Our autumn 2022 update showcases what the Samaritans Scotland team and our volunteers have been up to over the last three months to help ensure fewer people die by suicide in Scotland.
What have we been up to in autumn 2022?
New Executive Director
Neil Mathers has joined the Samaritans Scotland team as our new Executive Director. Neil joins us from the learning and wellbeing organisation, Curiosity Collective, where he was Chief Executive. Neil recently hosted ‘Get to Know’ sessions for volunteers to meet with him and the rest of the staff team and is looking forward to being out visiting our branches in the coming months.
Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Project
The pilot branches taking part in our EDI project are well underway planning their work to improve diversity & inclusion for their volunteers. They will be working with Evaluation Support Scotland to produce a guide to support all our branches with this work in their communities early next year.
West Highland & Skye Connections
We have continued to connect with local communities, online and in person, across West Highlands and Skye. The project has also developed great links with organisations such as Lochaber Chamber of Commerce who hosted our visit from Mental Wellbeing Minister, Kevin Stewart, in November.
Volunteers at Dunfermline Samaritans marked a five-year association with Dunfermline Athletic FC with an awareness day at the Fife Derby game against Kelty Hearts. A bucket collection outside the stadium also raised over £430 for the Dunfermline branch.
Dundee Samaritans recently established a link with Lochee Community Larder, to provide drop-in sessions for service users and foodbank volunteers to pick up signposting material and grab a chat in their café area with our listening volunteers.
Suicide Prevention Strategy
The Scottish Government and COSLA launched Scotland’s new Suicide Prevention Strategy for 2022-2033, titled ‘Creating Hope Together’ in September. Earlier this year we published our own vision for the strategy, and we have since worked with The Scottish Government and colleagues across the sector to shape the new strategy.