Ben Ball raises more than £135,000 for automotive employees in need
18 December 2017
Author: Sean Keywood
A glittering fundraising event has raised more than £135,000 for people in need of support in the automotive industry.
Ben, a not-for-profit organisation that partners with the industry to provide support for life to those who work in it, hosted its flagship Ben Ball at Grosvenor House in London.
Guests enjoyed a full evening of glitz, glamour and festive celebrations, with a drinks reception, four-course dinner and live entertainment, including a marching band.
The funds raised at the ball, which has been running for more than 90 years, will help Ben continue its work providing health and wellbeing support to people working in the automotive industry.
To demonstrate the focus of the evening, a short film was played showing how Ben had supported JCT600 employee David, after a fall and subsequent back injury affected his mental health when he was left unable to work.
David then explained on stage how Ben's support had helped him, and said he was training to run the London Marathon in support of the organisation.
He said: "I can't emphasise enough how much Ben helped me through a very challenging time in my life - and I don't know where I'd be without this help."
During the evening, which opened with a welcome address by Ben's president Peter Johnson, it was also announced that Ben's 2017 Industry Leader Challenge, taken on by Jeremy Hicks and the Jaguar Land Rover team, raised more than £214,000, with Hicks, managing director of Jaguar Land Rover, handing the baton for 2018 to Andy Bruce, CEO of Lookers, who has accepted the challenge for next year with a team of colleagues.
The evening also featured a fundraising auction, with items including an Audi RS 5 Coupé, a Triumph Street Triple R5 motorbike and a signed Lewis Hamilton helmet raising more than £98,000.
Zara Ross, Ben's chief executive, said: "The Ben Ball has, without doubt, become one of the biggest automotive industry events of the year. It's our annual flagship event, which raises vital funds for our health and wellbeing services and also gives us an important opportunity to raise awareness about the help and support Ben provides for all industry colleagues.
"I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who made this year's ball so successful - we can't thank you enough for your generous donations and support. I look forward to seeing you at next year's event."