Skip to main content Skip to footer

Catherine Woodhead appointed Chief Executive of Living Streets

Catherine Woodhead has been appointed Chief Executive of Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking.

Catherine is currently Chief Executive of Muscular Dystrophy UK, which she joined in 2016 as Director of Development before becoming Chief Executive in 2018.

Under Catherine’s leadership, Muscular Dystrophy UK has invested more in research, laid the foundations for potential new treatments, secured NHS investment in specialist neuromuscular services, and supported more people across the UK.

The appointment comes after Living Streets’ current Chief Executive, Stephen Edwards, announced that he was stepping down in January after three years in post. 

A headshot of Catherine Woodhead

Living Streets' new Chief Executive, Catherine Woodhead

Dame Jane Roberts, Chair of Living Streets said:

“We are delighted to have appointed Catherine as our new Chief Executive. Catherine brings a wealth of experience and talent, an impressive track record and a genuine passion for walking.

“Building on the success of our outgoing Chief Executive, this is an outstanding opportunity for Catherine to work with our committed staff and my fellow Trustees to develop and deliver our new strategy in the run up to our centenary in 2029, and beyond.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our outgoing Chief Executive, Stephen Edwards for his brilliant contribution to the role. He leaves us in a strong position and we warmly wish him well in his future career.”

Catherine Woodhead said:

“I am excited to sink my teeth into a new challenge at Living Streets. The charity has an incredible history and I look forward to working with the staff, supporters and Local Groups that make up Living Streets to expand its impact and ensure it has an equally bright future.

“It has been a privilege to work for Muscular Dystrophy UK and the community of people the charity supports, and I will be sad to move on. We have achieved so much in our history, and I have met so many incredible people, including individuals and families living with one of over 60 conditions. This is a great opportunity for someone new to lead the charity into the next stage of its future, with investments to make, new research on the horizon, and an exciting pipeline of treatments.”

Professor Mike Hanna, Chair of Muscular Dystrophy UK, said:

“Cat has led the charity with great passion and skill over the last five and a half years, especially during the very tough period of the Covid pandemic. Her enthusiasm and warmth will be missed by her team, staff, trustees, and the whole muscle wasting and weakening community. She leaves Muscular Dystrophy UK in a strong and stable position with an exciting future ahead of us. We wish Cat every success in her new role.”

Living Streets’ current Chief Executive, Stephen Edwards, will finish at Living Streets on 26 April 2024 to take up a new role within external relations at Which?. Catherine will start in post at Living Streets in August 2024 with Stephen Jefford acting as Living Streets’ Chief Executive in the interim.

Stephen Jefford was formerly the Group HRD of Phoenix Group Holdings plc, a FTSE 100 Life and Pensions provider. He has had an extensive career in Financial Services with over 20 years as an HR Director. Stephen was a Non Executive Director of Living Streets Services but has stepped down ahead of his appointment as Interim Chief Executive. Recruitment for Muscular Dystrophy UK’s new Chief Executive will begin shortly.

About the author

Kathryn Shaw

Head of Communications and Marketing, Living Streets /