Meet the board

The board, along with the Managing Director and Service Quality Director, prepare Thera East for the future whilst ensuring the quality of what we do every day.

Neil Yeomans


Neil has recently retired having spent over 30 years working in audit and accounting for one of the largest global professional services firms and was a partner for the last 20 years.
He has travelled extensively and worked in Australia for 2 years and Poland for 3 years. Neil is a qualified Chartered Accountant and as well as having skills in financial management and control, he has experience in project management, risk management and governance.
Neil has a number of other charitable and voluntary roles, including being a school governor, which are based on providing equality of opportunity and care and support for people with a learning disability. He also acts as a mentor to university students and business start-up entrepreneurs.

Sally Carpenter

Non-Executive Director

Sally is an experienced public relations consultant who has worked in the financial sector, in food production and in the hospitality industry in the UK and overseas. As an occasional trainer, she has encourages people to build their confidence by working on their personal presentation skills and learning about the media. Her interests include walking by water, the garden, developing recipes and arranging church flowers.

Jenny Garrigan

Non-Executive Director

Jenny's day job is an executive director for Thera Trust where she shares her Quality and Involvement role with Matthew Smith, who brings his lived experience of learning disability to the role alongside his work in advocacy. Jenny was born and brought up in Angus, Scotland and qualified as a nurse (RNLD) in Dundee the mid 1980s. Since then, she has worked in both health and social care. Throughout her career, Jenny has focussed on working with people to developed their opportunities and move on from institutional care

Brenda McLoughlin

Managing Director

Brenda joined Thera East as the Managing Director in May 2018 having had 6 years of working in a Senior Management Role for another Learning Disabilities Support provider. Previously she spent 11 years working as a Human Resources and Business Consultant. Brenda ardently believes that people we support should have choice and control over their lives and where they live. She is committed to providing person centered support and to delivering Thera’s vision.

Graham Skidmore

Service Quality Director

Graham has been a Service Quality Director for 10 years. He works alongside the Managing Director to run the company with the Thera East board. Graham and his Executive Assistant, Bridie, visit people supported by Thera East to make sure they are happy with their support and share helpful information with them.

Dries de Coster

Non-Executive Director

Dries has built his career in the software industry, most recently helping organisations to implement their Digital Transformation strategy in the verticals of Health & Social Care, Not For Profit and Hospitality. Having moved to the UK from Belgium, Dries enjoys sport, playing football, tennis and having run a couple of marathons. Most of his spare time is taken up by his 3 young children. With a direct family member affected, the Trust’s vision to support people with a learning disability in becoming leaders in society is something very close to his heart.

Louise Duffield

Non-Executive Director

Louise has over 15 years experience of building brands and restoring revenue & profit in retail, luxury goods and technology settings. Currently, she coaches C-Level executives on the importance of personal branding and delivers optimized LinkedIn profiles on their behalf.
Louise holds a BA in Modern History & Politics, and an LLB from the University of Law in London Bloomsbury. Louise also completed the Legal Practice Course (LPC) in 2015.
Louise has lived experience of disability and is passionate about shaping the future and breaking down the barriers with diversity & inclusion. Louise believes that everyone has the chance to be a leader and that leaders and boards need to become more reflective and representative of the society we live in today.