Prestigious items, including a 'money-can't-buy' cricket bat signed by the 2013 winning England (v New Zealand) Cricket Squad, went under the hammer at the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) Awards for Excellence – raising a record-breaking £8360 for international development charity Transaid.
At the black-tie event, which is attended by the fork lift truck industry's leading figures to celebrate the achievements of the fork lift truck industry, the vital contribution played by logistics in the developing world was not overlooked by the capacity audience.
Formed in 1998 by Save the Children and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), Transaid works to identify, champion, implement and share local transport solutions that improve access to basic services and economic opportunities for people in Africa and in developing countries.
Compered by the UK's leading celebrity auctioneer Jonny Gould, the fundraising activities opened with a charity game of Heads and Tails – assisted by FLTA Chief Executive Peter Harvey and President Martyn Fletcher.
A hospitality package for 12 at York Races during the Dante Festival – donated by Clipper Logistics – was the most hotly contested lot, raising £3,300.
Other lots included the "Sportsman's Dream", donated by The Vale Golf and Country Club, Jonny Gould and the PCA; a luxury boutique hotel stay for two donated by Backhouse Jones Solicitors and a cricket bat signed by the winning 2013 England (v New Zealand) Cricket Squad, donated by Investec.
Ahead of the auction, Transaid's chief executive Gary Forster introduced guests to his organisation, sharing its aims and activities – with particular focus on Transaid's important work with fork lift truck training in Zambia – before being presented with a £1,000 donation from Bibby Leasing.
Bibby Leasing's senior sales manager John Bradshaw said: "We were very interested to learn about Transaid and the great work they are doing improving transport links – and lives – in the developing world."
Monies raised will allow Transaid the opportunity to identify new solutions to longstanding issues, including the delivery of healthcare in the developing world.
Transaid's Gary Forster explains: "Some of the money will support our programmes in Madagascar, where health workers are provided with bicycles to ensure that essential medicines reach the furthest and most remote villages.
"Without these bicycles, the supply chain simply stops at district stores – leaving tens of thousands of women and children in rural areas without access to basic medicines and vaccines.
"The success of the charity auction exceeded our wildest dreams; a huge thank you goes to the auctioneer, the companies who donated prizes, and the individuals who put their hands in their pockets.
"It was one of the most successful fundraising events we've ever attended, and allowed us to raise a record sum for Transaid. It is no exaggeration at all to say that because of the money raised at the FLTA Awards access to medicines will be improved and lives will be saved."
FLTA chief executive Peter Harvey said: "It is the first time that the Association has staged a charity fundraiser and we are thrilled with the results. The overall total raised is testament to the extraordinary generosity within our industry.
"It is a great honour to work with Transaid, who draw on the expertise of the European transport and logistics industry to deliver innovative solutions to some of the key challenges facing transport and development today. It is extremely rewarding to know that our contribution will make a real difference in the developing world."