Industry rises to the challenge for BEN  

Teams from all corners of the industry came together to help BEN raise more than £50,000 in one of its key fundraising weeks of the year.

The second annual Automotive Challenge Cup saw 28 teams race around the Solent – more than three times the number of crews in 2015 – while a second team of cyclists pedalled 300 miles from BEN’s head office in Ascot to Paris.

Jools Tait, business development director at BEN, said, ‘This has been a truly amazing week for BEN and we cannot express enough how grateful we are to everyone who has taken the time to raise money for us – thank you.’

The team of 20 cyclists arrived in Paris on 19 June, after a gruelling five-day journey to the south coast of England and then through northern France. While totals are still being counted, the team has raised a £33,000 to date.

The event was sponsored by Junair Spraybooths and AGM Services, who both had team members taking part, while Discover Adventure partnered with BEN to provide logistics, support vehicles, accommodation, food, drinks and first aid support throughout the journey.

Neil Morrison, managing director of Junair Spraybooths and AGM Services said, ‘It was a challenging but fun-filled ride and we are proud to have been the main sponsors of the event.  We have heard about the work that BEN has done for the automotive industry and I’m just pleased that we did our bit to help out.’

Anthony Clarke a rider from the seven-strong Allianz Assistance team, added, ‘It was an unforgettable experience. To be able to both raise money for a great charity, helping people in the industry who need it most, and have the opportunity of a lifetime to cycle through France is something I will not soon forget. The team at Discover Adventure were brilliant, ensuring we were well fed, comfortable and safe. Would I do it again? Absolutely.’

Meanwhile, in Portsmouth harbour teams from all corners of the automotive industry were there helping raise funds for BEN, by participating in the second annual Automotive Challenge Cup, organised by Sunsail events.

The regatta took place on the Solent on 16 June and saw 28 team boats sail a course of three races over the day. It was the FPS Distribution 2 crew who won by a total of six points, followed by the Volvo team at seven points and in third position was Hendy Group at 16 points.

Steve Dean, franchise director from Lookers Audi Division, said, ‘The annual Automotive Challenge Cup event was fabulous. It has grown significantly year-on-year, no doubt down to an awful lot of hard work from Sunsail and BEN.  Hard work by both companies created an event that will increase in popularity yet again next year. I would expect next year’s event to be oversubscribed so reserve your place quickly. We had a great couple of days and we are looking forward to supporting this very worthy event in the future.’

Michael Hlavaty, from Sunsail Events said, ‘The Automotive Challenge Cup is now officially our fastest growing regatta, with 28 teams taking part this year, raising more than £20,000 for BEN. We are aiming to double this again next year, with a target of 50 teams.’

Jools concluded, ‘BEN relies on these events to help provide support to many people in the automotive industry, and their families, who may be struggling at various stages of life, with financial concerns, physical or mental health issues or isolation. We cannot do this without such fundraising support, and we are extremely grateful for all your efforts.’


For more information about BEN events, or to sign up to a personal challenge for BEN visit: