Baldock crash victim’s mum praises charity support

THE mother of a teenager who died in a road accident has praised the support of a charity which has just been awarded funding by the Ministry of Justice.

Jake Chapman, a pupil at The Knights Templar School in Baldock, was 14 when he died from multiple injuries after his bicycle collided with a car on Norton Road in Baldock in December 2009.

Since his death, Jake’s mum and dad, Janet and Ray Chapman, of Chilvers Bank in Baldock, have been helped by the Road Victims Trust – a charity which supports those bereaved by the death of someone in a road accident in Hertfordshire or Bedfordshire.

“Without the charity I think I would be a mess,” said Mrs Chapman.

“Every Friday, a counsellor comes to the house for an hour with me and an hour with my husband.

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“It’s teaching us how to cope with it. It is literally coping. You can’t ever get over it.

“When I was going to bed I was seeing Jake in his coffin. The counsellor taught me to mentally go to another place and to get that image out of my head.

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“The counselling takes the burden away because you can talk and it’s in total confidence.

“The charity gives you counselling for as long as it feels you need it.”

Mrs Chapman said that the week immediately following Jake’s death and then the inquest were the two most difficult periods to cope with.

“The charity supported us all the way through it, with practical as well as emotional support,” she said.

“When we got the dates for Jake’s inquest, the counsellor took us over to the coroner’s court just so we knew what to expect.”

Yesterday (Monday), it was announced that the Ministry of Justice is to award the Road Victims Trust �167,244 over the next three years.

This follows 15 years without any statutory funding and the money will be used to train volunteers and to develop services.

Frances Bourne, Mr and Mrs Chapman’s counsellor, said: “This is national recognition at last of the need for our support to road victims and the value of what we provide.

“We know we can make a difference to those who not only suffer the death of a loved one, or the horror of being involved in a fatal collision, but the lengthy and distressing court procedures that can follow.”

Mrs Chapman said: “The funding is going to help them enormously. They currently have to fund their own training of volunteers.

“I think it’s the best thing ever and it’s going to help a lot of people.”

The charity still needs to raise about �150,000 a year for core running costs.

“We are always grateful for any offers to organise or help at fundraising events, or those willing to donate,” said the charity’s chief executive Tony Parker.

For more information about the work of the Road Victims Trust, visit or call 01234 843345.

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