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Ben launches Christmas appeal as demand for support soars

Ben Christmas appeal

Ben has launched a new Christmas appeal which aims to raise at least £500,000 to ensure it can support the record numbers of people calling on its services this year.

During 2021, Ben has seen a 147% increase in demand for support as more people than ever before turn to the charity with issues ranging from mental and physical health to poverty, domestic abuse, homelessness and more.

The automotive sector benevolent charity said these issues are more urgent and more complex than ever before but with fundraising income still impacted by COVID-19, fears it will face the prospect of not being able to help everyone in need.

Matt Wigginton, director of partnerships, engagement and income at Ben, said: “Twelve months ago, things were looking desperate. More people than ever contacted Ben for support, and we faced the terrible prospect of turning individuals away if we were unable to raise more money.

"We were so humbled and overwhelmed by the generosity of our industry, with businesses of all sizes pledging donations totalling £600,000 in just a few short weeks.

"Without that support we would not have been able to support people when Ben was their last or only hope.

"However, the past few months have seen a significant increase in the number of calls for support once again. Despite strong business performance being reported, things are not getting better for many in our automotive family.

"We urgently need to raise at least another £500,000 this Christmas to ensure we can help the growing numbers turning to us for support."

With many of this year’s fundraising events having fallen victim to cancellation, the charity is urging businesses to pledge support for those industry colleagues and their families who may be struggling.

Ben has received a donation of £100,000 from Arnold Clark to kick-start this year’s campaign.

Eddie Hawthorne, group managing director, said: “Ben has always supported our people at Arnold Clark, no matter what issues they have faced, and I am delighted to recognise that with a substantial donation to Ben’s Christmas campaign.

“There will be many businesses in our industry who have had a very good year, but whose colleagues will have benefited from Ben’s support during what has been an incredibly tough time for them.

“I would urge them to recognise that by supporting our charity Ben and helping ensure they’re always there for our people.”

Those wishing to contribute can pledge support by emailing pledge@ben.org.uk. To discuss further ways of supporting Ben, call Matt Wigginton on 07880 813051.

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