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Category: Charity

  1. BEN ISSUES RALLYING CRY AFTER STRUGGLING TO SUPPORT RECORD DEMAND WITH FALLING INCOME

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    • Ben’s urgent support appeal to ensure no-one faces life's toughest challenges alone
    • The charity is supporting 50% more people while its income falls by £1m
    • Without additional funding, difficult choices may have to be made about which cases to support 

    Ben is making an urgent 'rallying cry' to automotive industry leaders as it faces a 50% increase in demand for services against a £1m income shortfall, following the cancellation of fundraising events including Ben Ball. Without additional funding, Ben may be forced to make difficult decisions about which cases to support. 

    Covid-19 is having an unprecedented impact on the health and wellbeing of the automotive workforce. More and more people are turning to Ben in financial hardship, or are struggling to cope with mental health issues and other life challenges including bereavement. 

    The letter (pictured) from Ben’s Chief Executive, Zara Ross, and Chair of the Board, Steve Nash, outlines how the industry can help ensure no-one faces life’s challenges alone. This letter is also being sent directly to industry leaders, as an urgent plea for support.

    Ben is asking companies to pledge to do three things:

    The pledge

    1. Be an advocate for Ben, ensuring the message of support is promoted widely within their business so everyone knows they are never alone
    2. Encourage colleagues to support Ben through Payroll Giving, Ben’s Big Weekly Lottery and its fundraising products and events
    3. Dig even deeper as a business to help address the £1m shortfall. 

    To show your support, email now via [email protected] or call 01344 298135. 

    Matt Wigginton, Fundraising Director at Ben, said: “This is an urgent situation that we’re facing - our support teams are at breaking point, with more cases than ever before and we don't see that changing. 

    “The issues people are facing are more complex and more urgent than we have ever seen before. If we're unable to fill this funding shortfall then we may not be able to support everyone who turns to us for help. That could have a life-changing impact on someone in your business. 

    “The automotive industry is like a family, we have to look after each other. People will remember what the leaders of our industry do in a time of crisis and I urge everyone to consider how you can help ensure Ben is there for everyone, no matter what. 

    "Amazingly, we have already received pledges for donations of more than £65,000 on the first day of this campaign. Every donation makes a huge difference to people's lives and we'll be celebrating each and every one publicly over the coming weeks. Thank you to those who have already pledged their support.”

  2. BEN LAUNCHES EXCITING NEW VIRTUAL CHALLENGES INSPIRED BY FORMULA 1

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    • Automotive charity asks the industry to get behind new virtual challenges - Formula Ben
    • The first virtual challenge, Formula Ben Silverstone VGP, will raise vital funds for the charity
    • Ben needs the industry’s support to help automotive people get back on track

    Automotive industry charity, Ben, is launching its first ever series of virtual challenges, as part of Bring It On 4 Ben. The first of the charity’s virtual challenges to run this year, Formula Ben Silverstone VGP, starts on 2nd August and is inspired by the Formula 1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

    After the last few months of uncertainty, the Formula Ben Silverstone VGP will help automotive people get back on track, funding vital support which is needed now more than ever.

    To take part, each participant needs to complete the length of the Grand Prix, a total of 190 miles, by exercising in their own way to raise vital funds for Ben. Participants choose how they complete the challenge, for example, by walking, cycling, running, swimming, or even by playing basketball, wrestling, trampolining – or a mixture of whatever they like! There is a whole list of activities to choose from so click here to find out more.

    Participants have 8 weeks to complete the challenge which ends on 30th September. Those taking part will also be able to see their location on the Silverstone circuit and track their progress as they complete the 52 laps of the British Grand Prix.

    Sign up for Formula Ben Silverstone VGP
    To find out more and sign up, click here

    Registration costs £15 per person and each participant will receive a Ben T-shirt. On registration, participants can download an app, link to their fitness tracking device and join the leaderboard for some healthy competition!

    As well as raising vital funds to support automotive people, the Formula Ben Silverstone VGP also aims to help people improve their physical and mental health & wellbeing during this challenging time. In addition, taking part in the challenge offers people the opportunity to connect with others and be involved in something fun, while supporting Ben to help automotive people get back on track for good.

