Sytner Group director of HR Melvin Rogers and Ben CEO Zara Ross, Jan 2022Sytner Group director of HR Melvin Rogers and Ben CEO Zara Ross, Jan 2022

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Sytner Group donates £100,000 to charity Ben as pandemic continues to hit fundraising

  • Donations have dropped because of events being affected but demand for its services is soaring
  • Charity has lost more than £1.5m-worth of budgeted income
  • Contribution will make a real difference, says chief executive
  • Sytner HR director highlights the good work done by the charity

Time 1 week ago

Sytner Group has given £100,000 to automotive industry charity Ben to help with its work as the pandemic continues to hit its fundraising.

Ben has suffered a shortfall in donations because of events being cancelled or scaled down – but demand for its services has rocketed because of the pandemic.

Zara Ross, the charity’s chief executive, said: ‘The donation is huge for Ben, particularly at this time.

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‘2020 and 2021 have been a real challenge at Ben because the support needs in our industry have been higher than we can remember, and yet fundraising to enable us to do the work we do has been really hard.’

She added: ‘We feel we have come a long way in developing our services to meet needs over the past few years, and a donation of £100,000 will really enable us to make such a difference.

‘In the period that has covered the pandemic, we’ve lost over £1.5m-worth of budgeted income. So, Sytner’s six-figure contribution really goes a long way.

‘Indeed, we are genuinely really appreciative of all of the industry’s contributions from all sectors.’


Over the past 18 months, Ben’s focus has been on increasing its mental health services and offering them in a range of ways, as it says that more than half of the people who get in touch ask about mental health or wellbeing issues.

‘£100,000 will make a real contribution to enable us to provide financial support and ensure we can provide professional and specialist services for people in need.

‘We have increased our impact by more than 30 per cent in the past 12 months and our target is to do much more than that in 2022, to meet the rise in demand.’

Melvin Rogers, director of human resources at Sytner Group, said: ‘When a team member from Ben makes contact, it really helps and makes a difference.

‘I think if people can go and speak to someone in complete confidence, who is really independent from the business, that support is really invaluable.

‘We have seen so many cases of where colleagues say they’ve spoken to Ben and it has really helped them get specialist support for their concerns.

‘To me, that is fantastic, but also as a business we’re mindful that Ben has not been able to fundraise in a traditional way and that’s why Sytner wanted to try to bridge this year’s financial gap.’

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He added: ‘I’ve been with the business for 20 years and in this time our involvement with Ben has climbed and has reached the level this year where we wanted to make such a significant donation of £100,000.

‘We know it will be very well spent in supporting colleagues not just in our businesses but many people across the whole motor industry.’

Pictured at top are Sytner Group HR director Melvin Rogers and Ben CEO Zara Ross

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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