Photos of our management team

“At New Directions we continue to provide our frontline support for those who need us most during this time of uncertainty. Our support workers are essential key workers and continue to deliver outstanding care and support to the people who rely on them, keeping them safe and caring for them – they really are superheroes.”

Paul Tolley, Chief Executive





Paul Tolley

Chief Executive

I joined New Directions as the charity’s Chief Executive Officer in November 2019 having previously been Chief Executive of Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action.

My career within the voluntary sector started 25 years ago when I took on the role of a volunteer live-in personal assistant to a man who was Tetraplegic and living in Birmingham. This led to me working as a Personal Assistant for the Spinal Injuries Association in a variety of countries worldwide. These experiences opened my eyes to the world of Disability Rights and the Independent Living Movement, spurring me on to attain a Social Work degree at Coventry University,

Upon graduating, I worked for the Council of Disabled People Warwickshire and Coventry for seven years managing advocacy and direct payment support services. I have a wealth of experience gained within the voluntary sector which I have called upon to help advance the establishment and success of multiple charities and groups in the area as well as building connections across sectors, working as a Peer Reviewer for the Local Government Association and chairing multiple partnerships.

I have personal experience of disability within my family as my niece Chloe has a profound and complex disability and in 2017 she gave her first TED Talk.  I have lived in Rugby for the last two decades and have a passion for inclusion which I am so proud and privileged to be able to develop within this amazing local charity.

Tracey Gray

Finance Manager

Awaiting text.

Lorna Brindley

Human Resources Manager

I have worked for New Directions since June 2012 and continue to be overwhelmed by the commitment and passion of our staff in supporting people to lead full and meaningful lives.  I have been a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development for over 20 years and am committed to ensuring New Directions is an employer of choice through having fair and consistent people management practices in place. We ensure our staff are well supported through regular supervision with their line manager, well trained through effective induction and ongoing refresher training; and highly motivated to deliver high quality, person centred services to the people we support.  New Directions continues to develop and grow to meet the changing needs of the people we support and every day I feel proud to be a part of this fantastic organisation.

Emma Daffey

Operations Manager

I have worked at New Directions since 1990, starting as a support worker and working my way up to becoming a Registered Care Manager and then Operations Manager.

New Directions has always encouraged staff to develop themselves and many, including myself, have been given the opportunity to do this.

Since I became a Registered Manager I have had the opportunity to develop Gateway Court one of our supported living services and Poppy Place our purpose built Residential home. I am currently the Operations Manager for Residential Services, Poppy Place and Vicarage Road.

My main focus is to provide the highest quality service for the people that we support, encouraging them to be as independent as their needs allow. It is a pleasure to go to work every day knowing that I can make a positive difference in the lives of the people we support.


Carol Payne

Operations Manager

I have worked supporting adults with learning disabilities at New Directions since 1994. I started as a Support Worker and have worked in a variety of our services progressing to Registered Manager.

I currently manage the vibrant Day Opportunities service, Community Choices Network (CCN) based on Albert Street in Rugby. We have an extensive timetable for individuals to access.  Activities include swimming, horse riding, CV and computer skills and sports and exercise amongst many more.

I am also the Registered Manager at Milner House which provides respite, transitional support, short stay and reablement for people with learning and physical disabilities. New Directions provides these services in a purpose-built, ground floor home. We provide people with the opportunity to engage in their local community, make new friends, develop new skills and abilities and have fun.

At New Directions we pride ourselves on being advocates for the individuals we support, assisting them with health appointments, social activities, planning and implementing for the best possible future.

Jane Harris

Operations Manager

I  joined New Directions Rugby in 2021 as Operations Manager. 

I have worked in Health and Social Care since I was 16. I qualified as a Nurse, and progressed to managing NHS services, specialising in working with people with Learning Disabilities, Autism and Mental health support needs. I am also a qualified specialist for people who are visual or hearing impaired and associated conditions.

I have worked across the sector, within the NHS, Local Authority, private and charity settings. I have been a Nurse Manager, Head of Nursing Services, Director of Care, Registered Manager, Operations Manager and Commissioner, providing consultancy and transformation management in many different types of services.

I am passionate about supporting people and ensuring that care and support standards are outstanding and people have opportunities to  grow and be involved.  I have lifelong, family experience of supporting people with disabilities and spent most of my younger life and my career ensuring that care and support for vulnerable people is improved and transparent in its actions.  


Roland Forbes

Facilities Manager

I have worked at New Directions for the last ten years. Coming from a trade background helped me to fit naturally within the role. Over the years my role has developed as New Directions has grown. I am not only responsible for direct maintenance but also for purchasing, contracting and quality checking new properties. I enjoy my role, however my real passion is the people. The people we support are endlessly rewarding and I am happy to see them living well within our supported properties.

