Buttershaw is Bradford’s 2nd largest council estate and home to a community of nearly 8,000 people. Built as a slum clearance estate shortly after the 2nd World War, Buttershaw has been alternately famous and forgotten.
Famous for drug dealing, crime, low employment rate, high benefit dependency, short average life span, poor housing conditions and the film ‘Rita, Sue and Bob Too’ written by a Buttershaw resident and filmed on the estate. Buttershaw has been forgotten for being a real community with extended families living near each other, generous loving people and being a mission field rich with opportunity. With a high proportion of single parent families both the needs and the opportunities are great.
Gav and Maz Humphries moved to Buttershaw in November 2009 to start Eden and launched the new initiative the following March. With a great community spirit but with high deprivation and poor local services, Buttershaw estate in South Bradford was prime Eden territory. High crime, drug issues and poor health meant that the young people of the Estate can easily start life with less opportunities than they deserve, without proactive youth work.
Since it started, Eden has built on strong community links that its partner church, Buttershaw Baptist, already enjoyed and has developed still further through it’s incarnational ethos and a fresh, relevant approach to youth work. Through a team of five, weekly activities now include regular mentoring, discipleship groups, youth band rehearsals, freerunning club, youth club, lesson support and after school seeker group in high school.
Whilst Buttershaw Baptist Church has been committed to the estate for decades, through it’s partnership with Eden, Stuart and Liz Gregg (left) have been able to add high quality community youth mission to its long list of community engagement. Buttershaw Baptist is a lively, charismatic, family orientated Church which has established many community action programmes, which you can find out more about on their website.
The work of Eden Buttershaw and in particular the free running club – can been seen in this short film (5 minutes), ‘Being Extra Ordinary‘ and the story that leads up to the Urban Hero winner in 2011, Lewis Murch accepting his award is featured here.
For the latest news, keep an eye on the Eden Buttershaw website. If you are interested in joining the team or want to know more about what they get up to, call 01274 690262 asking for, Gavin Humphries or email him on firstname.lastname@example.org