Meet the Team

Tatiana

Volunteer Nail Technician

Tatiana is a nail technician from Ukraine. She wants to improve her conversational English and does this by offering free manicures to members of the Lunch Club.

Anta

Volunteer, Gardener

Anta lives on the Pollards Hill estate and has the greenest fingers ever! She looks after our indoor plants and some outdoor ones too.

Maryna

Volunteer, Gardener

Maryna is from Ukraine and comes twice a week to help water our marvellous hollyhocks and other plants. She lives locally.

Eric

Volunteer, Gardener

Eric lives in South Croydon and is a former athlete with Croydon Harriers. He has reduced mobility and comes in once a week to help with and advise on gardening. Sometimes he brings his sister, Alice, who also enjoys the garden.

Clifford

Caretaker

Clifford is our occasional and cover caretaker and also lives locally.

Aaliyah Ukandu

Summer Intern

Aaliyah is our Summer 2023 intern and is helping to bring our data entry on Upshot up-to-date as well providing holiday cover and learning WordPress to update this website. Aaliyah is an undergraduate at Hertfordshire University and is also qualified to work in early years and youth settings.

Kain

Summer Intern

Kain is our summer 2023 intern and is studying catering at college. He is working on Tuesdays and Thursdays and was born, grew up and lives on the Pollards Hill estate. We have known Kain since he was a baby.

Sue

Volunteer, Community Café

Sue volunteers in the café two days a week, and lives on the Pollards Hill estate. Sue has completed her Food Hygiene Level 2 with Commonside.

Rose

Volunteer, Community Café

Rose volunteers in the café three days a week, providing hot drinks and snacks. Rose has completed her Food Hygiene Level 2 with Commonside.

Anna

Volunteer, Lunch Club and Older People's Services

Anna is a relatively new volunteer. She helps with all aspects of running the lunch club and has a very cheerful presence. Anna is learning English and finds volunteering and chatting to the diners a good way of practising and improving her English.

Kamila

Lunch Club and Older People's Services

Kamila runs craft activities for the lunch clubbers and anyone else who wants to join in. These sessions are free. Kamila is a teacher, trainer and assessor and with meticulous planning, has filled the teaching room with a wealth of colourful craft and art-work.

Jennifer

Volunteer, Lunch Club and Older People's Services

Jennifer is a local Merton resident and has been volunteering in the Lunch Club for a number of years. She helps to serve plated dinners and to clear tables as well as running after-lunch activities such as bingo and craft activities.

Adam

Volunteer, Lunch Club and Older People's Services

Adam has completed Level 2 in Food Safety for Catering volunteers in the kitchen with Vivian and Mercy three days a week. Adam was commended in the 2023 Merton Volunteer Awards. Adam also sometimes cooks in the community café.

Bethan

Step Forward

Bethan regularly volunteers with Step Forward and has a background in charity projects and project management. She brings a fresh pair of eyes and wisdom as well as moral support to the Step Forward team.

Odette Ukandu

Support Worker, Step Forward

Odette provides welfare support including help with benefits, universal credit, advice about schools, children’s behaviour, social activities and engagement with health services. Odette is a qualified youth worker as well as being a very good cook. email hidden; JavaScript is required

Mercy Adjei

Kitchen Assistant, Lunch Club for Older People

Mercy works in the kitchen with Vivian and prepares fresh food for cooking as well as helping to serve the diners and to clear up afterwards. Mercy lives locally and has worked for Commonside for over ten years.

Deniz Ali

Community Café, Food Operations and Events Manager

Deniz runs the Community Café which opens daily Monday – Friday. She organises a programme of ‘guest hosts’ in the café, introducing local people to other services and charities that can help, and helping people to access food and emergency support. She also leads on running Events and fundraising for Commonside. Deniz lives in south London and is a very talented cake baker. email hidden; JavaScript is required 020 8764 9582 x 208

Jenny Allison

Manager, Step Forward

Jenny manages the Step Forward team and runs this programme assisting over 120 local households every year. She is the ‘Mother of Commonside’, having the longest record of service as a member of staff in the organisation and has lived in Merton all her life. email hidden; JavaScript is required 020 8764 9582 x 202

Vivian Antwi

Cook, Lunch Club for Older People

Vivian is our Lunch Club chef and works with Christine to design and provide a variety of cooked from fresh two-course meals for older people at the Lunch Club which is open five days a week, 51 weeks of the year. Vivian lives locally and is an active member of Pollards Hill Baptist Church.

