Santander UK wins the "Pioneering Philanthropist Award" which recognizes innovative programmes to support social companies
- The Community Foundation for Merseyside has announced Santander UK as Pioneering Philanthropist of the Year.
July 2, 2012. The Community Foundation for Merseyside (which is in North West England, in and around the Liverpool area) announced Santander UK as Pioneering Philanthropist of the Year at the recent Spirit of Merseyside Awards, recognising the bank’s innovative new community investment scheme created to support social enterprises.
Cathy Elliott, Chief Executive of the Community Foundation said: “The Spirit of Merseyside Awards provides a unique opportunity to celebrate the contribution of individuals and organisations across Merseyside who are helping to make a real difference in their local communities. Santander was recognised for their efforts to create a new challenge prize to help social businesses to grow in these tough times.”
The Santander UK Social Enterprise Development Awards are targeted at established social businesses working to address social inclusion, employment or creating a greener environment. There are three prize levels - £50,000, £30,000 or £15,000 - dependent on turnover, for organisations with the potential to increase their community impact but in need of a financial boost.
Sharon Squire, Head of CSR, Santander UK, said: “The Santander Social Enterprise Development Awards are part of Santander ’s commitment to small businesses. Social enterprises play a vital role in local communities, delivering social and economic regeneration, and through the scheme we’re helping those with the potential to expand their work.”
In 2011, the scheme was piloted in five regions in the UK, including Merseyside, and the results helped to shape a UK-wide programme launched this month with a £2.3m prize fund. Alongside the prize money, winning social enterprises receive access to support from Santander including mentoring programmes, funding for internships and university business courses and training through the Santander UK Breakthrough programme.
The Spirit of Merseyside Awards are the region’s largest annual community awards and the star-studded ceremony was held on Thursday 14 June at St. George’s Hall, Liverpool with guest speaker Cherie Blair. Former Olympian Steve Smith and Para-Olympian Mark Eccleston also attended the evening to present awards to some of the region’s most outstanding community groups and philanthropists.