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Ben issues urgent plea for assistance amid £1m funding shortfall

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Ben has issued an urgent plea for financial assistance amid a £1m funding shortfall and a COVID-triggered 50% increase in calls for help from automotive industry employees.

The automotive sector benevolent charity’s fund-raising efforts were heavily impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis when it was forced to cancel its annual Ben Ball earlier this year.

While attempting to manage the impact of a claimed fund-raising shortfall of £1m on its operations, the pandemic has also presented the charity with a 50% increase in the number of people approaching it for help with “complex and urgent” issues.

With the strain starting to show chief executive Zara Ross and chair of the board, Steve Nash, has penned a letter appealing for financial help to assist their efforts.

Without help, the charity has admitting that it will forced to “make difficult decisions about which cases to support”.

Ben fundraising director, Matt Wigginton, said: “This is an urgent situation that we’re facing; our support teams are at breaking point, with more cases than ever before and we don't see that changing.

“The issues people are facing are more complex and more urgent than we have ever seen before.

“If we're unable to fill this funding shortfall then we may not be able to support everyone who turns to us for help. That could have a life-changing impact on someone in your business.”

Wigginton added: “The automotive industry is like a family, we have to look after each other. People will remember what the leaders of our industry do in a time of crisis and I urge everyone to consider how you can help ensure Ben is there for everyone, no matter what.”

Ben is asking companies who pledge their support to do three things:

  • Be an advocate for Ben, ensuring the message of support is promoted widely within their business so everyone knows they are never alone.
  • Encourage colleagues to support Ben through Payroll Giving, Ben’s Big Weekly Lottery and its fundraising products and events.
  • Dig even deeper as a business to help address the £1m shortfall.

Wigginton said that Ben’s call for support had already gleaned results. He said: “Amazingly, we have already received pledges for donations of more than £65,000 on the first day of this campaign.

“Every donation makes a huge difference to people's lives and we'll be celebrating each and every one publicly over the coming weeks.

“Thank you to those who have already pledged their support.”

Anyone willing to pledge their support to Ben should do so by emailing pledge@ben.org.uk or calling 01344 298135.

AM100 2020 revealed: Webinar with special guests

The annual AM100 list of the biggest and best in automotive retail will be revealed at an AM100 webinar next week by AM and our new research and analysis partners, accountancy firm BDO.

Joining BDO's head of motor retail Steve Le Bas and AM editor Tim Rose to discuss the 2020 AM100 findings and the critical issues that motor retailers have been overcoming are three special guests from large AM100 groups are:

  • Darren Edwards, chief executive of Sytner
  • Stuart Foulds, chief executive of TrustFord
  • Peter Smyth, director of Swansway Group

The AM100 webinar is free to attend but viewable only by attendees who register.

When: November 18th 2pm

Register now

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