Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has recognised the vital support the Road Victims Trust (RVT) has provided to those bereaved or traumatised as a result of accidents on the road, during National Road Victim Month.
The Road Victims Trust, a local charity based in Kempston, Bedford, provides support for anyone bereaved or affected by fatal or serious road collisions in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire. Despite suggestions that there has been markedly less traffic on the roads due to the nationwide lockdown, the charity has received similar levels of referrals as last year so far in 2020.
“The Roads Victims Trust do incredible work, supporting those who’ve been bereaved through road deaths or deeply affected by accidents for as long as it takes with specialist counselling and individuals to talk to.
“I’ve been delighted to support the charity financially since coming into office as PCC and all the work they do to help those who’ve been bereaved and affected by fatal and other collisions. I use the money raised through the Cameras, Tickets and Collisions unit to do so as it makes sense to me that those who’ve been caught speeding contribute to the dealing with the worst outcomes of this.
“The pandemic has made it much harder for charities to operate as usual and support those in need. That’s why I’ve provided further support for this outstanding charity with an additional £10,000 this year,” said Commissioner Holloway.
Last year, in the 12 months leading to June 2019, a total of 1,860 people were killed on the roads in the UK. In 2019, the Road Victims Trust supported in excess of 580 people across our three counties, working in collaboration with the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Tri-force Roads Policing units to ensure victims and those affected received the support they needed.
“Around five people a day are killed on our roads, with precious little support available to those left behind. I’m proud to say that in Beds, Cambs and Herts this support is very much available thanks to the excellent working partnership between the RVT, Police, OPCCs and Road Safety Partnerships,” said Mark Turner, Chief Executive for the Road Victims Trust.
The RVT has also raised concerns over the effects of social distancing and how it can intensify the trauma after accidents due to the lack of usual family and friends to provide much needed support in person.
“The trauma suffered by loved ones after a bereavement is huge, but it has been exacerbated by social distancing measures. Likewise, funerals and the inability of larger groups to attend, is also hugely difficult. This results in a massive cocktail of grief.
“Since lockdown began, we have seen this play out on many occasions and the nature of the counselling provided has become more complex and demanding. All of our counselling has been provided over the phone or online as we obviously can’t do the usual face to face,” said Mark.
PCC Holloway further supports and provides funding for the Bedfordshire Road Safety Partnership that includes partners from all three local authorities, Bedfordshire Police, Highways England, Bedfordshire and Luton Fire and Rescue Service that spearhead road safety campaigns together including young and older driver awareness courses as well as targeting school age children with road safety projects across the county.
Those wishing to make a contribution to the vital work of the Road Victims Trust can do so by visiting their website - www.rvtrust.org.uk/donate/