Yorkshire-based support service for road crash victims gets Government funding

Nearly £170,000 in funding has been announced for a Yorkshire charity supporting victims of road accidents.

The Department for Transport is funding the National Road Victim Service, it has been announced.

The service, which is run by Huddersfield-based charity Brake, was given £169,685, which will be used to help road accident victims and their families with bereavement packs and a helpline.

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Some 1,784 people were killed on Britain’s roads in 2018. In West Yorkshire, 3,606 people were killed or seriously injured in road collisions between 2014 and 2018, according to local authority data.

Nearly 170,000 has been announced for a Yorkshire-based charity's support service to help bereaved and injured victims affected by road casualties. Picture: Dan Rowlands/SWNS

North Yorkshire County Council recorded 172 deaths in that period.

No data is currently available for recent road deaths for the Humber region or South Yorkshire, but Brake has said that every casualty is a tragedy leaving “thousands of bereaved and seriously injured people in need of support”.

All bereaved families of fatal road collisions are referred to Brake’s service within 24 hours.

The DfT funding will support the delivery of the National Road Victim Service (NVRS) for the year ahead and is predicted to result in an annual saving of £2.2m for police services.

The service is predicted to annually save police around 2.2m

Sharon Huddleston, whose 17-year-old daughter Caitlin died in a collision in Cumbria in 2017, said the NVRS had helped her family through a “horrific and traumatic” experience.

She said: “The support provided by Brake, following Caitlin’s death, has been so important to me. The kindness, listening ear and advice from Brake helped me through the most challenging time of my life and my helpline officer now feels like one of my closest friends.

"Road crashes are horrific and traumatic and all victims deserve the quality of support that Brake provide.”

Mary Williams, Brake chief executive, said: “At this time of COVID-19, it is particularly important that our emergency and health services are supported by the NGO sector through the provision of vital humanitarian services, such as appropriate care of people bereaved suddenly, including by road crashes.”