In December last year, Leanne Fogg, 39, from Enfield, fulfilled her lifelong ambition of becoming a lorry driver, after enrolling in Phoenix Training’s HGV driving programme.
Leanne had dreamed of being a lorry driver since she was a little girl, but found that many people discouraged her, telling her that it was ‘a man’s job’ and that she wouldn’t be capable of it. Over the years prior to starting the course, Leanne worked in different part-time and short-term hospitality roles to allow her to fit her work around raising her four children as a single parent.
At first, Leanne was reluctant to sign up for the HGV training, as she had been let down so many times in the past by training courses that she lost her confidence. However, she decided to pursue it – which turned out to be a great decision.
Although Leanne was the only woman on the course, it just made her more determined to prove that HGV driving is by no means a man’s job. She said: “I wanted to show other females that ‘if I can do it, you can do it too!’. I was treated with dignity and respect by the team and, most importantly, as an equal. I felt supported and encouraged throughout my journey. I’ve had an excellent team of staff from Phoenix and my employer, and also fellow trainees who helped me along the way.”
Now that she’s a qualified HGV2 driver, Leanne loves her job, taking pride in driving to a high standard and enjoying being out on the open road. She also enjoys being able to meet new people on a daily basis and gets great satisfaction from delivering excellent service and putting a smile on her customers’ faces.
Of course, it’s not always plain sailing – as she is petite, Leanne finds that some of the loads she has to deliver can be challenging, but she is currently working on a project with a large scale retail innovation team to test a new range of lifting and handling equipment, which they are looking to roll out across the delivery crew. Not only will it help drivers to be able to do their jobs more safely and effectively, it also means that there are fewer physical barriers to the job.
Leanne said: “You don’t have to be a burly doorman type to do the job – we definitely need more women in the industry, and if I can do it, so can you! In fact, since I took the plunge and succeeded, two more ladies signed up to the course and are doing well. I can’t wait to work with them!
“This opportunity has opened many doors for my future, which will help to support my family – after all, my children are what I work for. This time last year, if anyone had told me that I was going to become a fully qualified HGV driver, I would have said ‘in my dreams’ – but now I can proudly say that I’m a lorry driver! I’m so proud of my achievement and I’m so grateful for the amazing support I have been given from Phoenix Training.”
For more information about the courses on offer, visit: https://www.phoenixtraining.org/