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Leeds Mencap & Barclays Yorkshire raise an amazing £32,500



Leeds Mencap’s 2016 partnership with the Barclays Yorkshire and North East Region has raised £32,500 to support very young children with learning disabilities across Leeds in their specialist Hawthorn playroom.

“We have worked closely with Barclays over many years but 2016 was fantastic as the staff threw themselves enthusiastically into raising money for us,” said Cath Lee, CEO of Leeds Mencap. “They had a corporate golf day, worked up a sweat with a ‘rowathon’, organised a sporting dinner at Headingley and put on a private showing of the BFG for our service users. Some lovely volunteers also got green fingered and did some hedge trimming and gardening. They were amazing.”

“The whole business got involved and really got behind Leeds Mencap and the fantastic work that they are doing at the Vinery Centre,” said Barclays Business Manager, Dawn Spencer. “We wanted to support Leeds Mencap’s Hawthorn Specialist Playroom as it is critical that very young children with learning disabilities get early intervention when they most need it. It was great to have the cinema showing for some of Leeds Mencap’s families as it is sometimes difficult for them to go to the cinema together as a family.”

People with a learning disability find it harder than others to learn, understand and communicate.  Leeds Mencap offers support to people with very different needs and aspirations in order to help ensure that they live a fulfilling life and achieve their goals. To continue to provide these valuable services, Leeds Mencap are on the lookout for more corporate partners who would like to make the most of the teambuilding and engagement opportunities that working with a charity presents.

If you would like to help Leeds Mencap to help others, either as a corporate or an individual then please contact Sarah Hooker on or call 0113 2351331.







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George’s Great British Kitchen – Classics with a Unique Twist



George’s Great British Kitchen, the idea of two childhood friends, Andrew and Nick from Nottingham, recently opened at The Light on The Headrow.

Andrew’s father, George, opened his first fish and chip shop in the 60s. “As teenagers, I remember Nick and I spending our school holidays painting the shop to make sure that everything was spot on for our customers”, said Andrew. “I used to help in the shop, frying fish, serving customers and everything in between – which all helped to shape the type of service I wanted to provide.

“We dreamt of creating a place where people could meet with friends and family and have a great time together, with good food and great music. We’re all about people feeling comfortable in a non-scripted, non-chain like environment.”



Having run successful fish and chip shops, Andrew and Nick had a vision of adapting traditional British classics, and adding a unique twist.

“We wanted a visit to our restaurant to bring back childhood memories of enjoying ice cream by the sea, tucking into freshly made doughnuts, and exploring all that’s best about the British coast. That said, the classic British fish and chips are just a small part of our menu!”

George’s menu offers buckets of variety, including Ham Hock and Mushy Pea Fritters, covered in crunchy seaweed batter and served with wasabi mayonnaise, and Cauliflower and Mushroom Jalfrezi Pie.

To find out more, visit their Facebook page.


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Ed Mayo to Speak at Talking Heads at HEART


On Thursday 11th May, Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, will present ‘Can business be values led?’ as part of the Talking Heads programme at HEART on Bennett Road, Headingley.

When ethical issues in business are rarely out of the news and when many are thinking about forms of ownership, involvement, and indeed the very purpose of business, this is a timely issue, especially in the middle of the General Election campaign!

In 2014, Lucy Siegle of The Observer, commented that “Ed has played a leading role in almost every environmental and ethical business initiative over the last two decades”, while the Guardian has nominated him as one of the top 100 most influential figures in British social policy.

He recently published ‘Values: How to Bring Values to Life in your Business’ and is editor of The Co-operative Advantage. Ed Mayo was one of the team who founded the Fairtrade Mark, and rose to prominence as director of the New Economics Foundation from 1992 to 2003.


Talking Heads takes place on the second Thursday of the month, 7.30 – 9.00pm at HEART, Bennett Rd, Headingley, LS6 3HN

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Leeds Mencap’s Corporate Challenge Is Back!


Zurich Insurance Company signing up with Catherine Storey, Leeds Mencap


The Leeds Mencap Apprentice challenge is back for a fourth year and seeking creative, entrepreneurial teams to battle it out for the top spot. Just how much money could you make in seven weeks with just a £50 loan?

As well as providing a fantastic opportunity to improve team working and fulfil corporate social responsibility aims, taking part in the challenge also raises much-needed funds to support people with learning disabilities.



Winston’s Solicitors 2016 Apprentice Challenge winners


Several teams have already signed up and are raring to go. Last year’s winners, Winston’s Solicitors, have entered for the fourth time hoping to retain their crown. Joining them are the HSBC Service Recovery team, Zurich Insurance Company, a Leeds Mencap team, and Re:Work an office furniture company. With more teams to come, the competition is going to be tough!

“This challenge is an enjoyable and fresh way for businesses to make a social impact, meet their internal engagement objectives and do something for a worthwhile cause,” said Mark Goldstone, Head of Business Representation & Policy, West & North Yorks Chamber of Commerce and Judge on Leeds Mencap Apprentice. “I would urge chamber businesses to get a team together and get involved.”

