Contact Us

For general enquiries, please contact the main office. For something more specific, please find the relevant office or team member below.

Main Office:
The City of London,
Aldermanbury Street,

Postal Address

The City of London,
PO Box 270,

Phone: 020 7248 7171

Satellite Office:
Thames21, The Lock Office, Bow Locks, Navigation Road, London E3 3JY
Tel: 0207 515 3337

For corporate volunteering enquiries telephone the main office number above or contact us via Email.

For environmental education, contact:

Welsh Harp Environment Education Centre:
Thames21, Welsh Harp Environmental Education Centre, Birchen Grove, London NW9 8RY
Contact us via Tel: 07711 701 694 or via email

For all media enquiries, please contact

Liz Gyekye, Communications Manager,  via Tel 07597584349 or via email

The Team

Thames21 has a core team of full time staff members, several committed delivery support staff and thousands of public volunteers. Please look down the list and contact the most appropriate person.

Debbie LeachDebbie Leach
Thames21 Chief Executive
Tel: 07976 559778

Debbie joined Thames21 as Chief Executive in June 2005, bringing 15 years’ experience in the voluntary sector. Her work with young people’s and educational charities led to a growing interest in broader social inclusion and community development issues. Debbie lives in Putney, and is a keen boater and sailor.
“The great thing about rivers and canals is that they appeal to everyone, regardless of age, background or culture. It is fantastic to see the new friendships formed when people work side by side to improve their local waterway.”
Chris CoodeChris Coode
Deputy Chief Executive and Head of Engagement and Education
Tel: 07813 799757

Chris is head of education and training at Thames21. Before joining Thames21, Chris worked as the Education Coordinator at the London Aquarium, and he has worked as a warden on marine wildlife reserves along the coast of Dorset and Cornwall. He is one of the world’s greatest rockpoolers.
John BrydenJohn Bryden
Head of Improving Rivers
Tel: 07968 012828

John is head of river improvements at Thames21. He came to Thames21 from the Environment Agency, where he worked for seven years leading river restoration, wetland, and SuDS projects. He may be appeased with offerings of cricket bats and tea.
Michael HeathMichael Heath
Personnel Manager
Tel: 07968 805751

Michael came to Thames21 as River Cray Project Officer in 2011. He has lived near the Cray for more than 18 years, and is a founding member of the Friends of Foots Cray Meadows. Michael is a retired police officer whose other interests include photography, travel, and cooking.
Alison ArcherAlison Archer
Head of Fundraising
Tel: 07554 402772

Alison has worked across a variety of roles in marketing and fundraising. She is a founder member of the Pymmes BrookERS, a community group that works with Thames21 to restore the Pymmes and Salmons Brooks. She loves walking London’s rivers and wild swimming and is usually happiest in a kayak.
David CourtneidgeDavid Courtneidge
Corporate Volunteering Officer 
Tel: 07584 172209

David joined Thames21 in early 2022 after stints at London Wildlife Trust and South East Rivers Trust. David studies dragonflies and damselflies, plus having worked across London on a variety of river and wetland projects. He is very keen to apply this knowledge to his new role. When not working David can be found hiking or walking by his local river or basket weaving with some locally sourced willow. To find out more about Thames21’s corporate volunteering see here:
Vahide Berisha BazarganVahide Berisha Bazargan
Office Manager
Tel: 07827 240457

Vahide came to Thames21 after volunteering for foreshore clean ups. She has worked for the Carbon Trust and before that at Bateaux London luxury boat cruises on the Thames; so she is happy to be back by the river again. Vahide loves being outdoors, gardening, cooking, crafting and trying to lead a life kind to nature and wildlife while encouraging others to do the same.
Liz GyekyeLiz Gyekye
Communications Manager
Tel: 07597 584349

Liz has more than 13 years’ experience working as a journalist on environmental trade titles including Packaging News, ENDS Europe and Materials Recycling World. She has written extensively about resource management issues and the circular economy. She is looking forward to sharing the exciting stories that form part and parcel of Thames21’s work. When her out of office is on, Liz can be found running, enjoying time with her family and friends, or attending music gigs.
Helen Leary
Communications Assistant
Tel: 07711701696

