Hundreds of TrustFord staff and their supply partners have raised £55,000 after rising to a Breakout for Ben virtual challenge.
The annual initiative – launched in 2018 by TrustFord chairman and chief executive Stuart Foulds – took on extra meaning this time round after the charity revealed the pandemic had caused a 50 per cent increase in demand for its services but income had plummeted by £1m.
Supported by the TrustFord board and leadership, 277 staff and supply partners took part in Breakout for Ben – Road To £1 Million and have raised £55,000 towards the event, with the sum adding to a £20,000 donation from the TrustFord Trust.
All together, it means that over the past three years TrustFord has now contributed more than £300,000 to Ben.
Remote teams of up to 10 set off on February 5 on a ‘virtual journey’ totalling 1,722 miles.
They ‘virtually’ visited motor circuits across the UK, starting at Pembrey Circuit and ending at Silverstone, by exercising on their own over 10 days.
Using an app, the teams could track their progress together, meaning they didn’t need to be physically with other team members during the challenge.
The charity said that as well as creating healthy competition between automotive companies, it was a positive way to start 2021 by focusing on health, fitness and the well-being of colleagues.
Teams also competed for awards, including Furthest Individual On Bike, which was won by general manager Chris Minter, who travelled 1,042 miles.
Meanwhile, audit and risk manager Richard Brown took first place for Furthest Individual Running, with 200.9 miles. Finally, dealership secretary Sandie Horne topped the ranks for walking 232.5 miles.
Foulds said: ‘Ben is a hugely important charity that has helped thousands of colleagues over the years, and with their fundraising sadly taking a hit, we are proud to support Breakout For Ben – Road To £1 Million.
‘All funds raised will support automotive industry people to look after their mental health, physical health and well-being.
‘I am immensely proud of the way our remote colleagues and teams have come together virtually, behind the cause this year, and uniting with our suppliers once again provides a great boost.’
Last November, Foulds told of his sadness on hearing about the appeal but also how proud he was to give Ben £20,000 from the TrustFord Trust:
Zara Ross, chief executive of Ben, said: ‘We’re delighted that TrustFord has supported Ben once again by joining Breakout for Ben – Road To £1 Million.
‘Twice as many people are turning to Ben for mental health support.
‘With our funding coming entirely from the automotive industry, initiatives like this are vital to help us provide support to those going through some of life’s toughest challenges, now more than ever.
‘We can’t thank everyone at TrustFord enough for taking part in this active virtual challenge, raising such a significant sum of money, and to those who donated.’
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