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Our Team

We have a small, but dedicated team of staff that are based in Kennington Park and Ruskin Park in Lambeth, London.  It’s our enthusiasm, passion and commitment for our cause that enables the charity to plant trees in the ground, create social cohesion and beautify our cities.

Meet our Senior Management Team, Trustees and Patrons here.

Senior Management Team

David ElliottChief Executive

David joined as Chief Executive in 2016.He has worked in the non-profit sector for over a decade…

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Kate SheldonDevelopment Director

As Development Director, Kate is responsible for developing our work programmes…

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Lydia DavisDesign Director

Lydia joined Trees for Cities over 12 years ago after completing a BSc Hons in…

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Andrew CollinsFinance and Adminstration Director

Andrew is the charity’s Finance & Administration Director, and has enjoyed working at…

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David Elliott Chief Executive

David joined as Chief Executive in January 2016. 

He has worked in the non-profit sector for over a decade for a number of international organisations, originally running landmine clearance and post-conflict recovery programmes across Africa and Asia.  Prior to this he was a management consultant for Accenture.

He has been a trustee of the International Tree Foundation and the African Conservation Foundation.

He holds a BSc in Biological Sciences from Edinburgh University, a BSc in Politics and International Relations from LSE, and an MBA from Cambridge University.

Kate SheldonDevelopment Director

As Development Director, Kate is responsible for developing our work programmes. Kate and her team work closely with landowners and partners, and raise funds through grants and corporate partnerships.

Kate joined Trees for Cities in 2004 as Capital Woodlands Project Officer. Prior to this she studied for an MPhil in Restoration of Landfill Sites, and an MSc (distinction) in Social and Therapeutic Horticulture at Reading University.

Her other interests include walking, gardening, tennis, camping, travelling and she’s teaching herself to play guitar. Kate has three children and keeps chickens!

Lydia DavisProjects

Lydia joined Trees for Cities over 12 years ago after completing a BSc Hons in Landscape and Garden Design at Writtle College. She joined the team as a Horticultural Assistant, working on the ground through the seasons to develop her practical experience and understanding of trees and plants. She believes that horticulture is the handmaiden that underpins all well considered and thoughtful landscape design. Lydia progressed over time through the organisation, to Projects Director.

As Projects Director Lydia works with The Projects Team to deliver the urban forest projects, working closely with communities to transform the urban environment. The Projects Team deliver quality, bespoke urban tree planting projects and edible playgrounds from inception through to implementation.

Andrew CollinsFinance and Adminstration Director

Andrew is the charity’s Finance & Administration Director, and has enjoyed working at Trees for Cities for over 15 years.

Andrew and his team are responsible for the Financial Management of the charity, as well as for HR, Health & Safety, Facilities and IT systems.

He has a BSc in Psychology, a Certificate in Business Accounting from CIMA, and a Certificate in Charity Accounting and Finance from CIPFA.

In his spare time, Andrew loves cycling, running, walking and camping in the great outdoors.

VolunteersVolunteers

Our volunteers also play a crucial role at Trees for Cities. Many have worked with us to plant trees for a considerable period of time, contributing invaluable time and passion to the organisation.

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Trustees

We, like every other UK charity, are governed by a group of trustees who make up our Board. Trustees are required to retire every three years and may offer themselves for reappointment for a further period of three years.

Graham Simmonds

Graham chairs the Board of Trustees for Trees for Cities and has been involved with the charity from…

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Janine Hawkins

Janine is an experienced Board Advisor and CEO and a specialist in business strategy…

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Chris Harper

Chris is a Project Manager at Bloomberg L.P. He has worked in the financial services industry…

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James Bevan

James Bevan is Chief Investment Officer at CCLA Investment Management Ltd, having…

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Selena Gray

Selena is a public health academic working at the University of the West of England…

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Graham Simmonds

Graham chairs the Board of Trustees for Trees for Cities and has been involved with the charity from its earliest days; he was the founding chief executive of Trees for Cities, a role he undertook for 12 years from 1998 to 2010 when he oversaw the growth of the charity from a London-focused organisation resourced entirely by volunteers to an international charity with a professional staff team supported by a wide network of sponsors and donors.

