Tennis Foundation student volunteer coaches holding a cheque with some of the Loughborough University Santander branch staff

Santander Discovery Grants awarded to two community projects in partnership with Loughborough University

Two Santander Discovery Grants have been awarded to local community projects in partnership with Loughborough University.

The first grant has been awarded to ‘The Price is Right’ - a project held in collaboration with the Students’ Union.

The scheme comprises of a series of money management workshops aimed at Year 10 and Year 12 school pupils in the East Midlands. They are designed to be engaging and interactive for the pupils, whilst teaching them the essential financial skills they need for their future.

School and College Liaison Manager Kirsty Wilkinson said: “Transitioning from school into higher education, training or employment presents new financial challenges for many young people and the learning curve can be steep.

“Instead of concentrating on their education during this exciting time, we find many pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are preoccupied by concerns over money.

“By strengthening these young people’s financial skills, confidence and knowledge, we aim to reduce their financial stress and increase their chances of being successful in their chosen path.”

The second grant has been given to the Tennis Foundation to teach over 70 Loughborough University students the skills, qualifications and confidence needed to be a successful tennis coach.

These volunteer coaches will then be able to visit over 400 children from local schools and clubs that have a lack of existing tennis coaches available to them.

The project aims to give both the student volunteers and school children a sense of achievement as well as a healthier lifestyle by helping them to become more active.

It also looks to develop their employability skills - such as communication and teamwork - for their future careers.

David Boddy, Tennis Coach Development Manager at Loughborough University, commented: “We would like to thank Santander for this contribution to tennis, which enables us to further provide for our student workforce within the University, alongside developing our wider network through community engagement.”

Student Alex Tucker added: “Being a volunteer coach has benefited me for a long time now and to be able to work more in the community is a great opportunity.

“I used to be quite introverted, but volunteering over the years has helped me to become more confident and also to be a team-player, as you learn to adjust to everybody you meet in different sessions.”

Both projects have been awarded £5,000 each by the Santander Foundation. The Santander Discovery Grants provide support to projects that improve people’s skills and knowledge, or help to overcome social challenges. You can read more about them here.