Jo Godsmark awarded the 2022 Victor Simfukwe Award
During our recent annual Showcase event on the 28th September 2022, we announced the winner of the Victor Simfukwe Award, which was created in memory of our friend and colleague Victor Simfukwe, who passed away in 2019.
The award in his name is our way of honouring Victor’s legacy by recognising those who have made an outstanding contribution to Transaid’s mission over the past year.
The winner of the Victor Simfukwe Award was announced by our Chair of Transaid’s Board, Joan Aitken and awarded to Jo Godsmark, Transaid’s former Board Chair, and Chief Operating Officer at BigChange. BigChange has been a corporate member of Transaid since 2018.
Jo was on Transaid’s Board of Trustees for nine years, and Chair of the Board for six years, she won the overall award for her unwavering commitment to the organisation. During this period she dedicated much of her time and energy to supporting Transaid with both governance and fundraising. Despite juggling Transaid alongside her family and a full time job, Jo has also undertaken several cycle challenges, raising funds for Transaid’s programmes and helping to make a real impact on lives in sub-Saharan Africa. She will next take part in our Cycle Malawi event.
GXO graduate Abbie Rennison was highly commended for her nine-month secondment to Transaid’s professional driver training work in Uganda. She was recognised as an outstanding Project Officer for Transaid and its partners in Uganda, and supported a number of programmes in the country, adding tremendous value, and everyone across all departments loved working with her.
Well done to our winners and all those who were nominated this year. We hope that the 2022 Victor Simfukwe Awards has inspired you and don’t forget to nominate people next year who are making exceptional contributions to furthering Transaid’s mission.
A full list of the nominees can be found below.
Victor Simfukwe Award Nominees 2022
Jo Godsmark – Chief Operating Officer, BigChange
Jo was nominated for her time and energy dedicated to supporting Transaid with both governance and fundraising during her nine years on Transaid’s Board (six as the Chair). Despite juggling Transaid alongside her family and her full time job, Jo has also undertaken several cycle challenges raising much needed funds.
Abbie Rennison – Continuous Improvement Analyst, GXO & previously Project Officer, Transaid
Abbie was commended for her passion and commitment in working with female drivers to get them fully trained and support them into employment in a very male dominated sector. She engaged closely with recently trained women, encouraged them to return for refresher practical training and to upgrade their driving class to a full CE licence to better position them to be employed. Through her efforts, female drivers, trained at Safe Way Right Way, successfully found work at several organisations including Hima Cement, Schlumberger and the World Food Programme.
Alan Thornton – Commercial Director, The Malcolm Group
Alan was recognised for his tireless commitment to ensuring that the Malcolm Group supports Transaid in every way that it can. He was influential in getting them on board as a corporate partner, in the three training vehicles that have been delivered to the ITC, and is always looking for further ways they can help. Alan enters semi-retirement this September and has spent this year ensuring Group CEO Andrew Malcolm gets recognition for his leadership, however Alan too deserves recognition for his unwavering support to Transaid.
Caroline Barber – CEO, Transaid
Caroline was nominated for her unwavering support over many years to various activities aimed at improving the lives of the less privileged communities, which is the same cause Victor was fighting to achieve.
Florence Bearman – Head of Fundraising, Transaid
Florence was commended for being an Ambassador of the Transaid philosophy, and her dedicated goal of raising funds to ensure that projects are sufficiently financed. She encourages others to participate in events, and also participates in all of the events herself, supporting everyone with a smile and sheer determination to ensure the job is done. Her warm, friendly manner and positive attitude have led to many people signing up, and going on to raise huge amounts of money for Transaid.
Jason Finch – Project Manager, Transaid
Jason was recognised for his exemplary commitment to road safety in Africa. He works tirelessly on road safety programmes and is not limited by any restrictions or oppositions he might face in his line of work. His passion and commitment is admirable and is what Africa needs to reduce fatalities and injuries caused by road accidents.
Jon Aspden – Driver Trainer, Clipper Logistics
Jon was nominated for his commitment to Transaid’s programmes. He spent several weeks in country helping to set up the simulator donated by Clipper Logistics, and also returned on a number of occasions to help train the trainers to ensure that the training of drivers is the best it can be.
Kelly Hobson – Ambassador, Transaid
Kelly was commended for her commitment to furthering Transaid’s mission, raising its profile and supporting its work since she became an Ambassador. Whether this be through joining the fundraising team at various industry events and pushing for pledge card donations, meeting with event organisers to encourage bulk purchasing of Neat stainless steel water bottle, or introducing Transaid to new businesses, Kelly goes the extra mile.
Lynsey Mitchell – Business Support Supervisor, John Mitchell Haulage
Lynsey was nominated for her determination to raise funds for Transaid. She worked hard to organise the Scottish Transport Dinner in September, and resurrected it post COVID-19. She is increasing awareness of Transaid, not embarrassed to ask for support, and always coming up with creative fundraising ideas.
Maddy Matheson – Communications Officer, Transaid
Maddy was commended for her commitment to ensuring Transaid is featured within partners’ communications activities. Whether it’s social media, features, or events, Maddy has provided regular content and collateral to help to promote Transaid’s activities.
Mike Daly – Ambassador, Transaid
Mike was recognised for his endless promotion of Transaid throughout the industry. He has harnessed his connections to gain corporate support and membership over the years, and is always looking for ways Transaid can get new organisations on board and engage them with its work. He also provides invaluable support to the Christmas Appeal year on year, bringing new supporters and ensuring that his contacts support. Mike is always on hand for events, whether that be to drop-off and collect materials, or to help the team on the stand.
Neil Rettie – Project Manager, Transaid
Neil has shown exceptional commitment to Transaid – taking the decision this year to leave Stagecoach, his employer of more than 25 years, and move to a permanent role in the Transaid team. In November 2021, Neil was in Mozambique holding meetings with driving schools when his trip was suddenly cut short by the Omicron variant. This resulted in what he describes as a 10-day journey to plot a way home, via multiple airports, most spent with only the clothes on his back, given he didn’t have access to his hold luggage. That would be enough for most people! But Neil brushed it off as ‘one of those things’, and still accepted the full-time role at Transaid. His passion, enthusiasm, and dedication to Transaid and the communities Transaid supports is quite simply incredible.
Peter Tibigambwa – Director, Safe Way Right Way
Peter was nominated for his commitment to Transaid’s mission and for working tirelessly at both Safe Way Right Way and on the FIND project to ensure that transport becomes safer in Uganda. Nothing is too much for Peter, and he is always pushing the boundaries – with enthusiasm and a smile on his face.
Thelma Ayisi – Project Officer, Transaid
Having joined Transaid fairly recently, Thelma was commended for being a fantastic and supportive colleague, and for the value and day to day support that she has brought to Transaid’s Professional Driver Training Programme in Ghana. She goes above and beyond to maintain key relationships, and ensures that Transaid is well represented at events, visible and ready for a long and impactful presence in Ghana. “A star for the future no doubt, lovely person, and dry sense of humour – always a winner.”
Tom Southall – Policy Director, Cold Chain Federation
Tom was nominated for raising close to £10,000 in fundraising for his participation in Transaid’s Cycle Malawi challenge in October 2022. He was also recognised as being the main driver in strengthening the CCF partnership with Transaid, and extending that out to many CCF members and associated partners.