Evolve, a Birmingham-based community programme which provides educational and activity courses to support disadvantaged children, has received £5,000 of matched funding from Santander’s innovative Changemaker Fund.

The Fund was launched at the end of 2016 as part of a pioneering collaboration between Santander and rewards-based crowdfunding platform Crowdfunder. The programme is designed to help social enterprises, small charities and community groups deliver projects that improve communities and help disadvantaged people to have confidence in the future.

Evolve provides mentorship and courses which help children develop new skills, experience new activities, make new friends and build their overall confidence. Participating educational institutions can gain support from Health Mentors who work to make students feel more fulfilled physically, socially and emotionally. Other programmes provided by Evolve focus on physical activity, diet and nutrition and personal development, to help pupils lead happier and healthier lives.

Evolve is using the funding to support its XLR8 project, an educational programme for 11 year olds in Birmingham, with a particular focus on disadvantaged inner-city students. The aim of the programme is to create a positive and creative environment that allows children to learn new skills and nurture talents. Participants benefit from trained staff, new hobbies and diverse activities in a safe and friendly environment.

Sue Douthwaite, Managing Director of Santander Business Banking, commented: “Every child should be able to learn in a safe and stimulating environment and Evolve’s work with students and schools in Birmingham is impressive in its reach and impact. We are delighted to have contributed to the XLR8 project and hope that local children enjoy and benefit from the courses on offer.”

John Bishop, Managing Director at Evolve, commented: “This funding from Santander has allowed us to offer this beneficial and rewarding opportunity to an extra 50 children. The school holidays can be a challenging time for pupils and parents so having an opportunity like this to look forward to provides a real focus and means that children return to school ready to learn at the start of a new term.”

The £200,000 Changemaker Fund, www.crowdfunder.co.uk/changemaker, is part of Santander’s flagship community programme, The Discovery Project, which aims to inspire people to have confidence in the future through projects that build skills, grow knowledge and support innovation.

By working together with Crowdfunder, Santander aims to enable entrepreneurs and community groups to tackle social challenges and create positive local impact. Eligible projects seeking funding of up to £20,0001 and focussed on skills, knowledge, innovation and wellbeing that get the crowd’s backing will receive 50 per cent of their funding requirement from Santander to ensure the enterprise reaches its target.

As well as access to the £200,000 matched funding from Santander, projects will benefit from crowdfunding team specialists with education, enterprise and coaching support to unlock further funds and create lasting impacts in communities across the UK.

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Notes to Editors 
Under exceptional circumstances, enterprises could be eligible for projects up to £40,000 with 50 per cent of their funding requirement from Santander.

Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. It has brought real competition to the UK, through its innovative products for retail customers and relationship banking model for UK SMEs. At 30 June 2017, the bank serves around 14 million active customers with c19,500 employees and operates through 826 branches (which includes 61 university branches) and 65 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.

Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading retail and commercial bank, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain. It has a meaningful market share in 10 core countries in Europe and the Americas, and is among the world’s top banks by market capitalization. At the end of June 2017, Banco Santander had EUR 1.65 trillion in managed funds, 131 million customers, 13,800 branches and 200,000 employees. Banco Santander made attributable profit of EUR 3.6 billion in the first half of 2017, an increase of 24% compared to the same period last year.

About Evolve
Evolve has a proven track record of delivering successful outcomes across multiple sectors including education, health and employment. Its team of inspirational and highly trained Health Mentors develop meaningful rapport with children and young people so that they take responsibility for their own health, and happiness, success and fulfilment. 
For more information please visit: www.evolvesi.com  

Media Enquiries
Leonora Burtenshaw      T: 020 7756 4543      M: 07701 004 107      E: leonora.burtenshaw@santander.co.uk

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