Three employees from Santander’s Milton Keynes office were part of a 37-strong team that travelled to South Africa this month to help some of that country’s most disadvantaged children, as well as raise funds for Age UK and Barnardo’s, the bank’s charity partners in the UK.
Ellie Keane, Harbind Singh Seyan and Jasmine Panesar from the bank’s Risk, Technology and IT divisions, spent five days working with the Thandanani Children’s Foundation in the KwaZulu-Natal province in Eastern South Africa, where they helped build three homes for children who had lost their parents to HIV and AIDS. The homes will support a community which has been devastated by HIV, leaving many children orphans and in the care of their elderly grandparents, whose homes are frequently inadequate for bringing up young children.
“The whole trip has been such a positive and rewarding experience,” said Harbind Singh Seyan, technical business consultant at Santander in Milton Keynes.
“It has been amazing to be able to come out to South Africa to help directly with this fantastic children’s charity and meet some of the children who will benefit.
“We work with Age UK and Barnardo’s in the UK because we want to support both young and older people who are vulnerable and this work has enabled us to help those groups in South Africa as well.
“It’s also good to know 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 Thandanani Children’s Foundation was founded in 1989 to facilitate community-based care and support for orphans and other vulnerable children – particularly those affected and infected by HIV/Aids – in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands region of South Africa.
As well as providing three families in desperate need to benefit from a safe environment to live, learn and grow, the challenge raised more than £144,000 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.