“Extraordinary” Mary Williams OBE retires

12.07 | 19 April 2023 |

Brake has announced the retirement of its founder and chief executive, Mary Williams OBE.

Mary established the charity back in 1994, with a vision to prevent road crashes and support victims.

Over the last 29 years, Brake has grown into an important stakeholder within the road safety sector.

Among Brake’s many achievements during that time has been the creation of the annual Road Safety Week, one of the highlights of the road safety calendar each year.

The event seeks to raise public awareness of road safety issues and is intended to act as ‘the driver for positive change on UK roads’.

Mary has also been responsible for delivering Brake’s award-winning National Road Victim Service, which supports those impacted by road traffic collisions.

In 2000, Mary was awarded an OBE for services to road safety and road victim care.

Mary said: “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.

“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.”

Brake’s board of trustees are among those to pay tribute to Mary.

Deborah Sleightholme, chair of Brake’s trustees said: “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.”

Road Safety GB has praised Mary’s vision and commitment.

Philippa Young, chair of Road Safety GB, said: “Mary has achieved so much through her vision and commitment for Brake.

“Road Safety GB send Mary very best wishes for a long and happy retirement and look forward to continuing to work with Brake in the future to promote road safety.”



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