Bentley’s dedication to supporting its local community during these difficult social-economic times - under the Covid Impact Fund (the Fund) - continued in 2022, providing a total of £164,000 to 11 key charities, with over 5,000 direct beneficiaries.

Working together with longstanding partners, the Cheshire Community Foundation (CCF), the Covid Impact Fund was launched in 2021, and has supported the pivotal services provided by local charities that have driven tangible changes for people in need.

The Fund extends Bentley’s long-term initiative to helping people from the devastating effects of Covid-19. Bentley’s social outreach started in the height of the pandemic included the donation of more than 90,000 essential pieces of PPE equipment to over 260 organisations, including the NHS, care homes and local charities.

Taking this one step further in 2021, Bentley engaged with the local community to focus on the lasting impacts of the pandemic, creating the Covid Impact Fund. 

With the aim of tackling key social issues such as food poverty, mental health as well as debt advice and education during a time of crisis, the Covid Impact Fund has continued to support many of the main charitable organisations in Crewe such as Body Positive, Chance Changing Lives, Crewe YMCA, Pennysmart CIC, Cheshire East Citizens Advice Bureau and Motherwell Cheshire to name several.  

Overall, the initiative has in total supported 11 key projects, providing funding of £164,000 across Crewe. It was reported that 5,912 people have benefitted from the various projects directly. The projects also engaged volunteers from the community who supported delivery of the projects across the Crewe area.

The success of the Covid Impact Fund highlighted the increasing needs of local communities in Crewe and has led to the creation of a new Crewe Fund. This initiative, led by CCF, has brought together other like-minded businesses in the local area who, together with Bentley, have contributed to the fund to support more people through grant funding in the town.    

Commenting on the community outreach, Sally Hepton, Director of Government Relations and CSR at Bentley Motors said:

“People and community are integral to our long-term success, and we want to ensure the business works to advance the life chances of the communities in which we operate. I am delighted that the Covid Impact Fund has supported 5,912 people in Crewe, helping to address access to food, debt advice and mental health.    

“This year has been a milestone year for our relationship with CCF, celebrating 10 years of collaboration, in which time, Bentley has donated more than £750,000 to CCF for onward distribution to key charity service providers,  driving tangible support and change in the Crewe area.”

Zoe Sheppard, CEO of Cheshire Community Foundation, commented:

“Bentley Motors has been a valuable partner in a time of critical need and the pandemic was no exception. The 11 grants awarded, all of which have had a fantastic impact for the local community, have been pivotal in ensuring that those most vulnerable were looked after and supported. Bentley’s generosity and commitment to their hometown of Crewe is truly inspiring.”  

A number of the charities supported include:    

Chance Changing Lives tackling food poverty

Donations funded the Community Pantry for a year which benefited an estimated 648 individuals in deep or persistent poverty and their families. The charity also ensured food security for 227 children every day with packed lunches during the holidays.

Pennysmart tackling debt management and education

The donation tackled debt management and improving the financial wellbeing of individuals with money advice.  Advisers dealt with £244,450 of problem debt on behalf of clients accessing the service. 112 adults and 42 children directly benefitted from this support. 79 online workshops also took place for frontline workers and volunteers to increase confidence and skills to provide initial advice to assist their service users.

Motherwell Cheshire tackling mental health

During the pandemic, the mental health of individuals was severely affected with social distancing and lockdowns reducing vital human interactions. Motherwell, through the Inspire Project, supported girls aged 13 – 18 years working within schools providing counselling support. The grant enabled 45 girls to be supported during the period, and the Inspire Project has been extended as a result of the project.