Behind the shed

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Spare a thought for Moir Lockhead, chief executive of Britain’s biggest bus and rail company First Group. He was all ready to fly to London to receive the Sir Robert Lawrence Award at the CILT dinner last month – only to find himself fogbound in Aberdeen.

The event itself presented guests with the delicious spectacle of DHL, part of the German post office, presenting an award for environmental improvement to arch rival Royal Mail (and with scarcely a mention of the postal strike). Congratulations to the all the award winners.

NetDespatch has dug into its pockets to help save Longridge Youth Development Centre, a water sports facility on the Thames, which caters for young people of all backgrounds and abilities. The company donated £5,500 to the centre, which has been under threat from development. The donation provides a huge boost to the charity, which is trying to raise the final £50,000 (of a total £1.2 million) to secure the long term future for Longridge and protect the site from future development. The centre is also home of the Olympic Women’s Rowing Squad and national kayak teams.

Three of the staff at NetDespatch have been so inspired by the work done by Longridge that they are also providing direct support to the centre.

Telford-based Link 51 has donated a set of shirts to the under nines team of local rugby club, Telford Hornets, whose own growth at junior level in recent years has been remarkable. Link 51’s managing director Marko Ivanovic says: “We firmly believe the involvement of children of all ages in sporting pursuits such as those offered by Telford Hornets should be applauded. We are proud, therefore, that the team will be prominently displaying the Link 51 logo on its shirts – particularly as the club’s history, coincidentally, now stretches back some 51 years.”

From just ten players in the mini/midi section four years ago, Telford Hornets has experienced dramatic growth and can now boast teams in every age group, and no less than 250 players in the junior section in total.

There are plenty of opportunities for people wanting to work in the logistics industry – the only problem is that the sector hasn’t had its best bits shown off to the younger generation. Now Jobcentre Plus and the Road Haulage Association (both members of the Yorkshire and Humber Freight Skills Group) are taking steps to change that by arranging for 50 Jobcentre Plus advisors in Yorkshire to get a taste of the logistics sector by a brief drive in a modern lorry, and a visit to a major warehouse, including trying out a fork lift truck. The programme will include a short presentation from Skills for Logistics, on the wide range of jobs in the sector and the extensive training arrangements that are being developed to support both employers and employees together with the issues that affect the industry. Jobcentre Plus staff will hear first hand how the various jobs available in the logistics sector work, and what opportunities there are for those who are interested in working in it.

In-night distribution service ByBox has raised thousands of pounds for the NSPCC with a 50 mile tandem race, stretching from the company’s base in Milton Keynes to its main hub in Coventry. The teams, headed by chief executive Stuart Miller, chief technology officer Dan Turner and managing director Mark Garritt, had to complete more than 30 challenges along the way. These tasks ranged from changing the lock on one of the company’s delivery boxes to completing a word puzzle using clues along the route. One pound was donated per mile and per team and also per successfully completed challenge, and the money was donated to the NSPCC’s Boole House counselling project in Coventry, which is totally reliant on charitable donations. The race is the first major fundraising event which ByBox has undertaken since the company announced that they were adopting the NSPCC as its nominated charity at the opening of its 100,000 sq ft hub.

Midland members of the Industrial Agents Society and of the Investment Property Forum recently visited Birch Coppice Business Park near Tamworth to hear an update on the trends in distribution, building design and third party logistics. The presentation by Lisa Fitch, supply chain consultant at Birmingham property agent Atis Real, was followed by a tour of the site.

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