Ben, otherwise known as the Motor and Allied Trades Benevolent Fund, is a motor trade industry charity that has worked alongside the automotive sector for well over 100 years. During all that time, and while continuing to act as an industry ‘insurance policy’ for those in need of support, Ben has worked hard to stay in tune with the evolving needs of the UK motor trade.
If any proof were needed that this charity remains committed to staying in touch with its 21st century community, the announcement that Ben is launching a new, upgraded website for 2022 will provide more than enough evidence.
A new website for a new age
Ben’s new website (www.ben.org.uk) primarily focuses on facilitating rapid access to a suite of essential self-help tools and resources. Designed to promote the health and wellbeing of the automotive industry UK-wide, this revamp is both welcome and timely given how much has changed over the last decade or so.
Anyone walking around a dealer forecourt today will surely notice major differences in the type of new and used vehicles available. Where once the options were state-of-the-art diesel or petrol cars, it’s now EVs and hybrids with futuristic ‘smart’ city vehicles, with the air full of speculative talk about a driverless car revolution.
The car mechanic of 1990, for instance, is likely to have very little in common with the automotive engineer of 2030.
But that’s not the only difference – nor even the most obvious one: The emergence of the 2019 global Covid pandemic has literally changed everything. We now see a masked workforce, staff furloughed or working in isolation, unexpected shortages of certain models, soaring prices for many used cars, and much more besides.
So, it’s hardly surprising Ben is reporting that the demand for support has reached an all-time high. The pandemic has prompted more people than ever to contact the charity for help. In particular, there has been an unprecedented 184% increase in website visitors during the period from October 2016 to October 2021.
Expansion of online resources
Responding to this new reality, the Ben team have embraced the need to bolster the charity’s online presence. The team have acknowledged that, while of course supporting employees from the automotive community reaching out for help, there must also be support systems in place to meet the needs of numerous employers now working alongside Ben to enhance the health and wellbeing of their workers.
Though the web address remains the same, Ben’s website can point to a massive organisational transformation. The new upgraded portal is now fully responsive when accessed by any kind of device. Site navigation has been completely overhauled and streamlined with clear signposting prioritising self-help tools and resources.
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There are now tips, advice, and tools available to support a broad range of needs and requirements: Money worries, support for physical and mental health, self-care advice, information concerning stress, sleep problems, loneliness, resilience, bereavement and more. Ben also has more self-help content pencilled in for development later in 2022.
Visitors can now take advantage of an enhanced user experience designed to anticipate their needs. This also includes those who would like to learn more about becoming a donor, those wishing to play a part in the charity’s latest events and fundraising opportunities, and people requesting information about Ben’s range of care and support services.
A partner resource for the automotive family
Delivering a strong message of reassurance to anyone thinking they may need support, Ben’s Health & Wellbeing Director Rachel Clift said: “Our aim is to help individuals navigate through life’s challenges, empowering them to make positive, lasting change. If we can intervene at an early stage and connect individuals with the right information, advice and guidance, we stand a much better change of preventing issues from arising in the first place or developing into something that could have a much more serious impact.”
As an organisation, Ben seems firmly committed to a strategy of early intervention as the best way to safeguard someone in crisis – something Rachel Clift is understandably keen to get across: “The new website will go a long way towards getting the message out there to our automotive family – to ensure they know they are not alone, Ben is on hand to help them as and when they need it.”
The refurbished Ben website is now live at: www.ben.org.uk. Employers who want to learn more about Ben partnerships, or who would like to talk about Health & Wellbeing training for their workforce, are asked to contact Rachel Clift, Health & Wellbeing Director at Ben: Rachel.Clift@ben.org.uk.