From March 2016, the Santander Foundation will be known as the Discovery Foundation. The change in name has been chosen to reflect the important role it will play in Santander UK's new flagship community programme The Discovery Project, which aims to help disadvantaged people gain the confidence needed to make the most of their future.
The pre-existing grant programmes – Community Plus, Money Skills and Learn and Grow – have all now been streamlined into one singular grant scheme, the Discovery Grant. These grants will support projects addressing knowledge, skills and innovation to give disadvantaged people the confidence to discover and create a new world of opportunities.
The application process has been simplified, and Community Interest Companies and Credit Unions are now also able to apply alongside registered UK charities. Grants of up to £5,000 are available for projects which support one or more of the following three priority themes:
Explorer - improving knowledge and insight: examples include a series of Money Management workshops to help people understand how to budget and identify the affordable credit choices available to them; a Freedom Training course giving abused women knowledge of how to regain control over their lives.
Transformer - developing skills and experience: examples include work-based training and mentors to help socially isolated people develop skills to get back into work; sign language training for parents with hearing impaired children; teaching young people with autism vocational skills.
Changemaker - innovative solutions to social challenges: examples include a new social networking program for visually impaired young people which uses specially developed braille laptops to access the internet; an inclusive cycling social enterprise which adapts bicycles to enable people with disabilities to enjoy the outdoors.
Grants are available for one year only and can be used to cover the costs of part time salaries, equipment and materials. The Discovery Foundation wishes to fund a whole project, rather than make a contribution to a larger budget.
A simple nomination form can be picked up from any local Santander branch, however applicants that are not near a branch can download a form online. Nominations can be made by organisations and members of the public as well as Santander customers and staff.
Applications will be accepted at any time and successful applicants will be notified by email within a month of submitting their application.