Two students at Leeds University who were both bereaved by road crashes have had their fundraising achievements recognised through an award from a national charity. Georgia Mann and Sophie Macrae, from Suffolk and Perthshire respectively were presented with Fundraiser of the Year Award, by road safety charity Brake at a ceremony in the Houses of Parliament.

Fundraiser of the year

Sophie was bereaved as a young child, and Georgia while they were studying together at Leeds University. Georgia’s father Edward Mann, was killed when he crashed into the back of lorry parked in an unprotected lay-by on the edge of the A14 in February 2011. Sophie’s sister Henrietta Macrae, from Auchterarder, Perthshire, was killed in a crash in 2002 when she was just 20 years old. Together they wanted to make a difference and help prevent other families experiencing the devastation they have by fundraising for Brake.

In April 2012, the two young women ran the London Marathon together in memory of Edward and Henrietta, and together they raise an incredible £19,000 for Brake. The money raised will help Brake to continue its work caring for other families bereaved and injured in road crashes as well as campaigning and educating to make roads safer for everyone.

The pair received the award at a ceremony at the Houses of Parliament sponsored by Direct Line Group and attended by politicians, high-ranking police and fire officers, road safety campaigners, volunteers and professionals, company executives and press. Photo attached L-R: Sophie Macrae and Georgia Mann.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “Georgia and Sophie have shown incredible determination to make a difference following personal tragedy. Not only did they both conquer the gruelling London Marathon – a feat in itself – but they widely engaged and inspired others around them, reflected in the incredible £19,000 they raised. They both deserve recognition so Brake is delighted to give them this award. Without the tremendous efforts of fundraisers and volunteers like Georgia and Sophie, Brake would not be able to continue its work to support those whose lives are devastated by crashes, and to raise awareness about the part we can all play in making our roads safer.”
Georgia Mann said: “We’re both delighted to receive this award. We just wanted to help others and support a worthy charity that makes a huge difference to people’s lives. It’s vital that organisations like Brake continue to campaign to make roads safer to prevent more people dying on roads. I was very proud to be able to fundraise in memory of my Dad, and I’m proud to be given this award – it means a lot.”

Sophie Macrae added: “It is wonderful to know that our fundraising will help support people who have suffered a bereavement or injury from a road crash, and to try to stop others having to go through what we’ve been through. It’s hard to explain the pain of having someone you loved snatched away from you suddenly – it’s something no one should have to go through. My sister always wanted to run the London Marathon and never got to do it, so it was a very emotional experience, but made worthwhile knowing that we raised valuable funds for Brake.”

Brake Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 66 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes. Brake runs awareness-raising campaigns, community education programmes, events such as Road Safety Week (18-24 November 2013), and a Fleet Safety Forum, providing advice to companies. Brake’s support division cares for road crash victims through a helpline and other services.
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Direct Line Insurance Group plc

Direct Line Insurance Group plc (Direct Line Group) is headquartered in Bromley, Kent; it has operations in the UK, Germany and Italy.

Through its number of well known brands Direct Line Group offers a wide range of general insurance products to consumers. These brands include; Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege. It also offers insurance services for third party brands through its Partnerships division. In the commercial sector, its NIG and Direct Line for Business operations provide insurance products for businesses via brokers or direct respectively.

In addition to insurance services, Direct Line Group continues to provide support and reassurance to millions of UK motorists through its Green Flag breakdown recovery service and TRACKER stolen vehicle recovery and telematics business.