Education about the care of animals and changing the hearts and minds of the next generation was always going to be a part of the Winton Bear Foundation’s work. As a small charity with a limited budget, we decided that a great way to start the educational aspect of our work would be to work with local foster and kinship families and the children they have taken into their care.
Through our Fostering Compassion programme we hope that, as well as helping teach children about animals, in turn we will be able to give something back to these special, vulnerable children who have also had a rocky start to life and have very often been treated badly themselves, and bring some enjoyment and happiness into their lives. Sadly, following studies in the past, there is enough weight of evidence to show that children who have suffered abuse find it hard to show compassion to fellow creatures, and indeed in general, and often their futures look bleak.
Through this unique programme we hope we can do a little to begin to reverse this trend. By helping the children see animals as sentient beings, and teaching them empathy, we hope to be able to steer them down a more positive path than the one they may otherwise have taken.
Fostering Compassion was piloted in East Lothian, Scotland, in 2013 and proved so successful we secured a generous grant from The Sweetpea Charitable Trust to enable us to develop the project and roll it out to other areas of Scotland in 2014.
To read all about this unique and ground-breaking project, please visit our dedicated website at