Footprints Family Centre: alleviating poverty and providing opportunity in Buttershaw, Bradford

Footprints Family Centre aims to alleviate poverty on the estate of Buttershaw, Bradford. Charity Bank loans enabled the charity to open a second nursery and carry out renovations.

Social Problem

Quality early years education can give children a head-start in life, and is linked to better exam results and higher earnings. While the benefits are particularly valuable for those from a disadvantaged background, children in the most deprived areas are the least likely to attend a childcare setting.


Footprints Family Centre offers quality childcare and pre-school provision for children in the Buttershaw area of Bradford. The staff-to-child ratio is higher than other nurseries in the area and Footprints has been recognised as ‘good’ by Ofsted. While many of the places are funded by the government, Footprints also offers parents the chance to pay for additional hours of childcare if needed, making it easier for families to find employment and balance the demands of work and caring for their children.


Footprints took out a Charity Bank loan to open a second nursery, after being approached by Bradford Council about the lack of suitable childcare places for two-year-olds in the area. This second nursery now offers half-day sessions for up to 80 children aged two to four. A second loan from Charity Bank has helped Footprints to consolidate their existing mortgages and unlock capital to carry out renovations.


Children who attend pre-school are more likely to do well at school and, on average, achieve significantly better GCSE results. Footprints is now one of the largest employers in the area, and many staff members and local parents would struggle to hold down jobs without the childcare it provides. With Footprints’ help, parents in Buttershaw are lifting themselves out of poverty and giving their children a brighter future.

“If you apply for a loan at a mainstream bank, the conversation starts with ‘How much do you want and how much can you afford?’ With Charity Bank, the starting point is ‘What do you want to achieve and how can we help you get there?’ It’s a different approach and shows that Charity Bank genuinely cares about what we’re doing.”

Will Martel, Operations Manager, Footprints Family Centre

Last reviewed: 22/04/2020