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Karen Williams
Chief Executive Officer

Karen Williams founded the Charity Community Arts in Action in 1997.  The organisation came together with Escape Workshop, founded by Robin Wade, to become Escape: Community Art in Action.  As Co-Founder, Karen’s passion for the Charity never tires and as Chief Executive Officer her role is centred on driving strategic vision, building a strong resilient Escape Arts for the next 25 years.

Niamh Oldham
Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Niamh Oldham is a graduate of the University of Warwick who joined the Escape Arts team for a three month internship in 2017 – and never left! Niamh has led on creative projects with Escape Arts groups across the county and worked alongside the extraordinary Escape Arts volunteer team on community projects, before joining the Executive in 2020. Niamh now supports the preparation of funding bids, governance and operational running of the Charity, including Escape Arts emerging digital offer. You can also spot Niamh in her other role as Chief Elf during Escape Arts Surprise Santa visits every Christmas!

Jackie Newton
Finance Manager

Jackie joined us as Finance Manager back in December 2014, just before we moved into our newly renovated home at the Old Slaughterhouse. She has a wealth of charity finance experience and is a qualified accountant (ACCA). She took up golf during lockdown and loves it despite being rubbish!

Dionne Sambrook
Creative Programme & Performance Manager

I manage our regular groups in Stratford and help develop our creative projects. I also manage short projects and commissions, including our work for Warwickshire County Council’s Creative Health Programme. I collate the information we share with funders to demonstrate all the amazing things we do. I am known for my love of spreadsheets and tech, but I really appreciate nature and the countryside. And play a mean bit of saxophone.

Gill Cleeve
Operations Manager and Health & Safety Lead

Gill began her role as Operations Manager & Health & Safety Lead in February 2022. Gill looks after the Escape Arts van, is also the Designated Safeguarding Lead & Mental Health First Aider. Gill is a nominated Trustee for Stratford Town Trust and was elected to the Town Council in 2019. She is passionate about the town & supporting its residents & is heavily involved in several local community organisations. She helped to set up & volunteers with the Avon Valley Community First Responders; is a leader with Stratford Girlguiding & is a volunteer chaperone for several local youth organisations.

Corinne Davies
Community Liaison Coordinator & Volunteer Support for Nuneaton

Corinne is a creative wheeler and dealer across the Nuneaton projects.  She was instrumental in setting up Men’s Shed and more recently the Station Gallery.  Corinne now manages the gallery and supports the Nuneaton In Stitches and Platform 1 Crafts.

Lorraine Davies
Administration Manager & Project Coordinator for Stratford In Stitches

Lorraine has worked with Charity since 2018 and is key to organising everything and everyone in the team! It is Lorraine who responds to all of Escape Arts queries and she can also be seen supporting many of our projects, putting her creative and green fingers to good use!!

Mel Beech
Nuneaton Project Coordinator for Nuneaton Escape & Platform1Crafts

Mel supports Nuneaton Escape and Platform 1 Crafts as their Project Link Coordinator, acting as the main point of contact for the participants, supporting them during sessions and supporting the Programme Manager in the planning of sessions to suit the needs of the group.

Marie Eaves
Stratford Project Coordinator for Grow Cook Create & Stratford Escape

My name is Marie Eaves and joined the Escape Arts team in April 2024. My role is the Stratford Projects Coordinator and I support Grow Cook Create and Stratford Escape. Over the last 30 years, I have supported children, young people, and families by listening and creating programmes to address their needs. I completed my National Professional Qualification in Integrated Centre Leadership at the University of Warwick in 2007. I love live music, theatre, and as a volunteer, I support an upholstery group.

Reema Jobbins
Digital Media Coordinator

Reema joins us with great experience and expertise from her career in the art gallery management field. She has worked and studied in both the Netherlands and the United States, supporting art gallery operations for a private gallery.  She has demonstrated experience in the arts sector and is excited to join Escape Arts as Digital Coordinator. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling, sailing and creative writing.

