Adoption Matters is a Weston Charity Award Winner 2022

7 June 2022

Trustee Jamie Bennett, Chief Executive Susy White and Fundraising and Relationship Manager Sarah Johnson with the Weston Charity Award

Pictured above left to right: Jamie Bennett, Trustee, Susy White, Chief Executive, Sarah Johnson, Fundraising & Relationship Manager

Children’s charity and leading voluntary adoption agency, Adoption Matters has had the impact of its current services and future ambitions recognised with its selection as a 2022 Weston Charity Awards winner.

The award gives the charity the chance to invest in its future with ten months of strategic planning support from a dedicated team of four business experts, thanks to pro bono charity Pilotlight and a core grant of £6,500 from the Garfield Weston Foundation.

Adoption Matters was chosen from over 100 applicants, all of whom are frontline charities delivering youth, welfare or community services in the North of England, the Midlands and Wales.

Carolyn Johnson, Adoption Matters Board of Trustees Chair and Susy White, Adoption Matters Chief Executive commented:

“Adoption Matters is honoured to be selected as a Weston Charity Award Winner and to be working with the prestigious Pilotlight project. We cannot wait to start working with the organisations and harnessing their expertise to help develop and enhance our services. With their support we aim to begin a programme of ambitious, innovative and dynamic change that will ensure we continue to deliver the very best in adoption services.

In addition, the generous grant will enable us to enhance the support service we already provide to the most vulnerable children and families with whom we work, in particular to establish a unique “My Inner World” project supporting teens and young adults who are adopted by equipping them with strategies and techniques to deal with difficult emotions resulting from early trauma and loss, and in doing so, reducing the need for crisis interventions. We are so grateful to be selected for this amazing opportunity.”

In congratulating Adoption Matters, Philippa Charles, Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation said:

“The Weston Charity Awards were created in 2014, and have since helped 126 charities across Wales, the North and the Midlands to be effective and to grow their services for people in need. As the cost of living crisis hits families and communities, we see a critical role for small charities in key regions who are supporting vulnerable people in a range of ways. These Awards for nineteen charities are a tribute to their determination to improve lives in the toughest of circumstances.”

Ed Mayo, Chief Executive of Pilotlight, the charity which is connecting Adoption Matters with a team of coaches drawn from a range of businesses and other organisations said:

“An old saying is that the poor pay more. So, while the rising cost of living is a crisis for many people, it is a potential catastrophe for those who are most vulnerable. Adoption Matters has been selected as a Weston Charity Award recipient on the strength of its ambitions and the openness of the leadership team to external perspectives. Working with business experts, the Weston Charity Awards will strengthen Adoption Matters to support people who are most at need in our society.”



  1. For photography or interview requests please contact Jenny MacQuire, Marketing Manager Adoption Matters at:  or  Tel: 0300 123 1066
  2. About Adoption Matters: Adoption Matters is a children’s charity and one of the largest voluntary adoption agencies in the UK and the only adoption agency in the North of England to be rated Outstanding by Ofsted 4 times in a row.  The charity has been finding permanent, loving families for children  since 1947 and offers ongoing training and support to adopter families, birth families and adopted adults.  The charity covers the whole of the North of  England, North Wales, Stoke, Staffordshire, Shropshire, parts of Wales and the Isle of Man.
  3. For enquiries about Garfield Weston Foundation and Pilotlight, please contact Lucy Avery, Marketing Communications Manager 07483 014 779
  4. About the Weston Charity Awards: Now in its ninth year, the Awards celebrate and support great frontline charities working in the fields of community,   welfare and youth. Funded by the Garfield Weston Foundation and delivered by Pilotlight, charities with incomes under £5 million in the North of England,    the Midlands and in Wales can apply. Initially launched in the North East of     England in 2014, the Weston Charity Awards quickly expanded to the North  West, the Midlands and, in 2018, Wales – areas identified by the Foundation  is benefitting the least from strategic support organisations such as Pilotlight.
  5. About the Garfield Weston Foundation: Established over 60 years ago in 1958, the Garfield Weston Foundation is a family-founded, grant-making charity which supports causes across the UK and, in the most recent financial year, gave over £99million. Since it was established, it has exceeded donations of more than £1billion, of which well  over half has been given in the past ten years. One of the most respected charitable institutions in the UK, the Weston Family Trustees are descendants of the founder and they take a highly active and hands-on approach. The Foundation’s funding comes from an endowment of shares in the family business which includes Twinings, Primark, Kingsmill (all part of Associated British Foods Plc) and Fortnum & Mason, amongst others – a successful model that still endures today; as the businesses have grown, so too have the charitable donations. Known for its transparency, flexibility and straightforward approach, the Foundation supports a broad range of charities from small community  organisations to large national institutions. Around 2,000 charities across the UK benefit each year from the Foundation’s grants.
  1. About Pilotlight: Pilotlight is a charity that amplifies the impact charities, business and individuals can bring to make a better world. It creates and manages programmes that address the challenges charities face and provide them with the expertise and resources they need to thrive. Since 1996, it’s delivered over 1,000 charity projects with charities all tackling social disadvantage to ignite change that lasts.