Veterans Into Logistics

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We are Veterans into Logistics, a non-profit organisation which was formed to provide training and support, our main aim to change the lives of ex-forces, individuals with convictions and any other vulnerable people who need help in gaining paid employment within the logistics sector.

Veterans into Logistics aims to supports ex-forces, individuals with convictions and any other vulnerable people, who require assistance in gaining HGV licences and support into paid employment.
 

Mission Statement

Our Mission is to reduce unemployment and homelessness amongst the ex-military community by creating a pathway for veterans into the transport and logistic industry.

To reduce unemployment and homelessness amongst the ex-military community by creating a pathway for veterans or long employed or other people with convictions, into transport and logistic sector.

Our strategic aims

  • Partnership working which improves opportunities for veterans.
  • Create a route for veterans into the logistics business.
  • Stronger and more sustainable as an organisation.

 

Our values

  • We challenge oppression and prejudice and promote diversity.
  • We are friendly and make everyone feel welcomed and supported.
  • We are inspired to find worthwhile jobs for veterans.
  • We are an independent voice for veterans.
  • We are dynamic and work with purpose to get things done and to achieve lasting impact.
Our team consists of several seasoned veterans, family, friends, volunteers, and skilled professionals. All the team have the same ethos, we are all committed to helping our veterans get the most out of a new career.
Founder & CEO

Darren Wright

My name is Darren Wright, Founder of Veterans into Logistics.

I was born in 1975 at Crumpsall Hospital, North Manchester. My parents split up when I was five years old, and I was brought up by my dad on a typical northern council estate. I left school at 15 with no qualifications.

Everyone has their reasons for joining the military – I had two. Firstly, I had always wanted to serve Queen and Country. Secondly, I wanted my young family to be brought up in a better environment than the one I was brought up in.

Growing up my dream was to join the British Army. Three of my uncles served in the King’s Own Royal Border Regiment. I remember spending time at Catterick Garrison, watching the soldiers marching, and hearing gunshots from the firing ranges. I planned to join up as a boy soldier at 16. But getting into a relationship and starting a family at ayoung age prevented this as the mother of my child didn’t want me to join the military.

Time went by and the burning desire to be in the British Army never left me. At age 23 I joined the Royal Artillery. I completed my basic training at Pirbright, passing out as Best Recruit. I remember the passing out parade as if it were yesterday, marching on to the parade square, listening to the military band, and feeling the proudest I’d ever felt, knowing I was starting a new life for myself and my family.

I was posted to 21 Air Assault Battery RA, which provided Air Defence to 16 Air Assault Brigade. I completed the All Arms P-Company in 1999, earning the right to wear the Maroon Beret, and becoming a member of the Airborne Brotherhood.

In the wake of the Twin Tower attack on September 11th, 2001, the Americans, along with their British allies, started the ‘War on Terror. I was deployed to Afghanistan in January 2002 as a member of The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

In 2003, I started having mental health issues, which led me to be referred to The Duchess of Kent Military Psychiatric Hospital in Catterick Garrison as an inpatient. I spent four weeks there before receiving an administrated discharge from the military.

At the beginning of 2004, after returning to my home city of Manchester, my mental state deteriorated. My life spiralled out of control. I became dependent on alcohol and drugs, and my marriage broke down, which led me to become homeless. I ended up ‘sofa surfing’ with family and friends. I wasn’t mentally fit for work, so I was forced to look at alternative ways of earning money. After growing up on a council estate where criminality was the normality, it wasn’t long before I was lured into criminality myself.

In 2005, I was in such a bad state that I simply didn’t want to carry on living. My life continued to deteriorate and in 2006 I received 11 years and three months prison sentence.

I regret the crime I committed but receiving a custodial sentence saved my life because it was in prison where I was correctly diagnosed with suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). This enabled me to receive medical treatment that put me on the road to recovery. I served a total of six years.

After being released from prison in 2012, I was the Darren Wright of old before I had endured mental health issues. I walked through those prison gates looking forward to life and re-building a relationship with my children.

I was fortunate to attend the Ministry of Defence School of Transport at Leconfield where I gained my HGV licences which enabled me to gain secure employment as an HGV driver upon leaving prison, this gave me structure, stability, and financial security which I needed to rebuild my life.

I enjoyed being an HGV driver, I enjoyed the freedom of being on the road. Eventually, I found myself becoming a Fuel Tanker Driver delivering to petrol stations. This job paid well earning over fifty thousand pounds a year which for someone who left school without any qualifications I considered a good wage.

In 2018, I attended the funeral of Jamie Doyle, a friend whom I had served alongside in the military. Jamie had just completed 22 years in the British Army and within less than twelve months of leaving the military, he was found dead at home.

Iwalked away from Jamie’s funeral thinking more needs to be done for ex-armed military personnel that struggle with the transition after leaving the armed forces.

