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Santander staff have created thoughtful care packages for cancer patients following the loss of two colleagues to the disease.
The bank staff created care packages filled with presents such as sweet treats, hand cream, coffee, tea, notebooks and socks to support patients undergoing cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust.
They were made on behalf of Santander’s charity partner Macmillan Cancer Support, and donated to Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity in memory of the team’s friend Steven Owen, who passed away in January aged 35 from ligament melanoma and another, who died in March after having bowel cancer.
Christina Maloney, financial advisor at Santander said: “We wanted to show some support for the NHS, which cared for our friends and care for all of us too.
“It’s been a fun and rewarding team building exercise for us because supporting cancer patients is something we feel passionately about. We all know someone who has had cancer or sadly lost a loved one. We felt we were doing something amazing together in their memory.
“We hope the recipients enjoy tucking into their chocolates and sweets while they have their treatment and they can then take home a small gift from us too.”
Colleague Sylvia Piatek also said: “We hope receiving a care package makes someone’s day, especially those people who don’t have family and friends to support them. We want to show they aren’t alone and that someone is thinking about them.”
The Santander Financial Support Team, based at Carbrook Hall, Meadowhall, are often one of the first points of call for people who have received a cancer diagnosis.
Sylvia added: “Sometimes we are the first person they speak to about having cancer and they simply want to talk. We help them organise their finances but we genuinely care and many people are shocked that we put their mental welfare above all. We schedule in wellbeing calls, purely to check if they are okay.
“Many people often feel lost because they’ve worked all their lives and suddenly they can’t because of their illness. It can be very emotional. We learn so much from our customers about their cancer experiences and we try to pass that knowledge on to help others.”
The Santander team describe their friends who sadly passed away as “lovely, funny lads” who would be proud of the care packages donated in their memory.
They will now be distributed to Rotherham patients by the Trust’s Cancer Services Team.
Rachael Dawes, Head of Fundraising at Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity, added: “We are so grateful to the incredibly thoughtful team at Santander for donating care packages for the cancer patients here in Rotherham. They really will make a difference to people when they need a pick-me-up during such a stressful and emotional time. We’re so touched by the Santander team’s heartfelt donation.”