22 May 2024
The voice of the independent garage sector

Ben turns up heat with Sahara trek fund-raising challenge

The heat is on for teams planning to take part in this year’s industry leader challenge for automotive industry charity Ben — with the unforgiving terrain of the Sahara awaiting them on the horizon.

Up to 10 teams of two will spend five days trekking across the Sahara in Morocco in November to raise a minimum of £20,000 per team for Ben.

Participants will spend up to 10 hours a day trekking across the desert, covering up to 27km a day with daytime temperatures expected to be between 25-35°C — before plummeting to around zero at night.

Participants will find themselves camping under canvas, with only a small team, a jeep and a camel for company.

To date, teams from the Retail Motor Industry Federation, the Independent Garage Association and LKQ ECP have signed up to take on this year’s challenge. Of those organisations Stuart James, director of RMIF, Rob Collison, IGA chairman and Kevin Finn, RMIF chair of RMIF and IMI, are confirmed as taking part.

Previous industry leader challenges (ILCs) have included swimming the English Channel, skydiving, cycling down the Thames and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

This year’s event is just as epic, presenting a different set of challenges to overcome – heat, sand and the harsh conditions of the world’s largest desert.

Matt Wigginton, Ben’s director of partnerships, engagement and income said as with all such events, the primary focus is on raising funds to support people in the automotive industry who are facing challenges beyond their control.

“We encourage anyone up for the challenge to reach out and join us in this once-in-a-lifetime experience while raising money to support those in the industry who are struggling or in crisis.”

Participants must have a good level of fitness to endure five consecutive days of trekking the Sahara.

There are limited spaces available so for more information or to register your interest click here to email Matt.

ILCs require extraordinary personal endeavour that tests challengers either mentally, physically or both.

After completing a challenge of their choice, either with a team or alone, the challenger then hands the baton over to another industry leader for the following year.