Automotive industry charity Ben is providing support to individuals and families who are facing money worries, debt, mental health struggles or any other urgent need during this summer.
Ben is already providing vital support for many families who are struggling to make ends meet and unable to afford essentials such as food and utilities during the cost-of-living crisis. Over the last 12 months, the automotive charity has supported 128 households who couldn’t afford to put food on the table, 66 households who couldn’t pay their rent or mortgage costs and 52 households who couldn’t afford their utility bills.
More and more people than ever before are contacting Ben’s Helpline for support – during April-June 2023 there was a 23% increase in enquiries (year on year) and a 20% increase in support cases (year on year).
Ben supporting those in need
People are not only struggling to make ends meet, they are also struggling with their mental health. Managing money as a key area that impacts on wellbeing. Given the knock-on effect that financial problems can have, increasing levels of stress, anxiety, low mood and depression are made worse when people cannot afford basic living costs.
In addition to supporting basic living costs, the charity also wants to give families, who would not otherwise be able to afford it, the opportunity to enjoy spending time together and create special memories during the holidays. This is as well as taking pressure off families who face impending back to school costs including school uniform, bags and PE kits.
“Times are getting increasingly tough for families and individuals, especially now the summer holidays are here,” said Rachel Clift, Health & Wellbeing Director at Ben. “If you are worried about making ends meet, buying food, paying the bills and school uniforms for September, you are not alone. We want everyone in our industry to know that we are here.
“Many individuals and families are being pushed to the edge with the current rising cost of living. It is also impacting other areas of their health and wellbeing so if you work, or have worked, in the automotive industry please get in touch now if you are struggling or feeling at breaking point. You can contact our free and confidential helpline.”
Reaching out can be helpful
Asking for help can be difficult, but it is only one call, and a huge weight or pressure can be lifted. “I felt at the lowest of low points in my life,” commented one person who recently contacted Ben. “I have never applied for any sort of benefit or hand-out in my life. I felt ashamed and embarrassed to ask for financial support. They made me feel welcome and worthy of this support.”
Another who sought help stated: “I was reluctant to call Ben – typical man, not asking for help… but I did and after the first few minutes, knew I had made the right decision.”
Auto Repair Focus editor Phil Curry adds: “Having seen the work that Ben provides to the automotive industry, and the efforts the team goes to in order to help workers and their families, I think we are lucky to have a charity there to help when we need it. Times are tough and those who are struggling, be it financially, physically, or mentally, need not suffer alone. It is ok to ask for help, and it can be a relief when you do.”
Ben is there for those who work, or have worked, in the automotive industry and their family dependents. The charity is already supporting many automotive families this Summer. Do not suffer in silence, contact their helpline on 08081 311 333 or use the webchat at www.ben.org.uk. You can also access the out of hours text support line by texting BEN to 85258.