Benfield lends a helping hand

5 November 2013

A Harrogate car dealership has committed itself to 12 months of fundraising and support for a local charity.

Benfield, based on Knaresborough Road, has chosen the Harrogate Easier Living Project (HELP) as its ‘Charity of the Year’ after reading about its work in the town. The dealership, which employs 52 members of staff, wanted to support a small, local charity which directly benefits the people of Harrogate.

HELP provides support for older people and those with a disability to remain independent in their own homes. The three services – Help at Home, Carers’ Time Off and Opening Doors – offer practical help around the home, carer relief and accompanied outings for people who cannot get out and about themselves. All are supported by a fantastic team of volunteers.

Benfield’s Philip Mitchell with members of Opening Doors
Benfield’s Philip Mitchell with members of Opening Doors

Nigel Clayton, General Manager of Benfield Harrogate, said:

As a local employer we have always been involved with charitable activities and have supported our staff in their fundraising efforts. But we wanted to consolidate our activities and find a charity which helps our customers and the community on a really local level. HELP is a great example of a small charity making a big impact in the town.

Alongside fundraising activities, which were kicked off last month with a cake stall and a ‘guess how many balloons in the car’ competition at the dealership, Benfield is also supporting HELP in a practical way. The company has seconded some of its professional drivers and fleet cars to help take service users on group outings to local attractions such as Newby Hall. The team will also be helping with large gardening and decorating jobs over the next few months.

Rachel MacKenzie, Opening Doors service coordinator, said:

Benfield’s support has already proved invaluable. The fundraising they plan will really help towards delivering our much needed service in the area. But the hands-on support they can offer through their fleet of cars and through the manpower of their staff will really benefit our charity, which is run on limited funds.

The Harrogate Easier Living Project (HELP) was launched in 2011, bringing together the three existing services which had each been running for 20 years. HELP is supported by an army of volunteers and is funded in part by the Big Lottery Fund.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the service, or becoming a volunteer, should contact Anna Woollven on 01423 813090 or

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