Meet the team

Didsbury Dinners C.I.C. is governed by two directors supported by an advisory panel.

More than 120 volunteers have helped with our projects over the past 2 years: contributing to our community cookbook, planting 480 trees, creating and maintaining our community food gardens, teaching cookery, and assisting with Didsbury Food Trail. Thank you for donating your time so generously.

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Amanda Woodvine

Founder and Programme Director


Amanda is a public health nutritionist, writer and editor who has helped to found and run a number of community projects and initiatives over the past decade.

She moved to Didsbury in October 2009. A year later she replied to an advert posted by Manchester charity, Action for Sustainable Living. The charity sought volunteer local project managers to set up new projects in their communities. Before she knew it, she’d published Didsbury Dinners: The Low-Carbon Community Cookbook that was generating funds for the community. Didsbury Dinners has expanded hugely as a result of Amanda’s great passion for food sustainability and community engagement.

Monika Jerszynska

Programme Support Manager


Monika joined Didsbury Dinners in March 2012. After moving to Manchester she was looking for an opportunity to grow her own veg and to do some gardening. She ended up loving it, finding each and every aspect of our work very inspiring. She even craved wielding a rake while on holiday in Poland!

We’ve been fortunate enough to have use of her many talents since then, which include graphic design, research, analysis and team leadership. Monika has two MAs in Sociology and Social Communication, diplomas in graphic design and multimedia, and a background of working in the creative industry and in publishing. Phew!


Lucy Millard


Ever since Lucy walked through a city on a windy day and had rubbish blowing in her face she’s been determined to do something about the environment.

This led her to studying for a BSc in Environmental Management and various jobs in the environmental field including working for E.ON Energy, Oxford Brookes University and her current role as Environmental Sustainability Manager at The University of Manchester.

Says Lucy: “After finishing my MSc in Environmental Governance (studying part-time while working full-time for 2 years… ouch) a year ago I suddenly had some free time and decided I wanted to give something back to the community I live in. I was planning on doing something unrelated to the environment for a change but then I saw Didsbury Dinners and was so inspired by everything that they do I signed up. It is wonderful to spend time with such dedicated and enthusiastic people committed to making a difference in the local community. After a trying day at work reading about the doom and gloom of the environmental situation, spending time with the Didsbury Dinners team is inspirational!”

David Lefevre


David is a Recruitment Consultant at Netsource Renewable Energy and a Marketing Assistant at EMERGE 3Rs. Raised in a farm in the Champagne region of France, his background is in business development, human resources and marketing strategy within the private and voluntary sectors. He was inspired to help the team at Didsbury Dinners because of his interest in sustainably-produced food, food waste and recycling.


Sarah Mallen


1.     Why did you choose to volunteer for Didsbury Dinners community growing project?

I love helping friends with their gardens and had just started my own veg bed at home, so I thought this would be a great way to get fresh air, exercise and pick up some tips along the way.

2.     Why do you continue to volunteer for it?

There is still so much work to do and so much to learn about what will and won’t grow on our plot.

3.     What do you like most about our work?

I like that it is a complete contrast to my day job. It’s a great workout, and although there are jobs that need doing there is a lot of autonomy to take a decision on what you want to achieve that day.

4.     What have you learned or gained from the project?

Well, apart from learning what will and won’t grow on our plot (which has been valuable in itself) I have found it really motivating to see how much can be achieved by hand by just a few volunteers.

5.     Anything else you’d like to tell us?

It’s really interesting to meet people who have never had a garden or tried growing veg. I think it’s important that people realise where food comes from and how much effort goes into growing it.  It’s great that people are starting to become more interested in growing their own again.