Meet the board

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

Phil Younge


Phil joined the Thera North Board in May 2018 as a non Executive Director, keen to help support those with a learning disability. Phil, a chartered engineer, spent his whole career working in the public sector on environmental improvements and retired as a Deputy Director in the Environment Agency at the end of 2019. He became the chair of Thera North in September 2020.

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

Frances Affleck

Non-Executive Director

Frances has lived experience of having a learning disability and co-worked as a project co-ordinator for CHANGE, a leading campaigning rights organisation, for 14 years. She researched and wrote 2 Easy Read books on how to be a good parent. She has also developed resources and training for employers, police and other front line services. Frances is an experienced Train the Trainer facilitator and has worked with Thera North to make their training more inclusive for the people they support.

Craig Sutherland

Managing Director

Craig is passionate about empowering people to have an ordinary life and for them to be in control of how and where they live and the support that they receive. Craig started his career as a support worker in 2002, working his way up to Director of Development after roles in operations and person centred planning. In 2015 he moved to a major health and welfare charity as Head of Operations and was responsible for a range of services across the Northwest and Midlands. Craig joined Thera North in 2017 and is looking forward to working with the local teams to continue providing excellent support.

Andrew Bright

Service Quality Director

Andrew has over 25 years’ experience working to promote advocacy and rights. As a person with lived experience of having a learning disability, Andrew's role is to act as a leader of the company to ensure that the voices of people we support are heard and represented. He supports the Managing Director and Board of Directors in ensuring that people get the best and most empowering support

Natalie Lewis

Non-Executive Director

Natalie is a Human Resources Consultant and Certified Member of the CIPD. Alongside her HR consultancy, Natalie also volunteers in her local community. Natalie joined the Thera North board in 2020 as she was keen to support Thera make a difference to the lives of people with learning disabilities. Having moved to Cumbria with her family, Natalie loves spending time with her menagerie of pets and poultry, walking in the mountains and running, with the whole family (& our dog) enjoying Parkrun.

Neil Dumoulin

Non-Executive Director

Neil, foremost a family man with four children, is a commercially minded finance professional with over 20 years of experience. He has worked for major Plcs and SMEs, his skills adding most value to the SME market where he is able to really effect positive hands-on change to any business beyond just financial numbers. Neil sought out and then was pleased to accept the role as Non-Executive Director to Thera North, as he wanted to be able to give back to the community using his financial experience, but moreover for the role Thera North plays in the lives of the people supported and the positive impact the charity has made, and continues to make across the UK.

Mark Whitaker

Non-Executive Director

Mark had a full career in the Army working in the fields of: logistics, technical project management and counter-terrorist bomb disposal. He then left to spend some ten years in consultancy - 7 years with a geopolitical/risk management firm and 3 years with consulting engineers. Latterly he worked for Transport for London's (TfL) Surface Transport (8 years) managing operations and infrastructure (covering: roads, tunnels, events/incidents and schemes/works). He is delighted to be involved with Thera North due to the great work they do and given his personal experience as a carer.