Santander launches new flagship community programme to support 1 million people by 2020

Santander UK today announces a new community investment strategy called “The Discovery Project”, a flagship programme that builds on the bank’s successful history of supporting education, employment and enterprise.

The Discovery Project is designed to inspire people to have confidence in the future by giving them the skills, knowledge and support to explore the opportunities today’s fast-changing world has to offer through three core programmes:

Explorer – helping people learn about the world around them;
Transformer – guiding people through work focussed support and training; and
Changemaker – supporting social innovation and projects that help society.

Santander’s current community programmes, which include MoneyWise, WorkWise, Santander Universities and SEDA, will be expanded to reach even more people. These will be brought together with new initiatives including a new schools programme called FutureWise, and Discovery Lab events, to create the exciting new flagship programme.

The Discovery Project will be officially launched in March 2016 and over the course of the next five years the bank aims to benefit one million people through the programme in local communities close to Santander’s branches, banking centres and offices.

Nathan Bostock, CEO, Santander UK, said: “Our purpose is to help people and businesses prosper, both our customers and the communities we serve. We live in a rapidly changing world and we recognise that for many this pace of change is difficult to navigate. Through The Discovery Project we aim to inspire confidence in the future by sharing our skills and resources to help people make the most of the incredible opportunities the world has to offer.”

In order to ensure the programme reaches across the UK and helps the most vulnerable people in society, Santander has also today announced a series of charity partners that will work on Explorer, Transformer and Changemaker projects.

Following an all-staff vote to select the programme’s flagship charities, Santander will work with Age UK and Barnardo’s in a collaborative partnership to support the creation of two new projects under The Discovery Project banner. Age UK will develop a new initiative to support older people in gaining insight and knowledge to prepare for the future called Ambitions for Later life, part of the Explorer programme. Barnardo’s will roll-out its On Track programme to help disadvantaged youngsters improve their employment prospects under the Transformer programme. The two charities will benefit from a combined fundraising and grant programme that will run for three years.

In addition, Santander will work with Career Ready to fund the charity’s careers and employability programme for 16-19 year olds and National Citizen Service to support the Social Action elements of the personal development programme for 16 year olds. And the bank will expand its work with Pfeg (part of Young Enterprise) to support the Centres of Excellence programme with a financial education journey encompassing primary, secondary and FE colleges.

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Notes to Editors

The Discovery Project

  • The Discovery Project brings together Santander UK’s current community investment programmes including Santander Universities, MoneyWise, WorkWise, Community Days, Breakthrough, SEDA and the Charity of the Year scheme.
  • New initiatives in development include FutureWise, a schools programme to help children explore the future with confidence, Discovery Labs, a series of short films looking at the big issues impacting the world and SME Apprenticeships, to help small businesses access young talent.
  • The programme aims to help 1 million people over five years from 2016-2020.

Santander UK
Santander UK is a financial services provider that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. It has brought competition to the UK through its 1|2|3 products for retail customers and relationship banking model for UK SMEs. As at 30 June 2015, Santander UK was the most switched to bank, attracting 1 in 4 new retail customers. The bank serves more than 14 million active customers with c. 20,000 employees and operates through 840 branches and 68 regional Corporate Business Centres.

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