Ben has announced the future strategic direction for the charity as part of a five-year strategic plan.
The automotive industry charity has experienced a significant increase in service demand since 2018, managing over 300% more enquiries through its confidential helpline and supporting over 200% more individuals through its support and specialist services.
With the aftermath of a global pandemic, coupled with cost-of-living pressures, Ben has continued to respond to ever increasing demand each year, with more industry-connected individuals reaching out for support than ever before.
Ben’s Board of Trustees and Executive team have spent the past 12 months completing a strategic review of every aspect of the support and services Ben currently operates and has made some key decisions about the future strategic direction of the charity, which exists to support automotive industry people and their family dependents.
The following excerpt in italics is a summary taken from a statement which can be read in full here.
“Through a recent strategic review process, Ben’s Board of trustees reflected on the changing context for people working in the automotive industry and the impact that it is having, and will have, on their health and wellbeing. In light of the growing demand for Ben’s health and wellbeing services, the Board concluded that over the next 5–10-year period, the priority of the charity will be to significantly increase these services for industry people and their family dependents. This will entail enhancing and accelerating both our reactive and preventative health and wellbeing support services and driving increased impact and engagement across the automotive industry. We will be in a position to share our plans for these developments over the future months.
“Establishing Ben’s future focus has required a fundamental review of all Ben’s current services. Our care, and latterly village, services have been an integral and valued part of the charity for over 70 years. Both the Board and Executive team are extremely proud of these services and the excellent reputation they have achieved over the years. After very careful consideration, the Board, supported by Ben’s Executive team, has unanimously concluded that now is the right time to recommend the transfer of these services to the stewardship of new operators. We believe this will ensure that these services and our employees working in them have the very best opportunity to continue to flourish, develop and thrive going forward.”
Zara Ross, Ben’s CEO, said: “The announcement being made marks a significant period of change for our charity, but we believe now is the right time for us to make this commitment. This will enable us to grow and accelerate support and services for our automotive family.
“Since 2018 when Ben launched its previous 5-year strategic plan, we have developed our health and wellbeing services and managed significant growth in demand. More people than ever are reaching out to us due to their mental health and financial pressures, along with many life and health or wellbeing related issues. In addition to this, we are also, sadly, responding to more cases where automotive people have been affected by the loss of a colleague through suicide.
“Our Board of Trustees and Executive team are committed to growing our charitable impact even further, but we must raise awareness of the support that Ben provides to ensure we can be there for those who are struggling, or in crisis. We cannot do this alone; we need our industry to join us in raising awareness and help us to support even more of our automotive family. We look forward to sharing more about the scale of our ambition and plans soon.”