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West Mercia Project

Thanks to funding from the West Mercia PCC, RoadPeace has introduced a new and innovative support and information service for victims of serious injury collisions, as well as for bereaved families and witnesses. The service is provided through a dedicated Roads Victim Care Coordinator (RVCC) who works alongside the Victim Advice Line (VAL), which provides support for victims of crime, and in partnership with West Mercia Police.

Feedback about the 1:1 support provided by the RVCC:

“She (the victim) was singing your praises and seems to be in a better place than when I last spoke to her”. FLO

“It was lovely speaking to you as well. Thank you so much for giving me some hope of some support”. Injured victim

“You always help me and make me feel better, and make me think differently about things”. Bereaved victim.

The service also includes:

  • Introduction of two new support groups for those bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes

Meetings are held monthly on the last Wednesday of the month, alternating between support group meetings for the bereaved and the seriously injured.

The support groups offer ongoing and long term peer support as well as opportunities to learn about local action, foster positive community relations and strengthen communities.

“The meetings have been useful. It’s good to know you’re not the only one going through this trauma”.  Bereaved mother

“Support where you can meet others in the same circumstances is so important. It’s not something you can get from general therapy”. Bereaved sister

  • Local information guides for crash victims

There are no national standards for collision investigations, so victims of collisions often find the post-crash process confusing. Working with the West Mercia Police and victims we are producing guides for families bereaved by road crashes and those involved in serious collisions in West Mercia.

  • Eight-week online Resilience Building Programme

This is a trauma support programme for families bereaved by road deaths. The programme runs over eight sessions in small groups with trained group facilitators.

Participants learn about the psychological and physiological impacts of their bereavement and develop coping strategies using CBT methods and relaxation techniques to deal with depression, anxiety and many symptoms of PTSD.

  •  Befriender Service

Our befriender service offers 1:1 telephone support from trained volunteers, who have also been bereaved or seriously injured. This service is also suitable for witnesses.

 “My befriender has been great. Speaking to another bereaved mother has been amazing”. Bereaved mother

“Thank you for all the support offered. I feel I can be truly myself without having to put on an act that I’m ok”. Injured victim

“This service was just what I needed”. Bereaved mother

 

For further information contact our Support Services Manager (Interim Maternity Cover), Sally Howard on 020 7733 1603 or email helpline@roadpeace.org.


 

Case study

“In November 2020, my brother was killed after a car came crashing into him at high speed whilst his car was stationary. He was killed instantly in the crash. I have experienced bereavement in the past, however, with a sudden traumatic death the experience is completely different. The “out of the blue” phone call I received telling me my brother had been killed in a car crash was like a physical blow. To add to this trauma, I was also notified that a man in his eighties, (who shouldn’t have been on the road) was responsible for my brother’s death and it would be going to trial. Too much to comprehend let alone process in the matter of days following his death. My life will never be the same again. I am left with constant sadness, anxiety and feel I am having to begin my life again. This type of bereavement impacts every area of life, my career, my social life, my finances, my friendships, my everything. It is a feeling that no-one understands, my closest friends became people who just did not understand.  

This is where RoadPeace has become my lifeline, my biggest support of all. RoadPeace has given me the opportunity to meet other people who understand what I am experiencing. The support groups and also professional support from people who deal with these types of experiences every day. I have received support from a Case Worker from West Mercia Police/RoadPeace who took the time each week to listen and provide support. She helped me through the court case. Unfortunately, the court dates were postponed numerous times, cancelled due to the Defendant either being ill or not turning up and then lastly the Prosecution not being properly prepared. This added to my stress levels quite considerably. My Case worker was there with me every step of the way. I am not sure if I would have coped without her support. She provided me with a light at the end of the tunnel. I am also going to attend the Resilience Building Programme which will provide me with skills to cope with the aftermath of the death of my brother, road crash and trial. I would not just recommend this service; I would say it is essential for anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one through a sudden traumatic death on the road. It is essential that the victim’s family and friends receive specialist funded support following a road crash. This is a sudden traumatic death. It has ongoing consequences for the victims’ families and close friends. I passionately believe that the funding for support services such as RoadPeace saves money to the wider economy. I am also convinced lives have been saved by the specialist support RoadPeace provides. All I can say is thank you from the bottom of my heart.”