Meet the board

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

Christopher Evans


Chris Evans joined the Thera South West board as a non-executive director in September 2016 and became chair in April 2017. Chris was formerly a deputy director in the Department for Work and Pensions. He also works as a volunteer at his local Citizens Advice Bureau.

Estelle Christmas

Managing Director

In 1987 Estelle started out as a care assistant in a learning disability hospital.
Soon after she trained as a Nurse specialising in the support and care for adults with a learning disability and has never looked back.
In the ensuing thirty plus years Estelle has worked in variety of settings including residential provisions, opportunities, and employment through to supporting people residing within their own homes.
Estelle completed an MBA at Henley Business School, combing study with full time work and graduated in 2018.
Estelle applied for the Managing Director role in Thera having been inspired by the vision of the company “Thera will show that people with a learning disability can be leaders in society”.
It is Estelle’s aim to build upon the already fantastic work that Thera South West does and ensure that the vision is realised in the most meaningful way possible.

Sammy Avery

Service Quality Director

Sammy previously worked in a day centre from 2012 until 2020 for people with a learning disability and was also a safe places champion. In 2020, Sammy started working as an advocate for people with a learning disability and autism. This is especially important to her as she herself is a person of lived experience with having a learning disability and autism. Sammy was first supported by home group and then they then asked her to volunteer for them to do customer promise assessments.
She enjoys dancing and attends dance groups when she can, loves art and making new friends. Sammy started working for Thera South West in February 2024 as our Service Quality Director. She’s especially enjoying visiting the people supported and as a part of the Thera South West management team, she can make a direct impact and give lived experience point of view to help make a difference.

Graham Belgum

Independent Director

Graham Belgum served for 23 years as an engineer in the British Army, being responsible for all the Army’s Challenger Main Battle Tanks, being a Company Commander at Sandhurst and a member of the directing staff at Staff College. After retiring as Lieutenant Colonel, Graham worked within business development for First Group PLC overseeing their turnaround centred on improving reliability of 9,600 bus fleet across 100 depots.

Before joining Thera in 2018, Graham was appointed President (and then CEO) of Optare to lead their transformation and electrification program. Graham has now moved on and runs his own ‘green’ business called Journey Green Ltd, helping companies on their journey to Net Zero. Graham is Thera South West's Independent Director helping grow company membership and develop future leaders with learning disabilities so that those we support determine their own quality of life and have a ‘great life’.

Peter Hawkins

Non Executive Director

My name is Peter Hawkins and I come from Weymouth. I joined Thera as a Non-Executive Director three years ago and I enjoy my role. My hobbies are playing the piano and socialising with my friends. I really like to be involved with helping people with a learning disability.

Sue Wotruba

Non-Executive Director

Sue’s early career was in the IT industry holding senior HR roles for IBM UK and SAP UK. She later moved into consultancy working on organisational development and change for Accenture, Crane Davies and Penna plc.
Sue now runs her own consultancy business working with senior leaders and their teams to build individual and collective capability and capacity. She is a fellow of the CIPD, a member of the British Psychological Society and a qualified Executive and Team Coach.

Rohan Byles

Non-Executive Director

Rohan has more than fifteen years’ experience developing contracting and employment solutions for the labour supply chain, from Finance and Operations to Software Development and Implementation. Rohan founded successful businesses in events, technology and payroll, and supported construction, recruitment and payroll businesses through periods of rapid growth.

Rohan currently serves as CFO for the RCADA Group, a business he co-founded, which specialises in umbrella, PEO and outsourced payroll, and small business accounting.

Rohan is a keen open-water swim, completing the Channel Crossing in 2016.

Pamal Sharma

Non-Executive Director

Lorna Weston

Non-Executive Director