Ben Ball 2019 at the Roundhouse raises over £87,000 to fund life-changing support for the automotive industry community

Ben Ball 2019 at the Roundhouse raises over £87,000 to fund life-changing support for the automotive industry community

Posted 13 December, 2019 at 15:57

Author Mark Bradshaw on behalf of (IFM) Independent Forecourt Magazine


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  • Ben Ball 2019 at the Roundhouse London – a spectacular show and huge success
  • Automotive industry Christmas Ball raises funds to support colleagues in need
  • Ben announces its biggest and most challenging Industry Leader Challenge to date – The Climb

On Wednesday 11 December, hundreds of people from the automotive community gathered at the new home of Ben Ball, the iconic Roundhouse, and helped raise over £87,000 for Ben on the night at its annual Christmas ball.

Over 650 guests were hosted by Ben’s Chief Executive, Zara Ross, and Fundraising Director, Matt Wigginton. The evening included spectacular entertainment with Ben’s Greatest Show, a gospel choir, music from the band, Fully Funktional, and much more. The audience enjoyed guest appearances from Mat Watson from CarWow and also Jonny Gould, renowned auctioneer and Channel Five presenter.

Ben Ball is the organisation’s Christmas Ball for the automotive community, which raises funds and highlights the vital work that Ben does. After 70 years, the look and feel of Ben Ball was refreshed this year to present its stunning new venue and the unforgettable Christmas experience for 2019, and the future.


The evening saw the automotive community celebrating the year with colleagues, networking in style and raising funds for Ben to continue providing life-changing support to automotive colleagues.

During the evening, it was announced that Ben’s 2019 Industry Leader Challenge (ILC), the Epic Thames Waterbike Ride, raised an incredible total of £273,360. This challenge involved Jon Wakefield, Managing Director of Volvo Cars Sweden; Tim Tozer, CEO of Allianz Partners UK and Ireland and Darren Guiver, former Managing Director of Group 1 Automotive. The trio cycled over 170 miles in 4 days down the River Thames on self-propelled water bikes through 45 locks. With an average of 12 hours in the saddle each day, this was no mean feat!

The ILC baton was officially handed over to senior industry leaders who will form a group of up to 10 teams from well-known automotive businesses who have pledged to take part in Ben’s ILC 2020: The Climb. An intrepid industry leader and a colleague from each company will climb Mount Kilimanjaro in October next year, to raise a record amount of money for Ben. Fundraising will run from January to December 2020 with an ambitious group target to raise £500,000.

Three leaders from Ben will also be taking part in The Climb: Zara Ross, Ben’s Chief Executive, Matt Wigginton, Fundraising Director and Rachel Clift, Health & Wellbeing Director.

Matt Wigginton, Fundraising Director at Ben, said: “Ben Ball 2019 was absolutely extraordinary – a stand-out event! We would like to thank everyone who came along to the Roundhouse to be part of something truly special and inspiring. With your support, we’ve raised an incredible sum of money to help us continue providing life-changing support across the automotive industry. Thank you to everyone for your generous donations, we couldn’t do what we do without you!

“We were delighted to announce next year’s ILC, The Climb, during the evening. Everyone has their own mountain to climb at some point in their life – no matter who you are, what you do or where you come from. We are slightly daunted, but we can’t wait to achieve something incredible in 2020 by reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, together with some of the industry’s most intrepid senior leaders! There are still a couple of spots left for this incredible challenge so get in touch with me (matt.wigginton@ben.org.uk) if you would like to find out more.

“Ben Ball is all about looking after our own in challenging times. Together, we continue to do something amazing to support the lifeblood of our industry. We look forward to seeing you at the Ball next year and, with just 650 tickets, book now to make sure you don’t miss out! Save the date now – 9 December 2020 – and contact the events team to secure your place: eventsteam@ben.org.uk / 01344 298137.”

A live auction, which included prizes generously donated by a number of companies inside and outside of the automotive industry, attributed to this year’s fundraising total.

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