25 July, 2014

The charity set up for former and current Grand Prix mechanics and their families in times of need, the Grand Prix Mechanics Trust, has recently presented the final installment of a four-year planned contribution to BEN, the automotive industry charity.

Its generous donation, totalling £100,000, has been specifically gifted to assist in BEN's fit out of its brand new, state-of-the-art Lynwood Care Centre near Ascot. The donation will be utilised to pay for fixtures, fittings and essential equipment needed to complete one of the new need-specific houses that will be an integral feature of the Care Centre.

With the lack of state provision, poor standards amongst some other providers and the number of over 65s expected to rise dramatically by 2030, BEN is determined to use its extensive expertise to safeguard the current and future needs of our automotive community. The Lynwood development therefore represents an initial milestone in the charity's wider care strategy.

Situated within the extensive grounds of the existing site in Ascot, the new care centre will enable BEN to extend both the capacity and range of care provision at Lynwood. Designed with input from leading authorities and best practice from around the world it will contain seven 'inter-connected' houses, each tailored specifically for dementia, nursing, short-term respite or day care, along with facilities to meet the unique needs of younger, physically disabled residents (18-64).

To deliver this innovative, market-leading environment the charity is making further use of the site to build a wider retirement community of leasehold apartments and cottages. The sale of these properties will facilitate repayment of borrowings and fund future BEN care projects.

"Our priority when planning new Lynwood was to find a self-funding solution for the scheme. We are keen to protect the core funding provided by the industry to maintain the essential welfare support services we provide to thousands of automotive people every year. We are delighted that The Grand Prix Mechanics Trust shares our vision and commitment and has chosen to make this extraordinary and vital donation to the project," said David Main, CEO, BEN.

Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, Founder & Chairman of the Trust, added, "The Grand Prix Mechanics Trust is a great admirer of BEN and the work they do for all our automotive colleagues in times of need. It is a great pleasure to be able to contribute towards one of the care houses within Lynwood Care Centre, to help create the best possible living environment for those who have no alternative. It is fantastic to see BEN, a trusted industry partner, taking such a proactive lead in protecting the needs of our automotive colleagues."

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