The funding was awarded in July 2023, and has enabled an additional two caseworkers to be employed within Brake’s National Road Victim Service. They will provide practical and emotional support to individuals and families who are bereaved or suffer life-changing injuries following road crashes. The new caseworkers will work in the areas of Devon and Cornwall. and will join the National Road Victim Service team in the South West.

A therapeutic services fund has been created with the funding from Vision Zero South West and Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner. This will allow Brake to work with other charities in Devon and Cornwall to provide specialist support for those in the service, such as children who have been traumatically bereaved.

Every road death and serious injury is a failure of our road system, and it is vital that the victims of crashes receive long-term, specialist support. The National Road Victim Service provides this through a free, specialist, case-managed service for anyone bereaved or seriously injured in a road crash throughout the UK. The awarded funding gives Brake much-needed resilience in Devon and Cornwall.

John Miller, Head of Strategic Delivery Partnerships, Victim Support, commented:

“Victim Support’s Strategic Delivery Partnership is pleased to be working with Vision Zero to establish high quality, evidenced based road victim support services in Devon and Cornwall. The new delivery arrangements with Brake (the road safety charity) enable us to act earlier to support individual needs and in a way that understands and responds to the trauma death or serious collisions bring to people’s lives.”

Commissioner Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly and chairman of the Vision Zero South West road safety partnership said:

“Last year 48 people were killed and 738 seriously injured on Devon and Cornwall’s roads. These aren’t just numbers, these are people – mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, children, friends and loved ones.

“Working in close collaboration, our partnership has made a commitment to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on Devon and Cornwall’s roads – initially by 50% by 2030, and eventually to zero.

“Until then, we have a moral duty to support people whose lives are turned upside down by the devastating consequences of collisions on our roads. While no one ever expects to be affected by a road traffic collision, it is some comfort to know that we have practical, emotional and therapeutic services on hand to help those people and offer continued support during their time of need.”

Ross Moorlock, Interim CEO at Brake, added:

“We are proud and delighted to have been awarded this significant funding in Devon and Cornwall. It is imperative that anyone who has been bereaved or catastrophically injured in a road crash can access trauma-informed support to meet their needs, which differ in every case. We look forward to utilising this funding to support the people of Devon and Cornwall.”

Find out more about the National Road Victim Service and how we help.