Kelly Hobson becomes latest Transaid Ambassador
Transaid is pleased to announce that Kelly Hobson, founder of Shape Tomorrow and a sustainability expert, has become its latest Ambassador.
Transaid Ambassadors represent a group of individuals from across the transport and logistics industry that are committed to Transaid’s cause. They make a difference by raising Transaid’s profile, providing expertise, sharing knowledge and helping to promote fundraising events.
We spoke to Kelly about her decision to help Transaid by becoming an Ambassador.
Kelly has been involved in the logistics industry for many years. This has helped her to develop a deep understanding of the trends that have affected the sector over the last two decades. She noted how in recent years, Brexit and the pandemic has changed perspectives on the logistics sector, with it increasingly being in the spotlight due to the continuing impacts that both of these issues have on the supply of goods to the consumer.
Having started out in marketing, Kelly became more interested in environmental issues and sustainability, and most recently she founded Shape Tomorrow – a management consultancy focused on making positive impacts a normal part of the business world. Kelly believes that all business leaders should understand the level of environmental and societal impact their businesses have, and the focus should be on how specific areas can be improved.
Commenting on the broad nature of sustainability as a topic, she explained that the Shape Tomorrow team has been formed to establish a programme of education, particularly for small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) that may lack the time and internal knowledge base to start their journey. Kelly is the principal consultant on brand and sustainability, developing strategies and road mapping an organisation’s intent, whilst also recognising where knowledge gaps are within the internal team, and supporting that learning journey.
It was when Kelly was working for Ligentia, a leading supply chain technology and services provider, and previously a corporate member of Transaid that she got to learn about our existence and the work that we do. Explaining why she was so keen to support Transaid’s projects, she said:
“Transaid is one of very few charities visibly aligned to our industry, and I wholeheartedly believe in the organisation’s core values that create opportunities for communities and individuals to improve their way of life.
“Of course I am all about positive impact, and you can see that with every project Transaid leads on or provides support, there is a tremendous effect on those involved.”
Kelly joined Transaid on the Supporters’ Trip to Zambia in October 2019, and met a range of stakeholders, from health facility staff to community members in Serenje, where the MAMaZ Against Malaria programme has made a significant difference in increasing access to treatment for people with severe malaria. She also visited the Industrial Training Centre (ITC) in Lusaka, gaining a close-up our professional driver training projects.
“Working for a Transaid corporate member and seeing what our support at the time was funding in the communities where Transaid works was fantastic. However, as a parent witnessing the tremendous difficulties presented by the limited access to healthcare for all ages, but particularly for children really hit home for me.”
Having seen first-hand the difference that Transaid is making both in rural communities and on the road in Zambia, and following a conversation with Victor Simfukwe, where he explained at the time that there were five communities ready to receive a bicycle ambulance, Kelly was inspired to raise enough funding to support these bicycle ambulances.
Upon her return to the UK, the Neat Initiative was launched. The initiative aims to be an industry-wide voice advocating for better environmental and societal practices by uniting companies to create positive impact.
Project One of the Neat Initiative is focused on supporting Transaid’s programmes in sub-Saharan Africa, through the sale of eco-friendly reusable water bottles, with five Pounds Sterling from every sale going directly to our programmes. The Neat 500ml stainless steel water bottle holds cold fluid for 24 hours, and hot for 12 hours.
Sustainability is core to Transaid’s programmes, and the initiative offers an opportunity to purchase a green alternative to plastic bottles, whilst also providing communities across sub-Saharan Africa with much needed and sustainable transport solutions. The funds to support the five bicycle ambulances were raised within six weeks.
Kelly is determined to continue to raise awareness of Transaid’s work in delivering positive change, and in turn encourage more individuals to get involved. Despite progress for Project One initially being halted due to COVID-19, we were delighted to hear from Kelly that she has recently received an order for 2,000 bottles, which will raise funds for a further nine bicycle ambulances – with more information to be released in due course.
In the current economic climate, businesses are increasingly reviewing their environmental and societal impact, with conversations being had around wider sustainability strategies. Kelly would like to encourage businesses across the sector, as well as organisations working with supply chains to prioritise business strategies that work in partnership with charities such as Transaid, that is working to transform lives through safe, available and sustainable transport.
Kelly has already hit the ground running in her new role as an Ambassador and we look forward to her joining the Transaid team at the Microlise Transport Conference later this month. Her expertise in developing sustainability practices will make a valued addition to discussions around how we can help businesses to meet their corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals and strengthen environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) credentials, whilst supporting road safety and access to healthcare programmes in sub-Saharan Africa.
Kelly said: “Transaid plays a key role in delivering positive impact that changes lives for so many communities and individuals. As an Ambassador, I would be delighted if I can raise awareness of Transaid’s work in sub-Saharan Africa, and get more of my network thinking about how they could also get involved.”