Ben was founded in 1905 by A J Wilson while he was working for Dunlop tyres, and was originally called the Cycle Trades Benevolent Fund. In 1908 the rise of the car meant that ‘Motor’ was added to the fund’s name, eventually becoming The Motor and Cycle Trades Benevolent Fund in 1924.
The original plan for the fund was to help people who fell on hard times as there was no welfare system until after WWII. The growth of Ben continued when various other benevolent funds became part of the charity. Ben now supports people from right across automotive and its allied trades.
Ben is an independent charity and dedicated partner to the automotive industry, providing support for people who work or have worked in the industry and their family dependents. Throughout working life and later life, Ben is focused on providing care and support to enable total health and wellbeing to automotive industry people.
There are four main areas of health and wellbeing that Ben provides advice and support for: financial, physical, mental and social. The charity helps people to manage their health and overcome any challenges they face, at whatever stage of life. People who work or have worked in the automotive industry can receive support from Ben, for themselves and their family dependents.
Ben delivers support for life. No matter what stage of life you’re at, Ben has your back, from apprenticeship to pension age and for everything in between. Many organisations offer specialised support in specific areas, for example, mental health, cancer or debt, but life’s challenges are never that clear-cut – and every problem has an impact on other areas of life. When you’re struggling, it can be overwhelming to navigate all of the resources out there and work out what support you need. Sometimes you just need a mentor to help guide you through the tough times and get you back on track. That’s exactly what Ben’s here for.
Ben also operates flexible, continuing care and support for those in later life. This includes excellent nursing, residential, dementia, and respite care via its care centres in Ascot, Rugby and Norham (Berwick-upon-Tweed) and day centre in Coventry and ‘independent living made easy for the over 65s’ at its retirement village in Sunninghill, near Ascot, Berkshire. Ben’s vision is to be an integral part of the automotive industry, providing help and support to employees and their family dependents. No matter where you work, either on the shop floor or in a garage, if you are one of the 800,000 people working in automotive then Ben is here for you!