Asda helping to train veterans as HGV drivers at Washington distribution centre

A national veterans charity has received £40,000 from Asda to train 10 armed forces veterans into new careers as HGV drivers at a Washington distribution centre.

To celebrate the partnership between Asda and Veterans into Logistics, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, Sharon Hodgson, visited the site to speak to veterans Martin Douglas and Iain Stirling who are now employed by Asda.

Veterans into Logistics has been working alongside Asda Logistics Services for two years, supporting the charity's mission of preventing homelessness and unemployment in the veteran community.

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This £40,000 donation from Asda will help to provide training and mentoring for the veterans to pass their HGV licences, resulting in new driving careers.

Left to right, Martin Douglas, Sharon Hodgson MP, Ian Stirling

Now an Asda colleague, Martin Douglas, 35, from Washington left the Armed Forces in 2010 after spending seven years in the Royal Engineers and touring Afghanistan and has been working as a HGV driver for 15 months.

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He said: “I’m now in a place where I’m happy in life and Veterans into Logistics helped provide that route to fulfilment. My family and kids can now see how happy I am.

“The donation from Asda will help other veterans to feel the same as me, supported into a new career where they will look forward to getting up in the morning and doing a job they love.”

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Veterans into Logistics Trustee, Major Daryl Groves, said: “We are extremely grateful for this donation from Asda which will enable us to train 10 veterans into new careers as HGV drivers.

“We are so pleased that Asda continues to partner with us and see the benefits of employing veterans with the dedication and skills they bring. We have already upskilled and supported veterans who are working for Asda Logistics Services who say they are enjoying their new careers and feel respected and appreciated by Asda.

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“This donation will be life-changing for the veterans it supports, bringing structure, stability and financial security.”

Sharon Hodgson MP, said: "I am delighted that Asda are donating £40,000 towards the training of 10 unemployed ex-services personnel to be HGV drivers, and it is fantastic that Asda Washington will be the central depot for the training.

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"I was honoured to be invited to the presentation at the depot and look forward to supporting investment in the skills of the future for veterans."