How we work
Who we Support
Our services are for anyone who:
- Is bereaved
- Is involved in the collision
- Witnessed the collision
- Is affected by the collision
The services are available to individuals and families:
- As soon as they are needed
- For as long as they are useful
- With short-term or long-term regular support
- And can be face-to-face, online or on the phone at a time convenient to you
We are available via email at email@example.com, or on 01234 843345 between 8.30am and 4.30pm during the week, except Bank Holidays.
Outside these hours please leave us your name and number and a short message and we will get back to you when we are back in the office.
How does the Trust get referrals?
All fatal collisions in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk are referred directly to the Road Victims Trust by the police Forensic Collision Investigation Unit and contain details of those that have been affected – bereaved individuals and families, those involved in the collision and witnesses. We offer our service to all affected people referred unless they have indicated to the police that they do not want any contact from us.
We also take referrals from GPs and other agencies or self-referrals from people who contact us directly. If referrals are from outside our area we are sometimes able to offer telephone or online support. These referrals may include people affected by life changing injuries or trauma as a result of their involvement in a serious road collision.
Initial contact following a police or agency referral will be by letter or a telephone call from a Trust Coordinator who will aim to get an understanding of what is needed. The majority of support is offered as weekly, one hour sessions in one of our offices, an agreed confidential space, online, or by telephone.
Who we support…
The Road Victims Trust (RVT) offers emotional and practical support to anyone who lives in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk who is affected by a serious road collision. We can offer online or telephone support to people living outside the area.
How does the Trust support victims?
We provide information, emotional and practical support alongside our counselling service. If you have been affected by a road collision, the rollercoaster of emotions and complexities of what follows can leave you bewildered, distressed and in some cases feeling like you are going mad!
The legal procedures following a fatal road collision extend over a period of months or years and involve a police investigation and either an inquest or a criminal court case. Throughout the time of these procedures the Road Victims Trust will be able to support you in finding information that is available and explain what part you will have in these procedures.
Alongside the legal procedures each individual affected by a road death or life changing injury collision will have their own experience of a range of emotions that they would not experience in their usual everyday lives.
Feeling overwhelmed by grief or tormented by images from the collision are not everyday feelings.
Our emotional support is tailored to each person we work with. At the Road Victims Trust we have specialist bereavement and trauma training to inform our work with you and what you are experiencing. We have been supporting people affected by serious road collisions since 1995 and so have a wealth of knowledge on road death and road injury cases.
A free, confidential, weekly counselling session of one hour provides the time and space to express how you are feeling and to make sense of what has happened. Regular weekly contact is helpful to contain the uncertainties of what lies ahead and helps limit the exhaustion that comes with the feelings experienced. While those you know may offer valuable support, some people find they are less able to talk about what has happened for fear of upsetting family and friends.
You may need support to find ways of managing things you have not handled before, for example a funeral, benefits, notifying authorities of the collision. Coping with the feelings and everyday tasks can be enough at first so someone with a clear head and experience of what needs to be done can be invaluable.
We can offer the following:
- A highly trained individual who can support you through this difficult time and the potentially confusing and distressing procedures and processes you will face
- Access to the information required to deal with the aftermath of a fatal road collision
- Support to make choices as to how to use that information
- Support at an inquest or criminal court
- A free and confidential counselling service
Counselling Referral Process
Referrals may be made to us by the police, one of our partner agencies, other interested parties such as schools or GP’s or the individual themselves. We work with anyone affected by fatal road collisions including family, friends, witnesses and those involved. We also work with some people affected by collisions that result in serious injury.
Contact and information
If you’re referred by the police or another agency, we make sure that we contact you within 48 hours – usually by letter to let you know that we are here, as well as a leaflet giving you information about our service. If we have your contact number, we will call you within a week if we haven’t spoken with you already. We understand that this can be a very difficult time and you can also call us at any point.
Introductory Call & Assessment
We will call you and you can tell us a little about how you’re feeling since the collision. We will ask you some practical questions and during this time will be assessing how we might best be able to help. It may be that another service is more relevant, and if that’s the case we will let you know and try to help you access this if you would like this. You may want a little time to think about whether you want to have counselling at this stage, in which case, we will usually offer to call you in a few weeks. We understand that this may be a confusing time and it’s not always possible to know what you might need.
If you decide to have counselling, we will need informed consent to work with you so before we can make arrangements, we will ask you to read and sign our counselling agreement. Counselling will be online, on the phone or in person at one of our offices and this will all be discussed in your assessment call/s.
Weekly Counselling Sessions
Your sessions will be weekly and your counsellor will talk with you in the early sessions about how you might work together based on what you are hoping to gain from counselling. The counselling is free and your sessions are confidential with some specific exceptions which will be discussed with you.
Sessions will be for as long as both you and the counsellor feel that it is useful in relation to your feelings associated with the collision.
All of our counsellors are either qualified & experienced, or senior trainee counsellors. They have all completed specialist training in this area.
Support at Court
Someone from The Road Victims Trust who is experienced in providing court support will be able to provide support at inquest or criminal court should you feel this would be of help to you.