Passion and commitment to road safety and saving lives honoured at Brake’s annual awards

News from Brake
news@brake.org.uk

Brake, the road safety charity, and Direct Line have honoured parliamentarians, campaigners, educators and volunteers who are all working tirelessly to help prevent devastating road crashes.

Hundreds of Brake supporters, including volunteers, MPs, the road safety minister, corporate partners, and road safety professionals gathered at the charity’s annual reception at the Houses of Parliament last night. The awards were presented by Deborah Johnson, chair of Brake’s board of trustees, and Steve Maddock, managing director of claims and business services for Direct Line.

Mary Williams, OBE, founder and chief executive of Brake, said: “This has been an evening where we have focused on people – those affected by the devastating loss of loved ones and those who seek to prevent such tragedies from happening. These are the people who have supported Brake and spoken out for road safety. The winners of these awards have gone above and beyond, showing great determination to make a difference in their communities and across the country, and achieving real results. It’s a real privilege to recognise the efforts of people who do not seek fame or glory, but quietly and with dignity work hard to change things for the better.”

Road safety minister Andrew Jones said: “Every life lost on our roads is a tragedy and one too many. It is a tribute to the tireless work of those being honoured tonight that Britain has some of the safest roads in the world but we are always looking to improve that record. The government’s plan for road safety announced in December 2015 continues our commitment to making sure everyone stays safe on our roads and dangerous drivers face tough penalties.”

Steve Maddock, managing director of claims and business services for Direct Line, said: “Direct Line Group have a firm commitment to road safety and our ongoing sponsorship of this important event in the Westminster calendar shows that. We think that as a leading charity, Brake do a fantastic job in promoting road safety and raising awareness, and as a business, we’re really proud to support them in their work.”

The winners:

Brake’s Parliamentarian of the Year Award: Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West

Greg has been recognised for his campaign to improve justice for victims of road crashes and bereaved relatives after two families in his constituency were affected. Mr Mulholland has been campaigning for tougher jail terms for drivers who kill and injure, more thorough investigations into road deaths and better support for the families affected. He launched his Criminal Driving Bill (Justice for Victims) under the 10-minute rule in the Commons earlier this year.

Greg Mulholland said: “I am very honoured to have been named Brake’s Parliamentarian of the Year. For many years now, I have worked with Brake and its fantastic staff, who have been very supportive of my campaign to get better justice for victims and families of criminal driving. It has also been a real pleasure to have worked with families and campaigners determined to get that justice. This award represents the work that we have all done together, and no doubt we will continue campaigning until we get the changes that we need to see. Until we get there, I look forward to continuing to work with Brake, so a huge thank you for this award.”

Brake’s Campaigner of the Year Award: Iris Yee

Iris lost her partner in a road crash in 2013 and since then has campaigned tirelessly to try and make our roads safer by educating others from drawing on her own experiences. Over the last year she has dedicated an incredible amount of time to supporting Brake’s work training Police Family Liaison Officers. She has extensively shared her invaluable insight from her own bereavement with police officers, so they can better help and support other people who have been bereaved or seriously injured by road crashes.

Iris Yee said: "I feel both honoured and humbled to receive the award of Brake's Campaigner of the Year, especially when there are so many people out there campaigning to improve road safety and prevent death and injury from road crashes. This May will mark three years since my partner Lidia was killed on our 50cc scooter while in the blind spot of a left hand turning HGV. My involvement with Brake since her death has been driven by a need to prevent the same unnecessary tragedy and loss occurring to others. I'm really quite blown away by this award. Thank you!"

Brake’s Fundraisers of the Year: Claire and Callum Smart

In June 2015, 11-year-old Daniel Climance tragically died when he was hit by a road sweeper while out riding his bike with his Dad and Brother. To keep Dan’s memory alive, his best friend 11-year-old Callum Smart and his mum Claire organised the “Doing it for Dan - Virtual Race”. The race encouraged people to pay a £10 entrance fee and then run, walk, swim or cycle either 5 or 10k in memory of Dan. It was so successful it spread to six continents, with more than 1,000 runners from as far afield as Qatar, New Zealand and the United States running, raising more than £20,000 for Brake in Dan’s memory.

Brake has been so inspired by “Doing it for Dan” that, with permission from Dan’s parents and Claire and Callum, Brake is organising its very own Virtual Run, allowing others to run in memory of their loved one and to help us to raise vital funds for Brake.

Claire Smart said: "I feel really proud that Callum and I have won this award. “Doing it for Dan” was a team effort, so I'd like everyone to know that this award is also for everyone that took part. Losing Daniel so tragically has shown me how the loss of one life can affect so many people in so many ways and some people forever. If “Doing it for Dan” can save one life, then it’s all been worth it".

Brand new award category: Outstanding Commitment to Road Safety Week

There was a new award at this year’s ceremony recognising volunteer and partner involvement in Brake’s flagship campaign in the UK, Road Safety Week.

The Outstanding Commitment to Road Safety Week Award will be given to organisations and individuals who have gone above and beyond their ‘day jobs’ in actively supporting Road Safety Week; helping to spread life-saving messages in their professional and personal communities.

Brake’s inaugural Outstanding Commitment to Road Safety Week Award: Sergeant Simon Castle.

As well as working tirelessly all year round to educate all road users on life-saving safety messages Sgt Castle played a vital role in organising Brake’s 2015 national Road Safety Week launch. He went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the success of the event and engage the public with the ‘drive less, live more’ theme. He has been a long-term supporter of both Brake and Road Safety Week, and has supported Road Safety Week for many years.

On receiving his award, Simon Castle said: Brake's Road Safety Week does a fantastic job of improving safety on our roads in a positive way – either by promoting active travel as we did this year, or by giving well-researched advice on key areas of risk. I have had the privilege of helping Brake with the launch of Road Safety Week in my role with the Met's cycle safety team. I know I speak for the team when I say that Brake's enthusiasm is matched by our own and I'm surprised, honoured and delighted to accept their award for outstanding commitment to Road Safety Week.

 

Notes to Editors:

Some images of the winners will be available under strict embargo on Wednesday.

Images of all the winners will be available on Thursday morning.

Please contact news@brake.org.uk

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

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.

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