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Sunday, 24 January 2021

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£40k boost for automotive charity, Ben, from UK’s largest dealer group

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LAST year, the automotive charity Ben faced a significant increase in demand for their services but also battled a reduction in donations. To help combat a £1m income shortfall, the UK’s largest dealer group, Sytner, has helped to push Ben over their rallying cry fundraising target of £0.5m with a £40,000 donation.

Ben is a not-for-profit automotive charity that provides valuable health and wellbeing services to over 800,000 people that work in the industry, have worked in the industry in the past and their families.

Ben is the automotive charity that provides valuable health and wellbeing services to people in the industry and their family dependents. The charity supports individuals to navigate through life’s challenges, empowering them to make positive, lasting change, through its free and confidential online self-help, a helpline and support services.

Last year, Ben experienced a 113% increase in the amount of people visiting mental health pages on its website and a 52% increase in demand for their services, all whilst battling a significant £1m income shortfall. In response, Ben launched its urgent rallying cry appeal to the automotive industry in late 2020 and has just announced a new virtual fundraising challenge for 2021 called ‘Breakout for Ben’. Sytner Group has committed to continuing its support throughout 2021 and is one of the first groups to announce it will be encouraging its colleagues to sign up to ‘Breakout for Ben’.

Since the relationship began nearly 27 years ago, many of Sytner Group’s colleagues and their families have been supported by the charity’s wide range of flexible services and Sytner colleagues, dealerships and divisions have continually contributed to the not-for-profit charity to ensure they can continue to offer this invaluable support.

In keeping with social distancing guidelines, the £40,000 donation was unveiled to a representative of Ben during a specially planned video call. Following the announcement, the charity revealed that the contribution tipped Ben over their £0.5m ‘rallying cry’ target; an initiative created to respond to the shortfall created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Matt Wigginton, Fundraising Director at Ben, said:

“We can’t begin to thank Sytner enough for their support over the years, including this latest donation which is very generous. Sytner’s donation also represents a key milestone as it has taken us over the halfway point on our road to £1m, to address the income shortfall that the charity faced in 2020.

“With the help of our incredible industry, we have now reached over £0.5m following our urgent rallying cry for support in November last year. Automotive people need us more than ever right now and we couldn’t do what we do without the support of our industry. This support is absolutely vital so that no-one in automotive faces life’s toughest challenges alone. A huge, heartfelt thank you to Sytner and our automotive industry.”

Like many other colleagues within Sytner Group, Georgina Olsen has experienced first-hand the incredible support Ben provides.

When asked, Georgina commented:

“It’s great to know that the company I work for supports Ben. Ben supported my Grandmother after she had a fall and I am incredibly grateful for the help they provided to my family. Ben is such an important charity, not only for industry employees but their families too.”

After revealing the £40,000 to Sarah over Zoom, Melvin Rogers – Director of Human Resources at Sytner Group said:

“The health and wellbeing of our colleagues are of the utmost importance and we’re pleased that our donation will allow Ben to continue the fantastic support that they offer to everyone within Sytner and the wider automotive industry.

“This year has been especially tough for colleagues, so the services that Ben offer are now even more vital than ever. We’re proud to continue our support of Ben and that our donation was able to push them over their target at a time they need it most.”

For more information, please visit: Sytner Group.

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