Automotive charity BEN received an increase of 81% in enquiries to its dedicated helpline in its 2015/2016 period, compared to the prior period.

This was despite a growth in vehicle manufacturing and sales over 2015 and 2016.

Overall, 2,700 individuals sought help from BEN, of which 79% were of working age, and 75% were male.

The charity found a North/South divide, with a far higher proportion of cases coming from the Midlands and the North of the country. BEN said this reflected the stronger manufacturing presence in these areas.

44% of reported cases were focussed on financial worries, while 38% of cases concerned challenges with physical well-being.

In terms of finances, BEN reported 12,000 individual donors contributing a total of £600,000 via a pay as you earn scheme, with a further £461,000 raised through fundraising events (up 11% year-on-year). A further £1.63m was donated by manufacturers through new car registrations.

David Main, chief executive officer of BEN, said: "BEN would be unable to help anyone without the vital funds we receive from our supporters in the automotive industry, our corporate sponsorships, and the individuals who set out to fundraise for us."

"A heartfelt thank you to all supporters for your involvement. You play a crucial role in our success and allow us to help thousands of people each year. We simply cannot do this without your support."