Road Victims Trust marks 30 years of bereavement and trauma support

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Jamie, Kelly & Cassie with Paul Cook of the Road Victims Trust. Image: RVT
Jamie, Kelly & Cassie of the Road Victims Trust. Image: RVT

The Road Victims Trust (RVT), a local charity which provides a beacon of support for individuals and families affected by post-collision bereavement and trauma, is proudly celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

For three decades, the organisation has provided vital counselling and support services to thousands of community members navigating the challenging aftermath of road traffic collisions.

The charity was founded in 1994 by Bedford businessman, Clifton Ibbett OBE (1937-2021), after the loss of his two daughters.

The RVT emerged from a profound, personal need to address the emotional and psychological toll experienced by those affected by traffic collisions.

Since then, the charity has expanded its services across five counties (Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk) with a network of 65 volunteer counsellors offering individual counselling, face-to-face, online and by phone, with the aim of fostering resilience and promoting mental health recovery.

“Our mission has always been to offer a specialist, professional counselling for anyone affected by the most serious of collisions on our roads,” said Sarah Jones, Clinical Lead for the Road Victims Trust.

“Our counsellors offer a safe space to support individuals to rebuild their lives after such devastating events.

“Reaching our 30th anniversary is a testament to the strength of our community and the dedication of our staff, volunteers, and supporters.”

Throughout its history the RVT has adapted to the needs of the community and, in recent years, the organisation has integrated remote counselling options to ensure accessibility for all clients, regardless of their location.

Additionally, counselling staff have undertaken specialised training for children and teens, recognising the unique ways young people process grief and trauma.

To commemorate this milestone, the charity will host a series of events including Afternoon Tea for longstanding volunteers in June at the Swan Hotel, Bedford; a memorial event for World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims in November, and a celebratory event with the Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire at the end of the anniversary year.

The Road Victims Trust is also calling on supporters who would like to raise funds for the organisation to participate in its ‘30-for-30’ fundraising events – thirty opportunities to run, walk, cycle, bungee jump, parachute, play golf or any other activity to mark the occasion.

Recently, RVT CEO, Paul Cook, met Jamie, Cassie and Kelly at the charity’s office in Kempston. Jamie and Cassie tragically lost their sister, also called Kelly, in a fatal road collision in October 2022. Kelly lost her best friend.

Jamie, Cassie and Kelly each ran a marathon in April and organised other fundraising activities. They have raised an incredible combined total of £5,782 on behalf of The Road Victims Trust.

To take part or find out more, please email Sarika Shah on sarika.shah@rvtrust.org.uk.

“We invite the community to join us in celebrating this significant milestone,” said Paul Cook, CEO of the Road Victims Trust.

“Together, we can continue to provide hope and healing to those in need, ensuring that no one has to face their grief and trauma alone.”

For more information about the Road Victims Trust counselling services, to donate, or to volunteer, please visit rvtrust.org.uk or call 01234 843345.