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 we are donating a total of £152,000 to 18 organisations across the UK who all, in different ways, help migrants, refugees and asylum seekers settle in their new community and build a better life. While most are local charities, we have also included some that work across the UK to promote local initiatives.
STAR, Student Action for Refugees, is a national network of student groups in colleges and universities supporting refugees and people seeking asylum through events on and off campus, community projects, mentoring and scholarships.
In Gateshead, The Comfrey Project provides a safe, welcoming place for people who have fled conflict and persecution to improve their physical and mental wellbeing, develop new skills and put down roots in their new community.
Breadwinners supports refugees and young people seeking asylum to access training and employment through selling artisan bread online and at local markets in London and Brighton.
Oxford based Sanctuary Hosting matches refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants at risk of homelessness with volunteer hosts who offer a free bed and a warm welcome.
Developed from a local initiative in Derby, there is now a growing network of Welcome Churches across the UK that welcome recently arrived refugees with a box filled with small gifts and local information. The trained church volunteers remain in touch with the family for the next three months or so, helping them access support and linking them into the local community.
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.
- City of Sanctuary UK
- Separated Child Foundation
- Student Action for Refugees
- Welcome Churches
- Bikes for Refugees (Scotland)
- Forth Valley Welcome
- Swansea Asylum Seekers Support
London and the South
- The Hummingbird Project
- Refugee Women’s Assoc
- Refugee Women of Bristol
- Sanctuary Hosting
Midlands and the North
- The Comfrey Project
- Rainbow Home
- Refugee Action York
- St Chad’s Sanctuary
- WAST Women Asylum Seekers Together