Four-year old Emilia Hudson from Harwell, Oxfordshire was given a very special treat by Select Plant Hire during her summer holiday, when she was taken on a tour of our crane depot in St Neots and had the honour of naming one - ‘Elaine the Crane’.

When the youngster told her dad that she wanted to drive a crane, he encouraged her to write to Select’s Katie Kelleher; one of the UK’s most recognised female crane drivers. Touched by the girl’s note, and determined to encourage girls into the industry, Katie and colleagues invited Emilia, younger brother George and dad, Ben to visit the depot and see what life as a crane driver might be like.

Emilia was thrilled to meet Katie and fellow crane driver, Casey Elsby and had fun operating a virtual reality tower crane, sitting in the cab of a Terex crane and unveiling the plaque on her newly named model.

The day finished with Emilia receiving a selection of gifts donated from Select Plant Hire and from other crane companies who had seen a LinkedIn post from Katie outlining the girl’s enthusiasm for cranes.

Her father, Ben Hudson said:

“I would like to thank Select Plant Hire for organising our visit to your depot. Emilia and George loved their trip, and were made to feel really special from the moment we arrived when they put on their personalised helmets. Casey Elsby was super kind throughout, showing Emilia how to be a crane operator.

“Emilia's favourite part was pulling the rope to make Elaine the Crane's sign appear, but she loved it all... at bedtime she talked me through how much she enjoyed everything.

“Emilia spent the entire following evening playing with her new toy Elaine the Crane, moving toy cars from one end of the room to me on the sofa, and then back again. She worked the controls out quickly, no doubt thanks to her expert training.

“Our sincerest thanks to Katie for agreeing to receive Emilia's letter and helping to arrange the day along with the crane community coming together to send across a selection of branded gifts. It was so kind and whatever Emilia ends up doing professionally - cranes or otherwise - this experience will always inspire her.”

Select’s Business Unit Leader Alex Warrington said: “It is not often that you can make someone’s dreams come true and we are thrilled to have been able to play our part. ‘Elaine the Crane’ now takes pride of place in our depot and you never know, Emilia could well end up joining the Select family in the future, when I’d like to think that through our concerted efforts to attract more women into the industry, she’d be part of a more balanced workforce.”