Meet theLeadershipTeam

Craig Crowley
Craig Crowley


Chief Executive since 2005

Craig has pioneered many prominent leadership and management positions over the past 25 years within the Deaf and Disability Sectors, obtaining an MBE in recognition of his work. Craig is Honorary President of UK Deaf Sport and Trustee of Royal School for the Deaf, Derby.  A Deaflympian, he also served as the 8th President of Deaflympics 2009-2013.

LinkedIn Profile:

Jim Robertson

Head of Finance

Head of Finance since 2011
Jim has spent 30 years in finance and management within the voluntary and private sectors. Jim has undertaken auditing and financial services roles and was the Finance Director for Rich Mix in East London before moving to Action Deafness in 2011.
Nigel Cleaver
Nigel Cleaver

Head of Interpreting

Head of Interpreting since 2013
Nigel is a qualified and registered Sign Language Interpreter who has extensive experience in lecturing and training. He is a Fellow of ASLI (Association of Sign Language Interpreters) and a former Board member of WASLI (World Association of Sign Language Interpreters).
Mhairi Simpson

Community Business Manager

Community Business Manager since 2013
Mhairi worked for Places for People in Nottingham City. Since joining AD she has significant experience at all levels within the Community & Care Team, being instrumental in its continued growth. She is a qualified BSL Tutor and has previously worked as a Youth Worker.
Steve Crump
Head of Business Innovation
Head of Business Innovation since 2021

Steve is an experienced senior executive who has worked for both statutory and voluntary sectors in UK and abroad. He is the founder and trustee chair of Deafkidz International.

Chris Harrison

Service Manager

Service Manager since 2019
Chris is a qualified BSL Interpreter and trained Benefits Adviser. He has worked for educational establishments and in the voluntary sector as an employment adviser and employment manager.
Karen Draper

Finance & Admin Manager

Finance & Admin Manager since 2020
Karen is an accountant who has extensive experience in both public and private financial accounting and has worked in educational establishments and charitable organisations.
Charlotte Jefferies

HR & Communications Manager

HR & Communications Manager since 2019
Charlotte is a qualified HR Manager who worked for a large telecommunications company before joining Deaf Direct. Charlotte joined AD following the merger with Deaf Direct in 2019.
Paul Redfern

Community Business Manager

Compliance & Training Manager since 2020 (Maternity Cover)
Paul is an experienced senior manager who has worked for the British Deaf Association. He took the role of Community Business Manager during Mhairi’s maternity leave period. He is currently the general secretary of BSMHD (British Association of Mental Health & Deafness)
Martin Anderson

Community Registered Manager

Community Registered Manager since 2017
Martin joined AD as the Community Assistant Manager after having previously worked in residential care for older people with dementia. Martin’s customer focused ethos and people management skills led to a promotion to Registered Manager in 2018.
Emma Phillips

Interpreting Operations Manager

Interpreting Operations Manager since 2020
Emma is a qualified and registered British Sign Language Interpreter, who joined Action Deafness in 2006 from Sense where she was Support Worker. Appointed Operations Manager in 2020.
Kate Hulbert

Interpreting Bookings Manager

Interpreting Bookings Manager since 2018
Katie joined AD in 2016 as a Bookings Co-ordinator. Demonstrating excellent customer service and administrative skills, Katie was promoted to Communications Interpreting Bookings Manager in 2018. She has previous experience in childcare/education and the training industry.
Amanda Penkoks

Equipment Manager

Equipment Manager since 2019
Amanda worked for Deaf Direct as Corporate & Governance Manager and previous to that, was the Personal Assistant to the CEO. Now Amanda works as the Equipment Manager following the merger with AD in 2019.