Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Freight Transport Association Celebrates Links With Transaid

Charity Support Recognised by Royalty at New Office Opening
Shipping News Feature

UK – It is no surprise to learn that the person opening the Freight Transport Association’s (FTA) new Leeds office yesterday would be a truck driver, an HGV licence holder no less. And the fact they were there to represent the Transaid international development charity, and they received a SatNav for their trouble would also not be an unusual occurrence. But when the dignitary unveiling the plaque is none other than HRH the Princess Royal, well, that makes the whole event a bit more of a special occasion.

Together with the Lord Mayor of the City and the Vice-Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire the Princess, patron of Transaid, toured the building and spoke to staff before she unveiled a plaque to commemorate the occasion and collected a few tips on the operation of horse boxes. The Princess went on to speak of how the FTA, as a leading transport association could assist achieve Transaid’s goal of reducing poverty and improving the livelihoods of local people through assisting with transport infrastructure development.

Transaid is an international development agency that aims to improve people’s quality of life in the developing world by making transport more available and affordable. It was founded by Save The Children and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK) and works by sharing skills and knowledge with local people to enable them to put in place and manage efficient transport systems.

The charity creates transport management systems for the public sector and assists with the provision of professional driving qualification development and the training of driver trainers. It also teaches preventive vehicle maintenance management and aims at introducing local, low cost transport solutions including its innovative bicycle ambulance. Transaid also helps promote road safety awareness and shares its specialist knowledge with the industry and the active involvement of its Patron, HRH The Princess Royal. From December 2009, FTA members have been given the option to donate to Transaid when they pay their annual FTA membership fees.

The Princess was thanked by FTA Chief Executive, Theo de Pencier who went on to say that Transaid was the difference between life and death for so many people in the developing world and that the FTA was proud to lend its support and expertise.

He was followed by Chris Saunders, Chief Executive of Transaid who said:

“Transaid is working in Zambia, where road deaths are the third biggest premature killer following HIV/AIDS and malaria, to develop commercial driver training to an internationally recognised standard.

“As well as the donations FTA’s members kindly contribute, the skills and knowledge contained within FTA are of significant value to our projects and we are hugely grateful to them for coming on board and helping us find solutions for transport challenges we face in the developing world.

“Since Transaid’s inception, HRH The Princess Royal has been a very active Patron and we are, as ever, incredibly proud to have such a hands on and high profile figurehead.”