Hello everyone!

It’s been almost 1 month in my role as Interim Executive Director for the London Environmental Network (LEN). I’ve been involved with LEN since 2017. First as a volunteer, to a summer student, to a full-time staff, and a few role changes later - here I am. Throughout my time, I’ve always felt incredibly passionate about the work LEN does to create real environmental change across the city, so I’m honored to be covering the Executive Director role while our ED Marianne Griffith is on maternity leave.

LEN Team Photo at AGM

My interest in the environment largely came from my education. As I learned more about climate change - how it was impacting the ecosystems I learned about, the green spaces in London that I grew up with, and those who are disproportionately impacted in the city - I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to use my knowledge, passion, and privilege to work in the environmental nonprofit sector and support LEN’s goal to make London a greener, more resilient community for all. 

Personally, as a Gen Z/Millenial (I’m never sure where I fit in as a generational "cusper") I regularly feel overwhelmed and anxious about climate change. It feels like I’m hearing about it more than ever before. The “anticipated impacts” of wildfires, flooding, and extreme and unpredictable weather that I was learning about as a child are real. They are happening here and now.

I try to remind myself that taking action locally helps. And thankfully, there are plenty of ways to take climate action in London through LEN and our network members (see what’s coming up this year below!). When you attend an event, make a donation, or participate in any of our programs - you are helping to grow and strengthen London’s environmental sector. So thank you for helping us take action.

Day to day at LEN, I’m supported by an incredible staff team that brings their skills and passion to all of the programming and events you see at LEN: Nicole (Director of Programs), Kaitlin (Director of Sustainability), Jamie, Mackenzie, Alix, Allison, and Jasmine and our Registered Energy Advisors, Andrée and Liyuan. 

LEN Team Photo

My hopes for LEN this year are to continue our environmental projects and education in the community, and to really strengthen LEN’s role as a network that connects Londoners to environmental actions. Some things to look forward to this coming year are…

  • The annual Green in the City events series - a great way to learn about sustainability initiatives happening in London and how you can get involved with London's Climate Emergency Action Plan
  • Providing micro-grants to Green Economy Leaders (via Green Economy London) and homeowners (via Greener Homes London) for green projects and retrofits, and
  • Recognizing local sustainability leaders at the Green Leader Awards (look for more updates in spring 2024!)

I look forward to connecting with you as Interim Executive Director over the next few months. If you read to the end, my last call to action for you is to sign up for our e-newsletter here. Each month you will receive updates from our team about ways you can keep the momentum going!

Leah headshotSincerely,

Leah Derikx
Interim Executive Director, London Environmental Network