Volunteers from Santander’s Bradford Contact Centre recently spent the day at St Ives, a 500 acre country park in Bingley, to help clear and plant a new ‘kitchen garden.’
Working alongside community group Friends of St Ives, 11 volunteers helped to prepare the area for a ‘kitchen garden’ with vegetable patches and pathways running throughout. The group also planted fruit bushes, leaving ample space for vegetables to be planted at a later date. Despite inclement weather conditions and a number of big tree roots to navigate, the group worked tirelessly to get all of the work done in a day – while carefully ensuring that all of the local toads remained undisturbed.
Once completed, Friends of St Ives will be running the ‘kitchen garden’ in conjunction with the activities team at Elder Homes, a group that runs the disabled persons unit in the adjoining mansion. It’s hoped that a small gardening group of more able residents will help maintain the garden so that all residents can enjoy the produce in their own meals.
Santander also donated £250 to Friends of St Ives for the purchase of plants for the garden including a number of fruit bushes and seeds to grow potatoes, carrots and cabbages when the time is right.
Pam Laking, Chairperson at The Friends of St Ives, said: “Together with all the Friends of St Ives, I want to thank the Santander volunteers for all of their hard work in clearing and planting out the new kitchen garden at St Ives. We were all amazed by the dedication and hard work of the group despite the constant rain. Once the garden is completed, we look forward to inviting the volunteers back to sample some of the home-grown produce.”
Sam Flynn, Team Leader at Santander’s Bradford Retail Contact Centre, said: “We are a newly formed team and wanted to plan and execute something for the local community that would last for a number of years. We wanted to be able to give something back to the St Ives residents and planting the kitchen garden will mean they can enjoy watching it grow again and again each year.”
Santander’s Community Days scheme encourages staff to take a day out of the office to volunteer with a local cause. Last year over 2,700 members of staff took part in 256 projects across the country, including refurbishing local schools, hospitals and helping with community projects.
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Citigate Dewe Rogerson
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Notes to editors:
Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. It has brought real competition to the UK, through its 1|2|3 products for retail customers and relationship banking model for UK SMEs. As at 31 December 2014, Santander UK was the most switched to bank, attracting 1 in 4 new retail customers. The bank serves more than 14 million active customers with c. 20,000 employees and operates through 921 branches and 66 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.
Santander’s Community activities feature employee fundraising campaigns which provide support to local and national charities. At the company’s main office sites employees are involved in volunteering through initiatives such as the Community Days team challenge events and the Santander in Schools programme. The Santander Foundation provides donations to projects that support disadvantaged people through education and training, and financial advice projects. This year the Community programme will contribute over £6 million to good causes around the UK.
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