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Ruth Sutherland CBE

Ruth holds a number of senior Board roles which she has taken on since stepping down as CEO of Samaritans UK & Ireland in November 2020 after five years, including Chair of the Board at Salford based social enterprise, Social adVentures.

Ruth initially trained as a Registered General Nurse but has spent the majority of her career in community development and public health roles. Returning to learn Ruth holds a double first class degree in Sociology and Social Administration from Warwick University and later a Master’s degree in Health Promotion from the University of Ulster.  Ruth was the founding Director of the Community Development and Health Network, a charitable membership network committed to addressing inequalities in health in Northern Ireland.  Prior to joining Samaritans, Ruth was CEO of Relate and has previously held senior executive leadership roles at Rethink, Alzheimer’s Society and Scope. Throughout her career Ruth has had a sustained interest in addressing inequalities in health and has worked for social justice particularly with marginalised and vulnerable groups.

Ruth is also a listening Volunteer at the Bexley and Dartford branch of Samaritans.

She has been a Trustee of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts since November 2015 and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Ruth was awarded the Royal College of Psychiatry President’s Medal for services to people with mental illness in 2019 and received the CBE in the New Year’s Honours 2020 for service to vulnerable people.