Sacred Heart & St Francis Enterprise
SAFE Gorton is a community project within the parish of Sacred Heart and St Francis in Gorton, Manchester. It was established in February 2011 for the benefit of all members of the community of Gorton. Our mission is to provide a safe, friendly, inspirational place that encourages, affirms and challenges. We are driven by our Christian beliefs that give us a passion for outreach.
Three major projects have been developed within SAFE; the Ambition Music Project bringing young people together from all backgrounds including those hardest to reach in a creative and stimulating environment; a Community Café ran in partnership with Loreto College and their Pathway’s Department, offering students with special educational needs the opportunity to gain work experience and life skills whilst creating a social hub for the wider SAFE Gorton Project; and the Community Garden providing a place of peace and productivity for all members of the community.
The SAFE Story
The Catholic Church has been in Gorton for 150 years and our mission remains the same: to make Jesus Christ known. How we do that changes and involves a real awareness of what is going on in our culture. Communities get built by people talking to each other, telling their story, being listened to, working things out. We are building community, amazing people are building community and giving us reasons to hope and believe in a better future.
The SAFE journey began in 2010 when Fr Andrew decided to turn a problem; the underused and expensive to run parish hall, into a possibility. The possibility not simply to do something for the parish, but for all people in the wider community of Gorton. This need and desire to do something positive and affirmative for the community of Gorton followed from the murder of Martin Gallagher in July 2010 on a street in Gorton. Martin was stabbed multiple times and bled to death in his twin brother’s arms.
Rob Gallagher, Martin’s twin, and a parishioner of Sacred Heart & St Francis decided along with Fr Andrew to make a change and help to guide the young people of Gorton into positive activity and not gang activity.
Many conversations and collaborations have since taken place with people such as Inspector Damian O’Reilly MBE, Natalie Pryce and Melanie Bryan OBE of ‘Why Not Change?, who helped to inspire ideas and helped lead to the founding of SAFE Gorton in February 2011 and now endless possibilities.
SAFE Gorton was established for the benefit of all members of the community of Gorton. We are an inclusive, multigenerational community project based within the parish of Sacred Heart and St Francis in Gorton. Our mission is to provide a safe, friendly and inspirational place for everyone that encourages, affirms and challenges. We are driven by our Christian beliefs that give us a passion for outreach.
People are at the heart of SAFE Gorton and volunteers are vital to our sustainability and growth. It is the skills, energy and passion of the parishioners and local people that has captured the attention of the community and drawn people in to become actively involved in SAFE. SAFE Gorton is the result of the passion and ambition of many people. It is a collaboration of people with ideas and aspirations; it is inter generational, multi cultural, inclusive and ecumenical.
The people involved, the relationships nurtured with the Church, the local community, Loreto College, St Peter’s High School, Sacred Heart Primary, Xaverian College, The University of Manchester Chaplaincy, Greater Manchester Police, Manchester City Council and so many people of all ages simply want to give rise to ambition. We want people to believe that they have value and that they are capable of great things.