Focus: Corporate Responsibility - Side by side - The AA and Ben

The AA has supported Ben, the Motor and Allied Trades Benevolent Fund, for more than 20 years through payroll giving, event and publication sponsorship, merchandise sales and volunteering, and an annual donation of £50,000. Both organisations celebrated their centenaries last year.

GERARD BARCLAY, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, BEN

Why did you choose this partnership?

The AA is a logical partner, given its automotive connections. We worked together in 2005 to celebrate both the AA and Ben's centenaries.

How do you benefit from it?

Beyond the annual donation, our colleagues at the AA regularly feature articles on Ben in their literature, which increases awareness among employees and the industry.

Did you have any reservations?

None. The AA came into being as an organisation concerned with safeguarding motorists, so it has always displayed a conscience.

What are your plans for the partnership?

We have regular meetings with management and staff at the AA to build upon existing joint initiatives such as payroll giving. The AA encourages its staff to participate actively in fundraising.

STEVE DEWEY, ROAD OPERATIONS DIRECTOR, THE AA

Why did you choose this partnership?

We wanted to do something meaningful to support a good cause. As Ben is motoring-related, it was the obvious choice.

How do you benefit from it?

Our employees get a kick out of getting involved in events such as sponsored walks. All the major motoring organisations support Ben. It's seen as the right thing to do.

Did you have any reservations?

Only that it might be hard to get people to give to Ben because it is not as high-profile as other charities. But after some years we've managed to achieve a high level of giving.

What are your plans for the partnership?

I see the partnership as being very strong - we give Ben £50,000 a year.

We would like to increase awareness of the organisation among our employees.

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