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BEN seeks £3m for upgrades

Industry charity BEN is looking to boost income by an additional £3m next year – its centenary – to enable it to upgrade each of its four residential homes.

Announcing the ambitious target, Christopher Macgowan, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders chief executive and BEN supporter, told a room full of senior industry executives, that BEN required £11m a year to ensure it can continue to operate – or £200,000 per week.

Graham Smith, Toyota GB managing director, stressed the importance of engaging young people in the charity. He said BEN has recently introduced ‘BEN-energy’ to reach out and speak to younger people.

Sir John Egan, Inchcape chairman, has been appointed appeals chairman for 2005. Joking that his hidden agenda was to ensure BEN’s survival “for when I come knocking”, Egan said: “We need to raise awareness of the charity and get everyone’s support.”

At the launch of BEN’s centenary year, the winner of the raffle was Phil Waring, Mazda UK managing director. The prize? A Citroen C2. Waring politely declined the gift, donating it back to BEN for a future raffle.

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