Mental Health Awareness Week: Support with developing coping strategies
To mark Mental Health Awareness Week this year, Ben, the automotive industry charity, is shining a light on one of the leading causes of mental health issues – loneliness. To support those who are struggling with social anxiety and loneliness, Ben has launched a new ‘Space from Social Anxiety’ program on the SilverCloud platform – designed specifically to help people find out about symptoms, understand its causes and develop coping strategies to manage their social anxiety
Following two years of disruption and periods of social isolation caused by the pandemic, loneliness became, in itself, an epidemic. We were all separated for long periods of time from our wider circles of friends, family and work colleagues. And, even though we are now emerging from the depths of the pandemic, it is clear that many of us have found the social restrictions hugely challenging.
Social anxiety is playing a major role in the rise of loneliness. Naturally, now that COVID restrictions have eased, social interactions are returning to ‘normal’ – but for many, a sudden return to socialising is also a daunting prospect. Social anxiety makes it difficult for people to meet socially with others, to reach out for help and to maintain relationships – which, in turn, contributes to loneliness.
Ben’s recent Health and Wellbeing survey placed this issue in sharp focus – of those in the automotive industry who were surveyed, 31% confessed to having suffered from loneliness – a huge increase of 23% from the previous year. Loneliness saw a staggering increase in the over 45s, factory workers, and among those who have retired from the industry, while 1 in 2 automotive workers confirmed that they have issues managing their mental health – indicating that mental health struggles in the automotive industry are more prevalent than in the general population.
Ben’s new ‘Space from Social Anxiety’ program on the SilverCloud platform is completely free, easy to use and can be worked through at your own pace in your own time – using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques to develop coping strategies to help deal with life’s challenges.
Rachel Clift, Health & Wellbeing Director at Ben, said: “If you suffer from loneliness, you are not alone. Our recent survey highlighted the huge impact that COVID has had on the mental health of our community and loneliness and social anxiety have risen sharply over the past twelve months.
“Our industry is one of the most affected by mental health issues, so we want everyone in the automotive community to know that while they may feel alone, they aren’t. We are here, ready to help and support them through whatever challenges life may be throwing at them right now and in the future.
“Social anxiety and loneliness can be managed and we have a number of ways we can support people who are struggling, including our new SilverCloud program ‘Space from Social Anxiety. During Mental Health Awareness week, we want to reach out to our automotive family and offer them a helping hand. You don’t have to face loneliness or social anxiety alone.”
To sign up to the SilverCloud Space from Social Anxiety programme, click here or for more hints and tips on how to tackle social anxiety, visit www.ben.org.uk
Ben’s Big Breakfast
Ben is encouraging automotive people to set themselves up with the most important meal of the day and get together with others over a cuppa and breakfast butty. The event runs for a week, starting on 4th October and ending on 10th October. As World Mental Health Day is the finale of the week-long event, the focus is also on opening up, talking about mental health, connecting with others and sharing experiences.
Host a breakfast any day during that week and bring, make and sell breakfast to raise money to support Ben’s work in the industry. Those hosting Ben’s Big Breakfast can also raffle a Ben bear to fundraise.
Automotive industry charity, Ben, announces that its biggest ever Industry Leader Challenge fundraiser, The Climb, is now set to take place from 30th October to 8th November 2021. A group of leaders from automotive companies, including LKQ Euro Car Parts and the Marshall Motor Group, will climb one of the world’s most iconic peaks, Mount Kilimanjaro, to raise £300,000 for Ben.
Ben is inviting more automotive leaders and aspiring leaders to come forward and take part in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Those who are interested in taking part in The Climb can get in touch with Ben’s Matt Wigginton – matt.wigginton@ ben.org.uk.
Fundraising is running throughout 2021 up until March 2022 and will help ensure Ben’s services continue to meet the changing demands of the industry and its people.
In six days, from 1st to 6th November, the challengers will climb Kili, the highest free-standing mountain on earth, which is 5,895m tall. Tackling Kili will be physically demanding, mentally challenging, but will fundraise to help ensure no-one in automotive has to face life’s toughest challenges alone.
Ben invites automotive people to take part in new health & wellbeing survey.
Ben has launched its Annual Industry Survey 2021 to ask the automotive community about the health and wellbeing challenges they have faced in the last 12 months, including the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.
This is the fourth time that Ben has run its survey which offers valuable insights to enable the charity to continue providing relevant support and services to automotive people in need. The results of the survey also help identify any additional services or support that automotive people think the charity should offer in the future.
Ben is urging those who work, or have worked, in the automotive industry, to take part in its survey which asks a range of health and wellbeing questions. Ben is also asking automotive industry employers to share the survey link with employees to encourage their people to take part.
93% of respondents had been affected by a health & wellbeing issue in the last year
That self-reported mental health and workplace issues are more prevalent in the automotive industry versus the rest of the UK employed population. This included anxiety (56% vs. 45%), stress at work (50% vs.41%), depression (40% vs.31%) and pressure to meet targets (31% vs. 20%).
