Ruth Sutherland CBE has been appointed as Chair of the Board at Salford based social enterprise, Social adVentures.

Ruth will formally take over the Chair position in May following the end of tenure of Stephen Young, who has held the Chair position for 10 years.

Speaking about the appointment, Chief Executive, Scott Darraugh said, “We are delighted to have appointed Ruth onto our Board, she brings a great deal of understanding and experience to the role. We are all excited about this new chapter in the Social adVentures journey.”

“It is with mixed emotions that I make this announcement as Steve (Stephen Young) has been with us from the very start and has been an excellent Chair. I am sure he will continue to be involved in our work in some capacity going forward.”

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 5yrs. She has also held the CEO role at Relate as well as senior positions at Rethink, Alzheimer’s Society and Scope.

Speaking about the new role Ruth said, “I’m delighted to be taking up the position of Chair of Social AdVentures at such a pivotal time for the organisation but also in the external context, it’s a privilege to receive the baton from Steve and all who have worked so hard to get to this point. I look forward to building on the strong foundations of Social AdVentures and will endeavour to do my best to enable the next chapter to be successful. If the last year has taught us anything it is the power of community-based action and the importance of the relationship between people and place. “

Ruth started her career as a hospital cleaner before qualifying as a nurse and building a career in community health and place-based community development and public health. Ruth also brings a sustained interest in addressing inequalities in health and specifically in mental health. 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 New Year’s Honours 2020 for service to vulnerable people.

Social adVentures is a health and social care social enterprise, which spun out of the NHS in 2011. Based in Salford, they deliver a number of health and social care contracts alongside a number of socially minded businesses including Kids adVentures Nurseries and Forest Schools and; The Food Collective – a social supermarket and; Forest School Training for adults.