Ireland's Publication for the refinishing & associated Industries

Bangers4Ben tour of Ireland raises vital funds

Messe Frankfurt UK, organiser of the UK Garage and Bodyshop Event (UKGBE), has completed the 2023 Bangers4Ben rally, which took place in Ireland and raised a combined £47,500 for automotive mental health charity, Ben.

UKGBE’s team, the ‘Dublin Driving Dolls’, took on the 2023 edition of the madcap rally from 7th-10th October.

The team travelled more than 2,400km over four days in their very own Barbie-themed ‘banger’ – and helped to raise £3,000 that has contributed towards the total amount raised for Ben.

A total of 38 teams competed in the madcap rally, including UKGBE’s Dublin Driving Dolls, made up of UKGBE’s Alex Jones, LKQ Euro Car Part’s Karena Shahid and aftermarket business owners Louise Baker and Rachel Murray.

The team started from Holyhead in Wales and crossed the Irish Sea to Dublin, hitting the winding roads here before completing the tour back in Dublin to board the ferry to return to the UK.

The team’s banger made it through the whole rally this year without a breakdown.

Alex Jones, marketing director at Messe Frankfurt UK, organisers of Automechanika Birmingham and UKGBE said: “We had the best time; we met so many amazing people during the trip, old friends and making new ones, and there was so much natural interest along the route from people – we even got donations handed to us when we stopped.”

Bangers4Ben was created to raise essential funds for the charity Ben. All entrants are required to pay a £1,050 entry fee and buy a car for less than £750.

Teams are encouraged to participate in fancy dress and decorate their vehicles however they choose. All cars are then auctioned off after the mission is complete to raise even more funds for Ben.

During the Bangers4Ben rally, the charity was able to answer 340 requests for help, gave out 23 urgent food grants, received 24 direct mental health cases from the helpline and completed 40 mental health assessments.

Jones continued: “Donations to the Ben charity helps to fund the critical work it does in the automotive industry.

“We’re delighted to have been able to contribute essential donations to the fantastic amount they raised this year.

“Thanks to everyone who donated – and to Ben for organising a brilliant event.”