Operational Network Managers

Our Operational Network Managers ensure that the support provided across all services within Future Directions is of the highest quality.

Meet the Operational Network Managers who make a real positive difference to people’s lives.

Lisa Bennett

Operational Network Manager, North Manchester.

Lisa has worked for Future Directions for over two decades. She started as a Personal Assistant in Stockport then progressed to Team Manager for 12 years, before becoming an Operational Network Manager for North Manchester.

Over the years, she has developed an understanding of the importance of assisting people we support to maintain and safeguard their independence, dignity and respect. To this end she recognises and values the different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, whilst maintaining individual requirements.

Her knowledge and experience of working in the community and organisational and leadership skills enable her to work at her best, as she continues to seek out ways to innovate and support her peers in developing the service.

Naomi Guinnane

Operational Network Manager, South Manchester.

Naomi is a qualified social worker who has worked in the health and social care sector for over sixteen years, six of these have been spent at working for Future Directions. She has worked across various areas of the organisation in different leadership roles and prior to this worked as a support worker.
She has supported individuals with learning disabilities, autism, mental health needs, as well as individuals with complex health needs.

Naomi is very passionate about the coaching and mentoring of her staff teams, to ensure that we ‘live and breathe’ the Future Directions values. To Naomi, her role is extremely rewarding, in ensuring everyone has the opportunity to achieve given outcomes in line with delivering excellent support and giving the people we support the best lives possible.

Jane Appleton

Operational Network Manager, Trafford.

Jane has worked within the Health and Social Care sector for over 25 years. She started her career as a support worker back in 1997 supporting adults with Learning Disabilities, Autism, Epilepsy and other complex health conditions. From 1999 onwards she went into various management roles from Deputy Team Manager to Team Manager. In 2017, Jane went into the Deputy Operational Network Manager role. Four years later, she went into the Operational Network Manager role for Trafford.

Jane has a Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management. She has worked in the Trafford area for approximately 20 years and really enjoys her role. Especially when she sees the people we support with a smile on their faces living ‘Their Best Lives’.

Darren Hopper

Operational Network Manager, Trafford.

Darren has worked in the care industry since late 2010 covering all different types of care.

He has worked with children in care with emotional behaviour difficulties for 5 years undertaking his level 3 caring for young people award. He was also part of an “outstanding team” given by Ofsted for the positive outcomes provided for the young people within his care.

Darren then went onto working in a pupil referral unit with key stage 3 pupils with emotional behaviour difficulties for 2 years to develop his skills in a different setting. Then moving on to management in 2018 where he managed services with adults with learning difficulties specialising in autism, challenging behaviour and mental health. After that Darren progressed to senior manager in 2020 completing his level 5 diploma in adult social care achieving a ‘distinction’ award.

Darren has been with Future Directions since early March 2023 where he’s been developing services to help make the people we support have great lives. 

Jennifer McDaid

Operational Network Manager, Rochdale

Jennifer has worked in Health and Social Care for eighteen years, starting out as a Support Worker in a residential home. She has held various roles throughout her career, completing Level 2, 3 and 5 Health and Social Care Diplomas, a Training and Education Award and the Leadership Way courses. These have enhanced her professional experience and boosted her leadership skills. She has twelve years Social Care Management experience, managing supported living services.

Jennifer has overall operational responsibility of delivering services for adults with physical, learning and autistic spectrum conditions and individuals with complex needs across Rochdale and Oldham. She loves working as part of a team to deliver high quality person centred services to each of the individuals that we support.

Simon Hitchen

Operational Network Manager, Stockport.

Simon has worked in the Health and Social Care sector for over twenty years in a wide range of roles. He has helped to support people with learning disabilities, autism, and mental health needs as well with complex health needs in both home settings as well as clinical settings.

With several years’ experience as a support worker he has the passion and drive to help to support people to live great lives. This has shaped his personal and professional ethos, seen in his managerial approach to help to shape cultures and promote Future Directions values to drive success for the people we support and the staff teams.

He is driven to drive diversity and equality within the workplace and continue to create a culture which inspires.

Dave Ferrier

Assistant Director of Operations, Specialist Services Manchester

Michelle Brierley

Operational Network Manager, Rochdale, Riverbeal and West Yorkshire

Michelle has worked in Health and Social Care for over twenty years, starting her career as a Support Worker initially working with the elderly with Mental Health problems in an Outreach capacity. She has progressed within Future Directions, working her way up to Operational Network Manager Position where she oversees the Outreach service, Riverbeal Extra Care and Bradford Supported Living.

Michelle is a team player and is very passionate about her work, striving for the best outcomes for the people we support – making a real difference in their lives. She focuses on the positives and sees solutions rather than problems. Michelle stays calm in difficult situations, providing reassurance to the staff team as well as people we support.

Gemma Corrigan

Service Manager, Residential Services, Stanley Grange

Gemma has worked in social care for over ten years, the majority of which being spent at Stanley Grange. She started as a bank support worker and has worked with a variety of additional needs such as learning disabilities, autism, mental health support needs, dementia and palliative care. Gemma also has a keen interest in person centred care and believes this should be implemented in everything we do. She is also an advocate for active support and promoting independence.

Over the years, she has supported everyone in all of the houses at Stanley Grange. In her new role as Residential Registered Manager she looks forward to spending time in each of the houses once again.

Sarah Dyas

Specialist Services Operational Network Manager, Stanley Grange Fountains and Oakview

Sarah is a qualified Learning Disability Nurse with over eleven years nursing experience. She has worked for Future Directions CIC for six years and has qualifications in Level 5 Management and Leadership and the mentorship programme to support student nurses within the work place. Sarah is also a trainer for the company in delivering Epilepsy training.

She has experience of working within forensic backgrounds and hospital settings, though finds her current role extremely rewarding. This means she is able to support individuals within the community safely and ensure that they have a great life. Sarah is also passionate about promoting the independence of the people we support alongside our company values.

Sarah Manta

Operational Network Manager, East Lancashire

Sarah has worked in social care since 2009. She began her career working in hospital settings, prior to moving over to community supported living. She started off as a support worker, progressing to Deputy Team Manager, Team Manager, Deputy Network Manager and now Network Manager for Lancashire. Her professional qualifications include a Level 5 in Leadership and Management and she has supported people with a variety of additional needs such as Learning Disabilities, Autism and Mental Health.

Sarah is very passionate about my job, loves working for Future Directions CIC and working as part of a team.

Michelle McInally

Oakview and Fountains (Specialist Services) Service Manager

Michelle has worked within adult social care for fifteen years supporting adults with learning disabilities, autism and other additional needs. She started her career as a support worker and has taken on many different roles over the fifteen years leading up to her role as Registered Manager.

Throughout her career in Health and Social Care, she has always been a firm advocate of person centred ways of working and helping people live a life they chose. She finds her role very rewarding and feels lucky to support some amazing people. She believes that being able to give people a ‘voice’ and to be heard is very important – especially for their mental health and wellbeing.