Six Santander employees from Milton Keynes were part of a 40-strong team that travelled to Nepal earlier this month to build a school for the disadvantaged Moser community outside Pokhara, as well as raise funds for Age UK and Barnardo’s, the bank’s charity partners in the UK.
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Amy Slack, Kristian David Tilley, Al-Amin Sattar, Carmel Cameron, Gareth Munkley, and Andrew Wall, from the bank’s Milton Keynes office, spent five days helping to build the school near Pokhara, situated around eight hours northwest of Kathmandu.
The construction of the school aims to have a long-lasting impact in the community, providing hundreds of children with a brighter future, whilst also creating jobs and helping unskilled labourers to learn valuable skills during its construction.
Carmel Cameron, senior communications manager at Santander, said: “The whole trip has been such a positive and rewarding experience. It’s been amazing to be able to come out to Nepal to help directly with this cause and meet some of the members of the community it will directly benefit.
“It’s also great to know that we’ve raised key funds for our UK charity partners and we thank all those customers, colleagues, friends and relatives who have supported us.”
The team worked alongside The Pahar Nepal Trust, a UK charity which works in Nepal to build secure and durable structures, helping to rebuild the lives of the Nepalese who were affected by the 2005 earthquake. As well as providing the Moser community with a new school, the challenge raised £214,955 to help Age UK and Barnardo’s provide vital support to transform the lives of some of the UK’s most vulnerable or isolated older and younger people.
Hannorah Lee, head of corporate partnerships at Age UK, said: “We’d like to thank this amazing Santander team for supporting Age UK during this year’s International Challenge. The money raised for Age UK will help us to provide vital support and companionship to older people in communities across the country; people who might otherwise have no one to turn to.”
Forbes Mutch, head of business development at Barnardo’s, said: “It is wonderful that so many people have pulled together to build a school that will have such a long lasting positive impact on so many disadvantaged children.
“We really appreciate money being raised for Barnardo’s which will help us continue our vital work supporting hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children, young people, parents and carers.”
Over the course of 2017, Santander is supporting a host of fundraising activities for the two charities, including a coast to coast cycle challenge and a Store Wars initiative, which saw employees from across the UK go head-to-head to raise funds in Barnardo’s and Age UK shops. The bank’s aim is to raise £3 million for the two charities by the end of 2018.