How did you get started in your career and what drew you to Santander?
I joined Santander over 26 years ago, and since then I’ve enjoyed a successful career in a number of different roles, including corporate insurance and business continuity. I’m a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Insurance and currently working as an Operational Risk Manager.
How has your employer helped you to do well at your workplace?
I have a progressive condition known as Usher’s Syndrome. This has impaired my hearing since birth and has led to the progressive loss of my sight due to a condition known as retinitis pigmentosa (RP). It was first diagnosed in my late twenties when I discovered I was unable to see well in poor light. This is the first sign of RP and eventually leads to restricted tunnel vision.
Santander has been very supportive of my needs and I’m an active member of the bank’s Disability Support Forum. The Health, Safety and Wellbeing team work closely with the government’s Access to Work Scheme make sure I get the help and support I need. This has included the provision of digital hearing aids and, when my driving licence was withdrawn two years ago, financial help with the cost of taxis to work. Last year I achieved my personal goal of completing the London Marathon in less than five hours; raising funds for Sense, my chosen deaf/blind charity. Thanks to Santander’s matched donation scheme I raised over £3,000.
Is there anything else you take part in?
I also take part in our annual volunteering scheme for the local community. We’ve helped redecorate a local school and hospice and restored a disused section of a local canal.
As someone with a disability, I’ve benefited from the support Santander has provided. As a member of the Disability Support Forum I want to make sure we continually improve what we do for our disabled people, making a positive difference and helping them to progress in their role.