Recipients of COVID-19 Support Fund announced

Recipients of COVID-19 Support Fund

We have partnered with Santander Universities, to offer a share of £25,000 funding to Brookes businesses that have been affected by the impact of COVID-19.

We understand that these past few months have been tough for everyone, but especially for start-ups and small businesses and this fund will offer a lifeline to so many of our start-ups to help them find their feet again, or pivot their business for future success.

We received a substantial number of applications, but after a careful review of all of them, we are pleased to announce the final recipients of the Santander COVID Fund.

Below is the list of the recipients along with a little background about their startups.

Joshua Jacob Hanlan for Seijaku

Saijaku is a unique apparel brand that aims to bring in a sustainable, handmade touch to the closets. Taking inspiration from some of the best designs and manufacturing processes around the world, Seijaku not only offers its unique collection which is available in store but also caters to customers’ choice of material and designs.

Duray Pretorius from Blue Light Academy

Blue Light Academy is a training and recruitment service provider that equips current and ex emergency service workers with the qualification, experience and work opportunities to set up as successful freelance health or safety trainers.

Rishabh Gupta from The Travel Plan

The Travel Plan is a tailor-made holiday specialist for worldwide destinations, majorly in the UK & Europe. Their team deals with direct clients, corporates and other travel businesses to offer exceptional knowledge and expertise that goes in designing a proper travel itinerary.

Rory Cruickshank from AllMarkOne Ltd

AllMarkOne Ltd. is a sporting photography, videography and social media agency based around the sport of UK rowing. Started in 2015 the startup now hires around 50 freelance subcontractors working self employed at live racing events throughout the summer racing season. 

Bethanie Cunnick and Rachel Olden for Bunny and Bear Designs

Bunny and Bear Designs is a colourful UK childrenswear brand promoting fun and inclusivity. Created by two mums for kids who like to express who they are through their clothes, this startup aims to address the limiting gendered styles, designs and colours available for kids. 

Mainideep Singh for EatDrinkFlash Photography- Her Photons Ltd.

Maini is an acclaimed Food and Product photographer, based in London who creatively plans and translates abstract concepts into effective visual forms. With her distinctive style and lighting skills, she has been able to work with over 50 different brands.

Janarthan Parameswaran for SHIFTE Ltd.

SHIFTE is a platform for security guards to find temporary jobs and for security companies or businesses to hire security personals on a short term basis. The platform also enables the companies to manage their employees efficiently whilst benefitting from the multimanagement tools.

Sonal Vyas for Step and Vibe

Step and Vibe offers dance workshops for primary school children and corporate team away days. Through its workshops it aims to promote healthy, energetic lifestyle for children while promoting diversity, inclusion and team wellbeing in corporate culture.

James Ashley-Carter for James Thursby

James Thursby is a British, luxury clothing brand that thrives on its principles of quality and sustainability. Using organic cotton milled in the UK for all shirts, and prima cotton for t-shirts, James Thursby aims to produce good quality apparels that last long and are soft on environment.

Muhammad Syamim Bin Sirajudin for Popiah

Popiah is an innovative Malaysian food brand that offers a modern and healthy take on the traditional street food Popiah, also known as Malay rice paper rolls. It aims to decolonise diets by running away from processed foods loaded with sodium, sugar and fat and offering foods that are easy on bodies, are balanced with nutrients and are good to taste.

Melisa Jones for Tea & Me

Tea & Me is a black-owned tea brand, brought to life by two friends who bonded over their common  love for travelling, exploring different cultures and relishing tea. The brand runs on the philosophy to bring communities together through its purpose-driven health conscious tea which is designed to aid oneself throughout the phases of the day.

Nanda Nehra for NB Websolutions

NB Websolutions provide online presence (Web development ) for startups and micro businesses like high street shops.  Nanda is a skilled web developer with her expertise expanding to prototyping and creating mock-ups.

Morgan Shaw for Chroniccreationsgb

Chroniccreationsgb is an online social enterprise on Etsy that mainly focuses on selling handmade chronic illness awareness gifts and donates a portion of the proceeds to Ehlers Danlos UK charity. 

Lucinda Balo for Lucy Fitness

LucyFiitness’ principal business activity involves designing, development and marketing of high-quality sports wear and essentials for breast cancer survivors alongside content creation and awareness creation to fight breast cancer in the UK.

Raelle Barnard for Yadr

Yadr proposes to combine interior designing, architecture, and retail by offering complete interior designing and architectural services alongside a collection of soft furnishings and furniture products.  It aims to provide its customers a turnkey experience by proposing a concept or solution that is considered from the wider architectural conditions


The funding awarded to each of these businesses will not only considerably contribute towards reducing the negative impact that COVID has caused on the operations of these startups but will also help in boosting their morale and getting them back on track during these challenging times.

This pandemic has tested my company in unprecedented ways, creating unparalleled levels of uncertainty. However, knowing that Santander is behind me has made this manageable and has given me a lifeline. This support fund means that I can go on to change the fashion world for the better.” - James Ashley carter, Founder of James Thursby

I would like to thank Santander University greatly for providing this support fund. Without this, I would not have been able to invest in my business and get it off the ground. The support fund allowed me to invest in producing stock and gain client projects which helped build our company design portfolio and without this fund the business would not have been able to be up and running as quickly it has. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to apply but also receive and benefit from the support fund’ - Raelle, Founder of Yadr

We congratulate all the startups who received their shares of the fund and wish them good luck for kicking off their businesses again.