Santander scheme will ‘treat’ University volunteers helping the NHS

A new scheme from Santander Universities will give businesses a much-needed boost as Leicester and Leicestershire look to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NHS Treats scheme, funded by Santander, will provide £10,000 to local businesses who will reward up to 200 students and staff from the University who volunteered to work with the NHS during the pandemic through the provision of gift vouchers.

Professor Nishan Canagarajah, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, said: “We are immensely proud to have a high number of staff, students and alumni at the University of Leicester undertaking frontline work within the NHS, strengthening community cohesion and conducting cutting-edge research into COVID-19.

“It is a delight to collaborate with Santander Universities on this initiative, to provide recognition for those dedicated to helping during the pandemic, and to support local businesses on our doorstep who are struggling in the current climate.

“Together, our collective efforts demonstrate a real spirit of unity between institutions, the NHS and businesses in Leicester and Leicestershire.”

Matt Hutnell, Director, Santander Universities, said: “Santander is committed to supporting higher education as well as local communities across the UK so we’re pleased that our funding has been directed to where it is needed during this challenging time. 

“We’re delighted to collaborate with the University of Leicester in their response effort with this scheme and look forward to continuing to work with them on supporting both students and the broader higher education community with further initiatives over the coming months.”

This is an opportunity to thank NHS volunteers and help businesses recover following the economic impact of lockdowns over the last 18 months. 

In order to be eligible to apply to the scheme, the businesses must be based in Leicestershire, and be classed as a small, medium or micro enterprise (SME) operating within the food and drink, entertainment, leisure, hair and beauty, or retail sectors. 

Applications by business to join the scheme are open from Friday 6 August to Friday 3 September. Vouchers will be distributed to selected recipients between Monday 20 September and Friday 10 December 2021.

For full details of how to apply to the scheme through Santander's Delta portal, visit