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.

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

Simon Conway

Non-Executive Director

Simon Conway studied classical archaeology at university before starting his career with the National Audit Office. He has worked in local government and in the NHS, where he has worked in both acute and community health trusts, latterly as Finance Director. Simon has also been a voluntary director for a number of housing organisations before working for Thera Trust.

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.

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.