Member Articles

Without the support of our donors we would not be able to continue our vital work in the city. Find out more about some of our current donors and how they have supported LCF.


Simon Kamen head shot

Interview with Simon Kamen 100 Club member and Leeds Community Foundation supporter

Simon, of Synergy Procurement Solutions, joined the 100 Club in 2013 and has been at most events since then, even making a guest appearance on our new 100 Club flyer! Simon has pledged to support us in our birthday year by promising us 10% of his fee from those people who come to use his business and mention our name.

Q. Simon can you explain your pledge in a little more detail?

At Synergy Procurement Solutions we help businesses save time and money. We do this by using our knowledge, buying power and skillset to reduce the amount of time and money they spend on securing the best deal in various categories such as, Car & Commercial Vehicle Leasing, Cash & Security Handling , Energy Management & Utility Contracts, Landline Telecommunications, Logistics, Couriers & Warehousing, Merchant Card Services, Network Printing, Photocopiers & MFD’s, Office Supplies. Our team of experts who deal in these areas negotiate the best deal for the business in question by working with existing and potentially new supply partners. We go into the business to find out what they want, what they’re currently spending, what doesn’t work for them, and figure out what they need – then negotiate the best deal. On average we have been able to secure 27% in savings for our clients and we only charge a fee if we save them money whilst maintaining or improving the service they are receiving.  A percentage of that saving is Synergy’s fee.

My pledge is donate 10% of that fee to Leeds Community Foundation if the business mentions LCF when they approach us. The businesses could donate even more of the saving if they wanted to as part of their CSR policy, but as a minimum I’ll donate 10% of my fee.

Q. Obviously at LCF we do not endorse individual companies, but can you tell me why organisations should have a chat with you?

Our tagline is ‘Tried, Trusted, Recommended’. We’ve worked with companies including Blacks Solicitors, Yorkshire Building Society, Costcutter, Fat Face and Booths and we have many more testimonials on our website.  I also provide a free initial consultation and there is only a fee if we achieve a saving so what have they got to lose?

Q. Why is it important for you to give locally?

I’m a great believer in giving back to the community that I live and work in. As a family man, I want a safe environment, free from anti-social behaviour where opportunities are available to everyone. My biggest dilemma has been choosing which good causes to support, so I was delighted when I was introduced to LCF. I am confident that the Foundation will channel my support through their expert knowledge of the thousands of community support groups working hard on the front line.

Q. Have you got anything to say to encourage others to support us?

I am immensely proud to be associated with the Foundation. Whenever I meet a community group or charity, I ask if they are already involved with LCF and if not then I point them in your direction. Being a member of the 100 Club makes my contribution far more valuable than simply putting money into a collection tin. When I give £1000, the foundation uses this to generate many times more than this as it funds the expertise within the LCF team in their daily activities. This longevity & sustainability makes me want to be involved and encourage others to join.

Q. Finally Simon, can you tell me a little more about Higher Education Access Rewarding Transforming (HEART) which you mentioned you’re also an ambassador for?

HEART is an organisation formed by the education providers to provide a single voice for the higher education institutions in the region. HEART is dedicated to equality in access to Higher Education, supporting under-represented groups to access and benefit from Higher Education, serving individuals and businesses, It works with businesses to try and ensure that they are aware of these groups and to provide them with access to placements, internships or apprenticeships – to build their skills for the world of work. When I was growing up that wasn’t available and if it had been it may have kick-started me into business sooner.

Thank you for speaking to us Simon, and for your birthday pledge! It’s great to hear directly from our supporters and to share your personal motivations.

If anyone would like to reach out to Simon about anything he’s mentioned please email him on


Mark Henderson (2)Interview with Brewster Bye

As part of the legacy of the Tour de France passing through Yorkshire last  year, our great county is now hosting the first ever Tour de Yorkshire on the weekend of 1-3 May 2015. Amateur cyclists are also taking part in this on the final day of the event and Mark Henderson of Brewster Bye Architects, (who are 100 Club members), will be representing us in this ride. We’ve asked him a few questions below to find out a bit more about the ride and the motivation behind his participation…

Q. Hi Mark, thank you for speaking to us about your fundraising endeavour, it’s really exciting! Can you tell us a little more about the Tour de Yorkshire and what it is you’re doing?

The Tour de Yorkshire comes on the back of the Tour de France – it’s one of the legacy events. It’s a three day stage race around Yorkshire and the Sunday has a section which can be completed by amateurs (or idiots)!

We start at Roundhay around 6.30am, head south to Halifax, join up with stage three of the professional race route in Hebden Bridge, and follow the professional course back from there. I’ll need to have passed Addingham by 1.30pm, otherwise I’ll be put in the lorry of shame! That’s to avoid getting trampled by the pros! Hopefully ending up in Rounday at least half an hour or so before the pros arrive.

Q. How long is the route?

I’ll have cycled half of Sunday’s professional course and the sportive section is 91-92 mile, including 9,000 ft of climbing and it’s considered 5 out 5 in terms of difficulty – a very hilly course, climbing 900ft every 10 miles. I’m parking my car at Roundhay and will be driving home once the race is complete!

Q. So what is a sportive?

It’s a non-competitive event, so you could be doing it as a challenge to yourself or racing against yourself – perhaps trying to beat a personal best.

Q. And do you have a personal best you want to beat?

I’m aiming for about 15mph. When I ride to work on a morning (from Huddersfield) I do 18mph, but obviously this will be a longer distance and more stamina and pacing required, so 15mph is my goal!

