Samaritans volunteers have voted existing chair Jenni McCartney back into office for the next three years. The result was announced at Samaritans annual Council on Saturday (30 September).
At the Council gathering in Stafford, Jenni said:
“I am delighted that I have been given the chance to be involved with Samaritans as chair for three more years – I am looking forward to helping to bring in the exciting changes planned to make our emotional support more accessible to the increasing numbers of people who need us.
“We are making great strides in using technology making our services more accessible and I want to continue this important work.”
Jenni, who has been a listening volunteer for more than 30 years, has held a number of leadership roles at Samaritans, including Basingstoke Branch Director, Regional Partnerships Officer, and Vice Chair of Caller Services. She became chair of Samaritans in January 2015.
Talking about her life as a volunteer, Jenni said:
“It was a revelation to me that just listening could make such a difference. What we do is so simple – one person reaching out a helping hand to someone they don’t know and will probably never meet – yet it is so powerful.”
Jenni was born in Scotland, and moved to Northern Ireland when she married aged 20, then lived for a short time in Germany.
She returned to the UK in 1981 and moved to Basingstoke two years later, and joined Basingstoke Samaritans branch as a volunteer.
During her working life, Jenni had a successful sales career, including 13 years at Oracle Corporation as Account Director for major central Government customers. She retired from full time work in 2006, which gave her time to get more involved in with Samaritans.
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