Meet our staff

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.

Billy Tothill-Gibbs

Personal Assistant

Billy previously worked as an NHS administrator, supporting nurses transferring patients from acute hospitals to community hospitals from 2015 – 2024. She has worked closely with multi-disciplinary teams, social workers and members of the Intermediate Care Bureaux. Billy was drawn to Thera’s values, especially in encouraging having a person-centred approach to the people supported. She started working as the Personal Assistant for the Managing Director of Thera Southwest in January 2024. She has found that working for Thera has helped her gain more perspective for people with a learning disability, as the sector is completely different after coming from an NHS background of nearly 9 years. She especially feels like a valued member of a close-knit team, where everyone is welcomed with open arms.

Annie Leinster

Operational Manager

Annie has worked in health and social care since 1989 including local authority, not for profit and charitable organisations, progressing her career through different job roles. Annie's passion is to ensure that people with learning disability not only have a voice but that we listen to it and take action to ensure their views are heard. She has a particular interest in Autism and has also gained extensive knowledge surrounding people's medication and health and wellbeing. Annie has been an Operational Manager with Thera South West since February 2014, to which she is able to contribute her knowledge and experience as well as learning new skills along the way. Most importantly, Annie is able to work with the people we support to ensure they are receiving great quality support in the way that they choose.

Charlotte Tinham

Operational Manager

Charlotte has worked in the health and social care sector for the last 10 years, since graduating from university. Starting out as a mental health recovery worker, she has a passion for helping individuals live a life they love. She has extensive knowledge and experience managing support for people with different needs, including mental health. Charlotte has previously worked for a non for profit organisation as a Learning Disability Supported Living Manager, alongside working as a listening volunteer for the Samaritans. Charlotte joined Thera South West in January 2018 as a Community Support Leader and undertook her level 5 diploma in leadership and management in 2020. She is now the Operational Manager for the Wiltshire area and strives to ensure that the people we support receive the highest quality support to live the life they choose.

Nina Tuffey

Operational Manager

Nina has worked within the health and social sector for over 27 years, the last 20 years have been with Thera.
Nina has had several roles with Thera Southwest and Thera Trust. Developing skills as a support worker, line manager and project manager. In her current role Nina covers the Devon and Dorset areas.
In 2010 Nina was involved with supporting people transfer from residential care into supported living. A project that’s supported over 20 people with a learning disability finally get to choose where they live and who they lived with.
Nina is not only committed to supporting people with a learning disability feel valued within society and have control over their own lives, but is also committed to ensuring the staff who work for Thera Southwest feel valued, supported and given the opportunity to develop skills further.