I struggled with the transition where I hit rock bottombefore overcoming the battles I had in my head. I consider myself fortunate to be alive today!But it is having gotten through those difficult years and coming out the other end has made me the person I am today.

I believethe lived experience I have puts me in a good position to support veterans who are struggling to adapt to the community as I have been there myself.

Chairman

Chair of Trustees and Chief Operating Officer

I am a serving member of HM forces, having served for a total of 40 years. I started my career in the Army as a Gunner (Private Soldier), having worked my way through the ranks serving in the UK, overseas and on Operations in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan. I was fortunate enough to achieve the pinacol of a soldier’s career, and finish as a Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM). I didn’t feel I was ready to leave the Military at this stage and felt I had more to offer. I applied for a Queens Commission in April 2010 and was successful, so I begin a new career as a Commissioned officer, where I will remain until my time runs out in September 2022.

I am proud of my achievements in the army, having worked my way through the ranks from Gunner to Major. I also enjoyed mine and my families time working all over the world and living in married accommodation. I am very keen to stay involved with the forces as a form of payback for what the army has done for me and my family, and I believe working with Veterans/service leavers is an avenue I would enjoy for all the right reasons.

Having recently come on board with Veterans into Logistics (ViL) through Mr Darren Wright, who I served with, and is a veteran himself, has experienced the issues most service leavers experience when taking the step to living outside the very protective army bubble.

Veterans into Logistics is a non-profit organisation with the sole intention of training veterans/service leavers in all forms of logistics. Specifically getting individuals a Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) licence, Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC), working on their CV’s, and getting these personnel through the door of reputable companies for an interview. These would be companies that sign up to the armed forces covenant (A promise from the nation that those who serve or have served in the armed forces and their families are treated fairly).

I have looked at a few companies that offer veterans and service leavers training, but I do believe that what Veterans into Logistics are offering is above and beyond these companies. The individuals who have been through Veterans into Logistics and are now in employment, all stated the mentoring offered by Veterans into Logistics once you are in employment, is just as valuable as the training you receive to get you into employment, and this can be seen in all their stories.

Many individuals leave the forces with little or no direction for the outside world and end up going down the wrong path. I know with the correct training, mentoring and opportunities many of these individuals would shine in most organisations. I feel with the support of companies that champion veterans, and who are willing to embrace them will receive 10-fold in return and will receive an employee who has had values and standards drilled into him 24/7. Thus he/she will be punctual, reliable and motivated to succeed.

I look forward to the challenges of working with Veterans into Logistics, and I am excited at the prospect of changing and adding value to an individual’s life.

Media Supervisor

Leilah Wright

My favourite childhood memories were from when I lived on Thorney Island (Baker Barracks) while my Dad was serving in the Army. I remember my Dad showing me and my sisters footage of disadvantaged children from his tour in Afghanistan and he told us to collect all our unused toys and clothes for him to give out to the kids while he was out there.

In my teenage years, I was part of the Air Cadets yet my passions were more creative based and I went on to study Photography at University and work in the Film industry for a while. When my Dad formed Veterans into Logistics I decided that I wanted to help him grow the organisation. From first-hand experience, I have seen the effects of unresolved PTSD and also seen how so many veterans are left to fend for themselves after serving in traumatic combat situations. It’s an issue that hits close to home for me and something that really bothers me. Through my creative background, I hope to document the stories of Veterans who we train and support and give them a platform to tell their stories.

Commercial & Quality Manager

Narmin Hugill

I have many years’ experience of managing/teaching and assessing within the education section.  I have particularly strong demonstrable skills in staff development, learner achievement, leadership, and management development.

I have also been influential in income generation to support staff and management development with the education sector. I have worked for many years in education, as a teacher, quality, assessor, lead internal verifier and lecturer, supporting people with learning disabilities and complex needs to live as independently and safely as possible. I am always striving to go the extra mile to achieve excellence.

My husband was a WO2 in the British Army and therefore I feel very passionately about the Armed Forces. When I was first introduced to Veterans into Logistics, I wanted to get on board to assist ex-military personnel and use my extensive knowledge to educate them on how to prosper in a career in Civvy Street.

Employment Advisor

Candice Ellis

It is in my passion to go the extra mile to help and support people who are in need, whether it is my friends, family, or total strangers I seem to be that “go-to”. When I got the opportunity to come work for Veterans into Logistics as a recruitment consultant I was over the moon, as I understand and know how it feels mentally to be in a loose end job or unemployed. I build and develop positive relationships with Service leavers/Veterans and their families to better understand their requirements and needs.

As a teen I always wanted to become a Dental Nurse, I studied at The University Dental Hospital of Manchester for just over 18 months, it was challenging and overwhelming at times, but I made it my mission to carry on and qualify at the same time of having the responsibility of a 6-month-old. I got offered a contract at the dental practice where I did my work placement; however, I just felt it wasn’t for me as I am a people’s person; I knew back then I needed a career change to feel more satisfaction from life by just helping and guiding people. That is what I do today, thanks to everyone at “Veterans into Logistics”.

