By Fiona White - A road crash can have deep and long lasting impact on a person and those around them – from serious injury to even death – life can change in an instant.
But it’s something that few of us consider when we jump in our cars or head out on the roads. And if the worst was to happen, who is there to help in the darkest times?
We spoke to Caroline Perry from Brake, one of The Good Registry's charity partners about the work that they do in our communities and how you can support them.
Following the success of Brake in the UK, Brake in New Zealand started in 2010 and aims to help to prevent road deaths and injuries by making communities safer. They also provide support to those who find themselves either bereaved or seriously injured in a crash.
With so much of the aftermath of an injury or fatality uncharted territory for those who experience it, Brake’s resources aim to help people in acute need.
“Alongside the initial shock and host of emotions that come following a crash there is also the prospect of dealing with agencies that people usually don’t come into contact with,” says Caroline.
“This could mean the Police, the court system, media, medical specialists and others. At a hugely overwhelming time Brake provides support and resources that help those in need to navigate the complex situation that they find themselves in.”
These resources include leaflets and books and are a mix of information and guidance that people can pick from, depending on their circumstances. Alongside these, Brake has a range of publications which are appropriate for children to help them begin to come to terms with difficult news and situations.
But it’s not just support after a crash that Brake provides. Their philosophy also includes raising awareness and tackling road safety issues in our communities.
“We cover all road users and all road safety issues. One of our focuses is on targeting children and whānau in activity that helps them think about road safety in an engaging and fun way,” says Caroline. “Our Beep Beep! campaign, for example, teaches 2 to 7 year olds about the basics – seatbelts and helmets to help keep them safe in the car and on their bikes and scooters, as well as holding hands and the importance of taking care when crossing roads. We find then that the kids start to talk to their caregivers, which in turn helps influence them to be safer – wins all round!
“We’re hugely reliant on donations to help us continue the work that we do,” Caroline says. And donations of $20 or $50 can really make the difference to a family at a difficult time, or alternatively will mean that a daycare or kindy can run a campaign.
And for more information and resources from Brake, visit their website.