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Automotive industry charity, Ben, has just published its annual Impact report 2018-19 which highlights the positive impact its support has had on automotive industry people during the year. The report reveals insights about the health and wellbeing issues faced by automotive industry people and thanks supporters who donated over £3m to Ben during the year.

The report highlights that over 3,000 people contacted Ben’s helpline for support and over 13,000 accessed online support content. There was a 29% increase YOY on the number of cases managed by Ben’s support services team.

The report also reveals some findings from Ben’s most recent annual Industry Survey. Results show that a huge 91% of employees in the automotive industry have been affected by a health & wellbeing issue in the last year. Sleep and stress in the workplace are the most commonly reported issues that impacted the health and wellbeing of automotive employees in 2018, with 64% reporting to have suffered with poor sleep and 57% having reported stress in the workplace (1 in 3 are stressed both at home and at work.) Anxiety has had the most detrimental impact on the health and wellbeing of individuals overall. Click here to read.

The charity has continued to help more and more people with mental health issues, representing 52% of all helpline enquiries, compared to 29% in 2017-18. New online self-help support content on topics such as anxiety and depression proved popular, providing tips, advice and sign-posting to people in need. Other reasons why people contacted Ben for help were varied; from money problems and bereavement to redundancy and loneliness.

Darrell said: “After years of fighting a battle and feeling so down and depressed, I can now look to the future. The support from Ben has played a huge part in getting us through this. There are no words I can use to express our sincere thanks for everything that Ben has done for us.” Brady said: “If it wasn’t for Ben, I don’t know what would have happened to us. If it wasn’t for the care, advice and support they provided, my family may well have been homeless.”

During the year, Ben organised counselling sessions for 433 people, with a total of 1,359 sessions provided – 3 x more than the previous year and helped people in need access £529,000 worth of benefits that they were entitled to. In addition, just under 100 people went through Ben’s life coaching & mentoring programme with 97% of people reporting positive progress and just under 6,000 people signed up to receive regular tips, advice and tools from Ben to their email.

The report highlights how Ben has continued to extend its partnerships with automotive organisations across the UK, helping them support their employees, to build a stronger, more resilient industry together. Ben worked with 241 automotive companies through its Ben4Business programme in 2018-19, an increase of 68% on the previous year.

Andrew Wiggans, Head of Health and Wellbeing at Bentley Motors said: “We know that Ben’s support services are a great thing for our people.”

Rachel McGuinness, Operations Director at Fleetline, said: “I think the work Ben does is fantastic. We have referred employees to Ben who were all struggling with different issues. The fact that Ben does this for free astounds me!”

The report outlines that, thanks to the continued support from over 250 companies and many individuals in the industry, Ben’s fundraising income totalled an impressive £3.36m, during such a challenging year for many sectors.

Zara Ross, Ben’s Chief Executive, said: “We’re delighted to be sharing our Impact Report 2018-19 with you. The purpose of the report is to demonstrate the impact Ben has made on the lives of so many automotive industry people, to thank our supporters and to highlight the key health and wellbeing issues facing people in the industry today.

“With the ongoing support from our community, we continue to help automotive industry people through life’s toughest challenges. We are very grateful to each and every person and company for their loyal, continued support in what has been a challenging year for many. However you’ve supported Ben this year, thank you – with your help we have provided life-changing support to thousands of automotive industry people. For that, we can’t thank you enough.”