Leeds Mencap is inviting both large and small businesses to take part. For further information, call 0113 235 1331, or email or







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Dementia Friendly Leeds Holds ‘Connections’ Event at HEART




Dementia Friendly Leeds is holding an event at HEART, Bennet Road, Headingley on 27th February, 2.30 – 4.30pm, aimed at providing active support for organisations that would like to become more dementia friendly.

Guest speaker Kathryn Lord, Dementia Research Fellow at Bradford University, will talk about effective communication. There will be inspiring stories, support from dementia friendly mentors, workshops on how to develop more dementia friendly support, and the opportunity to form new partnerships.

“Many organisations want to know more about dementia and how to support people living with the condition, but are unsure how to start”, said Sarah Goodyear, Dementia Friendly Leeds Campaign Officer. “We aim to bring people together who are passionate about being dementia friendly, so they can learn from each other, form new networks, improve services and raise awareness.”

Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain, and symptoms can include memory loss and communication difficulties. It affects roughly one in fourteen people aged over 65. Everyday tasks can become more challenging, and, without support from the community, dementia can be very isolating.

Dementia Friendly Leeds offers support and information to businesses and organisations wanting to become more dementia friendly. Anyone keen to make Leeds a dementia friendly city is welcome to attend.

The event is free but places are limited. To book, email, or visit Eventbrite:

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Super Casino Opens in Victoria Gate

Opening of Victoria Gate Casino in Leeds......Left to right, Patrick Noakes, Lady Mayoress Lynn Scholes, Chief Exec. of GGV, Andrew Herd, Lord Mayor Gerry Harper and Dep. Leader of the Council James Lewis Pic Simon Dewhurst

Opening of Victoria Gate Casino in Leeds……Left to right, Patrick Noakes, Lady Mayoress Lynn Scholes, Chief Exec. of GGV, Andrew Herd, Lord Mayor Gerry Harper and Dep. Leader of the Council James Lewis
Pic Simon Dewhurst


Victoria Gate Casino, the largest casino in the north of England and Scotland, has just opened in Victoria Gate.

The £30m venue is one of the biggest entertainment venues to open in Leeds in recent years and the third largest Casino in the UK.

“The vision for Victoria Gate Casino has been years in the making but it has been worth the wait to see everyone here celebrating with us tonight”, said Andrew Herd, Chief Executive of Global Gaming Ventures, operators of Victoria Gate Casino. “Victoria Gate Casino is a stylish entertainment hub where everyone from first-time visitors and passers-by to top poker players are catered for.”

Opening night visitors experienced the casino’s three venues, Live Bar, with wall-to-wall, state-of-the-art screens displaying the latest sports and live action. Curve, the cocktail, champagne and craft beer bar, which offers a rotating menu featuring beers from local breweries.  And, V Restaurant, an informal brasserie-style setting, offering top quality dishes from traditional home favourites to Pan-Asian cuisine.

“The casino has created over 200 jobs – 90% of which have been sourced from within the Leeds City Region”, said Andrew Herd. “We received more than 5,000 job applications – which speaks volumes for how keen people are to be a part of such an exciting project.”

For more information, visit





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Our Energy – An Alternative to the Big Six Energy Firms


Fed up with the Big Six energy firms’ contempt for customers, David Pike and Karin Sode decided to ask consumers across Britain to ‘chip in’ and help start a new, transparent energy company through crowdfunding.

British consumers, tired of the big energy companies’ relentless price hikes, lack of transparency and poor customer service, now have the chance to create an energy company with a difference. The charge is being backed by a number of senior business people, including former chair of Gleneagles Hotel, Peter Lederer OBE.

David, Karin and their team aim to crowdfund over £450,000 and make Our Energy operational in 2017. In the new company, not only will customers be represented on the board of directors, but it also plans to give 75% of profits back to its customers.

Our Energy will share salaries, decisions, accounts and prices with customers, becoming the first completely transparent and customer-focused UK energy company in the UK.

“Like most UK energy consumers, Karin and I have have had bad experiences when dealing with the big energy firms”, said David Pike. “People in the UK have quite rightly lost trust in their energy suppliers. We want to bring democracy and transparency to the UK’s energy market. Our customers will enjoy the profits and after three years will own the company. They will never have to switch supplier again.”

“Energy comes from natural resources that should belong to us all, not private entities,” said Karin. “We are absolutely passionate about returning ownership of this natural resource to consumers. We are crowdfunding for Our Energy because we don’t want to answer to private shareholders – our customers will be our shareholders.”

Supported by a wider team of finance and business specialists, the team raised over £18,000 on crowdfunder in Autumn 2016 – the public’s enthusiasm meant they smashed their £10,000 target by the deadline. The current drive to crowdfund over £450,000 will secure Our Energy’s future and ensure it becomes operational and open to customers in 2017.

Consumers can secure their places as future owners of their own energy company by donating on Shares cannot be bought and sold: they will remain in the hands of customers.



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New Partnership Tailor-Made for Macmillan


Leeds-based British tailoring firm, Hemingway Tailors, recently announced a new partnership with Macmillan Cancer which will see 5% of all revenue generated from their online menswear store,, donated to the cancer charity.

