A special Asda awards night celebrating achievements within the haulage industry and compèred by Shaun Williamson, aka Barry from EastEnders, raised an incredible £54,957 for Greater Manchester charity, Veterans into Logistics, last week.

The biggest names in the haulage industry attended the glitzy, black-tie event enjoying performances from 103 Regiment Royal Artillery Pipes and Drums and the very entertaining Shaun Williamson, who had the audience singing along to rousing renditions of Sweet Caroline and YMCA.

Veterans into Logistics is one of Asda Logistics Services’ chosen charities of 2024 across 23 regional depots and is the charity’s biggest corporate supporter.

Veterans into Logistics General Manager, John Harker MBE and Founder and former Royal Artillery Airborne Gunner, Darren Wright spoke at the awards about how the charity has empowered hundreds of military veterans by providing them with fully funded HGV driver training and support into employment.

Darren Wright spoke emotionally about his inspirational journey from rock bottom to founding the charity four years ago after the sad loss of his army friend. Sergeant Jamie Doyle, who served 22 years in the Royal Artillery, was tragically found dead at home, being unable to cope less than 12 months after leaving the British Army. Veterans into Logistics was established to reduce unemployment and poverty within the ex-military community by providing training, mentoring and assistance into new careers as an HGV driver.

Chris Hall, Vice President for Asda Logistics Services said: “Having worked with ‘Veterans into Logistics’ since the early days, we are proud to support them and remain committed to working together going forwards. This, as our first fundraising event was tremendously well supported and we’re looking forward to more of the same as we plan for the future.”

Veterans into Logistics General Manager and former British Army Major, John Harker MBE said: “We are extremely grateful to Asda Logistics Services for having us as their nominated charity at this fantastic awards night.

“We’d like to thank ALS and all the companies who donated for their generous support. This money will enable us to provide training and mentoring for veterans to pass their HGV licences, resulting in new driving careers and a bright future.”

Veterans into Logistics Founder and former Royal Artillery Airborne Gunner, Darren Wright said: “We’d like to thank Asda Logistics Services for their support since day one. We’re proud to call them our Platinum Partner to symbolise our special relationship.

“ALS show unwavering commitment to employing military veterans and Armed Forces service leavers and recognises their service by providing a new career and future, during what can be an uncertain transitional period. Thank you to everyone who donated at the Asda Primary Logistics Haulier Awards – this money will help change lives.”