Santander Consumer Finance’s 15th Anniversary Big Build Splash Project

9 Jul 2024

For 15 years, teams from Santander Consumer Finance UK have been giving back to their community through ‘Big Build’ Splash Projects. 


Splash Projects are sustainable and long-lasting, and Santander Consumer Finance’s projects over the years have benefited thousands of people in-need, valuing more than £1.2 million. 

Last year, the team created a stunning memorial walkway for a hospice; it was one of our most ambitious projects ever because of the complexity of the design. 

Big Builds differ from traditional Splash Projects because our business partner is fully immersed in the process from the get-go and drives the direction of the project more than ever. 

This year, the team chose Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee School in Horsham, which supports children aged between two and 19 years old with severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties. Many pupils have other additional needs including physical, medical, sensory and autistic spectrum disorder as well as communication needs. 

This project is set to have a massive impact on the whole school, which is at double its capacity and in desperate need of more space.  

Over seven days starting today, Tuesday 9th July, around 250 employees (35/day), who have all put their hands up to volunteer, are creating a large nine-metre by four-metre outdoor classroom with an indoor section. outdoor classroom, a large canopy, a bike shed, small stage, sheltered seating for the memorial garden and a sensory fence for the children. 

This is one of our biggest projects of the year in terms of scale and will enhance the children’s cognitive and physical development and promote playful exploration.

Splash Project Designer John Flynn, dives into the detail:

“Santander’s team worked closely with the school to find out what they wanted and needed, and then we discussed with them what was possible. 

“This is a huge build with some substantial elements, so, while last year really pushed the boundaries with regards to the design, we returned to a more traditional build, but on a larger scale, for this project. 

“The school is over-subscribed and really struggles for space, so the outdoor classroom plus outdoor canopy, which will be attached to the existing building, will give them a lot of extra covered space and allow smaller group learning.” 

Always poised to receive a curveball, when it became apparent late on in the planning process that the canopy needed planning permission, we swiftly went back to the drawing board and redesigned the structure with heavier timber to satisfy requirements. 

Splash Project Manager Colin Robertson and John, also came up with a huge, “really cool” 16-panel, movable sensory fence, consisting of eight pairs of panels including sand and water features. 

John adds:

“Hearing the school’s story and knowing how much of an impact the project will have on the children gives everything we do impetus. 

“It’s why we do what we do.” 

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