Vicki Samuels – Chair

profile pic vicki

Vicki Samuels

Vicki retired from the NHS in 2012 having worked for the previous 18 years project managing a mental health unit in Skye and Lochalsh. During that period she was the founder of Touchwood, the first social firm in the Highlands, and followed this by setting up two other charities, one being the restoration of a Victorian walled garden which helps people with mental health issues to participate in growing organic veg and flowers, and the other, Rag Tag, a unique project providing employment, training and volunteer placements to people recovering from illness, giving them support, providing real jobs, and giving opportunities to regain or increase personal self- worth and creativity. Through good design and by teaching traditional hand skills, “waste” textiles are reused and “upcycled” into completely new and unique fashion garments and home furnishings. Rag Tag is an innovative, award-winning organisation and has been recognised for its work throughout Scotland.

Vicki qualified as a social worker in 1973, working in residential, hospital and generic settings. She has counselling and supervisory skills, is an Adult trainer in ICT and Communications and has good networking and facilitation skills. She holds a Post Grad certificate in Adult Guidance, and a Certificate in Supervision for Counsellors through the Council on Alcohol. She chaired the Skye and Lochalsh Drug and Alcohol forum, the Skye and Lochalsh Social Firm Development Group, Rag Tag and Textile Ltd and the Viewfield Garden Collective, successfully obtaining funding for all of these organisations, and helping to raise their profile with statutory agencies, local government and the Scottish Parliament. Both Touchwood and Rag Tag have been recognised as award winning organisations.

Having lived aboard Britannia for many years, when the family moved ashore, Vicki became self- employed for nine years in the family yacht charter business, Skyes’l Charters with husband, Sam. Her role was mainly administrative, controlling the finances, marketing, PR and customer service.