LEONGATHA and District Community Foundation Ltd has donated $5000 to Road Trauma Support Services Victoria (RTSSV) to assist it to develop and deliver road safety programs specifically within the Leongatha District.
The donation follows a presentation by Lyn Bennett, Gippsland Coordinator of RTSSV to the foundation directors.
Lyn explains that she was overwhelmed when contacted by foundation chairman Robert Bacon.
“It will make a huge difference to our ability to inform the community of our services,” she said.
Road Trauma Support Services Victoria is a not-for-profit organisation contributing to the safety and wellbeing of all road users.
It provides free counselling and support to people impacted by road trauma and addresses the attitudes and behaviours of road users through its education programs.
RTSSV is committed to educating the community and raising public awareness about road trauma and how it affects people’s lives.
Road Trauma Support Services Victoria does this by positively influencing driver attitudes and behaviours with the aim of reducing crashes and the resulting trauma.
It delivers Road Trauma Awareness Seminars (RTAS) on a regular basis throughout Gippsland.
Most participants in those programs consist of a small group of people who have committed traffic offences. They can range from an inexperienced driver, charged with their first offence, to those who have a long history of traffic offending.
Most likely they have been ordered to attend by a Magistrate, Community Corrections Victoria or their lawyer prior to a court hearing. In those instances, the offence has already occurred, and people have suffered.
This donation enables the community to be pro-active and raise awareness of road safety.
RTSSV will be able to offer free-of-charge programs to community groups. As we too readily know, from this year’s road statistics, tragedy can strike at any time and to anyone. Community groups are welcome to apply for a program.
Mr Bacon said: “Lyn is hoping to hear from any group including sporting, recreation, childcare, senior citizens, libraries, health facilities, service groups, and community houses.”
The programs rely heavily on volunteer speakers who speak of the ripple effect that seeps through all who are involved in a road crash.
As volunteer Carolyn Cole-Sinclair says, “I want people to hear these stories predominantly for two reasons – the first one is I want them to know this stuff is real, and it could be them and their families if they don’t change their decision making.
“Of equal importance… I don’t want the death of people close to me, and the suffering of people close to me, to be in vain.”
The programs also rely on first-responder’s accounts, whether they are from the SES, CFA, Victoria Police or Ambulance Victoria.
The programs can be tailored to suit the audience’s needs and will usually run for at least an hour. To discuss booking a program, ring Lyn Bennett on 0417 328 156 or email her at gpland@rtssv.org.au