Steve Ford will leave Parkinson’s UK at the end of January 2021 to explore new challenges.
Ford joined the medical charity as chief executive in 2005 and has overseen a transformation in the variety of services for people living with Parkinson’s as well as an increase in research spending.
In the year to 31 December 2019 the charity had an income of £47m, up from around £30m five years ago, and employed over 450 people.
Ford said: “It has been a real privilege to lead Parkinson's UK over the last 15 years and I'm really proud of what we have achieved together. At its heart, the charity is driven by a fantastic community of advocates, volunteers, health professionals, researchers, trustees and staff colleagues all working together to respond to the priorities of people living with the condition.
“I'm not sure that I ever envisaged staying in this role for so long - but there's been so much to do and the passion and determination of the community keeps driving me on to new projects and initiatives.
“No one could have foreseen the events of the past few months but they have given us all time to reflect on many aspects of our lives, be it work or personal. For me, it now seems the right time to step back so that someone else can take the charity forward into a post-Covid world. I want to use this time to explore what my next challenge might be.”
The charity will shortly begin recruiting for his replacement.
Gary Shaughnessy, chair of Parkinson’s UK, 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. Under his leadership, the charity has set out a clear 2020-2024 strategy, which is driven by the needs of people with Parkinson’s and with ambitious targets.
“Steve leaves Parkinson’s UK in a very strong position to continue to be there for the increasing number of people being diagnosed with Parkinson’s and their loved ones. Together, all those involved with the charity will do our utmost to deliver the charity’s strategic objectives.”