The expansion is thanks to funding from the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland. Thanks to the funding, the National Road Victim Service, which is run by Brake, is now providing more help to Scottish road victims through three specialist caseworkers and two additional supporting roles, working in partnership with Police Scotland.
National Road Victim Service caseworkers are providing expert emotional and practical support to bereaved families and those who have suffered the most serious injuries such as paralysis and brain injury due to road crashes.
The National Road Victim Service receives referrals from police first responders and health professionals and then can help victims from the day of the crash. Support is provided for as long as needed. The service helps people with a range of vulnerabilities, including caring for, and seeking out more help for, those experiencing mental health issues or at risk of suicide.
The service provides face-to-face support, as well as help over the phone and by video call. It also provides specialised information guides addressing the needs of different kinds of road victims, including those bereaved, dealing with a serious injury, and cases involving bereaved children and their caregivers.
Road Safety Week, also run by Brake, is an annual campaign to raise awareness of road safety and remember people who have been killed and seriously injured on roads. In Scotland, 1,760 people were killed or suffered serious injuries as a result of road crashes in 2021, causing devastation in families. Road Safety Week sees schools, communities, and employers across Scotland shouting out for safer roads, and fundraising for the National Road Victim Service.
Pictured l-r: PS Nick Twigg (Police Scotland), Shelley Gill (National Road Victim Service case manager), Elaine Trimble (National Road Victim Service caseworker), Chief Inspector Lorraine Napier (Police Scotland) and PS Paul Mellis (Police Scotland)
Chief Inspector Lorraine Napier, Local Area Commander for road policing, said: "The trauma endured by families and individuals who lose a loved one or sustain life-altering injuries in a road crash is incomprehensible. This care will provide comfort and support when needed most."
Mary Williams, CEO of Brake, the road safety charity, said: "We are very pleased that we can announce in time for Road Safety Week that this specialist support from National Road Victim Service is now underway in Scotland. Deaths and catastrophic injuries on roads hit at the heart of families. They change lives forever, and the victims require specialist support to meet their immediate and ongoing needs. We hope that everyone will join us in raising awareness during Road Safety Week and help to raise funds for the National Road Victim Service so we can provide even more care."
To find out more about Road Safety Week and how you can donate or fundraise for Brake and its work supporting road victims, go to www.brake.org.uk/road-safety-week.