This vacancy has now closed

External trustees wanted

  • Management Board
  • Unpaid
  • Edinburgh
  • Closing 26th November 2022

  • Advertised from 9th November 2022


Samaritans’ vision is that fewer people die by suicide.

Edinburgh Samaritans is a registered Scottish charity which is a branch of Samaritans, a charity which operates throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Edinburgh Samaritans, based at 25 Torphichen Street, Edinburgh, EH3 8HX, aims to be open to telephone callers 24/7, 365 days a year.

Around 21,000 inbound calls were taken in 2022/2021. We also offer emotional support via email and online chat, and hope to be able to re-open to face-to-face callers soon, that service having been suspended during the pandemic. Volunteers are involved in outreach in schools & communities and supporting listening schemes in two prisons.

The branch is run almost entirely by our 190 volunteers including fundraising, training, marketing, IT, property maintenance, health & safety.

Samaritans Central Charity policies and procedures are followed where applicable.

In 2020 the Branch opened a charity shop, the first in Scotland and already our largest source of income. The shop is managed by a full-time manager, two assistant managers and a team of volunteers.

The objects of Edinburgh Samaritans are:

  • To enable persons in Edinburgh and the Lothians and the surrounding area as well as elsewhere who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those who may be at risk of suicide, to receive confidential emotional support at any time of the day or night in order to improve their emotional health and to reduce the incidence of suicide.
  • To promote better public understanding of suicide, suicidal behaviour and the value of being able to talk to someone to express feelings which might otherwise lead to suicidal thoughts or impaired mental health.
  • To collaborate with and support Samaritans Central Charity (SCC) and its affiliated branches in fulfilling these objectives.

New trustee roles

The Board is seeking two external trustees who:

  • Are supportive of Samaritans vision and objects.
  • Will provide support in effective operation of the branch.
  • Can assist in delivering the Samaritans Strategy 2022-2027 and Strategic Delivery Plan for Scotland.
  • Will bring a fresh outside view to thinking and decision-making.
  • Will help ensure compliance with principles of good governance including observing charity law and our constitution.
  • Are financially aware and, ideally, have understanding of charity accounts.
  • Are team players.
  • Ideally have experience of charity trusteeship and governance.

In particular we seek:

  • One trustee with skills/experience in management of a charity shop.
  • One trustee with skills/experience in HR/personnel management.

What being a trustee means for you:

  • The opportunity to make a valuable contribution to the charity and also support and encourage a dedicated group of volunteers.
  • Develop your own skills and experience in the charity sector.
  • Expected to prepare for attend and contribute thoughtfully and constructively to Trustee meetings.
  • You may be asked to join short-term working groups to complete specific tasks.
  • Attend quarterly meetings of the Shop Management Committee, which has delegated powers.
  • You will require suitable facilities to attend meetings remotely.
  • Position is unpaid but reasonable expenses will be met.
  • Requirement to complete mandatory trustee training online.
  • Appointment may be subject to PVG certification and clearance by Samaritans Central Charity.

Additional information:

Latest annual report available by email request to:

Director Bruce Anderson is happy to have an informal discussion. Please email

Application notes

Please send your CV, a supporting statement and the names and contact details of two referees to by 26 November 2022.

Referees will not be contacted unless we intend to invite you for interview.

We aim to arrange interviews for the w/c 5 December 2022.

Appointment of Trustees

The Board of Trustees consists of the Branch Director, who chairs the Board, the Secretary, the Treasurer and up to eight other trustees elected by members of the branch. All trustees, including the Branch Director, Secretary and Treasurer are volunteers.

The elected trustees may co-opt two further Trustees. The Branch Director serves for three years. All other Trustees retire at the AGM but are eligible for re-election if they have not served for six or more consecutive years.

Organisational Structure

The Branch Leadership Team (BLT), some of whom are trustees, is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Branch and is responsible to the Board although, in practice, BLT Team meetings are often attended by all Trustees.

The Board of Trustees, which is responsible for the overall oversight and management of the charity, is required to meet not less than four times a year but, in recent years, has met six or seven times including meetings with the BLT.