Thursday, October 31, 2013

Road Haulage Charity Nets Well Deserved £1 Million from Comic Relief

Princess Royal Praises Transport and Logistics Industry
Shipping News Feature

UK – NIGERIA – Biennial British telethon Comic Relief has granted £1 million to road haulage charity Transaid, which will be used to set up Transaid’s Emergency Transport Scheme (ETS) in Adamawa State, Nigeria. Announced at Transaid’s 15th anniversary celebration at Buckingham Palace, hosted by the charity’s patron Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal who went on to praise the generosity of the logistics industry, the five-year grant will go to support a scheme that has already helped over 10,000 pregnant women in Africa access medical facilities during labour.

By training local taxi drivers and encouraging them to transport pregnant women to health centres free of charge or at minimal cost, Transaid aims to enhance the scope of the Scheme when it tested the concept in 2009, using funds from the transport and logistics industry before seeking a grant for a scaling up of the initiative from Comic Relief. Harriet Cochrane, International Grants Health Programme Manager at Comic Relief said:

“In just one year 287,000 women die as a result of pregnancy-related complications around the world, and shockingly, 14% of these deaths are in Nigeria alone. Many of these deaths could have been avoided if the women had been able to reach a health facility for their delivery.

“Transaid is tackling a very real public health need by setting up a system that will be in place long after the project has finished. The scale and ambition of the project is huge, but we’re confident that it will bring about the changes it is planning, and save many lives in the process.”

The prestigious reception, sponsored by Bandvulc Group and Barclays, was attended by more than 130 guests from across the sector including existing supporters, potential supporters and Transaid staff, some of whom had travelled back from Africa for the occasion. During the event, The Princess Royal paid tribute to the transport and logistics sector for their ongoing support adding that the aid the industry has given to the charity over the last 15 years is invaluable, before going on to say that the work completed so far is ‘only the beginning’.

Transaid’s Chief Executive, Gary Forster, thanked The Princess Royal for her ‘robust and continued support’, the Transaid team for being ‘passionate, hard-working and selfless individuals’, and the charity’s trustees for their ‘loyal support and counsel’. Addressing the sector as a whole, he continued:

“You, the transport and logistics industry, should be incredibly proud of what you have achieved. I struggle to think of another industry which has done so much, so selflessly for the benefit of people whom you’ll almost certainly never meet, nor [that] your business will benefit from.”

Transaid was originally founded as a sub-charity within Save the Children after its Patron the Princess Royal realised 25% of the charity’s budget for relief work in Ethiopia was being spent on transport in emergencies. The Princess Royal went on to play a leading role in the formation of Transaid as an independent organisation in 1998.

Remember you can do your bit to support the excellent work undertaken by Transaid simply by clicking on the link on their advertisement shown on this page to make a donation (unless you read this post-Christmas 2013 by which time it will have been taken down).

Photo: From L-R Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Chief Executive of Transaid Gary Forster, Chairman of Transaid Graeme McFaull and International Grants Health Programme Manager at Comic Relief Harriet Cochrane.