Liz Bailey is a solicitor with 10 years' experience in real estate finance, working at law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner and at a wide range of blue-chip companies, including BlackRock, Aviva Investors and Deutsche Bank. Prior to retraining as a lawyer she spent 10 years as a freelance journalist specialising in technology, design and architecture, writing and broadcasting online, on radio and TV and in print for (among others) the BBC, Wallpaper, Wired and The Telegraph. She has also worked for a range of other organisations in the private and charitable sectors, including Demos (publications editor) and the VPS (trustee and volunteer webmaster). She is passionate about preserving and increasing London's green spaces and hopes that her experience working on development financing and in publishing will benefit the Trust.
Ruth Holmes comes from a heritage landscape background, having worked for The Royal Parks for over 11 years and felt she could offer some of her knowledge and skills.
Ruth has been a Chartered Landscape Architect for nearly 20 years, with a focus on park management, volunteering and community engagement, working in the private, public and charity sectors. She currently works at the London Legacy Development Corporation helping to care for and enhance the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Her role involves advising on the quality of landscape and public realm proposals for the developments in and around the Park. Ruth's job also allows her to volunteer as a Green Flag, Green Heritage and London in Bloom Judge – so she gets to see some great places and learn how they are engaging their communities and young people (including apprentices).
Parks and gardens are dear to her heart as they are so important for the health and wellbeing of us all. They are full of living, natural and designed heritage; a continuum of the plant material, people and built fabric - as well as happy memories. She loves Open Garden Squares Weekend. Each year the Weekend has become better and better; showcasing special green spaces across the capital as well as the enthusiasm and dedication of countless volunteers. The Trust plays a vital role in conserving and protecting London's parks and gardens as a statutory consultee for planning applications. Ruth hopes to encourage more volunteers to help with this so that the Trust can extend the network of people keeping an eye on developments and lead on defending space under threat, like Victoria Tower Gardens.
Lisa Kiew is a Chartered Management Accountant with over 15 years experience in the charity and not-for-profit sector. She has worked for a wide range of organisations, including Macmillan Cancer Support, Age Scotland, Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service, and the Royal Academy of Engineering, and is currently the Head of Finance and Resources of the Religious Society of Friends, with strategic responsibility for Finance, IT, HR, Property and Fundraising, as well as acting as Company Secretary for their trading subsidiary. She looks forward to using her professional skills to support the Trust in its purpose to conserve, champion and celebrate green space across London for the benefit of all.
Lisa was one of the poets-in-residence during the last Open Garden Squares Weekend; it was a wonderful opportunity to engage with visitors as well as to develop her own project about non-native species in London gardens.
While most of his working life has been involved in organisations both large and small in the business and government sectors, Richard Martin has always had a great love and interest in the outdoors and wildlife.
He was born and brought up in South London and it was natural therefore that the nearby parks and commons became the home for his sports, social and family activities. His first Saturday job, as a teenager, was working in the garden of a nearby large house and those early experiences gave him a lifelong interest in flowers, shrubs and trees. For the past four years he has been re-establishing a garden in a village in the South Downs National Park – traditional cottage garden borders in the front and with a more exotic Mediterranean feel in the back.
Richard hopes to bring his financial and management skills into use to help continue the Trust's development into a strong and vibrant organisation which can broaden its influence across conservation and heritage issues as well as contribute to the education and support of local communities.
Celia Mead has worked in the heritage, cultural and charity sector for 28 years as a marketing and business development specialist. She says: ‘London is known worldwide for its beautiful parks and gardens. I've lived all over London and in every place my quality of life was determined by the access – or lack of it – to green space. I'm inspired by the words of the Victorian social reformer Octavia Hill, who worked among the poor of London, about the need for ALL people to be able to access outdoor space: "We all need space; unless we have it we cannot reach that sense of quiet in which whispers of better things come to us gently." She said these "green sitting rooms" should "be kept for the enjoyment, refreshment, and rest of those who have no country house".'
Celia wants to see the Trust go from strength to strength in its campaigning work and its lively events programme; in particular she wants to help it find and grow further support and income generation using her fundraising and development experience. She also enjoys learning from the garden historians and experts already involved with the Trust.
Adam Smith is thrilled to be a new Trustee and cannot wait to get involved. Having lived all around London for more than a decade, he is convinced that it is its variety of green spaces that makes London such an incredible city. Having recently completed a master's degree in the history of political thought, he cannot wait to expand his historical understanding of the great London parks that he loves so much. To play a small part in promoting and protecting those spaces is an exciting opportunity that he is delighted to be a part of.
Adam currently works in public relations and internal communications and has a background in politics. The Trust does some fantastic work promoting London's parks and gardens and so he hopes his experience of working with the media and building awareness of organisations amongst the public can help raise the profile of the Trust. In doing so he would hope that this boosts the engagement and enjoyment of its current members, and helps increase membership itself.
Having worked in politics and public affairs for a number of years, he is also looking forward to helping develop the Trust's voice within the national public sphere. Councillors, Members of Parliament and London Assembly Members of all political persuasions would love to hear more about the work the Trust does. By engaging with them in debates that cover its areas of expertise, the Trust can become an even more credible, authentic voice.