BEN – Support For Life

Ben is a not-for-profit organisation that partners with the automotive industry to provide support for life to its people and their families.

Support for life for the automotive industry

As an independent charity, our tailored, holistic care and support services focus on the four main pillars of peoples’ health and wellbeing: financial, physical, mental and social, enabling people to navigate life’s toughest challenges and empowering them to make lasting, positive change.

Everyone who works, or has worked, in the automotive industry can access our confidential, free support services for themselves and their family dependents. Ben also provides high quality care for those in later life at our excellent care centres or in their own homes and, for the more independent, at our award-winning retirement village.

Whether we are supporting someone in crisis, providing
high quality care or working with our automotive industry
partners to improve the health and wellbeing of the
workforce, our mission is to make a positive difference to
people’s lives.

We’re here to help people create a better tomorrow.

Read our latest annual impact report and latest quarterly impact report for more information about how we help people.


To be an integral part of the automotive industry, providing help & support to employees and dependants and, in doing so, add value to individuals, businesses and the sector in general.

Who we help

Here for the people of the automotive industry

Whether you work on the shop floor or the top floor, in a factory, garage, office, showroom or on the road, if you’re one of the 800,000 people working in automotive in the UK, then we’re here for you and your family.

Am I eligible?

If you work for, have worked for, or interact with the automotive industry, or you are a dependant of somebody who does, then you are eligible for Ben’s support.

If you are unsure you can always call our free and confidential helpline to verify – 08081 311 333.

Our history

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. At the time there were only a few hundred cars on the road and the automotive industry had yet to be born but by 1908, recognising the unstoppable rise of the car, ‘Motor’ was added to the fund’s name and in 1924 it became The Motor and Cycle Trades Benevolent Fund. The fund’s original aims were to provide help to people who fell on hard times (there was no welfare system until after WWII) by handing out grants via a network of local offices. Over the years various other benevolent funds were amalgamated into Ben, including coachbuilders and agricultural engineering, and now we support people from right across automotive and its allied trades.

In 1947 Ben bought the Lynwood site for £16,000 and opened a care home there in 1948. The fund moved from its London W1 HQ to Lynwood in 1972 and we’ve been there ever since. We now run three residential care centres and a day centre and our support services deliver far more than just grants, but our central aim – to help those in need – remains true.

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