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Design with distinction by Brunel University, London. With her passion for making a positive impact on planet and people, Vera loves to engage with the community on all topics promoting sustainable lifestyles. She brings with her an excellent understanding in circular economy and sustainable design principles. She currently engages as a Community Champion for Sustainable Merton.

James Webb


James studied Built and Natural Environments at UWE, Bristol, studying geographic, environmental and heritage related topics.

James has worked in a wide range of organisations, most recently in tourism marketing for VisitBritain, and prior to this for membership bodies and charities, including Ramblers, Britain's walking charity. His personal interests include travel, nature and the environment, reading and walking. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and has lived in Merton since 2011.

“Sustainable Merton brings together very passionate individuals. It's exciting to be able to work with the Trustees board to help look after the group that does so much for the local environment and our residents”  

Sustainable Merton

Registered Charity No. 1156639

Call us:

020 3417 0476

Find us: 

Morden Hall Park, Morden Hall Road, London SM4 5JD

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