Helen is a Communications Assistant at Thames21 and she will work closely with Communications Manager Liz Gyekye. Before joining, she lived in Liverpool for five years studying History of Art and Exhibition Studies, in which she widely explored the impacts of environmentally-engaged participation within projects. Since 2016, she has experienced working within various cultural sector roles within museums and galleries including the Guggenheim Collection, Venice. In 2019, she produced and curated a collaborative exhibition that bridged the gap between students’ lifestyles and climate change. She is motivated to diversify methods of communication and accessibility for the expanding team of volunteers and those working with Thames21. Outside of work, she spends time open water swimming in Dorset, voluntarily working at an inclusive community project called The Shed and creating art.
Head of Finance
Tel: 07597 578516

Piyal is Head of Finance and Operations at Thames21. He has wide experience in manufacturing and retail sectors. He has set up new, large profitable operations overseas. In addition to this, he has had more than ten years’ experience working in statutory healthcare and charity sectors, with a specific focus on supporting disabled and disadvantaged people. Piyal strongly believes in empowering people to thrive and connect communities to take responsibility for the wellbeing of themselves and others. He loves travelling in search of green and blue spaces and visiting museums.
Luca Marazzi
Plastic Free Rivers Project Coordinator
Tel: 07523 512849

Luca is a Professional Wetland Scientist with a Ph.D. in Freshwater Ecology. He has conducted research on biodiversity, algal ecology, wetland ecology and restoration, as well as air pollution and climate change, at foundations and universities in Italy, UK, Botswana, and USA. He has joined Thames21 in spring 2021 to build on his citizen science work at Earthwatch Europe and coordinate the Plastic Free Mersey project. Luca is passionate about understanding, conserving, and restoring ecosystems and enjoys travelling to, and photographing, landscapes and waterscapes and playing tennis.
Bea AsquithBea Asquith
Plastic Free Mersey Project Officer
Tel: 07849 087 833

Bea graduated in 2021 from the University of Cambridge with a degree in Zoology, focussed on conservation science and ecology. After supporting the Plastic Free Mersey Project as a volunteer, she has joined Thames21 to continue supporting this citizen science and engagement project full-time. As she is based in Greater Manchester, Bea will be able to work closely with our partners at the Mersey Rivers Trust. In her spare time, Bea enjoys walking her dog in the Peak District, bouldering, and boxing.
Will OliverWill Oliver
Catchment Partnership Development Officer
Tel: 07826 913307

Will graduated from University College London in 2018 with a master’s degree in Aquatic Science. Here he specialised in freshwater ecology and restoration and completed his dissertation on the effect of microhabitat availability on fish distribution within a Norfolk chalk stream. Will has previously worked as a freshwater ecologist for a consultancy firm. He enjoys fishing, running and playing football.
Rebecca TurnpenneyRebecca Turnpenney
Catchment Partnership Development Support Officer
Tel: 07597578126

Rebecca graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2020 with a degree in Geography. She has an interest in fluvial and marine sciences and completed her dissertation on the effects of climate change on a tributary of the River Lea. Rebecca has previously worked for Thames21 on the Woodland Creation Project in Enfield as part of our Woodland Planting team. She will be supporting the Catchment Partnerships Team, working mainly in the Brent and London Lea catchments. She enjoys travel and exploring new places, a good sunset, and spending time with friends and family.
Oli BackOli Back
Silk Stream Flood Resilience Innovation Engagement Officer
Tel: 07597 577793

Oli worked in theatre and the creative arts for 10 years before performing a career change. He joined Thames21 as a tree planter and got hooked into the world of conservation. He finished a MSc in Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Management in 2020. Now his focus is on eels, trying to improve river connectivity for the fascinating, critically endangered European eel, with his focus on the Brent and Ravensbourne catchments.
Philippa NichollsPhilippa Nicholls
Project Officer (Combined: Community Eel Officer, Evidence Officer & Catchment Partnerships) 
Tel: 07568226407

