Monday, October 31, 2016

UK Freight and Logistics Industry Continues to Aid Charity Efforts Worldwide

Sector Companies an Example to Others
Shipping News Feature
UK – WORLDWIDE – Several UK based freight carriers and logistics companies have been digging deep once again to help people in some of the most remote and dangerous places in the world by committing support and resources to charities helping some of the most disadvantaged people.

PGS Global Logistics, part of the APC Overnight network, has helped its customer Salts Healthcare deliver more than 900 pairs of orthotic shoes to the Draktsho Vocational Training Centre for special needs children in Bhutan.

The APC Overnight depot volunteered to take the shoes to the remote Bhutanese school after they heard of the initial difficulties that Salts Healthcare had faced in arranging delivery. The school is in a remote location, meaning complications with transport infrastructure coupled with the sheer cost of the freight nearly prevented the goodwill gift from ever getting off the ground. APC subsidised the cost of the shipping to Kolkata and then hired vehicles and drivers to make the 26-hour journey to Bhutan to deliver the 11 pallets of shoes.

Paul Eyles, Managing Director of PGS Global Logistics flew to the remote Kingdom to unveil and present the shoes to the children. He said:

”We were dismayed when we heard that Salts Healthcare was having trouble delivering such an important, life-changing gift. Once we decided upon a strategy for delivery, it was just a case of putting it into practice. It might have been the longest delivery that either of us has ever made, but it was worth every mile once we met the children in Bhutan. It was a very humbling experience.”

The Bhutan delivery follows on from efforts the company made last month to support people suffering from breast cancer. Over 500 employees at APC Overnight head office all dressed in pink as part of Breast Cancer Now’s ‘Wear It Pink’ campaign which aims to have no one dying from breast cancer by the year 2050. Speaking about the ‘Wear It Pink’ campaign, Jonathan Smith, CEO of APC Overnight said:

”I know everyone at the head office here in Cannock has had great fun getting behind this initiative and really showing their support of such a worthy cause. Our employees are the lifeblood of APC Overnight and I suspect that there isn’t one person in this business that hasn’t been affected by cancer in some way. It really is an honour to make a difference for Breast Cancer Now.”

Meanwhile Coyne Airways and Air Charter Service (ACS) last week announced a scheme to back War Child, a charity which supports children affected by conflict. The companies will donate an agreed amount per transaction on behalf of their customers, starting from next month. Customers will be given the opportunity to match the donation on a quarterly basis. Larry Coyne, CEO, Coyne Airways commented:

”The air cargo business supports many charities but none specifically aimed at helping children in conflict areas. We want to support a charity which helps some of the most disadvantaged people during wars, children, and encourage participants in our industry to give based on a formula which is simple and within their means. I appeal to any other companies interested in helping children in conflict zones to support War Child through this type of arrangement.”

The obscenities of the Middle East situation as the political and religious clashes play out have affected thousands of innocent youngsters, many of whom have lost everything, parents, siblings and homes prompting Chris Leach, Chairman of ACS, to add:

“At ACS we support a number of charities each year, but when Larry brought War Child to my attention we felt we should dig that little bit deeper. During our careers in this industry some of us have seen the horrors left behind by conflict first hand. With Syria at the forefront of people’s minds at the moment, we feel that we can do more to help. War Child helps rebuild children’s lives following such conflicts and we are really proud to be supporting them.”

Meanwhile transport charity Transaid held its annual HRH showcase which was attended by the charity’s patron The Princess Royal who praised both the fundraising support and access to skills that Transaid receives from the transport and logistics industry. Commenting on the professional driver training projects, she said:

”Your support is vital to our ability to help the local partners we work with, as well as to inspire professionals on the ground. Our ability to improve road safety through the proper training of trainers means we can make a huge impact.”

The event was attended by over 100 of the charity’s corporate supporters who heard from Transaid Chief Executive Gary Forster how its life-saving work and projects being conducted in Africa are affecting the communities there. These included the case of Josephine Mupeta from Zambia, a volunteer health worker, who rides a bicycle ambulance placed in her community as part of a Transaid maternal health programme which has seen a team of 200 trained bicycle ambulance riders transfer 4,105 mothers to health facilities in the first two years of the project. Gary Forster observed:

”We are hugely grateful to the transport industry for funding the original research which led to the introduction of bicycle ambulances and we thank Comic Relief for financing the scale-up of this programme, which allows us to work with partners in-country to continue saving lives.”

Photo: Children assembled outside the Draktsho Vocational Training Centre in Bhutan.