Santander – Finalist 2021, Best Family Network
Santander’s Families & Carers Network is for parents, grandparents, partners, those looking to adopt or foster, people struggling with fertility, and colleagues with caring responsibilities.
Run by volunteers, the network provides expert-led webinars on family topics, accessible on any device. Hundreds of staff have tuned in for topics including working from home while home schooling, returning to school after months at home and talking to your teenager about mental health. Network members can also have one-to one support.
With regular catch ups, expert support from social workers and sharing best practice, the network is a particularly great source of support for colleagues at any stage of the adoption process.
Partnerships with organisations such as Carers UK, Tommy’s and Alzheimer’s Society offer access to resources and expertise.
The network’s influence over family-friendly policies has seen an increase in shared parental leave, doubling of paternity leave, support when babies are born prematurely and improvements to processes for new parents. A new carers policy is being introduced with guidance from Alzheimer’s Society.
Santander loaned 500 laptops to families to support home schooling during the pandemic. Initiatives and research on menopause, fertility, and shared parental leave have been supported by the group.
Membership to the network has increased by 20% and it now supports over 1,900 colleagues.