Following insights gained from previous surveys, Ben launched a digital mental health and wellbeing platform called SilverCloudwhich can support people to better manage their mental health and wellbeing. The SilverCloud programmes use an evidence based, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approach which focuses on the relationship between our thoughts, feelings and behaviours. SilverCloud also helps individuals to develop positive coping strategies. A number of different programmes are available on the platform, including on topics such as stress, anxiety and depression, as well as supporting issues such as money worries, sleep and resilience.
Ben has also responded to the Coronavirus crisis this year by developing a Coronavirus hub on its website, providing relevant health and wellbeing tips, advice and tools online. In addition to this, Ben responded to the pandemic by providing fast-track access to information, advice and guidance for further issues related to money or for anyone affected by job losses.
Rachel Clift, Health & Wellbeing Director at Ben, said: “Each year, we ask people who work, or have worked, in the automotive industry to tell us about the issues they have faced, or are facing, with their health and wellbeing. We use these vital insights so we can continue to develop and provide the relevant charitable support and services that automotive people need now and in the future. I’d also urge automotive employers to share the survey link with their employees.
“This survey has proven to be very beneficial in helping us understand what the biggest health and wellbeing challenges and issues are for automotive people. On behalf of Ben, I would like to thank everyone who takes the time to complete the survey. We are listening and we really appreciate you taking part. Your participation helps us to provide the right support for those who need us.”
Whether a person works on the shop floor or top floor, in a factory, garage, office, showroom or on the road, if they work (or have worked) in the automotive industry, Ben is here for them and welcomes their participation in the annual survey.
To take part, click the link… It takes less than 10 minutes to complete. The survey is confidential and anonymous, so participants don’t need to reveal their name or contact details.
Breakout for Ben raises £159k
Automotive charity, Ben, says that its 10-day virtual active challenge, Breakout for Ben, has so far raised just under £159,000, that will help address its £1million fundraising shortfall.
Ben invited the whole industry to Breakout for Ben in February and a total of 986 people took part. They walked, ran, cycled, and exercised their way to complete over 80,000 miles collectively to raise much-needed funds for the charity. Teams embarked on a virtual journey visiting motor circuits across the UK.
With the Breakout total included, just under £737,000 has now been raised to help address Ben’s £1million fundraising shortfall following its rallying cry last year asking for urgent support.
All funds raised will help Ben support automotive industry people with their mental health, physical health, and
wellbeing. Fundraising like this is vital and means that Ben can be there to help those in crisis and provide support with stress, anxiety, depression, money worries, or anything else.
LKQ Euro Car Parts customers donate £10k to industry charity
Customers shopping in LKQ Euro Car Parts branches have collectively donated more than £10,000 to automotive industry charity, Ben, by adding £0.25 to their total when they check out.
In the first four months since going live across the 280-strong branch network, more than 40,000 individual donations of £0.25 have been collected at the tills.
LKQ Euro Car Parts’ chosen cause is its longstanding charity partner, Ben, which provides support for those working in the automotive industry and their families when they need it most.
Andy Hamilton, CEO of LKQ Euro Car Parts, said: “The amount our customers have donated so far has surpassed expectations, and we look forward to seeing what can be achieved in the future.”
LKQ Euro Car Parts’ ongoing fundraising efforts will see Andy Hamilton joined by Trade SMR Director Anthony McAteer to climb Mount Kilimanjaro next October, in Ben’s biggest ever Industry Leader Challenge.
The ambition for the business is to raise more than £50,000 in total, combining the donations collected within branches and additional funds raised through sponsorship.
IGA funding boost for Ben
The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has donated £20,000 to automotive charity Ben on behalf of its independent garage members, following Ben’s urgent appeal for support.
Stuart James, IGA Chief Executive comments: “It has been a very difficult year for independent garages, and Ben has provided outstanding support to more people within our industry than ever before, while facing fewer fundraising opportunities throughout the ongoing pandemic.
“With the IGA having to cancel a large number of events this year we have decided to donate the resulting surplus to Ben as thank you from the members of the association. We urge other organisations to donate so Ben can continue to offer the free, life-changing support for anyone in our industry during these difficult times.”
Automotive charity Ben launches urgent support appeal
Automotive charity Ben issues rallying cry after struggling to support record demand with falling income
● Ben’s urgent support appeal to ensure no-one faces life’s toughest challenges alone ● The charity is supporting 50% more people while its income falls by £1m ● Without additional funding, difficult choices may have to be made about which cases to support
Ben is making an urgent ‘rallying cry’ to automotive industry leaders as it faces a 50% increase in demand for services against a £1m income shortfall, following the cancellation of fundraising events including Ben Ball. Without additional funding, Ben may be forced to make difficult decisions about which cases to support.
Covid-19 is having an unprecedented impact on the health and wellbeing of the automotive workforce. More and more people are turning to Ben in financial hardship or are struggling to cope with mental health issues and other life challenges including bereavement.
The letter (pictured below) from Ben’s Chief Executive, Zara Ross, and Chair of the Board, Steve Nash, outlines how the industry can help ensure no-one faces life’s challenges alone. This letter is also being sent directly to industry leaders, as an urgent plea for support.
