Asda invests in veterans’ charity to train ex-servicemen as HGV drivers
Great Manchester-based charity Veterans into Logistics has received a welcome $40,000 grant from Asda which will enable the charity to train 10 armed forces veterans for new careers in as truck drivers.
The charity has established a two-year partnership with Asda Logistic Services which supports their mission to prevent homelessness and unemployment in the veteran community.
This significant donation from Asda will help provide training and mentorship for veterans to successfully complete their HGV license, which will lead to new driving careers.
Veterans in Logistics CCO Major Ian Battersby is passionate about supporting veterans. Alongside the charity’s dedicated driver training program, the team also provides personal mentorship as they understand the skills, discipline and hard work ethic ex-servicemen have from their careers in the armed forces. .
Major Battersby and his team make it their mission to support those who have fallen on hard times after leaving the military, as some may slip through the net, find themselves unemployed, homeless, suffering from addiction issues or even end up in jail.
Major Battersby said: ‘We are extremely grateful for this donation from Asda which will allow us to train 10 veterans for new careers as HGV drivers.
“We are delighted that Asda will continue to partner with us and see the benefits of employing veterans with the dedication and skills they bring. We have already developed and supported veterans who work for Asda Logistic Services who say they enjoy their new career and feel respected and valued by Asda.
“This gift will change the lives of the veterans it supports, bringing structure, stability and financial security.”
Now Asda colleague Carl Smith, sixty, left the armed forces in September this year after 43 years of service. He enlisted as a junior soldier in 1979 and served as a regular member of the 3rd Royal Horse Artillery for 22 years before becoming a full-time reservist with the Royal Artillery Regiment. He left with a rank of regimental quartermaster sergeant.
Born in Liverpool, Carl served in Northern Ireland, Germany, Kosovo and Bosnia and took part in the first Gulf War in 1991. He has been married to Paula for 40 years and has five children and seven grandchildren.
He came into contact with logistics veterans as soon as he left the armed forces and is now a trainee HGV driver at Asda’s depot in Skelmersdale.
Carl said: “Getting this job means a lot. I was considering having to do my resume for all kinds of jobs and send them to people and make a bet like everyone else, but logistics veterans opened those doors and closed at the same time if that makes sense and they gave me a direct link to Asda I really appreciate that Asda hired me.
“I think it’s amazing what Asda and the logistics veterans are doing. I didn’t expect it to be honest. What they’ve done for me is great, but what they’re doing for other people who are probably less fortunate than me is amazing. This is a very good thing and I hope more companies will consider doing this.
“Some people may think that because you’ve been in the military your whole life you’re locked up and sorted, but that’s not the case. There are a lot of people who still have a lot of problems and need of gainful employment.”
Carl worked at the Skelmersdale transport office while he completed his heavy truck training.
He said: “The plan is that when I pass my heavyweight test I will be paired up for six to eight weeks with an experienced driver and they will teach me the ropes until I am deemed ready to take on. the roads by myself.. The whole thing is really good and I’m so happy to be employed by Asda.”
Melanie Richmond, training manager at Asda Logistic Services, said“We are delighted to continue our partnership with Veterans into Logistics with this investment, which will support 10 army veterans with the opportunity to improve their skills in order to obtain a truck license.
“We have been working with logistics veterans for two years, assisting them in their vision to support and reintegrate former armed forces into work and civilian life and into the next stage of their life journey.”
Veterans into Logistics has had an outstanding first two years of successfully training or supporting hundreds of ex-Servicemen into new careers of driving HGVs, being featured in a BBC 1 documentary, receiving high-level Ministerial visits Cabinet Office level and receiving the prestigious Armed Forces Gold Pact for their support of reservists, veterans and the veteran community.