Office Assistant

Harley Nolan

Working at Veterans into Logistics really opened my eyes to see the amount of veterans who struggle while adapting to civilian life. I joined the company through the Kickstart Programme and this is my first proper job, through working here I have been trained in aspects of the workplace I wasn’t at all experience in, such as Customer Service and General Office skills.

Growing up I didn’t have the easiest time and experienced my own mental health issues, working with Veterans into Logistics who help people who are going through hard times is something I really admire, and feel proud to help those who need our support and who have served their country.

Business Support Manager

Debbie Ball

In my 20s I had a friend who received a prison sentence, he was also a veteran and had complex needs. I knew given the right opportunity and support he could have a successful life on release, but without that opportunity he may bounce in and out of prison for the rest of his life. Through our visits I became interested in working with young offenders and I gained a role supporting young people in custody into employment and training on release.

Twenty years later, after working with both offenders and serving military personnel, I am excited to now be using my skills and experience at Veterans in Logistics. I am passionate about empowering our learners to take their next step on their career path.

HGV Driving Instructor

Phil Hugill

I joined the Army in June 1974 and was posted to the 4th Field Regiment RA at Catterick. I did a tour of Northern Ireland in 1976, done my physical trainer’s instructor course and worked in the gym for 2 years. I was promoted to full bombardier and was a gun number 1, visiting Australia, Hong Kong, and America. Done a 9-month tour in Belize, visiting Canada, Denmark, etc etc.

Then posted to 50 missile regiment (nuclear), got to the rank of WO1, then posted to 19 Regiment as a Regimental Training Officer, then to 3 RHA as assistant adjutant. Retiring from the Army in 1995, I worked for Cleveland Police as a Victim Witness Liaison Officer. After being made redundant in 2003, I then become a long-distance lorry driver, gaining my ADR I went on the tankers until 2013 and then went into semi-retirement.

In February 2021, I attended a VIL 35 hours Periodic CPC training to renew with the intention to get back to driving and Darren approached me and asked me to come work for Veterans into Logistics on the Pathway into Logistics course. Darren then asked me to become one of the vehicle trainers, and I accepted. Being a Veteran myself, I enjoy teaching other ex-military personnel to gain their HGV licence which gives them trade for life.

HGV Driving Instructor

Brian Ramsdale

I started my military service back in August 1974 and completed my basic training and driver training to class C at Buller Barracks. I was then posted to 16 Tk Tptr Sqn in Germany where I spent 9 years during that times I completed my C+E Test then my specialist Tank Transporter trade training class 3 class 2, class 1 at 7 Tank Transport Regiment training centre, during this time I also qualified as a HGV Driving instructor.

1983 I was then posted to 414 Tk Tptr Sqn as section commander in charge of a section of 6 transporters During my time there I moved into operations where I was planning routes for the Tank Transporter throughout the UK

1986 I was posted to 617 Tank Transporter Sqn where I was a section commander then moved to the vehicle servicing and inspection bay carrying out vehicle roadworthy inspections.

1989 I was posted to 7 Tk Tptr Regiment training wing as. A & B vehicle trade instructor during this time I also Qualified as an all arm’s weapons instructor.

1993 I was posted to 414 TkTptr Sqn where I spent time as a section commander and vehicle inspections

I retired from the Army in August 1996 where I joined Manchester training as self-employed HGV instructor until the regulations changed in 1997.

1997 I joined TDG Logistics as a transport planner controlling 2 Major Customer contracts Napier Brown Sugar and Cadburys bulk and liquid tankers. looking after 40 drivers In 2000 I moved into TDG safety and training services as a divisional instructor covering the chemical division advanced driver safety training. I then moved in to head office as the northern region group instructor supporting and carrying out continuation training for all depot instructors in the northern region across all divisions.

After being made redundant in 2011 after TDG take over by Norbert Dentressangle, I joined Woodside Haulage as the UK driving instructor covering all driver continuation and safety training including fuel-efficient driving and transport-related issues. until April 2022 when I retired until Darren rang me and asked me to go and see him as he had heard I had retired, I join Veterans in Logistics on 25/04/2022 bringing a vast amount of knowledge and experience.

2022 Veterans into Logistics. All Rights Reserved all 3rd party trademarks acknowledged Company’s Registered Office Address Veterans into Logistics, Birch Mill Business Centre, Heywood Old Road, Greater Manchester, OL10 2 QQ

Veterans into Logistics is a registered incorporated organisation registered in England and Wales with registered charity number 1198343 having its principal office at Birch Mill Business Centre, Heywood, Greater Manchester, OL10 2QQ