(From left) Ex-Royal Artillery Carl Smith (Asda Skelmersdale), Major Ian Battersby – Ex-Queens’ Lancashire Regiment, and Steven Eden (Asda Skelmersdale)

Asda Logistic Services has donated £40,000 to a charity that trains armed forces veterans into new careers as HGV drivers.

Veterans into Logistics (ViL) has an established partnership with Asda, which supports its mission of preventing homelessness and unemployment in the veteran community.

The donation will enable ViL to train 10 vets to pass their HGV tests and launch their new careers.

As well as offering the driver training scheme, ViL also provides candidates with personal mentors who understand the skills discipline and hard-working ethos ex-military personnel possess.

ViL CCO Major Ian Battersby said it was his mission to support those who had fallen on hard times: “We are extremely grateful for this donation from Asda which will enable us to train 10 veterans into new careers as HGV drivers,” he said.

“We are so pleased that Asda continues to partner with us and see the benefits of employing veterans with the dedication and skills they bring.

“We have already upskilled and supported veterans who are working for Asda Logistic Services who say they are enjoying their new careers and feel respected and appreciated by Asda.

“This donation will be life-changing for the veterans it supports, bringing structure, stability and financial security.”

Carl Smith, 60, is an Asda trainee HGV driver in Skelmersdale who got in touch with ViL after he left the armed forces.

He said: “Getting this job means a lot.

“I envisioned having to get my CV done for all kinds of jobs and sending them off to people and take a gamble like everyone else but Veterans into Logistics opened those doors and closed them at the same time if that makes sense and they got me a direct link into Asda.

“I hope more companies will look at doing it,” Smith added. “Some people may think that because you’ve been in the military all your life you are boxed off and sorted, but you’re not. There are lots of people with lots of problems who still need gainful employment.”