Crowdfunding partnership helps provide mental health education in Birmingham

Altruist Enterprises, a Birmingham-based social enterprise which provides stress management and mental health awareness training to organisations and schools, has received £5,000 of matched funding from Santander’s innovative Changemaker Fund.

The Fund is 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.

Altruist Enterprises provide mental health awareness training programmes, such as ‘Mental Health First Aid Lite’, ‘Resilience Training’ and ‘Identifying and Managing Stress’. The organisation works with companies and schools to raise awareness of mental health conditions and supports managers and teachers to better manage stress within their teams. The money raised will allow Altruist to provide two fully-funded mental health awareness workshops to year six and year nine pupils in 20 Birmingham schools, benefitting up to 1,600 young people in the local area.

Sue Douthwaite, Managing Director of Santander Business Banking, commented: “Stress and mental health issues are present in many schools and workplaces across the UK so it’s essential to raise awareness and provide managers and teachers with the necessary tools to support those who will benefit. We are proud to be able to help Altruist Enterprises expand their programme to schools in Birmingham and help local students.”

Katie Buckingham, Founder at Altruist Enterprises, commented: “This funding will allow us to provide workshops to up to 1,600 young people in Birmingham, helping them to better understand mental health, identify the signs and seek help should they need it. I personally didn’t get taught about mental health in school, and this experience has really left me with the desire to ensure that others do.”

The £200,000 Changemaker Fund,, 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 and innovation 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 
1 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 31 December 2017, the bank serves around 14 million active customers with c19,500 employees and operates through 806 branches (which includes 61 university branches) and 64 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 the largest bank in the euro zone by market capitalization. At the end of 2017, Banco Santander had EUR 986 billion in customer funds (deposits and mutual funds), 133 million customers, 13,700 branches and 200,000 employees. Banco Santander made attributable profit of EUR 6,619 million in 2017, an increase of 7% compared to the previous year.

About Altruist Enterprises
Altruist Enterprises are a passionate and caring provider of tailored training, helping organisations to prevent, identify and tackle stress within workplaces. It provides staff with the skills to support themselves and each other, through the many challenges of work and home.

Altruist Enterprises was founded in 2013 by Katie Buckingham, an award winning social entrepreneur with previous personal experience of mental ill-health. Irritated by the lack of awareness of stress and mental health, Altruist was formed with the vision of achieving 'parity of esteem' between physical and mental health in the workplace. Its aim is to increase knowledge, encourage conversations and build confidence around the issue; thus ensuring healthy, motivated and more productive workforces.

As a social enterprise, Altruist Enterprises reinvest a proportion of gross revenue and resources to provide subsidised or free talks and workshops to young people and parents on the subjects of mental health and autism.

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