Ben is asking companies to pledge to do three things:
Be an advocate for Ben, ensuring the message of support is promoted widely within their business so everyone knows they are never alone
Encourage colleagues to support Ben through Payroll Giving, Ben’s Big Weekly Lottery and its fundraising products and events
Dig even deeper as a business to help address the £1m shortfall.
Matt Wigginton, Fundraising Director at Ben, said: “This is an urgent situation that we’re facing – our support teams are at breaking point, with more cases than ever before and we don’t see that changing.
“The issues people are facing are more complex and more urgent than we have ever seen before. If we’re unable to fill this funding shortfall then we may not be able to support everyone who turns to us for help. That could have a life-changing impact on someone in your business.
“The automotive industry is like a family, we have to look after each other. People will remember what the leaders of our industry do in a time of crisis and I urge everyone to consider how you can help ensure Ben is there for everyone, no matter what. “Amazingly, we have already received pledges for donations of more than £65,000 on the first day of this campaign. Every donation makes a huge difference to people’s lives and we’ll be celebrating each and every one publicly over the coming weeks. Thank you to those who have already pledged their support.”
Ben supports automotive industry people through Covid-19 crisis
Automotive industry charity, Ben, is supporting the health and wellbeing of automotive industry people during this challenging time. The impact of Covid-19 on the UK automotive industry has meant that its people need Ben’s support now more than ever before.
Ben wants to make the industry aware that the charity is here for the automotive community, providing health and wellbeing support for its people and their financial dependents.
Over the past few months, Ben has seen a marked increase in the number of people turning to the charity seeking support for their mental health and money concerns. This demand is set to continue growing as the full impact of Covid-19 unfolds. Ben is supporting people through Covid-19 in the following ways:
Mental health support
Individuals can continue to receive support for any mental health issues they are facing. Ben provides mental health assessments, life coaching and telephone-based counselling, as well as other talking therapies. Ben is also fast-tracking access to its digital platform so individuals can access self-help support programmes for anxiety, depression, resilience, stress, sleep, as well as mindfulness activities. A new programme called ‘Coping with challenging times’ has recently launched on the platform to help people through Covid-19.
On a case by case basis, Ben is supporting individuals in financial need, administering welfare grants for food, utility bills, household goods, essential travel costs, childcare and council tax. Ben’s support services team are also working with individuals to help with relevant solutions such as payment breaks for mortgage lenders, housing providers and utility bills. The team is supporting people to access relevant grants, as well as helping them maximise benefits they are entitled to.
Ben is giving fast-track access to Information, Advice and Guidance for individuals who have financial concerns as a result of the current situation. Support also includes access to Ben’s digital platform, where self-help support programmes are available for issues including money worries.
Click here for more information on the financial support Ben is providing during this time.
Ben has also shared some great tools to help you plan ahead with managing your money and to help prepare you for the next few months: https://bit.ly/2UQ7Z5a
Coronavirus hub – online tips, advice & tools
Ben has created a ‘Coronavirus hub’ on its website, with specially developed online tips, advice & tools now available, including:
● Managing money
● Stress, coping strategies and resilience
● Home working
Ben will continue to develop relevant online tips, advice & tools and promote them on its social media channels, as well as via email. Individuals can sign up to receive regular tips, advice & tools to their email inbox: www.ben.org.uk/signup.
To spread the word about Ben’s support across your channels, visit its new Toolkit which has some shareable digital assets: https://publications.ben.org.uk/toolkit. This will be further developed on a regular basis.
IMI sets itself big target for Ben
To celebrate 100 years of championing the automotive sector,
the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has announced plans to raise £100,000
for automotive industry support charity, Ben.
“As the professional body for people working in the motor
industry the IMI has always been about boosting public confidence and looking
after our members”, explained Steve Nash, Chief Executive Officer of the
IMI. “That’s why it was so important to
us to do something incredibly positive to celebrate our centenary. What could be better than fundraising for the
charity which supports automotive industry people with invaluable health,
wellbeing and care services?”
As well as a significant fundraising schedule, which will
kick-start with the IMI Centenary Dinner on 11th March, the IMI is aiming to
increase membership from 72,000 to 100,000 by the end of the 20/21 financial
year, so even more motor industry employees can benefit from its services. The
IMI now offers nearly 500 qualifications through 600 providers and constantly
promotes industry job opportunities.
To heighten membership, from 2020 all IMI accredited Apprenticeship at Work scheme employees will be eligible to join the industry body before graduating, therefore benefitting from its services right from the get-go. The professional body also campaigns for greater recognition for professionals within the motor industry as Steve Nash explained. “Back in the 1920’s our major role was to boost public confidence, quite literally, away from horse-power by setting and maintaining the highest standards for the automotive sector. Now, as technology advances and there is a need for a wholesale move to electrification, our role in developing and maintaining a relevant, competent and professional workforce, with the respect of the driving public is as important as ever.”
Further details on the IMI’s bold fundraising plans, which will involve people from across the automotive sector, will be announced soon.