London social enterprises are among first to receive support from new crowdfunding partnership

Access Aspiration and School of Hard Knocks (SOHK), two London-based social enterprises, have received a total of £20,000 matched funding from Santander’s new Changemaker Fund. The two projects both help students in disadvantaged areas across the capital gain skills and motivation through sport and employability workshops.

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 communities and help disadvantaged people to have confidence in the future.

Access Aspiration works with secondary schools in disadvantaged areas across London to help secure work experience, placements and apprenticeships to guide students into professional roles and teach them employability skills. SOHK on the other hand uses sport to tackle unemployment, crime and health. The charity works with disengaged students to build confidence and maturity through sport to encourage them to stay in full time education.

The successful matched funding will enable both projects to continue supporting a growing number of students in need across disadvantaged areas of London. Both charities received £10,000 funding from the bank to help fund the expansion of their programmes.

Sue Douthwaite, Managing Director of Santander Business Banking, commented: “We are thrilled to be able to support both these projects, and to help give students in disadvantaged areas the opportunities to maximise their potential and future employment prospects. We look forward to seeing how the projects develop with the benefit of this funding.”

Kirstie Ritchie, Director at Access Aspiration, commented: “Through the Changemaker Fund we have been able to finance our project for a further year, helping expand the services we can offer. All young people should be given equal opportunities for employment, and we hope to increase the reach of our services in the future.”

The new 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 £20,000 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 Us
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 Access Aspiration
Access Aspiration is a young and dynamic charity working to increase social mobility by providing access to employability training and aspirational work placements. The charity work particularly with 16 –18 year olds in non-selective schools around London. Access was set up in February 2013, currently the charity partners with over 20 schools and with around 80 top-end businesses to provide constructive and influential work placement for the students. For more information visit:

About School of Hard Knocks
School of Hard Knocks is a social inclusion charity which runs courses that use sport to tackle the issues surrounding unemployment, antisocial behaviour, crime and health. The charity work with individuals to help them take responsibility and take positive steps forward in their lives. For more information visit:

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