John Weekes

Learning and Development Manager

I have worked in the health and social care field for 21 years. I have worked in various settings such as learning disabilities services, mental health and worked with young people between the ages of 12-18, for the last eight years I have been involved in training and supporting learners to achieve their level 2 and 3 qualifications and also conducting training courses within the health and social care delivering specific subjects.

My passion is to ensure that everybody has the best skills and knowledge within their training. This will then ensure that they can support individuals to maximise their independence.

Jill Palmer

Office Manager

I joined the company in 2006.  I’m an AMSPAR trained medical secretary with experience of working in healthcare settings.  As Office Manager I lead the Administration Team.  We extend a warm welcome to all who visit or make contact with us and we always endeavour to put you in contact with the most appropriate person.

New Directions has a great family atmosphere and the people we support and their families are always our top priority.  Working for a charity is challenging but very rewarding and knowing that my job supports people with learning and other disabilities to maintain their independence and live full and rewarding lives gives me a lot of satisfaction.

Becky Sutton

Housing Manager

I have been part of New Directions since 2007 when I began as a Support Worker, worked towards being a Team Leader in both Residential and Supported Living, then moved over to Housing as a Housing Officer working up to Housing Manager.
New Directions has enabled me to gain a great deal of knowledge through the opportunities which they have provided, such as valuable qualifications that have helped me progress to where I am now.  I am a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing where I gained a qualification to become a qualified Housing Practitioner. This enables me to ensure that the tenants I support receive the best advice and support possible.
I take pride in the work I do when I see tenants become more confident and gain skills to manage many aspects of housing, this gives a great sense of job satisfaction.

Amy Ellis

Registered Manager

I have worked with New Directions since 2010.  I started my journey as a support worker and progressed to becoming a Registered Manager.  New Directions has always encouraged staff to develop within the company and has provided ongoing training and support to enable staff to do this.
My background in health and social care has been nursing care and residential care which have both been very rewarding.  Currently I work in supported living services.  I love the fact that every day is different and the individuals we support are able to challenge themselves daily and learn new skills.

Lisa Barrett

Registered Manager

 Awaiting text.

Sarah Curran

Registered Manager

I have had the privilege of working in the health and social care field since 2004. I started my career working in a day centre in Rugby. I have known a lot of the people we support within New Directions since 2004.

I started working for New Directions in June 2020 as a Team Leader, then progressed to Deputy Manager in December 2021 and Registered Manager in 2023. New Directions has enabled and supported me to progress within my career; they are not only supportive to the individuals we support but also to their staff teams. They are a great organisation who invest time and money in their staff. They promote choice, independence and equality for the people we support. 

I have learnt so many new skills since I started and I love how everyday is different. I feel so lucky and privileged to be doing the job I do.

Andrea Hann

Deputy Manager

I have worked at New Directions since 1999 when I began as a Support Worker.  I have had various roles at New Directions since then including working at our different residential homes and managing the day opportunities service, Community Choices Network from its beginnings at Richmond Lodge through to the move to The Exchange.

I now lead a team of staff in the charity’s Respite and Residential services where we recently received an Outstanding rating for a well led service at Vicarage Road.

It is so important to encourage people with disabilities to live their lives to the full.  At our respite/short stay service, Milner House, people can access the community where the activities fit around their culture and needs.  People are encouraged to learn news skills while taking a short break, which helps to make every step forward the right step.

Sasha Scullion

Deputy Manager

I have worked for New Directions for 9 years now and have gained lots of knowledge and experience along the way mainly in residential services.  I am committed and motivated to providing the best care and support for the individuals and upholding the ethos of New Directions and our visions.  I am grateful to be a part of an organisation that has such a positive reputation and continues to grow.  I look forward to further developing in my role.


Tosin Arannilewa

Deputy Manager

I joined NewDirections in 2019 as a Support Worker, having worked as agency staff with a diverse client group in the healthcare sector for over 10 years.  New Directions provides a conducive working environment for career progression and personal development. I became a Team Leader and have progressed to Deputy Manager.  The senior management team is very responsive and supportive. The support for the staff is robust and outstanding.  Working in Supported Living with New Directions has been fulfilling and more rewarding. It promotes the individuality of the people we support. The people we support are able to achieve what might have looked impossible and remain proud members of the community.

Dawn Clark

Deputy Manager

Awaiting text.

Debra Bennett

Deputy Manager

 Awaiting text.

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