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The heat is on: Ben’s new Industry Leader Challenge will see automotive leaders tackle the Sahara Desert

Published: 29.04.2024

Ben is turning up the heat for this year’s Industry Leader Challenge (ILC) which will see a group of senior leaders tackling the Sahara Desert in November.

Up to 10 teams of two will spend five days trekking across the Sahara Desert in Morocco to raise a minimum of £20,000 per team for Ben. Participants will spend up to 10 hours a day trekking across unforgiving terrain, covering up to 27km a day in the punishing heat. Daytime temperatures will be 25-35°C and closer to zero at night with no shade except during meal stops and overnight. 

Previous ILC adventures have included swimming across 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. Participants will find themselves camping under canvas, with only a small team, a jeep and a camel for company.

So far, teams from the Retail Motor Industry Federation, the Independent Garage Association and LKQ ECP have signed up to take on the Sahara. From those organisations, Stuart James, Director of RMIF; Rob Collison, Chairman of the IGA and Kevin Finn, Chair of RMIF and IMI, are confirmed as taking part.

Matt Wigginton, Director of Partnerships, Engagement & Income, said: "If you're serious about doing something incredible while making a real difference to people's lives, this year’s Industry Leader Challenge is the perfect opportunity. As with all ILC 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. Now more than ever, automotive people need Ben – and we need you and your support.”

Participants must have a good level of fitness to endure five consecutive days of trekking the vast expanse of the Sahara Desert in scorching temperatures. There are limited spaces available so, for more information about the event, or to register your interest, please contact Matt Wigginton at

The ILC is an epic personal challenge taken on each year by an automotive industry leader (or leaders) to fundraise for Ben. The ILC requires extraordinary personal endeavour that tests the challenger(s) either mentally or 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.

When any member of our automotive family is struggling or in crisis, we all rally to support them.



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