Paisley family receives national road safety award for fundraising in memory of husband

15 January 2014

Brake, the road safety charity

The wife and sisters of a Paisley dad killed in a road crash have received an award recognising their outstanding efforts to fundraise in aid of work to tackle devastating road crashes and support victims' families.

Laura Harold, Elaine Donaghy and Laura Leca received the Fundraisers of the Year Award at road safety charity Brake's annual reception at the Houses of Parliament last night, sponsored by Direct Line Group (photo attached).

Neil Harold, husband to Laura Harold and brother to Elaine Donaghy and Laura Leca, was killed in a crash in Cumbernauld on 1 August 2012, one day after his 34th birthday. Neil and his colleague Gordon McRae were travelling to a sports centre to play their weekly game of badminton when another driver travelling in the opposite direction lost control and spun onto the wrong side of the road. The collision killed Neil and Gordon instantly; the driver of the other car also died. Neil also left behind a three year old son, Ryan.

Since Neil's death, Laura, Laura and Elaine have coordinated a huge fundraising effort in his memory to support Brake, the road safety charity, after the charity provided bereavement support to the family through its helpline and support packs. To date, the family have raised almost £40,000.

The centrepiece of the family's fundraising efforts was a dinner dance, which took place on 30 August 2013. The evening, called 'A Night for Neil', featured an auction and raised a massive £24,000. Laura, Elaine and Laura rallied support from Neil's friends, colleagues and family, who all played their part in the event and a wide range of other fundraising activities, including an 11-a-side football match, a Glasgow to Edinburgh bike ride, five and ten kilometre runs, bake sales and 'Bright Days' at local schools.

The family continues to fundraise, most recently with a Christmas raffle held at Neil's stepfather's golf club.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, the road safety charity, said: "Laura, Elaine and Laura have shown incredible resolve with all they have achieved in Neil's memory. They are a shining example of the commitment and hard work that enables Brake to work to end the carnage on our roads and support people who are suddenly and traumatically bereaved or injured in crashes. Their determination to help prevent other families going through the heartache they have, and ensure those who do can access vital support, is truly commendable, so we are delighted to recognise it through this award."

Laura Harold said: "I am very proud to receive this award, together with Elaine and Laura, in memory of my husband Neil. The support provided by Brake to families like ours who have been bereaved by road crashes is incredibly important, as is their campaigning to make roads safer and prevent needless tragedies. I am glad that we have been able to support this vital work, and I am grateful to all of Neil's family, friends and colleagues who have done so much to help us along the way. If our efforts can stop one more family losing a loved one, then it will have been worth it."

Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 63 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes. Brake runs awareness-raising campaigns, community education programmes, events such as Road Safety Week (17-23 November 2014), and a Fleet Safety Forum, providing advice to companies. Brake's support division cares for road crash victims through a helpline and other services.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Direct Line Insurance Group plc
Direct Line Insurance Group plc (Direct Line Group) is headquartered in Bromley, Kent; it has operations in the UK, Germany and Italy.

Through its number of well known brands Direct Line Group offers a wide range of general insurance products to consumers. These brands include; Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege. It also offers insurance services for third party brands through its Partnerships division. In the commercial sector, its NIG and Direct Line for Business operations provide insurance products for businesses via brokers or direct respectively.

In addition to insurance services, Direct Line Group continues to provide support and reassurance to millions of UK motorists through its Green Flag breakdown recovery service and TRACKER stolen vehicle recovery and telematics business.


Tags: awards road deaths fundraising