Samaritans Receive Queen's Birthday Honours

Former chair of Samaritan’s trustees Stephen Hoddell has received a CBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list for services to civil society.  Stephen, of Chew Stoke near Bristol, was Chair of Trustees for three years from 2012 to 2014.

Stephen has been a Samaritans volunteer for more than 40 years.  His achievements include overseeing the development and implementation of Samaritan’s six year strategy ‘Taking the Lead to Reduce Suicide’, and planning for a free to caller service for Samaritans.

Stephen supported the introduction of new technology to make the service as accessible as possible, and fostered award-winning partnerships with organisations such as Network Rail, the National Offender Management Service, Google and Facebook.

The partnerships helped to advance Samaritans outreach work such as the Prison Listener scheme and prevention work to reduce suicides on the railways, and helped to support strategies to help keep people safe online.

During his time as chair, Samaritans produced its ground-breaking research into Men, Suicide and Society which examined the reasons why middle-aged working class men are at greater risk of suicide, the National Suicide Prevention Alliance was launched, and the numbers contacting Samaritans increased to more than five million.

Chief Executive at Samaritans, Catherine Johnstone, said, “Stephen’s hard work and vision has laid excellent foundations to take Samaritans forward as we embark on an exciting new chapter.  Samaritans provides an essential service to people who are struggling to cope and I am very proud that Stephen, and two other Samaritans volunteers, Simon and Margaret, have received this well-deserved recognition in the Queen’s birthday honours.”

Cardiff Samaritans’ chair and former Liberal Democrat minister Simon Hughes received a knighthood and Margaret Smith, 91, a volunteer with Aberdeen Samaritans, was given the British Empire Medal.


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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Sue Royal in the Samaritans’ Press Office on 020 8394 8348

Notes to editors:

  • Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year. We provide a safe place for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they feel, whatever life has done to them. Please call 116 123, email, or visit to find details of the nearest branch.