Resignation of the Ramblers chief executive


Van and two path maintenance volunteers

The Ramblers chief executive Van Griffiths has resigned today, 13/01/20. She joined the charity in 2016 and during her tenure she has revitalised the 85-year old charity.

The board of trustees wish to extend their gratitude and thanks to her and wish her the very best for the future.

Since her appointment, Van has led a major change programme across the Ramblers. She created and delivered a new vision and transformation plan for the charity, to ensure it remains relevant to future generations and thrives as a sustainable entity: in a challenging funding environment, she oversaw substantial income growth during her tenure.

Key elements of the transformation plan included major investment in data, digital and technology and significant improvements to infrastructure, ways of working and systems. Van created a dedicated new membership and fundraising team: which is now seeing significant strides towards reducing the long-time decline in membership.

Van has also helped the Ramblers to strengthen its campaigning voice, with the establishment of high-profile new campaigns and popular initiatives such as “Britain’s Best Walking Neighbourhood Awards” and an innovative relaunch of the “Don’t Lose Your Way” campaign to find historic rights of way before they are lost in 2026.

Van is a visionary, optimistic leader who has significantly improved support, engagement and partnership-working: both internally with the Ramblers staff and 20,000 volunteers and externally with other bodies, such as the new Walking and Cycling Alliance, of which she was a founder member.

Van says:

“I have really enjoyed working for the Ramblers. It has been a pleasure to support people to become healthier and happier through spending time in nature and to champion walker’s rights. However, I have realised that now is the right time for me to seek new opportunities and hand over to a new leader, to enable the charity to continue its transformation.

I would like to pay a sincere tribute to the brilliant staff, volunteers and members who I have been lucky enough to have worked with - and walked with - since 2016: the Ramblers revitalisation has been a huge team effort and I believe that it has been achieved because we have worked together, as one team, to drive and to embrace change; thank you”.

Kate Ashbrook, chair of the board of trustees, says:

“I would like to thank Van for her work, which has been pivotal in enabling the Ramblers to adapt at pace to an increasingly digital world, where volunteers, supporters and the public expect organisations to be available at the click of a button.

Under her superb leadership the organisation has undergone significant transformation to meet the needs of a modern-day charity. She leaves the Ramblers well equipped to meet the challenges ahead. We owe her a huge debt of gratitude and we wish her the very best of luck in her new adventures”.

Van will remain available for the next three months to assist the Ramblers in the transition to a new CEO. The Board is in discussion about the process to recruit her successor and is expected to recruit an interim CEO whilst they conduct the search for a permanent replacement. For any enquiries please contact