Pears Foundation

Scientist using microscope.

Pears Foundation is an independent British family foundation. Led by the Pears family alongside a professional team, the Foundation invests around £20 million each year in a wide range of charitable organisations and causes in the UK and internationally.

The Foundation is known for its relational approach, building long-term relationships with grantees and often giving unrestricted funding and support beyond grants. 

Pears Foundation’s work is broad ranging, spanning health, education, poverty alleviation, social action and civic engagement. The Foundation’s priorities include creating opportunities for young people to engage positively in their local community and reducing barriers to participation in society.

The Foundation has supported a number of strategic initiatives in the health sector including innovative collaborations that bring together philanthropy, medicine and research.

 Key partnerships in this area include:

The Kent and Medway Medical School

Pears Foundation is a founding partner of the new Kent and Medway Medical School, a collaboration between Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Kent. The School opened in 2020 and is committed to widening access to medical degrees. It has provided a much-needed centre in the Kent and Medway region for medical education and research to develop the area’s health workforce and address the growing need for medical professionals in the region and beyond.

The Clarice Pears Building, Glasgow

Opened in 2023, the Clarice Pears building houses the University of Glasgow’s School of Health and Wellbeing, a world-leading research centre. The state-of-the-art building brings together experts working in public health, primary care, health economics, mental health, social sciences, clinical trials and health data science. It also facilitates collaboration between researchers, local and national public sector bodies, the NHS and the private sector.

The Pears Building at the Royal Free Hospital, London

Opened in 2021, the Pears Building houses the University College London Institute of Immunity and Transplantation, one of the largest patient-focused immunology centres in Europe. It is the result of a unique partnership between philanthropy, science and medicine to create a new centre that allows researchers and clinicians to work side-by-side, developing treatments and cures for some of the most devastating diseases of the immune system.

The Pears Maudsley Centre for Children and Young People, London

The Pears Maudsley Centre for Children and Young People – a partnership between the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, the Maudsley Charity and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London – is set to be the world-leading centre for child and adolescent mental health.

Opening in 2024, the Centre will be home to many National and Specialist CAMHS services, the Maudsley and Bethlem Hospital School and state-of-the-art clinical research facilities. It will bring together clinical and academic excellence to ensure that research is translated into practical treatments to benefit young people throughout the UK.

NHS Young Volunteers

Through the Pears #iWill Fund, in partnership with DCMS and The National Lottery Community Fund, the Foundation has supported 32 NHS Trusts to lower their volunteer age from 18 to 16 (or lower), building approaches and resources for the recruitment and engagement of young NHS volunteers. The Foundation has worked with the King’s Fund and NHS England to build this learning into wider research on the development of strategic volunteering in the NHS.