Welsh health minister Edwina Hart has announced the appointment of Simon Hatch, former Parkinson’s Disease Society manager for Wales, as the country’s first Samaritans’ director.
The role, funded by the Welsh Assembly, is intended to increase awareness of Samaritans’ services across Wales and support the delivery of suicide reduction programmes in the country
Mr Hatch has spent the majority of his working life in Wales, and has over a decade of experience in charity and politics within the country. He will formerly take up the post of Samaritan’s director for Wales on 12 October 2009.
Announcing the appointment, Ms Hart has said: “We are working to ensure that we have a better equipped workforce who can provide help when and where it is needed, and the introduction of a Samaritans’ director of Wales will play a key role in bringing together voluntary services and activities.”
Samaritans chief executive Catherine Johnstone added: “We very much welcome the funding for the new director of Wales role. This is a wonderful opportunity for Samaritans to work in partnership with the Welsh Assembly Government to reduce suicide rates in Wales in these troubled times.”
The suicide rate in Wales is second only to Scotland in the UK.