Client Story

Lister Steps

  • Location: Liverpool
  • Sector: Childcare
  • Amount: £60k
  • Purpose: Working Capital
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Small Steps, Big Impact: Lister Steps

Lister Steps is a community-based charity in Tuebrook, Liverpool, offering affordable care for children through nursery, playgroup, breakfast and after-school clubs and school holiday schemes.

Small Steps, Big Impact: Lister Steps

It began as a charity in 1997, and was incorporated as a limited company in 2000.

Local, affordable childcare helps to remove barriers to employment and economic stability. Charitable monies also provide places for families in crisis.

As it grew, it relocated into 29 portacabins as a temporary measure. The portacabins offered space to support tenants delivering charitable aims complementary to theirs, providing extra revenue.

A Heritage Lottery bid was accepted to renovate a former Carnegie Library, which closed in 2006, moth balled by the Local Authority; they were handed the keys in October 2020.

Childcare has tight margins. Based amongst the 10% most deprived neighbourhoods, it developed an innovative business model; their new premises allowed them to diversify, and they now have a café and community space for events, and community development activities – Increasing their sustainability and revenue income – although the pandemic had an impact on its events portfolio.

The space also allows community members to come together, reduce isolation, support friendships and support networks.

Lister Steps provides training for staff and opportunities for placements and voluntary work for students and members of the community.

Key Fund successfully invested in Lister Steps in 2017, and did so again in 2023 with a £60,000 loan for working capital. The capital was to help ensure they stay resilient as their National Lottery Heritage Fund comes to an end, and helped safeguard three jobs.

The funding will help them continue to be the backbone of Tuebrook.

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