Local community programme is one of the first to receive support from new crowdfunding partnership

Change Please, a central London-based community programme which provides training for homeless people to become employable baristas, has received £10,000 of matched funding from Santander’s new Changemaker Fund.

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

Change Please strives to combat homelessness across London through entrepreneurship. The programme helps motivated, homeless people who are ready to embark on their next steps by providing them with training to become baristas. It also takes them off the streets by offering housing and paying the London Living Wage. The additional funding will enable the programme to purchase a new coffee cart to provide sustainable income and employment for at least two trainee baristas.

Sue Douthwaite, Managing Director of Santander Business Banking, commented: “We are thrilled to support this wonderful project which gives homeless people hope and opportunity whilst helping to tackle the growing issue of homelessness across London. The work Change Please does to help those in need off the streets, giving them skills and work is inspirational and we’re excited to see how the project develops.”

Cemal Ezel, Managing Director at Change Please, commented: “Through the Changemaker Fund we have been able to purchase our new coffee cart, which will give two more homeless people a place to work and a source of income. We are hoping to soon expand across the UK, an aspiration which can only succeed through generous donations, such as this one from Santander.”

The new 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 £20,000 and focussed on skills, knowledge and innovation that get the crowd’s backing will receive 50% 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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About 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 2016, the bank serves around 14 million active customers with c20,000 employees and operates through 841 branches (which includes 60 university branches) and 67 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, headquartered in Spain, with a meaningful market share in 10 core countries in Europe and the Americas. It is among the world’s top banks by market capitalization. The bank’s purpose is to help people and businesses prosper, in a way that is simple, personal and fair. Founded in 1857, Santander had EUR 1.52 trillion in managed funds, 125 million customers, 12,200 branches and 188,000 employees at the close of 2016. Santander made attributable profit of EUR 6,204 million in 2016, an increase of 4% compared to the previous year.

About Change Please
Change Please trains exceptional people who happen to be homeless to be baristas. They provide them with housing, a job and pay the London Living Wage to lift them out of homelessness. For more information please visit http://www.changeplease.org/

Media Enquiries
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