Corporate Social Responsibility

We are proud to support businesses, charities and not for profit organisations by giving our time and expertise freely to assist and benefit them as appropriate.

Karen is a co-founder of and Chair of the Collaborative Professionals Network which exists to support businesses and professional organisations in Yorkshire and beyond – the ethos is collaboration for the overall greater benefit of all.

Karen has for some years been involved, both as a supporter and as a judge of the Stephen Lloyd Awards – which enables numerous fledgling charitable and social enterprises to benefit from the support of the Stephen Lloyd network of experts, as well as the financial awards themselves.

Karen also provides pro bono support to finalists of the awards.

The Stephen Lloyd Awards were set up by the Bates Wells Foundation (Charity Number 1150321) following Stephen’s death to support groups driving systemic social change.

The Awards are unique in the grant making world by perceiving positive futures in the most unlikely ideas that need someone to believe in them and providing an initial grant to open doors to other sources. It offers financial assistance and access to expertise from across the charity, social enterprise and purposeful business sectors.

The Awards process is special: both a competition for grants, and a chance for social innovators to reach potential supporters. Applications are scored by a network of supporters. Shortlisting stage sees the top twenty interviewed by a panel including past winners, Enactus programme alumni, and sector specialists.

Ten finalists receive a preparation grant and guidance. At a live event, they pitch their ideas to the community of supporters present, who vote for the most striking and innovative idea. These supporters build relationships and offer help.

Karen supports the tax charities TaxAid and Tax Help for Older People, notably by providing free lectures and webinars to raise funds.

TaxAid and Tax Help for Older People

TaxAid and Tax Help for Older People are charities supporting people in poverty who face a tax problem they cannot sort out themselves.

TaxAid works with working-age people and Tax Help works with people who are over 60. Together, the tax charities help their beneficiaries to understand their tax position and investigate and resolve their tax issues.

The tax charities’ work prevents people falling into further financial hardship by ensuring their tax is calculated correctly and any incorrect tax debt is cancelled.

In 2021/22, TaxAid and Tax Help for Older People, resulted in the cancellation of tax debt totalling £2,081,347. In the same period, they generated, £621,252 of tax refunds for their beneficiaries.

Without help, their beneficiaries fall further into tax trouble. They do not understand the tax system and their lives are complicated by poverty, poor physical and mental health, and disability.

The tax charities hear from people who have been exploited at work, have suffered personal trauma, or who are working multiple jobs to try to make ends meet.

Dealing with the complex tax problems that arise from these difficult circumstances is a challenge – the support provided by the tax charities can be life changing.

Tax is complicated and a great source of anxiety and stress for the tax charities’ beneficiaries. As the only UK charities providing this support, their work is vital for addressing the inequalities resulting from the complexities and poverty.

Throughout her legal education and career, Polly has always sought to use her knowledge and experience to improve the lives and opportunities of those around her.

Polly has volunteered at Hull University’s Free Legal Advice Clinic, providing legal representation to clients on a pro bono basis up to and including trial. She has acted as a National Representative for LPC Students and was elected on a platform of improving accessibility and the representation of part-time students. 

Polly is currently a Charitable Trustee and Treasurer of her local Parents and Teachers Association and works to improve the education of the students and strengthen relationships within the local community. Outside of that, Polly supports families with young children who are experiencing hardship and provides them with essential supplies and links them to other services for support.