Christmas Gifts 2023: Caring for those in care

Each year the Foundation’s trustees identify a number of small, community-based organisations to receive a surprise seasonal boost of unrestricted funding.

1st December 2023

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 19 organisations across the UK that support children in care and care experienced young people.

The care system is there to protect and care for children who can no longer live with their birth family. Yet all too often, children who are already traumatised become more damaged still by a flawed and overstretched social care system. The independent review of Children’s social care, published in May 2022, argues that ‘The disadvantage faced by the care experienced community should be the civil rights issue of our time. Children in care are powerless, are often invisible and they face some of the greatest inequalities that exist in England today.’

We wanted to recognise some of the many individuals and groups who work tirelessly to improve life chances for children and young people who are or have been in care.

Nurture Scotland offers support and training to kinship carers who have taken on the responsibility for the child or children of a relative or friend, often unexpectedly and at a time of crisis. Around half of kinship carers are grandparents.

Recognising the significance of relationships in enabling young people’s wellbeing and resilience, The Why Not? Trust helps care experienced young people build and sustain nurturing relationships with peers and trusted adults.

Element Creative runs arts projects exploring purpose, motivation and emotional wellbeing with young people leaving care. After the final showcase, their alumni network provides opportunities to maintain friendships and attend regular workshops and cultural events.

Led by LGBTQ+ adopters and foster carers, New Family Social works with prospective adopters and care agencies to ensure the pool of available parents is as wide as possible for the many children in care.

Young care leavers often struggle with lack of confidence and poor mental health. Nene Valley Care Trust in Northamptonshire provides bespoke counselling and support towards further education, training or employment. They also run group mentoring and volunteering support schemes, encouraging young care leavers to volunteer to use their skills and experience to help others.

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 support for refugees and asylum seekers, groups for young carers and celebrated volunteering during lockdown.


The Care Leavers Association

New Family Social

National Network for the Education of Care Leavers

First Star Scholars UK





Why Not? Trust for Care Experienced Young People



Roots Foundation

Fabric Foundation Ltd


London and South

Avocados Advocacy CIC

Care to Dance C.I.C.

Live Unlimited

Element Creative Projects CIO

Young People and Children First

We Are Family


Midlands and North

OOMOO – Open Door Charity

The Nene Valley Care Trust

Right Resolution CIC

Growing Me CIC