Pears Foundation’s Christmas Gifts are our way of marking the festive season in a spirit of generosity and appreciation for the incredible work of local charities.
Each year the Foundation’s trustees identify a number of small, community-based organisations to receive a surprise seasonal boost of unrestricted funding.
This year our Christmas Gifts are focused on Early Years. Even at the best of times, pregnancy and parenthood is a mixture of exciting, exhausting and scary. Especially for new parents, knowing that help is available if you need it is invaluable. The pandemic resulted in many community-based services either closing altogether, or finding themselves severely restricted. It also left many young families cut off from practical and emotional support from family and friends. We are donating a total of £150,000 to 19 local charities across the UK who, all in different ways, support new parents and young children through those critical early years.
Baby banks collect pre-loved baby clothes, cots and other baby essentials and pass them on to local families in need – providing support for parents at a time of financial and emotional stress, whilst reducing waste and promoting reuse of items. The Baby Bank Network in Bristol and Cwtch Baby Bank in Taff’s Well near Cardiff both receive referrals from health visitors, children’s centres and other local professionals who work with vulnerable families.
Dads Rock organise buggy walks and playgroups, and deliver parenting workshops and 1-1 support for new dads in Edinburgh.
Birth Companions was founded in 1996 to support pregnant women and new mothers in Holloway Prison. Today, the charity continues to provide practical and emotional support through services in prisons and in the community to improve the lives of women and babies.
In Portsmouth, Connors Toy Libraries offer volunteer-run play sessions in community settings, a mobile toy library providing play and toy loan sessions for families in hostels and refuges, and outreach to connect with isolated and struggling parents and carers who are unlikely to attend group sessions. Families with children with additional needs can borrow specialist toys and resources to support their child’s learning and development at home.
The full list of Christmas Gift recipients is below.
As with all the Foundation’s grants, they are chosen proactively by the Foundation. The annual theme is decided by the trustees and is separate from the Foundation’s strategic funding areas. Previous years’ donations have funded inclusive leisure activities for children with disabilities, groups for young carers and celebrated volunteering during lockdown.
Christmas Gifts 2021:
Baby Bank Network