Features & Interviews

Industry charity Transaid celebrates Silver Jubilee

05 October 2023 #Features & Interviews

This year international development organisation Transaid is celebrating a quarter of a century since it was formed by Save the Children, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK) and its Patron, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal.

During these 25 years Transaid has delivered life-saving work with partners and governments in more than 20 countries, predominantly in sub-Saharan Africa, empowering people to build the skills they need to transform their lives.

Transaid’s road safety work focuses on influencing safe driver behaviour with long term programmes in Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, responding to local needs for improved training for drivers and riders of trucks, buses, motorcycles and forklift trucks.

On the access to health side, Transaid is working with local partners and communities to strengthen access to health services, primarily in rural areas. They are also working to strengthen health supply chains in collaboration with local partners and governments.

Last month, a team of 40 riders drawn from across the transport and logistics sector completed a 187-mile cycle ride from London to Paris to raise funds for Transaid’s work in sub-Saharan Africa, which is focused on improving road safety and access to health for rural communities.

On reaching the French capital, the group had already raised more than £65,000 before costs, with fresh sponsorships still coming in. This has been aided by generous funding from headline sponsor uTrack Software, and support sponsor DP World.

The riders this year represented 15 firms from across the transport and logistics industry, including Abbey Logistics Group, Backhouse Jones, Dawson Group, EORI, Fagan & Whalley, GXO, IVECO, Malcolm Group, Michelin, Microlise, PF Whitehead and PMMS Consultancy.

Florence Bearman, Transaid’s Head of Fundraising, said: “This has been an incredible way to mark our silver jubilee, and a massive thank you goes to everyone who either jumped in the saddle to support us, or who sponsored one of the riders.

“Once again we’ve shown how the industry comes together to support Transaid, raising vital unrestricted funds which will help us to save more lives through our vital road safety and access to healthcare projects.”

Meanwhile, logistics and warehousing company Fagan & Whalley recently donated a truck to the Industrial Training Centre Trust (ITC) run by Transaid in Zambia, currently the only public, commercial driver training centre in the country, and which offers both full-time and part-time HGV training courses.

Fagan & Whalley’s de-fleeted vehicle, a 2014 Scania R450, alongside another donated by Samworth Brothers in Leicester, will be used by the ITC for HGV driver training across the country.

Not only will this contribute to safer roads across the region, but it will also help provide new career opportunities to those from disadvantaged backgrounds, as well as support the wider community and economy by allowing for easier transportation of medical supplies and commodities.

Chris Corrigan, Brand and Marketing Executive at Fagan & Whalley, said: “For years we have placed a great emphasis on improving road safety within the UK, so to be able to extend this mission across to sub-Saharan Africa, too, means a great deal to us.

“Additionally, as a family-led business, knowing we can help people halfway across the world provide for their families is immensely rewarding, and we’re thrilled to be involved with such a meaningful project.”

The World Health Organisation estimates that about 7,000 people lost their lives on the road in Ghana in 2016, and Transaid is involved in an initial three-and-a-half-year project, funded by Puma Energy Foundation, to raise training standards and expand training capacity for HGV drivers in that country.

It is set to run until July 2024, by which time Transaid expects to have helped deliver professional driver training to more than 1,500 HGV drivers there.

Jon Aspden, Head of Driver Training at Clipper Logistics, now part of GXO, has completed four overseas secondments for Transaid, and on the most recent one he spent two weeks working with professional driver trainers on Transaid’s road safety project in Ghana.

His trip, which saw him work closely with four trainers based in the country’s capital, Accra, follows earlier similar visits to Tanzania and Zambia, in 2009, 2012 and 2020.

Despite this being his first experience delivering training in a left-hand drive vehicle, Aspden quickly acclimatised to the 16-speed manual DAF XF.

He said: “The group had completed a lot of theory training before I arrived, so my remit was to focus on teaching practical training skills, delivered in a structured manner and in accordance with the new and enhanced HGV driver training standard developed for Ghana.

“The trainers settled into the training rhythm quickly, gaining confidence with their in-cab instruction techniques and working hard to create an environment where self-development was encouraged.

“I saw a fundamental change in their driving styles and coaching abilities, and when the time came for me to fly home, I left feeling I’d had the biggest positive impact to-date.”

Anne, Princess Royal has been Transaid’s Patron for almost 25 years and played a leading role in its formation as an independent charity in 1998, after 10 years as part of Save the Children.

She regularly represents Transaid at events across the UK and has previously visited projects in countries including Madagascar and Kenya.

A recent visit included the Safe Way Right Way Driver Training Centre in Uganda, to see the second phase of Transaid’s Professional Driver Training programme in action.

It provided the Princess Royal with an opportunity to meet with both Transaid and Safe Way Right Way team members, who together have trained more than 750 HGV and PSV drivers, including increasing numbers of women.

Safe Way Right Way has been Transaid’s non-governmental organisation (NGO) partner since it first launched its driver training activities in the country in 2013, helping to respond to the huge rise in demand for HGV and PSV drivers.

Bearman said: “The impact we are having is huge; putting skilled drivers on the road in a country which has for too long suffered one of the highest road crash death rates in Africa, often due to inexperience and poor driver training.”

For more information and to find out how you can support the organisation visit www.transaid.org

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