Philippa (also known as Philly) completed an MSc in Conservation at UCL in September 2020. Her dissertation focused on the current status of the Thames Basin’s eel population, which cemented her strong interest in eels and freshwater ecosystems. Prior to this role, Philippa was working at a London-based sustainability consultancy as an Assistant Ecologist and volunteering with multiple environmental charities. She loves anything to do with aquatic environments, anything to do with her dogs, spending time with her family and friends and playing hockey.
Kate MonsonKate Monson
BRIC Canvey Island Engagement Coordinator
Tel: 07597 578116

Kate has spent the past few years wallowing in the Canvey wetlands, squelching through mud and marsh, speaking to local residents and exploring the local landscape (often with her dog Daisy) for her PhD research. Passionate about finding ways to live better, together, in the troubled times and places of the anthropocence, she is really excited to be building on her research as part of the BRIC project, working alongside the Canvey community to co-create flood resilience solutions. When not walking in, thinking of, or writing about mud, Kate loves swimming in the sea and feeling sunshine on her skin.
Deb FrankiewiczDeb Frankiewicz
Welsh Harp Environmental Education Centre Education Officer
Tel: 07711 701694

Deb develops and delivers the fun and interactive education programme to school groups and the local community at the Welsh Harp Environmental Education Centre in West London. Initially trained as a Geographical Information Systems Analyst in Australia, Deb moved to London and soon discovered her love for working with children in the outdoors.
Stephen HaywoodStephen Haywood
Natural Flood Management Programme Manager
Tel: 07500 842 283

Steve started working with the Environment Agency in South West England on their water quality monitoring programmes, but move to London and is pursuing his career in natural flood management. A keen surfer and cyclist, if he’s not found near water, he’ll be out trekking in the mountains somewhere in the world.
AJ McConvilleAJ McConville
Thames River Watch Coordinator
Tel: 07585 302623

AJ joined Thames21 in 2015 from the Institute of European Environmental Policy where he worked on biodiversity policy. Interested in grassroots work and urban ecology, AJ delivered the Trout in the Classroom project for the Wandle Trust alongside his policy duties for two years. He plays guitar in a band, these days mostly restricted to friends’ weddings.

Zara VisanjiZara Visanji
Thames Monitoring Officer
Tel: 07749 415 897

Zara gained her master’s in water engineering in 2017 and has more recently been researching emerging contaminants in wastewater treatment plants. Her love of rivers and previous background has led her to Thames21, where she will be focusing on monitoring sewage-derived litter in the Thames. Zara loves to travel, and you will regularly find her exploring waterfalls and wild swimming in rivers or filling herself up with anything sweet.

Rosa ClavaneRosa Clavane
Thames Community Engagement Officer
Tel: 07500840596

Rosa’s role as Community Engagement Officer for Thames River Watch is to listen to marginalised communities close to the Thames learn how to improve access to the river. Rosa’s previous role was setting up a community dementia therapy programme in Camden and before that she was a teacher in Spain and the UK.  Rosa is interested in the power of community organising to impact positive political change through bringing people together to realise their collective power. Rosa enjoys playing football, exploring London by bike and cooking.
Felicity RhodesFelicity Rhodes
Thames Volunteer Engagement Officer
Tel: 07568226230 

Before joining Thames21, Felicity previously worked at Toynbee Hall, Providence Row, and Stepney City Farm, in fundraising, and volunteer leadership roles. She has a PhD in isotope geochemistry. This involved looking at how the chemistry of rocks can inform one’s understanding of past ocean oxygen conditions. She lives in East London, and enjoys getting out for long walks along the Thames. When Felicity is not at work, she is most likely to be ballroom dancing, or visiting one of London’s many City Farms.
Carolina PintoCarolina Pinto
River Restoration Manager
Tel: 07824 491166

