MEET THE TEAM
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”!
The Wheel Project Manager
In both her professional and personal life, Franki has advocated for positive change for people and the planet through policy development, campaigns and community organising. For the past 10 years, Franki has experienced working in charities and within Government. Since moving to Merton in 2018, she has volunteered in local community environmental groups such as Merton Friends of the Earth and Merton Council’s Climate Emergency Working Group, and now she regularly volunteers as a Tree Steward at Mitcham Community Orchard and Gardens, a Sustainable Merton project.
She would describe herself as an intersectional eco-feminist and an eco-minimalist. She loves living with permaculture principles in mind: caring for people and the planet, sharing resources, and making low-waste lifestyle choices. In her spare time, she dances in a vintage Jazz troupe. She can also be spotted enjoying a solo litter-pick around the streets of Mitcham with her litter-picker “The Lorax”.
Community Fridge Manager
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 Manager - Pollards Hill Waste and Recycling Project
Originally from Birmingham in the West Midlands, James joined the Sustainable Merton team in December 2022. He is currently leading the Pollards Hill Waste and Recycling Project. With a solid background in grassroots recycling campaigns dating back to 2016 with Team Jump, James has been involved in various recycling projects across London, collaborating with organisations like Southwark Council, Westminster Council, and Veolia. Notably, he has served as a Recycling Advisor on prestigious initiatives, such as the successful Green Rewards project in Hackney. James has a keen focus on community engagement and is passionate about empowering local residents to make positive changes in their environment.
Aside from his role at Sustainable Merton, James is a talented freelance composer, regularly contributing to Games, Films, and concert pieces. Music and performance have been lifelong loves for him. Additionally, he enjoys pursuing interests in fitness, yoga, and travel.
Community Fridge Coordinator
After growing up in Essex, Vinnie moved to South London in 2018 to pursue a career in scientific publishing. Since then, he has left the corporate world behind, helping to grow vegetables with and for the local community.
Vinnie joined Sustainable Merton in June 2023. He has enjoyed supporting the Community Fridge volunteers as well as reducing food waste by redistributing it to those in need.
In his spare time, Vinnie loves to paint, read, and go rock climbing with friends!
Operations & Volunteer Manager & Merton Garden Streets Manager
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.
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.
PR & Social Media Consultant
Mary is passionate about helping NGOs and ethical brands expand their reach with PR and social media. She recently joined Sustainable Merton to provide additional support and help launch The Wheel. Previously Mary managed the celebrity & influencer marketing for the World Refill Day annual public awareness campaign and worked at COP26 in Glasgow managing PR for a Youth Climate Summit. She is a Womble in the true sense of the word, having grown up in the middle of Wimbledon Common where, as a child, she used to ride her pony after school every day. More than 40 years on, and she still lives in the same spot on Wimbledon Common with her husband and three children! She is delighted to be working with the team at Sustainable Merton on the array of local projects, helping her own borough achieve a greener, more sustainable future.
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.
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.
Kuziva was born in Paris and grew up in France, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Austria before coming to London for further education. She completed a BSc degree in Psychology from Goldsmiths University before moving on to the University of Westminster to study Marketing Communications at a MA level. She has a background in fundraising for many charitable organisations including but not limited to Marie Curie, Refugee Council and International Rescue Committee. Kuziva currently works at Mind managing client accounts and assisting many organisations in better supporting the mental health of their staff. She initially found out about Sustainable Merton through becoming a Community Champion, and volunteering with the Community Fridge which she still does to this day.
Su was born in S. Korea but grew up in Southern California in the US and has been living in SW London for over 13 years and Merton for 8 years. Su has over 30 years of broad experience in HR, Technology and Sales across different sectors and countries. She has worked with 8 start-up/SME companies in the UK, including impact companies in technology, property and professional services. Su is committed to sustainability, especially with recent ongoing experience of working with organisations that aim to make a real difference to the world we live in today and now with Sustainable Merton. She also volunteers at Merton’s Community Fridge and is a Sustainable Merton Waste Warrior picking up litter in and around Wimbledon.
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.
Anna is an HR and Payroll professional with BA in English and MA in Law & Management. Originally from Lithuania, Anna moved to London 14 years ago, 6 of which she has been living in Morden with her family. Having recently joined the wonderful team of Community Champions at Sustainable Merton, Anna is honoured to have been elected a Trustee of Sustainable Merton, and is hoping to be able to contribute to the charity’s wonderful work by providing insights into employment legislation, payroll & benefits related matters, and continuing her volunteering journey with the charity locally in Merton – every little effort helps to make a difference!
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.
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.
Anca is proud to be a trustee of this wonderful charity, having been a committed Community Champion for over two years. As part of the Sustainable Merton Energy Team, Anca was one of the authors of the ‘Energy Saving Handbook’.
Anca brings her expertise from her work in the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) and her academic studies. She is particularly interested in the strategic direction and governance of Sustainable Merton.
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.