The former Interim Chief Executive of Living Streets has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Year Honours List 2022.
Jenni Wiggle is recognised for helping millions of people to walk more, particularly as part of the charity’s walk to school programme, and for her response to the pandemic.
Jenni worked at Living Streets for eight years, during which time the charity supported over 1,500 primary schools and inspired half a million pupils and their families to walk to school. This has led to an estimated 11.5 million new walking journeys and a reduction of 1.7 million car kilometres for journeys to and from school.
Jenni stepped up to act as Interim Chief Executive in April 2020, guiding the charity through its most challenging moment as it sought to navigate the Covid-19 lockdown.
With the closure of primary schools, Jenni moved the charity’s work online, launching a range of digital resources to encourage children and families to keep active. She ensured that the charity championed everyday walking throughout the pandemic as a way for people to remain active and tackle loneliness during lockdown.
Jenni was one of the few women in a senior position in the transport sector and was recognised at the Everywoman Awards and named Supporting Executive at the Charity Times Awards. She left Living Streets in late 2020 to return to her native New Zealand where she is currently an active transport and management consultant.
Jenni Wiggle said:
“I am incredibly humbled to be awarded this honour. It is a recognition I want to extend to the team at Living Streets past and present; staff, trustees and volunteers who work tirelessly and made my time with them so rewarding.
“Climate change and the pandemic have shown just how important walking and a good walking environment are for communities, our well-being and our planet. I am honoured to have been part of such a world leading organisation.”
Stephen Edwards, Interim CEO, Living Streets said:
“Jenni’s honour is richly deserved. Thanks to her, millions of people have been encouraged and enabled to enjoy the benefits that come from walking. Her strong leadership was vital to Living Streets’ ongoing success. She generously supported colleagues and provided sound strategic advice throughout her years at Living Streets. This didn’t falter in the face of the profound challenges presented to us by the pandemic. Her work ethic, warmth and astuteness ensured we continued our mission to achieve a better environment for walking and to inspire people to walk more.”