Release Date:
Release ID: 4225


Malcolm Kidd, an LGV driving instructor and assessor for Gateshead-based logistics training specialist Van Hee has returned from a three week secondment with Transaid in Nigeria where he has been training six new driver trainers.

The trip marked the first joint overseas project between Van Hee and Transaid, which contacted the charity after reading previous accounts of Transaid supporters sending skilled staff to Africa.

The initiative saw Malcolm, 49, working in Yobe State, northern Nigeria – one of four states in the region where Transaid is helping the Ministry of Health to improve immunisation coverage and access to healthcare for women and young children. Key to achieving this is Transaid’s effort to improve the way the Ministry runs and manages its transport.

Speaking on his return, Malcolm said: “My trip coincided with the arrival of 35 new ambulances and I spent much of my time helping to train a group of six ambulance driver trainers. They were incredibly eager to learn and very receptive to the training programme – as a result, they have already trained their first 20 drivers.”

“Research two years ago estimated that there is only one health service vehicle per 100,000 people in the region, which suffers from high child and maternal mortality rates. If the training we have delivered proves successful in improving vehicle utilisation and safety across the fleet then we will have helped to save lives.”

Chris Saunders, Chief Executive of Transaid adds: “Van Hee’s assistance in Nigeria will enable the health service to utilise their vehicles much more efficiently and safely, which will in turn improve access to healthcare. It’s a great example of how Transaid can help to share the extensive knowledge and experience held within the UK transport and logistics industry with countries across Africa.”

The training involved a mixture of theoretical and practical teaching techniques to support the role out of a much wider five year training programme, which is seeing Transaid working as part of a consortium of companies on behalf of Health Partners International.

Malcolm’s visit to Nigeria was not his first experience in Africa. In 1978 he spent six months in Kenya as part of his 14 years of army service where he drove 65-tonne trucks transporting plant and equipment.

Van Hee is one of the largest providers of logistics training in the UK. For 40 years it has trained at all levels including forklift truck drivers, commercial transport operatives, warehousemen and supervisors, currently training around 3,000 people annually.

Note to Editor:

Transaid ( is an international development agency that aims to improve people’s quality of life in the developing world by making transport more available and affordable. It was founded by Save The Children and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK) and works by sharing skills and knowledge with local people to enable them to put in place and manage efficient transport systems. Transaid’s core work includes creating transport management systems for the public sector and assisting with the provision of professional driving qualification development and the training of driver trainers. It also assists with teaching preventive vehicle maintenance management and introducing local, low cost transport solutions including its innovative bicycle ambulance. Transaid also helps promote HIV, AIDS and road safety awareness and shares its specialist knowledge with the industry and the active involvement of its patron, HRH The Princess Royal.

Van Hee of Felling, Tyne and Wear is one of the largest providers of logistics training in the country, training around 3,000 people annually at all levels in the logistics sector for around 200 customers. They have trained over 26,000 people over the last 40 years. Job functions include, forklift truck drivers, commercial transport operatives, in depot training, Health and Safety, and a range of management skills. Van Hee Transport Limited was established as a general haulage business in 1965 and grew into one of the North East's most respected transport and distribution specialists. In 1985 they expanded activities by training people for other companies in the transport and logistics business at both transport operative and management level. At the end of 2007 Van Hee completed the sale and transfer of the transport side of their business to concentrate solely on developing their logistics training and Skills for Life training. In 2008 they embarked on a refurbishment programme at their headquarters and in 2009 opened Training Centres in London and Nottingham and are actively seeking new service locations throughout the UK. They have partnerships with Learning and Skills Councils, schools and colleges, and other training providers offering a countrywide service. Van Hee has made 40,000 square feet of warehousing space available for self storage at their headquarters in Felling, Tyne and Wear.

For further press information:

Transaid: Chantelle Cummings on + 44 (0) 20 7387 8136, or by email to

Garnett Keeler PR: James Keeler on +44 (0)20 8647 4467 or by email to
59 Piccadilly Manchester M1 2AQ
Telephone: +44 (0)161 408 0542
Fax: +44 (0)870 432 1732

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