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Ben battles funding issues to support people facing job losses


Ben is extending its support to industry people who have lost their jobs or are at risk of losing their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

The automotive benevolent charity has reported seeing a 52% increase in request for support betwen April and September, this year.

In response to the challenges being faced by the industry due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ben has extended its services.

Ben’s new online tools offer guidance and self-help resources on creating or updating a CV, preparing for interviews, finding the right job and job searching.

Rachel Clift, health and wellbeing director at Ben, said: “Work is a very important part of our lives and contributes to our overall health and wellbeing.

“As well as providing the financial security we all need, work provides us with social connections and helps us build confidence, self-esteem and a sense of purpose.”

As part of the extended support, Ben said it is focusing on work, health and wellbeing and has developed online tools, as well as providing one-to-one support to individuals affected.

The automotive benevolent fund issued an appeal to help plug a £1m funding gap back in July after it was forced to cancel its annual fund-raising ball as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this month, JCT600 launched its 500-mile charity challenge event and female business leaders from across the automotive sector have formed the Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA) 'Lillies' to raise funds for Ben. 

The charity said its support service team provide one-to-one support for people by providing guidance for managing finances, giving access to Silvercloud and to Ben’s life-coaching programme to help build confidence and signposting individuals to third party support including recruitment consultants.

Clift said: “We want the industry and its people to know that Ben is here for them and can provide the support they need. These are uncertain and testing times for many, but our new services can help provide the relevant support that automotive people need right now.”

Ben are also in partnership with the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) and have created the IMI 100 challenge to help support mental health and wellbeing in the sector.

The three-week long challenge is part of the IMI's efforts towards fulfilling its £100,000 Centenary target for the charity. 

Individiuals needing support will be provided a free, three-month membership to the IMI, which provides training, resources and industry information, the charity said. 

Steve Nash, the chief executive of the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), said: “We know from the last few months that being part of the wider automotive community through IMI membership has helped many.

“Access to technical expertise and online learning tools, as well as topical information and practical training opportunities which should help those facing a change in their working circumstances to stay on top of the skills that will put them in the best position for new roles.”

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