Supporting the younger generation

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000

Description

We are The SAFE Gorton Project and we seek to offer younger members of the community the opportunity to be an integrated part of our ever evolving music venture, helping to eliminate violence and crime through the power of music and performing, in order to restore hope in their community whilst engendering respect and social unity.

Located in East Manchester in a former industrial area, the projects base is situated within the Catholic parish of Sacred Heart and Saint Francis Gorton. Gorton is now one of the most socially deprived wards in the country, with anti-social behaviour a constant concern and unemployment greatly higher than the national average. Our objective is to provide a safe haven for all ages, ability, race and religion and to build upon the already blossoming assets situated at the Sacred Heart parish hall.

Since January 2011 we have seen the parish hall develop partly into a community café, working alongside the Loreto College Manchester providing part time work for students with a variety of learning disabilities. This has already given a number of young people a greater opportunity for future employment and the boost of confidence they need when interacting with the general public. In addition we have introduced Healthy Eating workshops and a DJ Academy is imminent.

Our focus is, and always has been, on the nurturing and development of young people. As most of our volunteers have strong links and backgrounds in music we are ever too familiar with the positive effects music can have, not only creatively but through increasing confidence and social skills. Our project wishes to offer an escape for those from a society less fortunate, and provide them with extra-curricular skills but without the stigma which surrounds formal education. With project managers who are qualified music teachers, we understand the challenges teachers face when differentiating between pupils, and that many children from an impoverished background struggle to adhere to the normal classroom environment, with music being no exception. Therefore we wish to provide an alternative to musical education which doesn’t necessarily follow the formalities of the current National Curriculum, but leads a more in depth route into music, life and building relationships.

As stated below, our project has managed to sustain itself on a minute budget, with the help of many dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers. We already have an incredible amount of support from the Sacred Heart Parish & schools, plus our local MP Gerald Kaufmann who has been an ambassador for the project, attending all performances and including the Lloyds of London concert performed by the singers of SAFE Gorton. We have also received support from some local Insurance professionals with the assistance of The Insurance Institute of Manchester and BIBA. Lloyds of London are monitoring our Project and the Lloyds Social Responsibility fund are looking to assist. With such an overwhelming response from these groups, we are encouraged that our project will continue to flourish.

Funding is required to improve the overall musical production and to purchase additional equipment such as stage lighting and musical instruments. As the number of people involved increases we require additional equipment.

The whole family benefits as parents are confident their children are in good hands as their children's confidence & life skills improve by being involved in the Project.

One example of a recent success is an individual called J P Cooper who started his musical career at SAFE Gorton in the early days. You can check him out on You Tube as he has had numerous hits.

BBC Songs of Praise have recently visited our Project. We have just heard that they wish to include SAFE Gorton in a future Broadcast. We know that anybody who visits us leaves with a real sense that they are witnessing something speacial to improve the lives of our young people in a deprived area.

Project Video

THE SALFORD DIOCESAN TRUST

Moment of Pride

As a proud Mancunian it is great to see how this Project is helping deprived families in an inner City area break a repeating generational cycle of Unemployment & Crime. The Young People have consistantlydemonstrated that when provided with opportunities to shine they have risen to the challenge.

Location: Manchester