Meet the Team


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.


Volunteer, Gardener

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


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.

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.


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.


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.


Volunteer, Lunch Club and Older People's Services

Adam has been volunteering at the Commonside Trust for over two years. In 2023, he was shortlisted for a Volunteer of the Year award by Merton Connected. Adam has all his food hygiene certificates and catering qualifications up to date and volunteers regularly in our kitchens at the New Horizon Centre. He has run the Community Café on his own and he plays a key role in planning and preparing the daily hot lunches for older people in the Dining Room. Adam attends a regular exercise class at his local library and is a keen supporter of Crystal Palace football 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

Helen Doe


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

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


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


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

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


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


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 manages the front office and bookings for the spaces in the New Horizon Centre. Lorraine has lived in Pollards Hill since she was very young and attended local schools. She has been a volunteer for Commonside, helping to run a baby and toddler group, as well as a Trustee, when she undertook the role of Company Secretary, as well as a paid member of staff. She has always worked hard for her community and is a key member of the management team at Commonside. She has a daughter and a grand-daughter, both of whom live locally. Lorraine is the welcoming face of Commonside when you drop in during the day-time on weekdays. She deals with general enquiries and bookings by phone and on email is launching our new booking system in a few weeks. Lorraine has a great sense of humour and is a talented artist, specialising in mandala and mehdi designs. email hidden; JavaScript is required 020 8764 9582 x 208