New chief executive for Samaritans

Jeremy hughes

Jeremy Hughes will join the charity later this year 

17th January 2020 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

The Samaritans has appointed a new chief executive.

Jeremy Hughes will join the charity in May. He has spent years 10 as CEO of the Alzheimer’s Society, where he worked ceaselessly to better lives of people with dementia, including overseeing the creation of the National Dementia Declaration with the Dementia Action Alliance, which informed the 2012 PM Challenge on Dementia.

Hughes is taking over the reins from current Samaritans chief executive Ruth Sutherland, who has been with the charity since 2015. Sutherland announced her intention to pursue a portfolio career and family-focused life in October 2019 after a 40-year career in third sector and public sector roles, which recently earnt her the prestige of a CBE for her service to vulnerable people in the Queen’s 2020 New Year Honours. 

Hughes said: “I feel enormously privileged to be appointed the new chief executive of Samaritans, and I am committed to build on all the work of recent years. Never has the need for Samaritans been greater. The dedication and expertise of volunteers and staff are a model many other charities aspire to.”

The new boss joins as Samaritans commences its new strategic planning cycle. His aim is to ensure Samaritans remains relevant and accessible to those going through a difficult time and is even more inclusive and diverse. Hughes will lead the organisation through its next period of growth and innovation and make sure it has a sustainable service that will be here to support anyone now and in the future.

Jenni McCartney, chair of Samaritans, said: “I am delighted to welcome Jeremy to Samaritans. He brings with him a wealth of experience from the voluntary sector, and a passion for what we do. Over the last five years, Samaritans has achieved some significant positive changes under Ruth’s leadership, including improvements in our infrastructure, service offering, visibility and influence. Jeremy joins at an exciting time for us and I look forward to working with him to build on our recent successes to ensure that we achieve our mission that fewer people die by suicide.”