Ann Brassington

Development Assistant

Ann started at Commonside as a volunteer and has, since then, worked in the Step Forward and Lunch Club teams. Currently, she is mentoring one of our junior managers and provides HR, Training, Safeguarding, Legal, Policy and Governance coordination in the Director’s office as well as overseeing our Volunteer Programme. email hidden; JavaScript is required

Helen Doe

Caretaker

Helen works on weekdays and occasionally at weekends. She is very committed to her work and wants to keep the Centre welcoming to everyone who comes to our doors. email hidden; JavaScript is required

Lindsey Harding

Community Support Worker, Step Forward

Lindsey has worked on reception and bookings for the Commonside Trust and joined the Step Forward team in 2021. She sees clients on a one-to-one basis, helping with benefits, practical issues and housing and health matters. She works with Jenny to deliver our outreach services to families in Hall Place in Mitcham every Wednesday morning. Lindsey has lived in south-west London all her life and two grown-up sons. email hidden; JavaScript is required Lindsey works on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 10am – 3pm.

Steve Hill

Buildings Manager

Steve has overall responsibility for Health and Safety, for the condition and upkeep of the New Horizon Centre where Commonside is based, and for staff wellbeing. Steve grew up locally and both his parents were very active as volunteers and Trustees at the Commonside Trust. email hidden; JavaScript is required 020 87649582 x 208

Naomi Martin

Director

Naomi has been Director of the Commonside Trust since 2005. She has overseen Commonside’s growth from a local project supporting lone parents and young mums to running a sizeable community centre – the New Horizon Centre – as well as running the Pollards Hill Lunch Club for Older People and services and activities for older people as well as the Step Forward programme supporting local families and households with vulnerable adults. Naomi lives locally with her partner, Simon, and cat Claude, and has a son at University. email hidden; JavaScript is required 020 8764 9582 x 207

Christine Matlock

Lunch Club and Older People's Services

Christine runs the Lunch Club for older people and is working with a number of local partners to run fitness, social and creative activities for older people. Christine has lived in south-west London all her life and first started work with us as a work experience placement on an employability programme. email hidden; JavaScript is required 020 8764 9582 x 205

Stuart Matlock

Caretaker

Stuart works on weekdays and is responsible for buildings management and repair as well as cleaning. Stuart has lived all his life in south-west London. email hidden; JavaScript is required

Joy Mushemeza

Care Assistant and Support Worker, Step Forward and Services for Older People

Joy works with Christine in the Lunch Club and in the Step Forward team. She is a qualified care assistant and helps older people in both programmes with welfare matters and access to health and wellbeing services. Joy is a fully qualified seamstress and lives in Merton. email hidden; JavaScript is required Joy works full-time Monday to Friday.

Wayne Simon

Finance Manager

Wayne is ACCA qualified and expert in both Sage and QuickBooks. He provides financial management working two days a week (Tuesday – remotely Friday in the office). Wayne has worked and does work for a very wide range of clients in the private and third sectors and has been providing a reassuring financial oversight and expertise.

Greg Stayman

Caretaker

Greg covers most evenings and weekend shifts. He is friendly and helpful and will always help a new group to settle in. Greg lives nearby.

Jason Stevens

Caretaker

Jason is a key caretaker, especially at weekends, he is extremely hard-working and effective and excels at cleaning. Jason lives on the Pollards Hill estate.

Lorraine Thorn

Bookings Manager, New Horizon Centre

Lorraine is responsible for bookings, rental income and sits at the Reception desk of the New Horizon Centre. Lorraine has lived in Pollards Hill almost all her life and has been involved as a volunteer, a Trustee and a member of staff in that order. email hidden; JavaScript is required 020 8764 9582 x 208

Amy Tilby

Support Worker, Step Forward

Amy Amy has worked for Commonside for over ten years. We first met Amy as a young mum of a son who is now at college! Amy takes responsibility for office admin, organisation of client files and data entry, as well as producing monthly reports. She also sees clients on a one-to-one basis. email hidden; JavaScript is required Amy works on Mondays and Tuesday 9am – 5pm.