Behind the shed

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A team from MAN ERF UK and S&B Training, have returned from a two week trip to Nigeria, where they have been overseeing the construction of motorcycle ambulance trailers. The Transaid project is part of a UK government funded programme, that benefits pregnant women who require transport to emergency clinics for treatment. It may not be the ideal way to get around, but it sure beats walking the huge distances between clinics. MAN ERF UK gave its apprentices at S&B Training, the opportunity to design a lightweight prototype trailer. Declan Donnelly, a third year apprentice based in Northern Ireland, emerged with the simplest, most robust and cost-effective design, which he named the “Dec-Lander”. Donnelly flew to Dutse in Nigeria, to oversee the trailer’s local production. Transaid will oversee additional safety trials and official vehicle licensing for the trailer. It is hoped that mass manufacture will begin this autumn.

Thomas Hardie’s Academy of Driver Training & Development, has launched the “Girls in Gear” campaign. The scheme is trying to promote a career as an LGV driver, being a viable role for women. City College Manchester has committed to help 100 women in the Manchester area gain their licence over the next two years. The campaign has so far proved very successful with 30 women signing up to take their test.

Potter Group managing director Matthew Lamb and general manager Nick Brightey are in training for the BUPA Great North Run in October, in aid of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service. Lamb said: “Not everyone realises that this excellent service is a charity, and we are determined to show our gratitude by running the full 13 miles to raise much needed funds through sponsorship.”

Is your warehouse looking drab these days? School children from four schools won a prize of an interview with yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur, after winning an art competition organised by B&Q and TNT Logistics. B&Q is sponsoring MacArthur’s expeditions and the kids entered the competition to redecorate TNT’s Branston distribution centre. Employees at B&Q’s distribution centre in Branston decided they wanted to brighten up their working environment and enrolled the help of local schools, to paint pictures of Ellen MacArthur’s record-breaking journey around the world. Each school selected three or four countries Ellen would have passed en-route and produced artwork to illustrate these countries. The finished designs were displayed on the walls of Branston Distribution Centre so that employees at the site could vote for their favourite designs.

JCB’s Teletruck has helped support a unique event at this year’s Motor Show, in London. The forward-reaching forklift played a supporting role on and off stage, for Drive Productions’ ‘Dockside Story’, an energetic depiction of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet – with cars, motorbikes and forklifts. The climax of the show included trapeze artists suspended at roof level above the arena, from one of the JCB telescopic trucks.

Ben Fender, the show’s producer, said: “…When we saw the JCB telescopic machines it was immediately obvious they were capable of providing the ideal solution.”

The British Red Cross has launched The Disaster Response Challenge, a two-day event on the 15 – 17 September 2006, that promises to test participants to their core. The event provides an opportunity to experience first hand the decisions that the Red Cross emergency response unit faces everyday.

Using a hypothetical real-time disaster, the challenge asks entrants to develop a “Disaster Response Plan”. The idea is to take people out of their comfort zone, and plunge them into an environment where everyday decisions become a matter of life and death. Other issues covered on the event include; logistics, communications, first aid, casualty evacuation and delegate security. For further details contact Clare Murray, senior fundraiser on 020 7382 4653 or email her at [email protected]

An intrepid team from the TNT Logistics Purchasing department raised £12,500 for charity with a sponsored marathon of dangerous sports. The team rode white water rapids, jumped fifty feet off a cliff into a river and canyoned down a two mile descent through a 350ft high gorge at Scotland’s Nae Limits Activity Centre. They helped raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, British Heart Foundation and World Food Programme School Feeding in Tanzania. Simon Boggis, director of procurement, said: “When we jumped off the cliff it must have looked like those Acapulco cliff divers – only without the grace, weather, or diving! But everyone found it exhilarating and some even jumped more than once.”

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