Ford of Britain's trucks have become a mobile billboard for ChildLine to help promote the charity's valuable message and freephone number.

The Transport Operations arm of Ford has a fleet of trucks covering hundreds of thousands of miles a year, travelling the length and breadth of Britain loaded with vehicle parts and accessories. The sides and rear of the 40-foot long trailers are the perfect advertising space for Ford's charity partners.

The latest organisation to cover Ford trailers with its logos and phone number is ChildLine. Launched in 1986, the free 24-hour helpline for children in distress or danger answers 2,300 calls a day.

ChildLine is keen to raise awareness of its 0800 1111 phone number and Ford trucks are the ideal vehicle to do this to road users.

"Ford's help means a great deal to ChildLine," said Lynne Fearn, the charity's corporate partnership manager. "This support means we can get to more youngsters, especially among the hard to reach under 12 year olds."

European transport operations manager, Frank Coyne, said ChildLine livery on vehicles in the fleet was just a part of the Ford support being provided.

"ChildLine is a charity which almost all our 14,000 British employees can relate to," said Frank. "We're now looking at Ford volunteers helping in ChildLine's call centres to answer the phones. Every day around 4,000 children call ChildLine but lack of resources mean only 2,300 get through. After completing ChildLine's training for volunteers, Ford employees can do a lot to help."

In addition Ford is also opening up some of its own training courses to the charity's staff and volunteers. Ford's diversity policy and training programme for all employees will be open to delegates from ChildLine.

The charity struck up its successful relationship with Ford after becoming the charity chosen by its National Diversity Council, which comprises employee, senior management and trade union representatives. The company donated £7,468 to ChildLine after pledging £1 for every returned copy of a 2004 all-employee diversity survey.

ChildLine is not the first campaigning organisation to benefit from Ford's Transport Operations. Three years ago company trucks began advertising photos and details of missing people on behalf of the National Missing Persons Helpline (Nmph). The initiative has helped Nmph maintain its impressive record of resolving 70 per cent of all cases registered.

Ford Transport Operations runs a fleet of 700 trailers which move components to and from the company's plants across Britain. The sides and rear of trailers are also used for Ford's own advertising of new models such as the latest Focus.

Transport Operations is based at Ford's Dagenham estate, in Essex, where rail, road and sea transport routes converge. Rail and sea are used to export Ford Transits and Jaguar cars from their production plants in Britain.

Published : 11/05/05 Author : Melanie Carter

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