Our people and how they work together.
Volunteers, staff and branches
There are 201 local Samaritans branches across the UK and Ireland and, in 2018, over 20,000 trained volunteers.
From April 2016, all branches have decided to either go through an incorporation process and affiliate to Samaritans Central Charity or to join Samaritans Central Charity (and no longer be a separate legal entity). Whichever structure they've chosen, this doesn't affect the services they offer. You can read more details about this in our Annual Report.
And Samaritans also employ staff who work with volunteers in areas from accounting to policy to social media to make sure we achieve our vision and mission.
Governance and leadership
Samaritans is a volunteer-led organisation. Jenni McCartney, our Chair of trustees and a volunteer, works together with our CEO, Ruth Sutherland.
They are supported by the board of trustees, which has between 10 and 15 members, at least two thirds of whom are Samaritans.
Jenni McCartney, Chair of trustees and volunteer
Jenni has been Chair of Samaritans since January 2015 and is now serving her second term in the role, having been re-elected in September 2017. She has been a Samaritans volunteer for 35 years. She continues to be a listening volunteer at Basingstoke Samaritans.
Before retiring from full time work in 2006, Jenni had a successful career in sales culminating in 13 years at Oracle Corporation as Account Director for major Central Government customers.
Ruth Sutherland, Chief Executive and volunteer
Ruth was appointed CEO of Samaritans in August 2015. She was the founding Director of the Community Development and Health Network, a charitable membership network committed to addressing inequalities in health and wellbeing in Northern Ireland. Prior to joining Samaritans, Ruth was CEO of Relate and previously held senior executive leadership roles at Rethink, Alzheimer’s Society and Scope.
Ruth is a volunteer at the Bexley and Dartford branch of Samaritans. She has been a Trustee of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts since November 2015.
You can read the full details of Samaritans governance in our most recent Annual Report.