New Project for West Mercia

Thanks to support from the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner, RoadPeace is launching a range of support services for victims of road crashes in West Mercia. In a first for RoadPeace, we will have a caseworker supporting the seriously injured, based locally, alongside the police’s Victim Advice Line.

A road death is as sudden and violent as a murder but more common, with five people killed every day in the UK. In West Mercia 43 people were killed in 2019, with 474 seriously injured (DfT, 2019). We understand there is a huge gap in the support available to injured victims, who don’t benefit from the support of an FLO.

Additionally, we are launching monthly support group meetings. Meetings for bereaved families will be held bi-monthly on the last Wednesday and meetings for injured victims will be held bi-monthly at the same time on alternate months. These groups offer families an opportunity to meet others similarly affected and who truly understand the sudden and traumatic impact of road crashes.

“Gaining support after the awful aftermath of losing a loved one in a crash through those similarly affected has been a lifeline for our family. No one else seems to understand the pain and grief that engulfs you”. Bereaved mother

The first meeting for bereaved families will be taking place on Wednesday 26th May, 6.00pm – 8.00pm and the first meeting for injured victims on Wednesday 30th June, 6.00pm-8.00pm.

Due to the pandemic and current restrictions, all meetings will be hosted online using Zoom. This will be regularly reviewed in line with government guidance.

RoadPeace will also be introducing an online 8-week Resilience Building Programme for bereaved families in West Mercia in the summer.

The programme consists of eight weekly sessions online and assisted by trained facilitators, participants learn:

  • about the psychological and physiological impacts of their bereavement, and
  • coping strategies using Cognitive Behavioural methods and relaxation techniques to deal with depression, anxiety and many symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

“The Resilience Building Programme was just the help I needed to cope with sleepless nights and constant flashbacks. Although you never get over what happened, support from those who have been there, learning new coping techniques and being listened to has definitely helped.  I wish we had known about this support before.” Bereaved mother

If you would like to attend the meetings or the programme or would like further information, please feel free to contact me at sally.howard@roadpeace.org or call the RoadPeace helpline on 0845 4500 355.