    As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of Ben’s fundraising initiatives have been cancelled, including Ben Ball, leaving the charity with an anticipated £1m income shortfall this year. Therefore, this new approach to fundraising is Ben’s way of adapting to the situation, with more virtual fundraising events set to take place throughout 2020.

    Matt Wigginton, Fundraising Director at Ben, said: “The whole team at Ben are incredibly excited to announce our new series of virtual fundraising events! In the current landscape, we had to adapt quickly and come up with new ways of fundraising because mass participation events can’t physically take place right now.

    “So, Formula Ben Silverstone VGP is a fantastic way to have fun and raise money so we can continue providing life-changing support for automotive people - which is needed now more than ever! We’re supporting more and more people with their health and wellbeing during this challenging time, so we need to make sure we can help them get back on track, which we can only do by continuing to fundraise. 

    “We hope you’ll be part of something amazing and Bring It On 4 Ben by getting involved! Thank you for your support and I can’t wait to see how you choose to complete Formula Ben Silverstone VGP.”

  3. Suzuki raises over £4000 for charity at Motorcycle Live

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    Suzuki successfully raised over £4,000 for charity at Motorcycle Live, which took place from 17-25 November at Birmingham’s NEC. The Japanese brand’s hospitality area, from voluntary donations for free hot refreshments, raised over £3,000 for the automotive industry’s BEN fund, while the Vintage Parts display and race bike build raised over £1,000 for the Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

    The pop-up coffee stop, situated on Suzuki’s show stand, has become a Motorcycle Live mainstay in recent years. Providing an area for show-goers to enjoy a break from wandering the halls, grab a hot beverage and take the weight off their feet for a few minutes, it served over 8,500 cups of tea and coffee over the nine-day show. 

    This year Suzuki raised a total of £3,527.50 for BEN, an independent charity and dedicated partner to the automotive industry, providing support for life for its people and their family dependents, whether that be financial, physical, mental or social.

    Meanwhile, Suzuki’s Vintage Parts Programme always provides visitors with an impressive array of classic road and race bikes, and this year rebuilt the very first RG500 race bike built in 1973, before it was raced in Grands Prix in 1974. Collecting for Birmingham Children’s Hospital during the restoration, £1,036.61 was raised over the course of the show.

    Suzuki GB head of marketing, Fiona Cole, commented, “Every year Suzuki takes the opportunity to raise money for charity at Motorcycle Live. The hospitality area always proves to be incredibly popular with visitors to the show and whilst the drinks are free, we encourage visitors to make a donation to our nominated charities and we’re incredibly thankful to everyone who made kind donations to help us raise as much as we did for the two superb causes.”

    To find out more news and views from Suzuki, visit www.bikes.suzuki.co.uk.

  4. BIKERS ASKED TO GO THE EXTRA MILE FOR HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT AIR AMBULANCE

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    Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) is asking local bikers to step up a gear to support the charity.

    Ride4Life, two new Ride Out events, are planned to help raise vital funds for HIOWAA. Ride4Life Isle of Wight will take place on Sunday 10th June and Ride4Life Hampshire is scheduled for later in the year, on Sunday 16th September.

    It is hoped bikers will come together to enjoy the Ride Outs, taking in the best scenery Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have to offer, with routes covering forest and coastal roads.

    In 2017, 45% of incidents attended by HIOWAA were road traffic incidents. Motorcyclists make up just 1% of Britain’s total road traffic, but account for 19% of all road deaths.

    This year alone, the HIOWAA Critical Care Team have attended 49 road traffic incidents.

    Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance Chief Executive and keen motorcyclist, Alex Lochrane said:

    “Our Critical Care Teams attend road traffic incidents throughout the year, many involving bikers, and this is a fantastic way for bikers to do their bit to help keep the Air Ambulance flying and saving lives. Our Ride4Life events promise to be a great day out for bikers and their families, as well as an opportunity for us to raise awareness for our life-saving service amongst the biking community.”

    Online registration is now open for both events at www.hiowaa.org. Entry is £10 per person, +£5 per pillion and each participant will receive an ‘iRide 4 HIOWAA’ wristband.

    The participant to raise the most sponsorship will win a water bottle signed by British motorcycle road racer, James Hillier, pictured with the HIOWAA Critical Care Team. 

    BIKERS ASKED TO GO THE EXTRA MILE FOR HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT AIR AMBUL