Automotive charity Ben is making an urgent appeal for help as it tries to cope with a 50 per cent rise in demand for its services against a £1m drop in income.
The pandemic has forced it to cancel fundraising events, including the Ben Ball, and the organisation says it may now end up having to make difficult decisions about the cases it can support.
Industry leaders are being sent a letter, pictured below, that outlines how they can help.
The charity said today (Nov 18) that Covid-19 had had an unprecedented impact on the health and wellbeing of the automotive workforce.
Increasing numbers of people are turning to Ben because of financial hardship, it said, or because they’re struggling with mental health issues and other life challenges including bereavement.
Ben is urging companies to be an advocate for the charity, to encourage support through payroll giving plus Ben’s Big Weekly Lottery as well as its fundraising products and events, and to dig deep as a business to help offset the £1m shortfall.
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.
‘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.’
He added: ‘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.’
Companies can email their help via [email protected] or by calling 01344 298135.