In 2019 we've taken the opportunity to review the strategy of the Santander Foundation to assess whether it’s possible to have an even greater impact in our communities beyond that already achieved. Considering our purpose and the needs of our communities, our new focus will be aiding and supporting individuals with financial and digital skills. We'll launch a new grants programme in 2021 to support organisations delivering skills to help people become digital and financial empowered.
The Santander Foundation has a long history of helping vulnerable people in our communities and given recent events, the Foundation decided to support Alzheimer’s Society and Age UK to provide practical help and friendship for the most vulnerable people affected by this crisis.
The Santander Foundation is donating £3m (£1.5m for each charity) to help increase the capacity of Alzheimer’s Society and Age UK contact centres and online service, so they can continue to provide support for older people and those affected by dementia during this time.
Sue Willis, Trustee of Santander Foundation said: “Age UK and Alzheimer’s Society are doing some fantastic work to provide the elderly and those affected by dementia the appropriate and crucial support they need during this difficult time. We hope this donation can provide some much-needed immediate relief to some of the most vulnerable groups in our communities with initiatives that will alleviate loneliness, and by enabling the provision of basic needs.”
Kate Lee, Alzheimer’s Society Chief Executive said: “This donation will help us support thousands of people during an unsettling and uncertain time by funding our Dementia Connect Support line. Through the support line, our expert Dementia Advisers will provide people with dementia, their relatives, neighbours and friends with tailored information, guidance and emotional reassurance throughout this health emergency.”
Laurie Boult, Fundraising Director at Age UK, said: “Older people are facing an exceptionally testing and difficult time, but we are steadfast in our commitment to be there for older people across the country. We need to continue to offer vital information and advice and friendship over the phone, as well as practical support in local communities. This support from Santander will help us reach so many older people. We’re determined to rise to the challenge and continue to provide comfort, hope and practical support to those who need it most.”
The donation comes alongside a broader set of initiatives introduced by Santander UK in response to the coronavirus outbreak to support communities. These include supporting charity partners who want to repurpose the funds donated by the bank so far to respond to the crisis and doubling the work time that employees can claim to volunteer.
Santander UK efforts contribute to the Santander Group commitment to fight Coronavirus announced by the Group earlier this week (click here to see the related press release).