Meet the Team
Who is who and what they do at Grow2Know
Our founder and directors
Tayshan Hayden-Smith, born & raised in North Kensington, brought love & life to his community surrounding Grenfell Tower, initiating the ‘Grenfell Garden of Peace’ among several other pivotal green spaces in the local area, adopting the name The Grenfell Guerrilla Gardener at the time. Typically known for his interest & career in football, Tayshan is keen to empower young people through gardening & nature. At 23 years old, Tayshan is a young man of mixed heritage & is passionate about being a part of a more inclusive environment on the horticultural scene.
Ali is an agriculturist, chef & medicine maker. Born and bred in Brent, her British & Jamaican heritage influences her work deeply. She seeks to decolonise horticulture & revive our collective ancestral histories, shifting our approach to the land.
Cleve is an award-winning landscape garden designer. His London-based practice has won a total of nine RHS Gold Medals (six at the Chelsea Flower Show) with two winning the coveted Best in Show. His design for Horatio's Garden (at the Duke of Cornwall's Spinal Treatment Centre, Salisbury) won three Society of Garden Designers Awards in 2015. Cleve has authored two books - ‘Our Plot’ (Frances Lincoln 2011) celebrating a decade of allotment-life and ‘The Garden of Vegan – How plants can save the animals, the planet and our health’ (Pimpernel Press 2020).
Dr Martina Girvan
Dr Martina Girvan MSc, BSc(Hons), CEcol, MCIEEM is a Chartered Ecologist with over 25 years’ experience in biodiversity and ecosystems in the UK and overseas. She is the Head of Ecology and Arboriculture as well as the Global Natural Capital Community of Practice for Arcadis. Martina’s experience includes a PhD and post doc looking at sustainability in soil ecosystems. She has worked to evolve the UK’s approach to biodiversity net gain and natural capital as a contributing author to the Natural Capital Protocol (NCC 2016) and the UK Biodiversity Net Gain Principles (CIEEM, IEMA, CIRIA 2016). In addition to incorporating this approach into new developments and strategies for Arcadis and her clients, she regularly undertakes and writes guidance on integrating green infrastructure, biodiversity risk and opportunities, and the benefits of natural capital strategies and nature-based solutions to people. She has contributed to an award winning eco-therapy garden for Ambitious About Autism and she and Arcadis are delighted to be advising Grow2Know (since 2019) to support them in achieving their ambitious and vital goals of using nature to drive benefits for health, wellbeing and community cohesion around the Grenfell-affected area & beyond.
An outcomes-focused leader with over 12 years experience at senior
management level in the voluntary, education, creative and housing sectors. Specialist knowledge and passion for: learning/personal development (beneficiaries, staff, and trustees/stakeholders), creative communication (film production, campaigns, storytelling), and delivering efficiency and financial strength.
The work I most enjoy is the support I provide to those in leadership positions - CEOs, Chairs and leadership teams – to enable talent and potential to flourish within others. It has been an exciting journey watching Tayshan and Grow2Know build not just a brand but a movement. They have built phenomenal success in a short space of time with endless possibilities ahead; a light shining so bright at a time when we most need new hope.
Shane Ryan is a tireless campaigner for justice, equality, wellbeing and opportunity for all with over 25 years’ experience working as a Charity CEO, frequent adviser and consultant, speaker and author. He has been Strategic Consultant to the Grenfell Response Unit and a Corporate Consultant on Ethical Leadership, male wellness, employee experience, engagement and diversity initiatives. Shane is also the Deputy Director at The National Lottery Community Fund. A space in which he has been able to further his work in philanthropy with responsibility for strategic national funding and partnerships including those with corporations, Central and Local Government, national grant making and place-based innovation.