Local lifesaving ‘hero’ lorry-driver stands up to back kindness campaign
- Local man, Tom Reddy, is supporting Mandata and the Road Haulage Association’s Kindest Town campaign, which aims to promote more kindness towards truckers.
- Tom, who has struggled with mental health during his life, wants to remind the public how a little bit of kindness from fellow humans can go a very long way.
- In 2021 Tom won a ‘HGV Heroes’ award after helping to save a stranger suffering with mental health issues from committing suicide.
- Tom, from Stratford Upon Avon, is standing up to support Mandata and the Road Haulage Association who have collectively launched ‘The UK’s Kindest Town’ campaign, which is seeking to award the UK place that shows the most warmth and kindness to truckers.Sadly, truckers are often treated negatively by the public – they can be seen as a nuisance, on the receiving end of unkind words, despite providing an essential logistics service for the nation.Tom says: ‘Truckers work long hours, often in total isolation. The industry is hard work and dirty too. Poor mental health is a known symptom for so many of us working in these tough conditions.‘I really struggled with mental health myself in my 20s – luckily I got through it, but there were times when I felt suicidal and also battled with feelings of self-harm.
‘When working long hours in isolation and struggling with mental health, negative treatment can really affect you, making your day go from bad to much worse.
‘However, a small act of kindness – even just a kind word or gesture, can lift your spirits and cheer up your day significantly. That’s why I am right behind this campaign that aims to champion kindness towards truckers!’
‘The UK’s Kindest Town’ campaign strives to cultivate a more compassionate attitude towards HGV drivers by encouraging individuals, businesses, and organisations in local towns to put their kindness on display, in a bid to be awarded the title of ‘The UK’s Kindest Town’.
In 2021 Tom, who now runs his own business training road transport managers, played a pivotal role in saving a stranger from committing suicide when he spotted him on the edge of a bridge. Without Tom’s kind words and reassurance, the fate of this man who was struggling severely with his mental health, could’ve been very different.
Tom said: ‘I’ll never forget that experience, it was during the COVID-19 pandemic and was incredibly sobering. It also reminded me of my own trauma and suicidal feelings years ago. Sharing kind and reassuring words are what most people would do in that situation – a clear testament to what a difference kind words of support can make. I was so glad I was able to help.
The primary objective of Mandata and RHA’s Kindest Town campaign is to create a more positive experience for HGV drivers, on the roads and at delivery centres. Lorry drivers often spend long hours on the road away from their families and loved ones and the campaign aims to showcase how acts of kindness can make a significant difference on their mental and emotional well-being.
The campaign invites road hauliers to vote for their favourite towns – i.e. the places where they have experienced exceptional displays of kindness. By completing a brief questionnaire covering various criteria of their experiences within these towns, such as access to amenities, parking, and the kindness of the local people during one-to-one interactions or on the town’s surrounding roads, they will have a chance to win a £2,500 holiday voucher or a weekly (individual) £100 Amazon voucher. In addition, HGV drivers can compete for a £500 Amazon voucher by crafting a creative social media post highlighting their chosen town.
Sandra Pretorius, chief marketing officer at Mandata Group, said: “The search for the UK’s Kindest Town, as voted for by road hauliers, is all about reminding the public that sometimes the smallest acts of kindness towards HGV drivers can have a tremendous impact on not only their mental health, but on everyone who witnesses acts of kindness on the roads and at delivery sites. Kindness begets kindness, but every chain reaction requires a spark. It is our hope that this campaign will be the inspiration that reignites random acts of kindness in towns all across the country.”
Richard Smith, managing director at RHA said: “The RHA are thrilled to collaborate with Mandata on ‘The UK’s Kindest Town’ campaign. This campaign represents a significant step forward in promoting acts of kindness, community spirit and mental health awareness across the road haulage industry in the UK. By shining a light on the importance of demonstrating support towards HGV drivers, we hope to create a more compassionate attitude towards them and make a real difference in their lives. We are proud to support this initiative and we look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on the industry and the wider community.”
Voting is open to all road haulage business owners, traffic planners and HGV drivers and entries can be submitted via https://www.mandata.co.uk/kindtown/ until midnight on the 15th September. You can also get involved with the conversation online by using the hashtag #KindGiants.