A Huge Thank You to a Stigma-Breaking Trailblazer
Change-makers are like stars; they leave a lasting mark on the canvas of progress. This month, we bid a heartfelt farewell to Angela Samata as she steps down from the Board of Trustees. Angela has been an integral part of Chasing the Stigma’s journey from day one and has served two terms, spanning an impressive six years of dedicated commitment.
Her journey with us has been nothing short of inspiring. She shared her thoughts on her tenure, including the privilege it was to work alongside our founder, Jake Mills. Together, they set ambitious goals and then watched with pride as those goals were not only met but exceeded.
Our founder and Chief Exec Jake shared that “Angela has been an integral part of the Chasing the Stigma journey from the beginning. Her expertise, kindness and desire to help have always meant the world to me and were especially important in those early days when I had no idea what to do or where to turn. I’ll be forever grateful to Angela for her personal and professional support.”
A still from Angela Samata’s ‘Life After Suicide’. Image Credit: BBC 2018
Angela’s journey began when the Hub of Hope listed just a hundred services. She reminisces about the early days when it was all about empowering people, putting the power back into their hands. It was about facilitating access to what they needed and what those around them required. From that humble start, the Hub of Hope has now grown to list over 12,500 services nationwide.
“There’s something special about Liverpool—it’s a place where people believe in the impossible.”
The paradigm shift Angela witnessed was profound. Chasing the Stigma became a frontrunner, a pioneer in placing those who needed help at the centre. It was no longer about seeking permission for signposting; it was about empowering individuals to take charge of their mental health journey.
The Hub of Hope became the vehicle to direct people towards knowledge and help-seeking behaviours, giving them control and agency. It wasn’t about deciphering a complex list of options; it was as simple as entering your postcode and finding support in your local area.
“It happened because people believed in us. There was a real disbelief that we could do it. There were times when people thought it was too good to be true, but every day it delivers.”
Angela’s hope was simple: to break down the stigma surrounding mental health. This hope found a home in the heart of Liverpool, where the journey began. She jokes that the city’s coffee shops should sponsor us, as the charity was birthed there.
Angela’s deepest desire is that the Hub of Hope continues to reach those who need it most, forming credible partnerships and relentlessly striving for more. Every day, she believes, Chasing the Stigma changes lives, making an impact that ripples through communities.
As Angela bids farewell, her message to all of us is clear: let’s continue to support Chasing the Stigma. She extends her heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has been part of this journey. Because of you, we’ve achieved more than anyone dared to believe. And as Angela says, there’s something special about Liverpool—it’s a place where people believe in the impossible.
So, let’s keep believing, keep supporting, and keep breaking down the stigma around mental health. Angela, we thank you for your incredible contribution, and your legacy will continue to shine brightly in our hearts and in the work we do. 💙