Meet the Team
Fiona Robinson - CEO
Clive Lewis - Chair
Professor Michael A Patton
Patricia Alford Burnett
Newlife Leadership Team
Stephen Morgan – Director of Charitable Services
Tom Lloyd – Director of Supply Chain Operations
Joanna Duggan – Director of Fundraising and Communications
Emma Jackson – Director of Finance and Central Services
Carole Simpson – Head of Retail Stores
Tracy Barlow – Head of HR
Clive Lewis – Chairman
Chairman, River Island Clothing Company Ltd and Joint Managing Director, Lewis Trust Group
Clive qualified as a Barrister in 1979 and spent his entire career with Lewis Trust Group Ltd, parent company of River Island, mainly in real estate, finance and investments until 1994 when he joined River Island. He became CEO from late 1990’s to 2007 and as of January 2008, he became Deputy Chairman at River Island Clothing Co. and Joint Managing Director at Lewis Trust Group Ltd, responsible for retail, non-US real estate, private equity and Fund Investments.
Vanessa is an adult & children’s nurse, having specialised in children’s neurosciences. She has nearly 30 years’ experience within a number of large teaching hospitals working with children with special needs, as well as supporting families in the community providing respite. Vanessa is currently a Director of Nursing at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
Having obtained a degree from Edinburgh University, Chris went on to join Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSHCC), where he was Deputy Director for Major Gift Fundraising. This means he is very much aware of the vital contribution and need Newlife continues to address to support disabled children and families across the UK. Having moved from GOSHCC to set up a new major giving team at the University of Cambridge, Chris is currently CEO of CW+, the charity partner of the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
Nigel has been a charity CEO for over 15 years focusing predominantly in disability, driven by his passion and commitment within the field derived from the experience of having a severely disabled son.
Prior to working in the charity sector, Nigel worked within IT Services for over 25 years delivering many large and complex IT systems and services predominantly in the Public Sector.
Nigel is an experienced leader with a proven track record of leading and managing complex services and delivering change and innovation.
Nigel has been a trustee of Newlife for nearly 6 years and has now taken on the additional responsibility of Interim CEO for the charity as the search for a new CEO continues.
Bernard Lewis OBE
Chairman of River Island Clothing Company Limited Director – Lewis Trust Group LTG Lifelong experience in Retail and Management.
Leonard is Joint founder of Birth Defects Foundation (now Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children) and originator of the brand River Island and MD of River Island to June 1994. He had a traumatic brain injury and became a non-executive strategic director. He is now Board Director of Lewis Family Holdings and a Trustee at James Lewis Foundation.
Professor Michael A Patton
Trustee and Medical Director
Consultant Clinical Geneticist and Professor of Medical Genetics at St Georges. Following a university education at Cambridge and Edinburgh he was appointed at St Georges in 1986 to set up a Regional Genetic Service with clinical and laboratory services for a population of 3 million in SW London, Surrey and West Sussex. He has also run the academic department and has a research interest in birth defects and gene identification in genetic isolates.
Interim Chief Executive Officer
Newlife has appointed Mr D’Arcy Myers as Interim CEO. Coming from a commercial marketing background, D’Arcy has been working in the charity sector for 30 years. He brings with him a wealth of experience in the charity sector, both as an interim and full time CEO. D’Arcy is an active trustee. He was one of the founding trustees for The Small Charities Coalition, has been Chairperson for The Parity Trust and The Charterhouse Group of Therapeutic Communities. He currently chairs both The Smallwood Trust and The Association of Charitable Organisations. D’Arcy has also spent eight years as a secondary school governor. Dedicated to impact with integrity and compassion, he is now helping the charity’s Board of Trustees prepare Newlife for its next steps and the appointment of a new CEO.
Patricia Alford Burnett
Patricia has been actively involved with Newlife since the Charity was launched in 1991 and became a Trustee in 2017. She brings her considerable commercial, retail and marketing skills to her role supporting this charity. A common thread throughout her career has been using great people skills to build strong and capable teams. She has a lot of experience at a very personal level of caring for people with disabilities and dealing with the many practical challenges they continually face. Her drive to improve the lives of anyone at a disadvantage always adds value. Her determination, warmth and proactive demeanor means that in any environment she makes a difference.
Patricia’s retail career has included Chelsea Girl, River island, Sears, CEO Jaeger, CEO of Copenhagen’s department store ILLUM and The White Company. She is currently a Non-Executive Director for the Lifeline IT company, as well as a successful business coach and valued mentor
Kathryn worked for 10 years in parliamentary and governmental affairs, gathering broad experience in practice across Whitehall and Westminster including policy development, legislative procedure, campaigning and Private Office. A career break to focus on her young family followed. It was during this break that she first entered the world of additional needs when her second child was diagnosed with ASD. Having seen at first hand the immense impact of managing those needs for her child, and indeed the whole family, she was delighted to join the Newlife board in January 2020 where she is keen to lend her personal and professional skills to supporting the charity’s mission.
Fiona Robinson joins Newlife from her role as Trading Director at Dobbies Garden Centres. With a retail career spanning more than 30 years, both in the UK and abroad, and including major high street names such as Mothercare and Debenhams, Fiona has consistently played a key role in driving the growth and strategic development of businesses.
Fiona’s retail experience has seen her successfully navigate fast-changing and complex business environments, driving impressive sales and managing the sourcing, buying, and merchandising of thousands of products, as well as running supply chain, logistics, e-commerce, and marketing.
A motivated leader, Fiona takes pride in empowering the teams she works with and leveraging their strengths to improve.