Scotland’s leading suicide prevention charity, Samaritans Scotland, is set to welcome Amanda Millar as the new Scotland Committee Chair. Amanda will also be appointed the Scotland Trustee for Samaritans UK and Ireland when she joins the organisation on 30 March.
Amanda – the first solicitor in Scotland accredited by the Law Society in both Mental Health Law and Incapacity & Mental Disability Law – brings a wealth of experience in leadership and influencing to Samaritans, most recently from her time as President of the Law Society of Scotland.
She is experienced across many of the sectors in which Samaritans works through both her professional and volunteer expertise.
She has been a past Chair of Mindspace Ltd and a previous member of the SCVO policy committee. She also has a high-profile commitment to issues of equity and diversity, which includes her current position chairing an EDI expert Advisory Group for IoD Scotland.
She replaces Natalie Stevenson, who has been Scotland Trustee and Committee Chair since 2019 and has worked with volunteers and staff to oversee an increase in Samaritans’ presence in Scotland and has helped steer the organisation in Scotland and across the UK & Ireland through the COVID pandemic.
Amanda joins Samaritans at an important time for the organisation, which is about to launch its UK & Ireland Strategy for the coming five years, and particularly for Scotland as it prepares to implement its new strategic delivery plan.
“I am delighted to be joining such an important and purposeful organisation which has a powerful role to play in civil society. I’m grateful to Natalie for all the work she has done to set Samaritans in Scotland on such a positive course.
“Samaritans offers support when people are often at their lowest ebb and seeks to influence policymakers through sharing knowledge and expertise to prevent suicide and self-harm. I am thrilled to be joining the ranks of the many Samaritans volunteers who deliver much of the organisation’s vital work.
“I look forward to Chairing the Scotland Committee and, as Trustee, contributing to the governance of the organisation across five nations to make a positive contribution to civil society in its work to achieve the vision that fewer people die suicide.”
Rachel Cackett, Executive Director of Samaritans Scotland, noted:
“The last three years have been a time of enormous change and I would like to thank Natalie for all she has done to support the development of Samaritans’ Scottish presence, in local communities and in national forums.
“As we move into an important new chapter for Samaritans, setting out our new direction of travel from April, I am really looking forward to working with Amanda as she takes up her role as Scotland Chair and Trustee.
“Her lived commitment to volunteering, to mental wellbeing and human rights, and to equity, diversity and inclusion will be so important to our volunteers and staff – in Scotland and beyond – as we ensure that, as Samaritans, we are there for those who are struggling to cope.”
Outgoing Chair and Trustee, Natalie Stevenson, said:
“Over the last three years it has been a pleasure and an honour to serve as Scotland Trustee and Committee Chair, as Samaritans Scotland has changed and adapted to the COVID situation and built on increasing opportunities in Scotland to improve suicide prevention.
“I would like to thank all the volunteers and staff at Samaritans who have come on this journey and am delighted to welcome Amanda to the organisation.”