Graham’s day job is managing director of Green Rewards, the company he founded to motivate positive behaviour change; he is also the managing partner for Local Green Points, the UK’s leading provider of recycling behaviour change services for local authorities.  He is committed to exploring new ways to get people involved in trees and environmental issues more broadly, and with the illustrator Terry Carter he co-authored the “Treebillies” series of children’s picture books.  Graham has been featured by The Daily Telegraph as an “eco hero”, by The Evening Standard in its London’s 1,000 Most Influential People list; and he was won awards from Bank of America and UnLtd.

Janine Hawkins

Janine is an experienced Board Advisor and CEO and a specialist in business strategy, marketing and international brand building. She was previously Global CEO of WPP’s marketing consultancy Added Value, and now works as a NED, advisor and mentor with a variety of enterprising individuals and businesses. She has worked with Trees for Cities for over 10 years, and was appointed to the Board in 2014.

Chris Harper

Chris is a Project Manager at Bloomberg L.P. He has worked in the financial services industry for 20 years in both Jersey and London. Chris works with a number of social enterprises and charities in his spare time but as a keen horticulturist joined TfC in an advisory capacity in 2013 and appointed to the Board in 2015.

James Bevan

James Bevan is Chief Investment Officer at CCLA Investment Management Ltd, having joined the company in that role in 2006. As CIO, James is responsible for all of the company’s investment activities, which involve providing a broad range of products and services to more charities in the UK than any other fund manager. James has had stints as Head of Asset Management and CIO at Abbey, and CIO for Barclays Asset Management Group and BZW Portfolio Management.

James joined the City in 1988 following postgraduate research in applied economics and asset allocation at Cambridge University. He is a director of Witan Investment Trust, a Chartered Fellow of the CISI, he is on the advisory group of the CFA Institute, and is a trustee of the Cambridge Endowment for Research in Finance. James is a frequent commentator on finance, economics and investing for the BBC, Sky, CNBC, Reuters, Bloomberg and a number of journals.

James was appointed to the Board in 2015.

Selena Gray

Selena is a public health academic working at the University of the West of England (UWE) and currently holds the position of Deputy Postgraduate Dean in Health Education England South West.

Selena has a long commitment to professional development in public health, and is currently on the Board of Accreditation for APHEA (Agency for Public Health Education Acccreditation).

From 2012-2016 she was a Board Member and Chair of the Education Committee for UKPHR and in the past has held roles as Registrar of the UK Faculty of Public Health and Co-Editor of the Journal of Public Health.

Selena was appointed to the board at the beginning of 2017.

Patrons

Leslie Bacon, Melvin Benn, Dame Hilary Blume, Jeremy Coller, Chris Collins, Sir John Egan, Leo Hambro, Richard Hammond, Simon Jenkins, Alistair McGowan, Jamie Oliver, Lord Rogers of Riverside, Jon Snow and Sophie Warre.

Join our Team

Below is a list of our current vacancies. Our vacancies are also listed on www.environmentjob.co.uk.

Having worked for John Lewis Insurance for 9 years I really wanted to experience working in a completely different environment; somewhere where I could make a difference. I also wanted to work for an environmental charity as I think they can often get overlooked by health, humanitarian and children’s charities. I chose Trees for Cities as I believe the work they are doing is fantastic, and so relevant and important on our increasingly urban planet. It has been lovely to know my time has been put to good use, helping the busy M&C team. I really enjoyed my time at Trees for Cities and for anyone looking to gain some marketing knowledge, help a worthy cause and have a bit of fun, I would strongly recommend you donate your time to Trees for Cities!

Lauren Bidmead, Trees for Cities Secondment, 2016