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Ben announces future direction to accelerate growth and help even more automotive people

Ben recently announced the future strategic direction for the charity as part of a new 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.


Ben announces future direction to accelerate growth and help even more automotive people p

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. The statement is to be printed as it is and not re-phrased:

“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 today 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.”

Support Ben and spread the word

To support Ben and help spread the word about your automotive industry charity, visit today.

Ben is here for those who work, or have worked, in the automotive industry and their family dependents. If you need support, get in touch via our free and confidential helpline: 08081 311 333 or use theirwebchat at You can also access Ben’s out of hours text support line by texting BEN to 58258.


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Owain Griffiths

Owain Griffiths

Head of Circular Economy at Volvo Cars

Owain joined Volvo Cars in June 2021 to lead Circular Economy in the Global Sustainability Team. The company has committed to being a circular business by 2040 and has financial, recycled content and CO2 based targets for 2025, all of which Owain is working across the company to make happen. Owain previously worked for circular economy consultancy Oakdene Hollins where he advised businesses on evidence led circular economy implementation. 

Turning into a circular business and the importance of vehicle reuse and recycling.

The presentation will cover the work Volvo Cars is doing to achieve 2025 but mainly focus on the transformational work towards 2040 and the business and value chain changes being considered. Attention will be paid to the way vehicles are being dealt with at the end of life and the complexities of closing material and component loops. Opportunities and challenges which Volvo Cars is facing will be presented including engagement with 3rd parties and increasing pressure from stakeholders.

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