Not for profit HGV training organisation, Veterans into Logistics, has named its DAF CF85 training vehicle in memory of Fusilier Lee Rigby, in a moving tribute at Rochdale Cricket Club, Greater Manchester.
Guests at last weekend's COVID-safe event included the family of Lee Rigby, Armed Forces Lead for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Chris Thomas, Member of Parliament for Heywood and Middleton, Chris Clarkson, and Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham.
Veterans into Logistics was established last year with the aim of reducing unemployment amongst military veterans. The organisation, which is currently applying for charity status, provides much-needed skills, opportunities, and personal support to veterans struggling to cope with reintegration into civilian life.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with the team from Veterans into Logistics,” said MP for Heywood and Middleton, Chris Clarkson, “Our armed forces are especially close to my heart, so when Darren [Wright] got in touch about the work he and the team were doing to support service leavers into the logistics sector, I was keen to find out more.
“Right now,” he said, “the country is facing a serious shortage of qualified heavy-goods drivers and so the work that VIL is doing is especially important for our national recovery from coronavirus. Together I hope we can provide many more opportunities for our veterans in this critically important and highly rewarding sector.”
Darren Wright, Founder and Director of Veterans into Logistics, said, “We’re honoured to have named our training vehicle in Lee’s memory and to welcome his mother Lyn Rigby and close family to the tribute on the anniversary of his funeral. Lee’s name,” he said, “will take pride of place on our DAF CF, which plays a key role in helping to provide a new career to the UK’s military veterans.”
In addition to one-to-one mentoring, the Veterans into Logistics team delivers the necessary training to allow ex-military personnel to gain their HGV driving licence. Lessons are delivered using the organisation’s dedicated DAF LF and CF trucks. Once qualified, the in-house recruitment team helps new drivers to find their first role within the transport and logistics industry.
Wright added, “So many service leavers who leave the armed forces without a trade or transferable skill struggle to meaningful employment. Having employment is a major factor in a person’s mental health, as employment gives you structure, stability and financial security which is needed to get by in life.
“Our mission,” he said, “is to reduce unemployment within the veteran’s community and all our veterans to earn a sustainable living.”