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Breakout For Ben challenge raises £159,000 to help plug charity's funding gap

Breakout for Ben 2021

Super-fit automotive sector fund-raisers walked, cycled and ran their way to a £159,000 charity windfall as part of the Breakout For Ben initiative.

The fund-raising effort, which previously took the form of a cross-continent driving challenge run by AM100 car retail group TrustFord, saw 986 people take part in a 10-day exercise challenge to help the automotive sector charity bridge a £1 million funding shortfall brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In total, over 80,000 miles were travelled by employees from across the sector who embarked on a virtual journey visiting motor racing circuits across the UK, starting at Pembrey Circuit in north Wales and taking in all four home nations, before ending at Silverstone.

Ben said that just under £737,000 has now been raised to help address Ben’s £1m fundraising shortfall.

Matt Wigginton, fund-raising director at Ben, hailed the success of Breakout for Ben as “incredible”.

He added: “We’ve been completely blown away by everyone’s determination, both individually and collectively in teams.

“Congratulations to all our competition winners and a massive thank you to everyone who took part and donated.”

Breakout for Ben did not lose the competitive edge seen in previous years of TrustFord driving events. Here is the ranking of this year’s best-performers:

Furthest in the first 24 hours: Mann Island Finance, 2Fit2Quit – 802.2 miles

Furthest individual on bike: Chris Minter, Kent go any Further – 1,042 miles

Furthest individual running: Richard Brown, Life in the Quick Lane – 200.9 miles

Furthest individual walking: Alexandra Horne, Paco’s Pack – 232.5 miles

Best team name: Cirque Du Sore Legs, Aston Barclay

Best social media post: The Chequered Flaggers

Best fancy dress: Toby, Chris and Ben, Chandlers Hailsham BMW Mini @Group 1

Largest corporate participation: TrustFord – 277 participants

First team to complete the challenge: Mann Island Finance, 2Fit2Quit – completed in 4.5 days

Most raised by an individual (so far): Richard Morgan, Legs Miserable – £4,825!

Most raised by a team (so far): Bridgland too far @Group 1 – £11,600!

Wigginton said: “Thanks to the incredible support of our industry, we've made a huge dent in the £1m fundraising shortfall we faced during the pandemic.

“This means we can always be there to help people in our industry when they need us the most.

“Automotive people continue to need us now more than ever and the issues they are facing now are more urgent and complex than ever.

“Together we can continue to ensure no-one in automotive has to face life's toughest challenges alone. Thank you.”

Stuart Foulds, the chairman and chief executive of TrustFord, said: “With all the support Ben has continued to provide and knowing that the charity needed more support, I was very happy to lend TrustFord’s ‘Breakout For Ben’ event to a broader audience of participants in 2021.

“I am thrilled that TrustFord colleagues raised £55,000 on top of the £20.000 donated by the business late last year and am hugely proud of the TrustFord team for all their support and engagement.

“This means that over the past three years our Group has contributed over £300k to this great charity.’’

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