Q. So you cycle from Huddersfield to Leeds daily?! You’ve had a lot of practice then!

Well not daily, but definitely at least once a week! I go via the A62 or via Bradford on A and B roads – keep an eye out for me if you do those routes! But yes, I’ve had plenty of practice, I’ve done 2,500+ miles in the last year, I sometimes get the train to York and cycle back. I aim to get out on a ride a couple of times a week and, on average, do about 60 miles a week, but the next four weeks I’ll aim for probably 100 miles.

Q. How long have you been into cycling?

It’s relatively recently I got into it. 18 months ago I was looking for something to get me fitter and I wanted to lose a bit of weight, and Brewster Bye joined the bike to work scheme. So I’ve lost a stone and a half up until now and getting out on my bike has opened up a lot of the countryside around where I live. Though I don’t want to underestimate how my legs have ached and my head has hurt – it can be quite mentally challenging, especially to begin with, but not so much anymore.

Q. Do you wear lycra?

Sports specific clothing – evasive answer! My other Director claims I’ve spent a lot on very expensive clothing. Particularly on padded pants and bottom cream.

Q. So you’re fundraising for us, which is fantastic! Why is it important to you to give locally?

As a business, Brewster Bye has been involved with a number of charities, but Leeds Community Foundation and St Georges’ Crypt resonate most for us as to what we want to support. Through Keith (Managing Director) we’ve been a member of the 100 Club for a couple of years now, and we recognise as a company that the work you fund through your grant giving is fundamentally important to Leeds and its many communities. So our support and involvement is both professional and personal.

Q. What are your personal motivations?

I care about health and wellbeing in the community, and I want to make sure other people can benefit from our efforts, if at all possible.

Q. Have you got anything to say to encourage others to take part in this or other fundraising events in the city for our birthday year?

Start off small – if you’re struggling to think of something to do, there are loads of good things for people to take part in! This is obviously quite physically demanding, so it could be doing some walking, or supporting someone else to do something (so feel free to sponsor me!)

Thank you, Mark!

There is still time to support Mark by visiting his just giving page:

If you or your organisation are interested in fundraising for Leeds Community Foundation, take a look at some of the events we have coming up this year and email Rachel on


re-form team re-form Landscape Architecture

To celebrate the Tour de France coming to Leeds in 2014, re-form Landscape Architecture, who have recently joined Leeds Community Foundation’s 100 Club, cycled the first stage of the Tour de France route to raise money to support the work of the Foundation.



Battling against the elements the determined re-form team started in Leeds, cycling through the beautiful and rainy Yorkshire Dales before finishing in Harrogate.Their hard work paid off as re-form have managed to raise over £2,500 for Leeds Community Foundation.

Andrew Price, Director of re-form Landscape Architecture said: “We’re big cycling fans so, with the Tour de France coming to Leeds later this year, we thought it was only right to get on our bikes and raise money in support of a local organisation that makes a real difference to local people. We are fortunate to be working on some fantastic projects in the city, including the new park at Sovereign Square, so we believe in giving something back to our local community and we are pleased to be continuing our support of Leeds Community Foundation.”

If you or are your organisation are interested in fundraising for Leeds Community Foundation please email or visit our event page for inspiration.


Dan 2013 Daniel Gill

LCF first met Daniel in 2009 when he sponsored a team for an ‘It’s a Knockout event’ held at Lineham Farm.   From the first meeting it was obvious that Daniel was a man who wanted to  make a difference in Leeds – he wanted to give something back personally and also involve his staff too.  We met to discuss his views and ideas on giving and he decided to become a patron of the Foundation by joining the 100 Club.  Daniel and his wife Helen always attend the quarterly events and particularly enjoy listening and learning about the issues from the community groups presenting.

Daniel Gill established Dine in 1998, which was originally part of the Pool Court group of companies.  Over the years he has grown this into a very successful group of businesses including: Dine Events, Dine at Allerton Castle, Dine at The Mansion in Roundhay Park and Dine Hospitality. In December 2011 Daniel and Helen wanted to make a donation to a children’s group and we found the perfect match in Kidz Klub a local group supporting hundreds of children in disadvantaged areas across Leeds.  The donation funded the all important buses that pick up 274 children each week to take them to the Saturday morning club, providing a vital service for the Community!

Last year Daniel and the Dine team decided to do even more in honour of their 15th Birthday Celebrations and committed to fund raising for a number of charities including Leeds Community Foundation.  On 26th April, Daniel welcomed over 100 guests to the Mansion to celebrate and raise money.  The evening included a fabulous 5 course meal, a performance from Xfactor star Carolynne Poole and a slave auction compered by Harry Gration. The night raised a startling £16,540 surpassing their £15,000 target for the year! On presenting us with our cheque Daniel said “To celebrate our 15th birthday, we wanted to give something back and help those charities that are really close to our hearts.

To hand over the cheques to LCF and MS Society was a really proud moment for the team.” Since then Daniel has found time to complete the gruelling three peaks on Saturday 15th June (apparently the last 5 miles were the longest of his life!) Amazingly DINE are only half way through their  year of mammoth fundraising activities – with yet more events still to come;  a team in the Leeds 10k, a sponsored walk from Kirkstall to The Mansion, Paella in the Park and a Golf Tournament to name but a few! If this wasn’t enough Daniel has also introduced an ethical menu which donates £1 from every meal ordered to Leeds Community Foundation, and  hosted one of our most well attended 100 Club events at the fabulous Mansion in Roundhay Park.

The Foundation we were absolutely delighted that all Daniel’s energy, time and commitment was rewarded when DINE won the Yorkshire Pride Award at the Yorkshire Business Masters Awards 2013, for the most meaningful philanthropic initiative in Yorkshire in the last year. A huge and well deserved congratulations from us Daniel.  We are proud to have such a wonderful man as a patron of the Leeds Community Foundation.