The first coach industry figures have been nominated in RHA Heroes. The trade body says the campaign aims to recognise staff and teams in the transport and logistics sectors – including coaching – who have “gone the extra mile over the last year.”
The five-week campaign has been expanded and renamed from HGV Heroes to take account of its extension to capture the coach and van industries. All nominees will receive an RHA Heroes thank you certificate before a panel of industry figures decides on a winning RHA Hero or team of Heroes. They will be rewarded with an ‘experience prize’ of their choice to the value of £1,000.
Says RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett: “There is no better time than after an exceptionally difficult year to acknowledge the amazing things that people do day in, day out. We are asking individuals in our industry to recognise drivers, mechanics, warehouse staff, admin teams and anyone else who deserves an award.”
Early nominations from the coach industry have been father and daughter team John and Jenna Rush of Seaton Burn-based North East Coach Travel; Candice Mason of Tring operator Masons Minibus and Coach Hire; and Robert Marriott, Operations Manager of Kent-based Bayliss Executive Travel.
Ms Rush has been at the forefront of the Honk for Hope movement in the UK that saw organised protests in England, Scotland and Wales in summer 2020 about the government’s failure to support the coach industry. She has contributed greatly to raising the sector’s profile among politicians.
Those elected representatives include Emma Hardy MP, who has been coaching’s heavyweight advocate in Westminster since mid-2020. Mrs Hardy has herself since been nominated for RHA Heroes.
Mrs Mason has been similarly prominent among coaching’s call for support. She has engaged frequently with politicians and gave evidence to a Transport Select Committee hearing on 24 March that examined the impact of COVID-19 on the sector.
Subsequent nominations for RHA Heroes from the coach industry include Anthony’s Travel Managing Partner Richard Bamber and Theo Taylor, the nine-year-old son of Applegates Coaches owners Ceri and Helen Taylor. He wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson on several occasions in 2020 highlighting the sector’s need for support. Also put forward is Laura Hadzik, Solicitor at transport legal specialist Backhouse Jones.
Further nominations can be made via the RHA Heroes website. The closing date is 6 June.