Our four part-time staff are:
Kate Sebag – Director
Kate’s professional background is in Fairtrade sales and marketing but she is also a keen amateur gardener. Kate has been a garden volunteer with BPCG since Spring 2013. As well as gardening, she also developed our events programme and sales of plants and produce. She became Director of BPCG in July 2016.
Kate has volunteered with the horticultural therapy charity Thrive and studied RHS level 2 in Horticulture at Capel Manor. Kate loves working in Brockwell Park which has been her local park since 1986.
Cat Stevens – Community Gardener
Cat joined the BPCG staff team in September 2016. She is a professional gardener, art psychotherapist, potter and stained glass maker. She has an RHS Level 3 Diploma in the Principles and Practices of Horticulture, a Masters in Psychoanalytic Studies and a Post Graduate Diploma in Art Psychotherapy. She also has a BA in Sculpture. She is licenced to drive buses and is a pretty good fiddle player!
Cat likes to engage people from all walks of life in gardening and she is a strong advocate for the restorative powers of horticulture and the arts. She believes that gardens are full of images and metaphors about living and dynamic processes. Engagement with the living world, our breathing planet, are an enriching experience open to all.
Helen Cherry – Education Officer
Helen joined the team in July 2017. She has a LKS2 Primary PGCE with science specialism from the University of East Anglia. She is a keen singer and gardener. Helen is delighted to be taking on the challenge of running BPCG’s education programme for children.
Catherine Graham – Education Assistant
Catherine joined the staff team as Education Assistant in September 2015. She first joined the Greenhouses as an Education Volunteer back in March 2013, as a way to get back into work after having her 5 children. As a result she found a job as a school gardener in Coulsdon and has recently taken on a role as Project Officer for the Croydon Master Gardener programme. She also volunteers with a number of other community growing projects and has a particular interest in horticultural therapy.
Our Trustees are:
Chris Smith (Chair)
Chris has been gardening for 40 years and his horticultural interests have been many and varied over that time. An adventurous gardener by nature, he was converted to exotics in 1993 by Christopher Lloyd and been growing Cannas, Bananas and Gingers ever since. He’s interested in ornamentals and rhizomatous plants as well as exotic medicinal and culinary herbs and vegetative propagation and supports the Community Gardener’s activities in these areas in the greenhouses and around the garden.
Chris has a background as a senior manager and entrepreneur in telecoms and retail and is also a qualified teacher.
Antonia has lived in Lambeth and enjoyed using Brockwell Park as her ‘back garden’ for nearly thirty years. She believes strongly in the restorative and enriching benefits that green spaces provide in the city. When she gave up full-time work in Facilities and and Site management in 2012, she was keen to ‘give back’ with hands-on involvement in the park and so joined BPCG (as well as Friends of Brockwell Park and the Conservation Trust.) The fundamentals of building management are surprisingly relevant to horticulture – good planning, proper preparation and sympathetic design, all with a healthy helping of pragmatism and adaptability – Antonia is no gardening expert but enjoys volunteering in all areas of the site, particularly the perennial planting. She is our keenest dead-header! Antonia became a Trustee in 2014.
Andrew Oxley (Treasurer)
Andrew Oxley is a retired Management Accountant who has recently moved to South-East London. He has been involved in number of charities in financial and operational roles (CIMA Benevolent Fund, TaxHelp for Older People and Accountant for a Methodist Circuit). He concedes that in the past his approach to gardening has largely been of necessity rather than as a labour of love and wonders whether his involvement with BPCG will change this.
As a local lad, much of my childhood was spent and misspent in Brockwell Park. Growing up in a gardening family, as a kid I got hooked on cacti, succulents and insectivorous plants and I was the youngest member of the Lambeth Cactus and Houseplant Society.
After working for some years in the US and Europe in science and engineering, EU policy, and project management, volunteering at the BPCG has been a great way to return to my roots. I have been a regular volunteer since 2016 and have enjoyed sharing the joy of growing stuff, making new friends, learning some new skills and improving others – and I am crazy about glasshouses. I am a BBKA qualified Beekeeper and can often be found helping out in the apiary.
Derek was instrumental in the creation of the Community Greenhouses and he has been involved in the project since its inception. He is a successful local businessman and combines extensive experience in business, management, finance and employment with a range of volunteering commitments for local organisations. He is passionate about local parks, in particular his beloved Brockwell Park, and he is an active member of both the Friends of Brockwell Park and the Brockwell Park Management Advisory Committee (BPMAC). Derek also founded Lambeth Parks and Greenspaces Forum and chaired that body from 2002-08.
Sarah Wales (Secretary)
I have been volunteering with BPCG for just under a year and I have valued the experiences which each season has brought. Through weeding, sowing, lopping, and weaving I have learned new skills in a warm and nurturing environment. My initial aim was to feel more connected to London and the environment and volunteering with BPCG has allowed this. I have spent time in the upper greenhouse, joined in with children’s sessions, and wrangled with the hoses. I have enjoyed participating in the retail activities. The time spend at Herne Hill market, or helping with the various evening events, has been a great way to promote BPCG and connect with people.
I hope to bring my administration experience and organisational skills to the role of Secretary. I have worked in the property management industry for six years, preceded by time teaching abroad, and working for a finance education provider and I think that the experience gained will be of benefit. I look forward to supporting the trustee meetings, record keeping, and monitoring filing obligations. The five year plan is very exciting and i want to contribute to its success.
Alice moved to Lambeth in 2016 and looked for ways to get to know her new area and neighbours. She was so pleased to find the welcoming Greenhouses community right on her doorstep.
Monday to Friday, Alice works for the Care Quality Commission and is a school governor for a federation of Lambeth schools.
As a Greenhouse volunteer she’s enjoyed everything from weeding to willow weaving. And has been involved in gathering volunteer input on how the greenhouses and other indoor spaces are used and what could be improved. Alice became a trustee in 2018.
Joshua began volunteering at BPCG in spring 2019, and has lived somewhere in the neighbourhood of Brockwell Park for nearly ten years. He has recently begun a Technical Diploma in Horticulture, leaving a career as a copywriter, marketing creative and digital growth expert to begin a new one doing “anything as long as it’s outdoors.” When he’s not doing that he bakes above-average bread and writes below-average fiction.
She brings a lifetime’s experience in Education to the Trust, having worked as a Deputy and Head of local primary schools, a teacher trainer for LSBU in local primary and secondary schools and an Advisor for the General Teaching Council nationally. Now retired, she enjoys gardening and the great outdoors and being involved with shared community projects.
Janet became a Trustee towards the end of 2019. Her background is in the pubic sector and she is a solicitor by profession. She loves gardening (particularly things you can eat or that are bee friendly) and she sees becoming a Trustee as the opportunity to give something back to the community now that she has retired. She also sees it as a chance to make new friends, learn more about the technical side of gardening. And help at some of the diverse events that are organised at the greenhouses.