About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Left your Christmas shopping until the last minute? Is someone on your list the person who has everything? Or maybe you're looking for a unique and rewarding gift to share with someone? From reusable coffee cups, supper clubs, dog treats and supporting a homeless person through work qualifications, our list is thoughtfully selected from our wider family, including our New Radicals, organisations we've supported and those they have backed.


ShareLab Fund pioneers Beam aim to tackle the growing crisis of UK homelessness by connecting people with skills and training, and transitioning individuals out of welfare dependency so that they have the confidence, ability and networks to help them lead fulfilling lives. With their Christmas gift cards you can help a homeless person build a new life for themselves.

Mutaz grew up in Sudan but fled to Libya to escape persecution. From there he travelled through Europe to the Jungle in Calais. He was granted asylum in the UK but had nowhere to live. Luckily St Mungo's helped him off the streets and into temporary housing. Which is still where he is today. Beam are working with Mutaz to enable him to get a plumbing qualification, which will enable him to find work and move into a flat of his own.

A Beam gift card is a really simple way of giving a memorable gift - one that can change the life of a homeless person. The recipient gets the gift of a donation, and chooses who they give the donation to through Beam's crowdfunding platform. Jenni Lloyd, Programme Manager, Innovation Programmes and Sophie Mckechnie, Programme Manager, People Powered Results.

City to Sea

A 2018 New Radical, Natalie Fee is the founder of City to Sea, a non-profit that runs campaigns to stop plastic pollution. City to Sea has partnered with Bear & Bear, which has a fantastic selection of plastic free products from bamboo toothbrushes, reusable cups and bottles, and vegan soaps.

Big change starts with small steps. If you want to start using less plastic Bear & Bear has lots of gift ideas from stocking filling toothbrushes and soaps to larger gifts like kitchenware and travel cutlery sets. Join the plastic-free revolution this year and give gifts that last. Helen Sadler, Digital Assistant, Communications.

Dogs on the Streets

Another New Radical, Dogs on the Streets runs a fully equipped mobile veterinary surgery vehicle where homeless people can access free food, medicine, grooming, training and vet care for their dogs. This Christmas they have a Pet Connection wishlist that you can donate to that includes dog treats and toys.

There are many worthwhile charities that support homeless people, Dogs on the Streets provides essential healthcare for the dogs that give companionship, warmth and love to those on the streets. Helen Sadler, Digital Assistant, Communications.

Fat Macy's

Fat Macy's supper club

Founded by Meg Doherty, while on a Year Here placement, Fat Macy’s is a social enterprise serving delicious home-cooked food and dining experiences at supper clubs, events and offices across London. This Christmas they are offering a supper club gift voucher.

Do you want to combine life's two greatest joys (food and friends) with social supporting an impactful social enterprise? Look no further! Fat Macy's works with young Londoners in temporary accommodation to put on pop-up supper clubs or catered events. The food is delicious, the atmosphere is great, and the project's profits contribute to a housing deposit scheme for participants. Alongside increasing savings, chefs gain the skills and experience needed to create a pathway from hostel to home.

Toby Baker, Assistant Programme Manager, Education and Theo Bass, Researcher, Government Innovation.

Library of Things

Based in the Upper Norwood Library hub in Crystal Palace, Library of Things, Connected Communities Innovation Fund grantee, provides an array of 70 useful and joyful items for you to borrow and use at home alongside a whole host of events and workshops that encourage skill sharing and help people connect with others in their community. They offer flexible memberships and gift cards to allow people to reserve items, collect them from the library hub and use at their leisure.

The items available include really practical things like a carpet cleaner alongside more fun items such as a projector or ukulele! We live in a time where resources are becoming ever more scarce and communities more fractured and disconnected; initiatives like Library of Things allow people to reduce waste, meet new people and often to finally get that DIY job done! Sarah Mcloughlin, Programme Manager, Innovation Programmes.

Children using items from the Library of Things

Library of Things by David Altabev

Your Own Place

Saver Support Fund grantee Your Own Place is a social enterprise that equips young people with the skills, confidence and knowledge to live safely and securely. Help make a home for a young person this year and invest in their future by buying a gift from their Argos home wish lists.

The Your Own Network website is a platform that connects young people to others. Alongside general support and advice, through the network you can also donate directly to a young person by purchasing items from their wish list. These are all everyday household items such as plate sets, mugs, towels etc that will allow the young people to get set up in their first home. Making a donation through the network will allow a young person to feel valued and supported and contribute to a more settled start to independent living. Sarah Mcloughlin, Programme Manager, Innovation Programmes.