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An RHA charity supporting people in times of financial difficulties is for the first time offering support to non-members, in response to the cost-of-living crisis.

The haulage business group said it had a “moral responsibility” to support the industry and help those facing hardship.

The Benevolent Fund, set up in 2000, has helped hundreds of people facing challenging times, including health concerns, increasing bills and family matters.

The RHA said its fund had supported people to buy white goods, clothes and aid equipment, as well as helping people pay back rental arrears and contributed towards medical bills.

The fund has also been used to provide food and drinks for drivers stuck in Dover, beds for Ukrainian refugees and in 2023 it will sponsor a student’s education outside of RHA’s membership.

Jim French, RHA Benevolent Fund chairman, said: “As trustees of the fund we felt we had a moral responsibility to support our industry through times of hardship and have revised the fund so we’re able to help non-members who may find themselves in difficult circumstances.

“People in this industry work incredibly hard every single day to keep goods moving and shelves stocked, so we want to make sure they get the support they deserve.

French added: “If you or someone you know could benefit from the fund, please do get in touch. There’s no shame in asking for help, the process is discreet and can be accessed in complete confidence.”

So far this year the Benevolent Fund has provided £32,000 worth of support.