After 15 years leading the charity, Steve Ford is saying a fond farewell to Parkinson's UK. At the end of January he'll take a break before starting his search for a new challenge.
Our CEO, Steve Ford, has announced that he's stepping down from his role with the charity in January 2021.
Sharing his decision, Steve said:
"This year I celebrated 15 years with Parkinson's UK, and with the backdrop of a pandemic it was an opportunity for me to reflect on all I have achieved and what the future might hold for me and Parkinson's UK.
"Despite all that has happened this year, the charity is in a really strong position with a great strategy, carefully managed finances and most importantly, a fantastic group of people. So, while it was a tough decision, it feels like a natural time for me to hand the reins to someone else to lead the charity into its next stage.
"The charity can look forward with confidence and I can look back with pride on what we have achieved together. Our research programme is strong with a good pipeline of both investment and exciting new projects. We've transformed the way that we're able to support people throughout their Parkinson's journey. And we've made massive strides in ensuring that the condition is known and understood.
"It really has been a tremendous privilege to lead this charity and an ongoing inspiration to work alongside people living with Parkinson's, our volunteers, trustees, staff colleagues and our many friends and supporters."
Since Steve joined in 2005 the charity has undergone significant changes. All driven by the needs of the Parkinson's community. In that time, we've:
- more than doubled the number of Parkinson’s nurses from 200 to 450. And built strong working relationships with healthcare professionals through our Excellence Network to make sure the best possible treatments are available
- significantly expanded the range and reach of our information and support services, for everyone living with Parkinson's across the UK. This includes through our local networks
- set up the pioneering Parkinson's Virtual Biotech, driving forward the most promising projects in our search for a cure.
Gary Shaughnessy, chair of our Board of Trustees, said:
"As both a member of the board and a member of the Parkinson's community, I'd like to thank Steve for his tremendous commitment to the community and the vision with which he has led the charity, that has enabled us to deliver so much.
"The last year has been a particularly challenging one for all charities and Steve has ensured that we have managed the charity's financial position with care but also reinforced the need to continue to invest and innovate."
Our work continues
Steve will leave his post at the end of January 2021 to find himself a new big challenge. For the charity though, it's business as usual.
Gary Shaughnessy said:
"I'd like to wish Steve well in his next endeavour and thank him for all that he's achieved over the last 15 years.
"I also want to reassure everyone that we work for and with, that our focus remains on delivering everything we have promised to the Parkinson's community at this important time.
"We have strong foundations in place and a talented team of colleagues, volunteers, researchers, healthcare professionals, campaigners, fundraisers and supporters. Together we can make a difference."
We've got ambitious plans. We won't rest until we find a cure. Along the way we'll improve life for everyone who's affected by Parkinson's.
People with Parkinson's, and the people in their lives, are at the centre of everything we do. These are the things that matter most to them:
- Accelerating breakthroughs in research.
- Better support, every day.
- Getting Parkinson’s understood.