“Macmillan is a wonderful charity and I am thrilled that we are able to support the work that they do”, said Toby Luper, Managing Director of Hemingway Tailors. “My family was recently touched by cancer and the care and attention we received from Macmillan during that difficult time was outstanding. I hope that the funding we generate from sales on our new website will help to support many more families and provide the care that they need.”

The funding will be used to support the work that Macmillan does to help individuals and their families following a cancer diagnosis. From help with money worries and advice about work, to meeting someone who’ll listen when you just want to talk, Macmillan provide support when it is needed the most, making sure no one faces cancer alone.

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Free Event to Tackle Cyber Security


Dr Z. Cliffe Schreuders

An Innovation Network breakfast event for small and medium-sized (SME) business enterprises to gain an introduction to the impact of cybercrime from industry experts will be hosted by Leeds Beckett University at The Yorkshire Post offices.

The event, entitled Cyber Security: Impact and Opportunities, runs from 8.30 to 10.30am on Wednesday 28 September. Places are free and can be booked at

Speakers at the breakfast event, which has been organised in partnership with Digital Catapult Centre, will discuss innovative solutions and opportunities that are arising from the new cyber security sector. The event will also provide an insight on how growing SME businesses have been affected by cybercrime and what they could learn to protect themselves.

The speakers include: Dr Z. Cliffe Schreuders, Director of the Cybercrime and Security Innovation Centre (CSI) at Leeds Beckett University; Adam Beaumont, Founder and CEO at AQL; Lloyd Emmerson, Digital Fraud Manager for Lloyds Banking Group; and Ian Sharp, CEO of the Digital Health Enterprise Zone, Bradford.

“Innovation comes from looking ‘outside the box’,” said Katie Rigarlsford, Enterprise and Innovation Manager at Leeds Beckett University. “Through the Innovation Network we are committed to providing free learning to all businesses to help them to prosper in the region; whilst networking at the event also helps attendees to build their business contacts. Cybercrime is a growing issue affecting many businesses and this dynamic event will help attendees to increase their understanding of the issues.”

Dr Z. Cliffe Schreuders is currently engaged in, and coordinating, several research projects including: cybercrime and digital evidence in the police force; developing randomised capture the flag (CTF) hacking challenge software for computer security education, gamification applications to higher education; and designing usable mobile device security and access controls.

Mobile security specialist, Dr Adam Beaumont, formed telecommunications operator, AQL, in 1998 after working in Secure Mobile Communications for the Defence Evaluation Research Agency (an agency of the Ministry of Defence). He is a consistent innovator, providing one of the first integrated mobile messaging platforms – allowing businesses to remind their customers via SMS. AQL now hosts The Leeds Data Mill platform – an aggregation point for organisations, public and private, to share their operational data in order to provide a dashboard for the City and to allow analysis to improve and measure City efficiency.

Lloyd Emerson, Digital Fraud Manager at Lloyds Banking Group, first began his career working for Barclays Fraud team, an innovative and fast growing department within the Barclaycard network. At Barclays, he managed a computer system called ‘Falcon’, aiding to assimilate cases of fraudulent activity throughout the world. He then progressed into a role unique to Argos at the time with a vast remit involving directing the business and tackling all risk issues relating to internal and external crime. After a long tenure within retail, he moved back into the finance sector as the Cyber Crime and Digital Fraud Manager for Moneycorp before joining Lloyds Banking Group in 2014.

Ian Sharp is CEO of the Digital Health Enterprise Zone in Bradford, a partnership between the public and private sector to create a community of businesses, academics and health professionals with a focus on digital health. An experienced electronics engineer, Ian was President EMEA/APAC of Pace, the world’s largest set top box company, before leaving to start his own company, Khemeia Consulting, providing services for entrepreneurs and specialising in taking technology products and services to market.

Digital Catapult Centre Yorkshire is a place of innovation for start-ups and small businesses in the creative and technology sectors to develop and showcase their digital ideas and products and build their capabilities.

The breakfast event takes place at The Yorkshire Post’s offices at 26 Whitehall Road East, Leeds, LS12 1BE.

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Dovetailors Take Design Ideas Sky High


Local furniture makers Dovetailers love the chance to get their creative juices flowing and a new and rather unusual commission for a biplane bench has allowed them to do just that.

They’ve just finished an exciting bespoke design project for a client who is an aeroplane enthusiast and expert. The brief was to design and manufacture two dining table benches in the form of a biplane’s wings.

Dovetailors work closely with clients to ensure that their ideas are brought to life in the best way possible, and this project has been no exception. As well as creating furniture that’s stunning to look at, they also bear in mind durability and style. With seating, comfort and practicality are also considerations.

For this project, they took our initial inspiration from the Sopwith Camel, a British fighter aircraft used in the First World War. As it developed, the design retained the form of the Camel’s wings but the struts were modelled on those of the Pitts Special light aerobatic biplane.

Here, the wing shapes of each biplane bench – which provide the seat and the lower shelf – were made from solid maple. The legs and struts were made from solid sapele, which was also used alongside walnut for the roundel motif.

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