Rakha Madahar
Nuneaton Project Coordinator for Social Brew

Rakha Madahar supports Escape Arts, as an Enhanced Link Coordinator at the HTC Social Brew (Drop-in session) in Nuneaton. She is there to support participants with organised creative activities and be their main point of contact. Rakha works in collaboration with the Creative Programme & Performance Manager to help organise sessions that are of interest to all those that attend the Social Brew. Rakha is also a creative herself, creating digital patterns and prints, using mixed media.

Nicola Patterson
Volunteer Coordinator

Hello, I’m Nicola and I am the Volunteer Coordinator for Escape Arts. I support the volunteer-led Creative Hub and my role is to develop the volunteer programme for Escape Arts in Stratford-upon-Avon and Nuneaton. I identify volunteer roles, recruit and train volunteers and support work experience placements. I have a background in primary education and Speech and Language Therapy. I volunteer for a local hospice charity. I love baking, gardening and crochet and live in Stratford with my husband and two dogs Rocket and Pepper!

Jo Rice
Arts Award Coordinator

Hello, I'm Jo, I'm the Arts Award Coordinator for Escape Arts. I run the Arts Award group for young people on Tuesday evenings. I'm a cultural learning specialist and creative practitioner with over 30 years experience developing creative programmes and projects in museums, most recently at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. I also pop up at Compton Verney Art Gallery delivering workshops for schools and families, at the Cidermill Theatre in Chipping Campden as Duty Manager and at the Cotswolds Distillery, talking about whisky and gin. Never a dull moment. Born and brought up in South Yorkshire, I now live near Shipston with my husband, son and two very bouncy labradors.

Nancy Adams
Nuneaton Project Support Worker for Nuneaton Escape

Nancy has been a member of Escape Arts Nuneaton for a number of years and supports participants at our weekly Nuneaton Escape community group. A talented artist in her own right, Nancy also supports our programme of exhibitions and events at The Station Gallery in Nuneaton.

Liam Alexandru
Youth Project Support Worker

Liam has always had a passion for telling stories. However, he’s found in recent years to tell a story is easy, but to feel a story is something completely different. Working as an actor and writer for eight years, Liam transferred his creativity to the other side of the camera with the onset of COVID-19. Now the co-founder of Shipwreck Productions, Liam is proud to have honed his creative skills with Escape Arts as their Youth Project Support Worker and DND Society Dungeon Master.

Jess Brown
Stratford Project Support Worker for Stratford Escape

Jess studied Psychology and Sociology at Bath Spa University, following her passions in understanding people and communities. From 2012 onwards she has continued this path in community building, partnership work and local projects. She has worked with people from many walks of life. She also works part time taking care of animals and managing her business: Jessy’s Pet Care.

Ali Glover
Stratford Project Support Worker for Grow Cook Create

Ali joined Escape Arts as the Project Support Worker for the Grow Cook Create group at the Lifeways Community Garden on Mondays. Her journey began after painting a meditative mural in the garden last summer, volunteering throughout the winter blossomed into a spring position. Ali’s passion for paint extends beyond the garden walls. She is the  Creative Director of Paint Stratford, a street art and graffiti festival that brings professional artists and community members together through workshops and large scale public murals. A street artist and picture framer, Ali holds a BA and MA in photography, using those skills to inform her art practice, which includes creating original photography, videos, art work and written work. She is also a big aroma therapy fan, and loves infusing her artworks and frames with essential oils that capture the essence of each piece! 

Kunjan Russell
Nuneaton Project Support Worker for Social Brew

I am a professional folk artist working in Warwickshire. At the age of 45, I focused my attention on creating art with meaning, purpose, and vision. My previous work and life experiences provided me with a diverse perspective on life‘s challenges and I set an intention to advocate for a better world through action, conversations and my artwork. I create artwork that envisions a prosperous protopian future, which contributes to the healing process and believes that art is open for everyone to take part in and enjoy in any form.