Features & Interviews

Sweet charity: How operators use their vehicles to promote good causes

31 August 2023 #Features & Interviews

Transport companies have long been closely involved with the communities they operate within, helping local and national charities and lending support to causes dear to the hearts of their employees and their families.

Haulage firms are able to make a positive contribution by effectively using their trucks and trailers as mobile billboards, carrying positive messages about their chosen charities to motorists across the length and breadth of the country.

This year, West Yorkshire-based Brocklehurst Transport is raising awareness for the local Andy’s Man Club mental health charity, with a striking livery on their new delivery of Freespan Curtainsiders from Mansfield-based semi-trailer manufacturer SDC.

Andy’s Man Club provides a safe and non-judgmental space for men to talk about their mental health issues, and operates a network of clubs across the UK, where men can come together to support each other and share their experiences.

By choosing to display the Andy’s Man Club livery on their new fleet, Brocklehurst Transport hopes to encourage more men to seek help when they need it and remove the stigma around men’s mental health.

The trailer order features eight new SDC Freespan trailers built to EN 12642-XL standard with a custom specification in line with Brocklehurst’s full and part-load services.

SDC have also supported the campaign with a donation of £1,000 towards the charity’s activities.

Dave Webster, Managing Director of Brocklehurst Transport said: “We are proud to be supporting such an important charity as Andy’s Man Club. Mental health is a serious issue, and we believe that it’s important to raise awareness and show our support for those who are struggling.

“These trailers will be travelling across the country, and we hope that they will help to start conversations and encourage more men to seek help.”

Meanwhile, Ford Transport Operations is throwing its support behind the Children’s Air Ambulance by wrapping one of its transporters in the charity’s colours.

The vehicle, which is used to transport Ford vehicles to dealerships up and down the UK, serves as a mobile billboard for the charity which is entirely funded by donations.

The Children’s Air Ambulance is a national service that provides high-speed transfer of critically ill babies and children, flying them from one hospital to another for specialist care. Its clinically designed helicopters are flying intensive care units.

The charity works with 11 NHS paediatric retrieval teams across the UK, enabling them to bring their specialist equipment on board to safely transfer their patients from one hospital to another.

The charity receives no funding from the government or National Lottery for its missions and relies entirely on voluntary donations to raise the £3,500 needed for every mission.

Jim Wright, Manager, Transport Operations at Ford said: “We’re very proud to support the Children’s Air Ambulance which has saved so many lives over the years. Hopefully, our transporter will help to increase the charity’s visibility and encourage more people to make donations.”

Earlier this year, supermarket SPAR, part of James Hall & Co, unveiled a trailer to support the work of its chosen charity Marie Curie, the UK’s leading end of life charity.

Holly Brocklebank-Watts, from Kirkbymoorside in North Yorkshire, was selected as the winner from more than 200 entries submitted through stores in the North of England to design the image celebrating the partnership between SPAR and Marie Curie.

The ten-year-old, who enjoys drawing and photography, demonstrated her artistic flair with a design featuring Marie Curie’s iconic yellow daffodils depicted along the hills of North Yorkshire.

The trailer which carries her design will travel to SPAR stores across the North of England six days a week from its distribution centre at Bowland View in Preston.

“We had some incredible entries and Holly’s entry was chosen as the winner for her inclusion of Marie Curie yellow through the daffodils and her consideration of both SPAR and Marie Curie branding”, said Fiona Drummond, James Hall & Co Ltd’s Company Stores Director.

“While celebrating a charity in Marie Curie that is close to our hearts, we also felt Holly really portrayed our SPAR North of England patch well where we are lucky to have four National Parks and seven Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty on our doorstep.”

A pair of bright pink articulated trucks, provided by Somerset-based transport company Willmotts, and bearing the logo of The Lily Foundation have also taken to British roads to help raise awareness about mitochondrial disease which refers to a group of disorders that affect the mitochondria, which are tiny compartments that are present in almost every cell of the body.

Willmotts believes it is important to increase awareness of the disorder, which affects one baby born every day in the UK, and keep funding research to find a cure.

Andy Stott, Managing Director of Willmotts, said: “We are delighted to support The Lily Foundation with these striking new trailers, which will be highly visible out and about on the roads of Britain as part of the Willmotts’ fleet during the next few years.

“We hope these trailers will help raise awareness of the incredibly valuable work that this charity does in research and help for families and children with mitochondrial disease.”

The sheer visibility of trucks and trailers on the road network means operators in the road transport sector have great power to promote their chosen charities and be a force for good.

It is therefore encouraging to see so many companies realise this and make a difference, helping essential organisations to improve the lives of many people in the process.

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