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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.

Sarah Cowley-Catchpole
Youth Work Manager

I am passionate about working with young people, my role as Youth Work Manager is so exciting, challenging & rewarding. Meeting local young people, building trusted relationships & being a supportive part of their journey into adulthood is a constant inspiration. Co-creating a brand-new universal youth service in Stratford with local young people & our amazing team is an absolute pleasure, it goes from strength to strength. I am basically a big kid at heart which is probably why I love my job so much! I love being outdoors whenever I can, downhill mountain biking, walking & kayaking.

Gill Cleeve
Operations Manager, Volunteer Coordinator and Health & Safety Lead

Gill began her role as Operations Manager, Volunteer Coordinator & Health & Safety Lead in February 2022. Gill looks after the Escape Arts van, is also the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Mental Health First Aider & helps out with the Youth Team. Gill also supports our fantastic volunteers across the county. 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.

Lorraine Davies
Administration Manager

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!!

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.

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.

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.

Nick McCarthy
Stratford Projects Coordinator and Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Lead

Originally from San Francisco, Nick spent over 10 years working as an ABA therapist for children and young adults with learning disabilities. His love of travel bought him to the UK shores in 2018 where he has now happily putting down roots. Nick has worked for Escape Arts since 2021 as the Stratford Projects Coordinator and Equality, Diversity & Inclusivity Lead, where his roles see him working with a diverse variety of people and includes planning, preparing and executing group sessions. In his spare time he enjoys listening to true crime podcasts, singing kitchen karaoke with his French Bulldog and searching for the best burrito in the UK.

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.

Marie Eaves
Stratford Project Support Worker

My name is Marie Eaves and joined the Escape Arts team in April 2024 as a Project Support Worker. 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.

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.