Road Victims Trust – the charity you may not have heard of
Kempston-based charity, the Road Victims Trust (RVT), is dedicated to supporting people who have been affected by the grief and trauma of a road death or a serious or a life changing injury collision.
Its services are available to those connected to the person who has been killed or injured and to the witnesses of fatal and life changing injury road collisions.
All this is provided for free.
Mark Turner, RVT’s chief executive, said:
“If you were to say to people ‘have you heard of the Road Victims Trust?’, a majority would say that they hadn’t.
“This is good in a way, as it means that they haven’t needed to use our services.”
The Trust’s origin is based on a personal tragedy
The support offered by RVT wasn’t available when Clifton Ibbett’s two daughters were killed in a traffic collision on 23 December 1982.
Mark said that Clifton didn’t know where to turn for support. But by using connections formed from running a business, he gathered enough people to form a support group for those devastated by road deaths.
In 1995 the Road Traffic Service was formed. This was part of Victim Support until it became the independent Road Victims Trust in 2003.
Originally, the RVT covered Bedfordshire, and only offered telephone support to residents in Cambridge and Hertfordshire. It can now offer a face to face service in all three counties.
Support is there whenever the person is ready for it
The RVT has built up a strong relationship with the Police Forensic Collision Investigation Team (this runs across all three counties), who, along with Family Liaison Officers, obtain consent to pass on details to the Trust.
The Trust then writes to those affected, offering support, which isn’t always taken up at first.
“As time moves on, they start to find it difficult to cope. We get people ringing up a few months, even years, later asking for support.”
This support is not based on a scale of need, nor is there a time limit. It is available for as long as it is needed. Lyn Hesse, the Trust’s Chair, said:
“We will support anybody who has been affected by a collision. It could even be the person that caused the fatality.”
Fundraising activities keep the Trust going
The RVT relies on fundraising to be able to continue to offer support. This comes in many forms, including corporate supporters, an emergency services sporting event (pictured) and dozens of small, fun events organised by those who have benefited from the RVT’s services.
You can find out more about the Road Victims Trust, including how to offer support, by visiting its website.
Mark concluded by saying:
“People don’t just bounce back from this [road death]. It is not a case of things will be alright soon.
“Lives are changed forever.”