Aileen Hammersley has been appointed as the new Director for Samaritans of Derby and District.
Aileen steps into the Director’s shoes taking over from previous Branch Director Mathew Shepherd whose three-year tenure ended in March 2019.
The branch is in capable hands as Aileen brings with her a wealth of experience to the role. She enjoyed a long and successful career with the University of Derby progressing from a lecturer in the Business School to Director of School leading the development of partnerships and flexible learning initiatives. After leaving the University Aileen started up her own company as a consultant for higher education in the private and public sector.
Aileen has been a Samaritans volunteer since 2012, she continues to be a listening volunteer at the Derby branch. Upon starting her new role, she says, “I feel very honoured to become the Director of the Branch. When taking on a new role there is no better organisation than Samaritans, we support each other as well as callers”
As Director, Aileen will take on the responsibility to oversee all functions and operations involved in the running of the branch. This includes the quality of their service to callers, the recruitment, retention and development of volunteers, financial sustainability of the branch and raising awareness of the Samaritans service. She adds, “Derby Samaritans is run entirely by volunteers and relies on public donations and sponsorships to remain financially operational. I have ambitious plans to increase the profile of Derby Samaritans in the City through developing more partnerships to give us wider access to callers, the potential to attract new volunteers and support for our sustainability.”
With exciting plans to take Derby Samaritans forward, Aileen reassures callers that nothing changes to the branch’s core service, “All of our volunteers will continue to give their very best to support our callers. If you are somebody who is struggling to cope and need someone to listen without judgement or pressure, then Samaritans are here for you.”