After 29 years in role, founder Mary Williams OBE is retiring as Chief Executive of the UK charity Brake.
Since establishing the charity in 1994, to prevent road crashes and support road victims, Mary Williams has led its growth to a national, and globally-recognised, organisation, renowned for its campaigning for positive change and safe roads for all, advising UK government on matters ranging from vehicle licensing to speed enforcement and criminal justice, encouraging action in communities and delivering its award-winning National Road Victim Service across the UK – a specialist, accredited, trauma informed UK national service for bereaved and injured people.
For their work in the fields of road safety and road victim care, Williams received an OBE in the Queens honours list in 2000 and multiple honorary awards and degrees from prestigious universities and national organisations in the transport sector.
Williams had, prior to establishing Brake, a former career in investigative news journalism, specialising in transport journalism.
Mary Williams OBE, shown campaigning on ITV Calendar News during Road Safety Week 2022
They say: “I remain fully committed to Brake’s vital cause and the charity sector. Much has been achieved for safe and healthy mobility on roads, and there is so much more that needs to be done to stop the daily carnage, pollution, impact on climate emergency, and also to support the devastated families suffering bereavement and catastrophic injury from crashes. It is essential that there is continued, loud, campaigning for safe roads and clean, green transport in the UK. There is also an urgent need for continued, and more, provision of expert and immediate care for road victims.
“It is essential that there is continued, loud, campaigning for safe roads and clean, green transport in the UK. There is also an urgent need for continued, and more, provision of expert and immediate care for road victims.”
“At this time, I would like to thank the many incredible people who have worked, and continue to work, so tirelessly for the cause, particularly at the grassroots in communities and schools and organisations of all kinds – and specifically the many road victims who campaign so courageously. I would also like to thank the dedicated professionals I have been honoured to work alongside in the public sector, industry and academia, as well as long-serving staff within the Brake team, particularly those who have contributed decades of their working careers to the charity.
“Without help from these amazing people, working collaboratively with a united voice, the creation and growth of Brake, and many campaign successes and delivery of care for victims, would not have been possible.”
Deborah Sleightholme, Chair of Trustees says: “Mary’s passion, drive, knowledge, expertise and commitment has been extraordinary. Since she set up Brake all those years ago, the charity has gone from strength to strength and now has a reputation that is second to none when it comes to working with communities and organisations across the UK, making streets and communities safer for all and supporting people bereaved and seriously injured on roads. That is in no small part down to Mary. She will be hard to replace and the Board is committed to appointing the right person to lead the charity into an exciting future phase. Brake is where it is today because of Mary and all at the charity recognise and thank her for that. She leaves with our very best wishes”.
Ross Moorlock, Brake’s Chief Operating Officer, will lead the charity pending the appointment of a new CEO.