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Female automotive leaders form VRA ‘Lillies’ for BEN fund-raising challenge

Sam Watkins, commercial director of Manheim Vehicle Services, part of the Cox Automotive Vehicle Solutions Division and Kathy Horsey, client services director of BCA

Female business leaders from across the automotive sector have formed the Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA) "Lillies" fund-raising team to generate cash for BEN.

VRA chairman Sam Watkins, who is also commercial director of Manheim Vehicle Services, part of the Cox Automotive Vehicle Solutions Division, and Kathy Horsey, client services director of BCA will be among the team completing a 54km #bringitonBEN route on October 4 to support the charity.

The team will complete a circular trek along the Thames Path from Teddington to Chelsea and back and will be split into two groups to meet social distancing guidelines.

Earlier this year AM reported on Ben's appeal to help plug a £1 million funding gap after it was forced to cancel its annual fund-raising ball as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The automotive benevolent charity subsequently challenged charity-minded automotive employees to complete the British Grand Prix’s full 190-mile race distance under their own steam as part of a Formula One-inspired virtual reality fund-raising challenge.

Commenting on the VRA Lillies' charity challenge, Watkins said: “As everyone in the motor industry knows, this is a tremendously worthwhile cause and we are aiming to raise as much as possible from this event. To us, Ben is more relevant than ever in the time of coronavirus.

“All of the Lillies team have been training hard and we’d urge everyone who knows us across the industry on an individual or corporate basis to sponsor us, whether with amounts large or small. Every donation helps.”

Calling themselves the ‘Lilies’ the group has completed other fundraising ventures such as the Edinburgh Moonwalk and the Winter Walk half marathon.

Originally, the team planned to undertake a #bringiton4BEN trek in the Isle of Wight earlier this year, which was postponed due to lockdown.

The team also taking part in the trek includes:

  • Kate Cooper-Griffiths, national sales manager at Enterprise Rent A Car
  • Carol Jones, ex head of indirect procurement at FirstBus
  • Parvathi Sankar, senior legal counsel at BMW Group UK & Ireland
  • Jacqui Barker, director and digital consultant at Emotive Resources Ltd
  • Louisa Bell, ex UK general manager at Avis Budget Group
  • Amanda Hook-Brown, corporate operations strategy manager at BMW Group UK
  • Sarah Easton, director of Automotive Software Solutions

To sponsor the Lillies team, visit

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