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RoadPeace West Midlands have been working incredibly hard to put together an online YouTube service to mark ‘World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims’. When it became apparent that holding our normal service at St. Martin in the Bull Ring would not be possible, we were determined our group would still deliver a service which is centred around victims and voices from the Midlands.
We owe a huge thank you to Slater and Gordon, who have once again sponsored our service. This support enables us to mark WDR in a way that is poignant, inclusive and diverse. Without Slater and Gordon, we would really struggle to make our service happen. We must also say a huge thank you to the team from St. Martin in the Bull Ring. The Rector Jeremy Allcock, Juliette Farrell and Philippa Done have been amazing in their willingness to find ways to work with RoadPeace West Midlands to ensure a service from Birmingham could take place.
Once again, emergency services from across the Midlands have worked closely with us – and we never cease to be amazed at their determination to do all they can to provide help to road crash victims. We have also been incredibly moved by the members of our local support group, who really have become something of an extended family. All our group members have contributed to the service in one way or another, and we are immensely proud of them. Two of our group members will be sharing their stories this year, and their bravery in doing this should be applauded.
We have tried, as far as possible to keep the service as it would have been, had we held it ‘in-person’. Our service will incorporate both classical and modern music – which we hope will provide real comfort and a soundtrack for people to reflect upon their most cherished memories. We also have spoken contributions from some political figures who have worked directly with our group members. As with previous years, a montage of photos of those killed on our roads will provide time to be still and to reflect upon such devastating and unnecessary loss of life.
Our service exists to highlight the terrible toll of road traffic incidents and to allow people space to grieve. However, our service also aims to provide hope and an opportunity to celebrate the lives of those we love and miss so much. As Rector Allcock told us last year – try not to lock your memories in a box, but let them out and share them, in order that your loved ones can live on.
We very much hope our service will provide those that watch with solace and support. Though we may be physically apart this year, we remain very much together in an unspoken bond.
On behalf of RoadPeace West Midlands, we would like to send our sincere thoughts to all those around the world who have lost a loved one or been left with life-changing injuries, as a result of a road collision. Our hearts go out to you.
Jane Evans & Lucy Harris, West Midlands local group coordinators