Alzheimer’s Society and Santander UK

Working together to make Santander the UK’s best dementia-friendly bank.

Alzheimer’s Society launched a unique and sector leading strategic partnership with Santander UK in January 2019.  

We have been working in collaboration, developing solutions to some of the most challenging issues those affected by dementia experience. Alzheimer’s Society also acts as Santander’s ‘critical friend’ to help them better support vulnerable customers.

Our partnership is award-winning: our tireless efforts to create policies, schemes and initiatives that help Santander become a dementia-friendly organisation has been recognised by four awards.

Additionally, to date, Santander’s incredible employees have fundraised £2 million, and have also been the most engaged partner ever with Memory Walk.

The positive impact resulting from our partnership demonstrates the value of collaborating strategically to find effective solutions to complex issues.

See how we are working as 'one team' in our power of partnership video:

Together we are focussing on:

  • Communities – maximising the positive impact Santander has in the communities they operate in
  • Customers – helping Santander be the bank that best supports people affected by dementia
  • People – ensuring the wellbeing of Santander’s colleagues affected by dementia and expanding the understanding of dementia across all employees

Building a dementia-friendly culture

Santander and Alzheimer's Society have co-created the Santander Dementia Guide, outlining all the support available for people affected by dementia.

Below are some examples of the exciting work we are doing together:

  • In 2019, we audited a cross-section of Santander’s branches and contact centres to help the bank better support customers affected by dementia. Now, Santander is implementing the recommendations, including training staff, improving internal policies, creating more dementia-friendly products, and making branch design more dementia friendly

  • More than 50 per cent of Santander colleagues (more than 11,500 people!) have become Dementia Friends through a bespoke e-learning module. They are going to continue to push this in 2021. 

  • To direct our dementia-friendly initiatives, we created the Santander Dementia Steering Group, a panel made up of people with dementia and carers, who review Santander products and services, such as Third Party support, ATM journey, customer communication, new credit and debit card design and employee support. 

  • We have trained 130 Dementia Ambassadors across Santander in each branch region and contact centre. These colleagues have received specialist dementia training and act now as key points of contact across the business for both customers and colleagues affected by dementia.

  • Santander have introduced a number of supported banking options for customers, including a Third Party Access facility and a Carer's Card option, an account you can add money to so that someone you trust can get your cash or help with shopping. These are safe and legal alternatives to other 'workarounds' where people give their own debit card out to their carer to do their shopping.

  • We are also working with Santander's HR team to improve support available for colleagues with caring responsibilities.

Watch our live Q&A with Santander all about finance and dementia:

'The alliance between Alzheimer's Society and Santander is powerful. It's the open-mindedness of these organisations and decision-makers that is creating something new and visible. To have a corporation wish to learn and model their policy on my expert knowledge is rare and visionary.'

- Vanessa, Steering Group member and carer

Alzheimer's Society and Santander - Dementia Friends Session

Santander support during the coronavirus crisis

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, Santander has been working with Alzheimer’s Society and Age UK to support older people and those affected by dementia:

  • Santander and Santander Foundation Support

Santander have launched a campaign to support older people and those affected by dementia, working alongside Alzheimer’s Society and Age UK. Employees will also be volunteering their time as a response to coronavirus. The Santander Foundation is donating £3 million split equally between the charities, to ensure those in need during the pandemic receive the appropriate and crucial support they deserve.

  • Employee Volunteering

Santander is encouraging colleagues to volunteer and help those in need. More than 300 colleagues volunteered to become trained Companion Callers, providing a friendly chat to those affected by dementia who are some of the most isolated people in our society right now. To support this, the bank has also doubled the amount of time that employees can spend doing voluntary work.

  • Reaching Out

Branch staff have been reaching out to potentially vulnerable customers with telephone calls and supporting them to manage their finances during lockdown whilst helping to combat loneliness. We have been working with Santander’s Vulnerable Customer team to ensure customers affected by dementia can be signposted to Alzheimer’s Society services.

  • Free Santander Bikes

In London, NHS staff, Alzheimer’s Society’s key workers and unpaid dementia carers have been granted free access to the city's red Santander Cycles.

Thank you, Santander, for uniting with us against dementia

We are incredibly grateful for the revolutionary support Santander continues to provide. The bank’s generosity and determination is making a huge difference to people affected by dementia.

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Alzheimer's Society - Fundraising with Santander