Maritime Transport (Maritime) moves over 11,000 containers every week, with jobs varying from one offs to regular deliveries for customers. Jobs are booked into the system with sometimes brief descriptions and one of Maritimes recent runs in Southampton City centre was no exception.
"We use a program called TOPS to book and monitor the jobs we have in the system" said Dave Taylor, General Manager at Maritime, "No one had been told the nature of our Southampton booking and a container load of old clothes isn't unusual for us, as far as we were aware it was just another job."
Chris Emmett, Felixstowe Driver for Maritime, took the job sheet for a collection of old clothes and gifts and had no idea it was going to be no ordinary day.
The job was actually for an organisation called Solent for Syria, which was formed by the Fair Ways Foundation and Rays of Hope Ltd. The charity gathers donations and delivers them directly to families living in refugee camps in Syria. When Chris arrived to Southampton City Centre he was greeted by a sea of volunteers ready to fill the 40 foot box with donations from local people and businesses.
“As far as we were aware it was just another job.”
"Once the container was fully loaded, everyone cheered and there was a strong sense of community." Said Chris "I came away feeling really good about the world; I felt part of the link between the charity and the refugees."
In its first eight weeks, Solent for Syria collected over 1,000 tubs of baby milk formula, 5,000 tins of food, 12,000 nappies, one tonne of rice and 20 pallets of winter clothing worth approximately £40,000.
"The nature of transport means we are often only told enough to get the job done." Said Gary Austin, Transport Manager at Maritime, "Chris couldn't wait to tell us about his Southampton collection and its great to hear about the good the communities we work within are doing, especially when the news is so often filled with tragedy."