Alice Charity: Tackling child poverty

Almost a quarter of children in Stoke-on-Trent are living in poverty. Find out how one charity is tackling child hunger and adult isolation.

Social Problem

Despite being one of the richest countries in the world, the UK is home to millions of children living in poverty. In Stoke-on-Trent, a third of parents have been forced to skip meals in order to feed their children.[1] Even then, children often go hungry. Poverty can also be extremely isolating – families have few opportunities to socialise and can’t afford activities that others take for granted.


Alice Charity was set up by Emily Petts and her mother, Steph Talbot, back in 2011. What started as a weekly toddler group has grown into a vital family service. Alice Charity now runs a wide range of projects in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme, including 10 toddler groups and a food bank. The charity also helps families to furnish their home and make essential repairs.


By 2020, Alice Charity had grown out of its rental property. Fortunately, it was able to buy new premises with the help of a £260,000 loan from Charity Bank. The property offers twice as much space, so will allow the charity to expand its services and generate extra income. The building has a large ballroom, which the charity plans to refurbish and let out for weddings and other events. Emily and Steph also want to open a new community café, which will provide work placements for young adults who have additional needs.


Over the past year Alice Charity has supported 2,589 families. Its projects help both parents and children – tackling social isolation, addressing poverty, and giving children a safer, more comfortable home to grow up in.

“We couldn’t have bought our property without a loan. Charity Bank made our dream come true. It was lovely to see how excited they were for us. They were really engaged, really interested. We never felt like just a business proposition.”

Emily Petts, Family Support Director at Alice Charity

About Charity Bank

Charity Bank is the loans and savings bank owned by and committed to supporting the social sector. Since 2002, we have used our savers’ money to make more than 1,100 loans totalling over £350m to housing, education, social care, community and other social purpose organisations.

Find out more about us here.

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