Thursday, February 24, 2011

Transport Charity Leader Recognised By Royalty As Freight Warehouse Opens

Transaid Boss Retires After Seven Years
Shipping News Feature

UK – WORLDWIDE – Transaid, the charitable development agency founded by the Save the Children Fund and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport UK (CILT), to develop transport systems throughout the underdeveloped world including the training of truck drivers to professional standards, was honoured by the presence of its patron, HRH The Princess Royal this week to mark a special occasion.

After seven years as Transaid’s Chief Executive, Chris Saunders OBE was this week presented with a gift by the Princess to mark his retirement. The presentation, of a commemorative truck typical of those seen on the road across Africa, followed the official opening of a new warehouse in Tamworth, Staffordshire, by logistics firm Norbert Dentressangle, a strong supporter of the charity.

Saunders, who will step down at the end of March, said:

“It has been a privilege to work with such a fine team of people and I am honoured to be presented with a gift from our patron. Transaid is a small organisation with massive potential. It demonstrates how important effective well-managed transport is to improving the health and livelihoods of people living in very poor communities in the developing world. I will be handing it over with absolute confidence that there could not be a better team in place to take on and succeed with this challenge.”

Saunders will be succeeded by Gary Forster, Transaid’s current Head of Programmes, who joined Transaid in 2006 as a volunteer after working as a logistician for Procter & Gamble. He spent two years in Southern Africa helping to establish a network of partners and building the foundation for the Professional Driver Training Project before moving to West Africa where he secured Transaid’s input into three large-scale projects focusing on maternal health, immunization and malaria.

Forster, who returned to the UK in early 2010 to focus on developing Transaid’s project portfolio, networking with donors and putting teams in place said:

“Chris has provided excellent leadership for the team. His resolve has steered Transaid through tough times while his conviction has kept us focused on success.In 2010 Transaid delivered more projects, with greater impact, in more countries than ever before. This was only possible because of the work undertaken by Chris to establish Transaid as a strong and capable organisation. As well as being a visionary leader, Chris has been a good friend to everyone here.”