Hello, my name is Paul Tolley and I have the privilege of being the Chief Executive Officer at New Directions, a local charity based in Rugby, Warwickshire which supports over 100 vulnerable people on a daily basis to live as independently as possible. I took over the role in November 2019 and have been so impressed with the dedication, energy and passion of all of our staff who live our values and provide the highest possible care and support for our tenants and service-users.

Since joining the Charity, it became immediately obvious to me that the range and diversity of support that we offer is not always fully understood, even by those who we believe know us well. From respite support; providing breaks that support disabled people and carers alike, to providing residential accommodation and supported living options, every service we provide is tailored to those living their lives how they choose to and attaining greater independence.

In April 2020 we will open Queen’s Court which will expand the model of independent living apartments in the very centre of Rugby established with the opening of King’s Court in April 2019. These apartments so often represent a new lease of life for vulnerable people who are sometimes leaving the family home for the first time or moving from an institutional setting.

Queen’s Court in Development – Opening April 2020

King’s Court – opened April 2019

For some, our high quality houses in the appropriately named ‘Park Lane’ are more suitable and provide a more homely setting for their own ‘front door’.

Park Lane Accommodation

For those with increasing and higher support needs, Poppy Place, our Architect-designed facility enables our residents to continue to live as independently as possible when their physical or health needs increase.

Poppy Place Residential Home

Richmond Court provides the perfect balance between a Traditional and Modern setting and situated on the edge of the Town Centre provides easy access to all of the amenities that rugby has to offer.

Richmond Court Supported Living Accommodation

As a local resident of Rugby, [my commute to work is now a gruelling two minute walk from my front door], I only knew of a fraction of the work carried out by the charity. When being interviewed for the role, I was given a tour of the various services and premises owned and provided and I was absolutely blown away by the care, love and supportive environments that are palpable when walking in to any one of our services.

As someone who has a family member with complex disabilities and having a background in disability rights and independent living, I knew immediately that this was a Charity where I wanted to work, could help make a difference and would never experience that dreaded ‘Monday morning’ feeling again.

Since taking up the role, one of the easiest decisions to make was considering a letter from WMEmployers asking whether we would consent to being the charity of the year for 2020. The opportunity comes from the fact that all of our services are based in Rugby. we are currently one of three local charities in Rugby to be recognised and championed as the Mayor of Rugby’s Charities and of course Rugby Borough Council won the Team of the Year Award in 2018.

I cannot wait to be presenting the Team of the Year award to the successful team on the 30th April. I want to thank you all in advance for your fundraising efforts which will aid us in providing access to additional support and resources that help increase the independence and quality of life for those that we support.