Martin Taylor

Chair of Trustees

Martin Taylor has an MA in Economics from Cambridge University and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, having qualified with Price Waterhouse. He spent his early career in finance and consultancy and then joined Inchcape plc, the automotive distribution and retail group. At Inchcape Martin worked in various international roles, including as MD/CEO and Chairman of the businesses representing the Toyota/Lexus brands in Greece and Belgium, where he lived with his family for a total of 18 years. In 2005 he was appointed as CEO (Europe and Africa) and was a member of the Inchcape Group Executive Committee.

Since 2009 Martin has been building a ‘portfolio career’ and he manages his own consulting/advisory business. He is also Governor and Board member of Middlesex University based in London.

Martin is married to Sylvia and they have one daughter and one son.

Brian Mishara

Vice Chair of Trustees

Brian Mishara is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Centre for Research and Intervention on Suicide and Euthanasia (CRISE) at the Université du Quebec à Montréal, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He is the past president of the International Association for Suicide Prevention, a NGO in official relations with the World Health Organization. He has been actively involved in research on suicide prevention and has numerous publications, and particularly studies evaluating the effectiveness of intervention methods used by telephone helplines. His latest book is Suicide Prevention and New Technologies (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

Professor Mishara was a founder of Suicide Action Montreal, the volunteer-based Montreal suicide prevention centre and of the Quebec Association for Suicide Prevention. He has been president of the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention and a Trustee of the charity, Partnership for Children. He conducts suicide prevention training workshops for volunteers, professionals and community organizations worldwide, most recently in Uganda, Guyana, Lebanon and Somaliland.

Peter Barker


Peter Barker was born Wellington, New Zealand. His career began with the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research in the geotechnical engineering field as part of a research team undertaking specialist testing associated with complex site investigations. During this period he spent a year studying and working in the UK with leading research and consulting groups – as part of a Winston Churchill Fellowship. Twenty years ago he set up his own business and contracts to one of the Crown Research Institutes to work in the area of geotechnical laboratory testing for landslides & earthquake response, and test procedure development.

Peter also has 30 years hands-on experience in the not-for-profit-voluntary sectors; initially with the Scouting movement and currently with Wellington Samaritans (New Zealand), Samaritans New Zealand and Befrienders Worldwide – roles ranging from front line volunteering to leadership positions. He has been a volunteer/ listener/ member of Wellington Samaritans since 1994.

In 2004 he was appointed the regional representative for Australia/ New Zealand to Befrienders Worldwide. In 2007 he became the Regional Co-ordinator on the BW Steering Group. In 2010 he became a member of the BW Governance Group – responsible for the transition from their being a Steering Group to the appointment of a Board of Trustees. This process included the development of a Governance model, strategic plan, business plan, risk assessment etc.

He is married to Jane, has two adult children and three grandchildren.

David Brodtman


David is a Psychotherapist, based in London. He has a special interest in working with people affected by physical disability or life shortening health conditions.

He became involved with BW through his involvement as a Samaritan volunteer with Brent branch, in North West London, since 1985. During that time, as well as being a regular volunteer responding to telephone, text and e mail callers, he has undertaken a number of roles including shift leader, deputy director, committee chair and director. He volunteered with Samaritans’ Festival branch, providing emotional support at music festivals around the country, for approx. 4 years, and has also had a number of roles in the wider organisation, both nationally and regionally, most notably as London Regional Training Officer. His passion and interest has always been in training, and enabling volunteers to provide the best service possible to callers – wherever and however they may make contact.

For a number of years, David has been involved with Befrienders Worldwide, being a member of the team that organised and presented the International Training Event as part of the Samaritan’s annual York conference, and was an active member of the team that organised the international conference in Thailand in 2008. He has supported centres in various countries and various ways whilst being a member of the training group, and has visited centres in the US, Thailand, Malaysia, and Spain.

He became BW Training coordinator in March 2014. He shares his London home with his partner, and their rescued spaniel.


Robert Paris


Robert is a retired senior executive of the Bunge Group in Brazil.

His 25 years at large multinational chemical companies, such as Bristol Myers Squibb and Bunge Group, has provided him with a wealth of experience in developing business and honed his negotiation skills. At Bristol Myers Squib, Robert started as the Process Development Manager and was a part of the International Committee on Research and Development. At the Bunge Group, Robert has held numerous senior level roles ,retired as Marketing and Sales Director for the Chemical Division as well as being a board member for the administration of subsidiary companies. Now, running his own business, he is able to volunteer with charitable organisations, being member of the Board of ASEC-Association for Children’s Emotional Health and CVV –Center for Valorization of Life.

Robert Paris brings numerous skills to the Befrienders Worldwide Trustee Board, a keen business acumen coupled with a deeper understanding of the cause.

He is married to Tania and has two daughters and four grandchildren.

Morten Thomsen


 Morten holds a Master's degree in political science from the University of Copenhagen. In 1992 he attempted suicide. In 1994 Morten founded Livslinien (

Through his own personal experience with suicide, this has been the driving force for him to help others in the same situation as he faced in 1992.  Over the past 20 years he has consistently worked together with the media and Danish political arena around the area of suicide and a national action plan.

In 2009 Morten and former Danish Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, founded Det Sociale Netværk ( is an organization which has a wide range of activities to help mentally vulnerable to a better life. Morten has experience in working in NGO’s and he currently sits in several Danish boards.

Morten is married to Maureen, has 3 children.

Oscar Monteiro


Oscar has worked in IT for many years developing computers system for a wide variety of businesses. He started helping out Befrienders Worldwide by managing its website a few years ago. He was then co-opted as treasurer and now manages the finances of the organisation.

Oscar is married to Claire, a teacher and they have three children.

Paulius Skruibis


Paulius Skruibis has a PhD in Social Sciences (Psychology) and is a director of Youth Line in Vilnius, Lithuania. He is teaching and working as a researcher in Vilnius University and has a private practice as a clinical psychologist.

Paulius was a volunteer in Youth Line from 1999 to 2002 and spent more than 1,000 hours taking calls. He was a president of Lithuanian Telephone Emergency Services form 2007 to 2013.

In 2014 Paulius received a prestigious A. Gučas award from Lithuanian Association of Psychologists for his contributions to suicide prevention.

Paulius is married to Irma and has two children.