It has been another remarkable few months, with God showing us that He is in control. It was back in 1996 that God first gave me the vision of a building pumping out His unconditional love to the people of Gorton and East Manchester. After so many years of praying and waiting we believe we have now entered a season of acceleration, with doors of opportunity opening left, right and centre. (Note to self: needed all those years to build my character!)
After hearing the news that Manchester City Council were willing to give us an old derelict building in the heart of Gorton for £1, we got straight to work making this extraordinary opportunity a reality, and launched our Every One Counts capital appeal. We would need to raise around £1.2 million to redevelop the land and create a purpose built centre bringing hope to our forgotten community. In March, local businesses, churches and individuals were invited to our Every One Counts gala dinner to witness three remarkable Oasis clients receive ‘High Achievement’ awards, and to hear the Oasis story.
Our goal was to raise £100,000 so that we would be in a strong position to ‘match fund’ with trusts and other funders. We raised £42,000 on that single night and made many new friends who wanted to become part of the Oasis story. Wonderful!
Now, just 17 weeks on from our event and we have reached our first target of £100,000! A long way from the £1.2 million you may be thinking… but something else quite remarkable has happened in these past 17 weeks. With the incredible help of Simon Cook, Director of Roger Hannah & Co, we have embarked on an adventure far beyond our wildest dreams! The land that the Council has given us is part of a larger piece of land also owned by them. This land has been sitting unused for decades, but recently Manchester City Council have opened up the possibility that they may allow The Oasis Centre to develop this land for residential housing, with the developer’s profit used to fund a significant part of the cost of building our new Centre. We are now in negotiations with a well-respected housing association to build them 36 houses/apartments, which could generate an impressive amount of capital towards our appeal, as well as providing Gorton with some much-needed affordable housing… how’s that for using our initiative? It is by no means certain, but if this project goes ahead, it could mean we would only be a few hundred thousand pounds short of the entire cost of the new build… with a new neighbourhood to boot! Faithful, wonderful Lord! The next few months are critical for all parties in this operation to work well together. Please pray for us at this vital and very exciting stage of the Oasis story. God bless you all. Victoria x
Would you like to become one of our monthly givers? Here’s how you can help The Oasis Centre transform lives…
- £10 per month will pay for an Emergency Food pack for a homeless client for one week.
- £20 per month will pay for an Emergency Food pack which will feed a family of four for one week.
- £50 per month will pay for one day of Community Support, helping our most vulnerable and isolated clients living and sleeping rough in Gorton.
- £75 per month will pay for a day’s rent.
- £100 per month will pay for a week’s nutritious food and refreshments for our free café. This for some will be the only proper hot meal they will eat all week.
- It costs The Oasis Centre £300 per client to enrol on our 12-month Getting Work-Ready scheme… Bargain!
Demand for our services continues to grow as we see more and more families and individuals struggling to survive amidst the welfare reform changes and government cuts. Here’s a 6 month snap shot of what’s been going on at Oasis:
- 256 two week emergency food parcels have been given out to individuals and families in desperate need.
- Over 400 people have benefited from our free café, serving hot and nutritious breakfast and lunches (for some this has been the only hot and nutritious meal they receive all week).
- The Community Support and Advice Team dealt with 852 client crisis issues.
- 55 clients enrolled onto our Adult Basic Life Skills Training courses and Getting Work-Ready scheme.
- And best of all 13 clients left The Oasis Centre achieving their goals, moving into volunteering, education and employment in just 6 months!