Carolina is an environmental scientist specialised in freshwater management and river restoration. She works in the areas of research, diagnosis, monitoring and recovery of degraded aquatic environments. In her free time she enjoys practising yoga, bike rides, wild swimming and loves experimenting with companion planting in her garden working out which plants help each other to grow.
Lou SykesLou Sykes
River Restoration Officer
Tel: 07523 512850

Lou graduated with a master’s degree in Biodiversity, Evolution and Conservation in 2018. With a keen interest in landscape conservation and making improvements at catchment scale, she came to Thames21 after working for Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, looking for a new patch to explore. When not at work, she can often be found half way up a climbing wall or out exploring on a paddleboard.
Michael O'NeillMichael O’Neill
Brent Rivers’ Engagement and Restoration Support Officer
Tel: 07597 584 363

Michael comes from a construction background and prior to that he worked for the Metropolitan Police. His role was focused on community engagement, and neighbourhood policing. He hopes to bring his experience and training to Thames21 to build lasting volunteer relationships, so the Brent River residents and users can enjoy a legacy of healthy rivers stewarded by the people.
He is a keen amateur fisherman and wild forager. He has always been very passionate about our wild spaces, especially the rivers and waterways. Michael can often be found fishing, all year round, and will be found wild foraging in the autumn for nuts, berries, mushrooms and wild herbs. It is this passion for the wild that has lead Michael to Thames21 where he hopes to grow his knowledge of ecology.
Nik CainNik Cain
Woodland Creation Officer
Tel: 07523 512851

Nik is a former physicist and IT architect, but now wants to do nothing but plant trees and manage woodland. With 100,000 trees to plant with Thames21’s Enfield Chase restoration project, there’s plenty to get stuck into. When not at work Nik’s still in the woods, foraging for home-made wines or bird watching.
Dilawar HussainDilawar Hussain
Thames Connections Research Officer
Tel: 07557 970812 

Born and bred in the East End of London, Dilawar has been an active member of one of the most diverse cultural community hubs in the world – Tower Hamlets. He has grown up close to the River Thames and has a passion for enriching communities to get involved in environmental activities. He has a background in sales and business as well as various community work including working with youth services and other charitable causes.
Gareth ChalmersGareth Chalmers
Nature Prescribing Officer
Tel: 07597 580017

Gareth joins Thames21 after 20 years experience setting up and running health through stealth programmes for TCV, supporting and training community groups and running environmental education programmes for TCV and PGL spanning over twenty years. Gareth is also highly experienced in volunteer management and is a firm believer in connecting communities and bringing people together. When not working he can be found in the kitchen, having previous experience as a catering manager or with his scout group.
Sam Bentley-ToonSam Bentley-Toon
Engagement Manager
Tel: 07597 579869

Sam has worked in wildlife conservation since 2009 and is passionate about connecting people with the nature on their doorstep. Before coming to Thames21 he worked for London Wildlife Trust on the Great North Wood project, a woodland restoration and community engagement initiative based in south London. He enjoys painting, wild swimming and seeing live music.
Dr Nathalie GilbertDr Nathalie Gilbert
Evidence Programme Manager
Tel: 07711 701695
With a PhD and Masters in Environmental Science from the University of East Anglia, Nathalie joined Thames21 as the lab manager. She is now Thames21 Evidence Programme Manager since completing her role as Project Manager for INTCATCH, a multinational project that aims to develop user-friendly water monitoring tools to provide real-time data.
Josh HammondJosh Hammond
Evidence Officer
Tel: 07523 512 852

Prior to working at Thames21, Josh worked as a freshwater ecologist for a consultancy, specifically undertaking macroinvertebrate and macrophyte assessments as well as modelling the impacts of climate change on river flow. . As part of his role as Evidence Officer with Thames21, Josh will be planning and implementing environmental monitoring strategies. He also worked at the NHS where he was working as a crisis practitioner in acute mental health, so he is particularly looking forward to helping people with anxiety and depression recover through engaging with nature and their local community. He enjoys wild camping, growing his own fruit and veg, and the occasional forage. He also likes watching live music and sport and a lot of hiking!