Steve Harrison

(at KEGS 1969-1976) writing in 2019

Despite a disappointing time at university, I built a successful 30-year career in operations management for Bayer UK and Baxter Healthcare. Seeking a change of pace, I spent the next few years as a private hire driver before taking early retirement in 2016. My wife Vanessa and I then moved north to Greater Manchester joining a core group, including our daughter Sarah and son-in-law George Quin, establishing the new Manchester Vineyard church. Our second daughter Rachel still lives in Suffolk. Life now revolves around church commitments, volunteering with two local charities, and playing with our recently arrived grand-daughter. A lifelong flat green bowls player, I am contemplating a switch to the crown green in the months ahead.

and Steve sent us this update in 2021:

Steve, his wife Vanessa and daughter Rachel were very busy during the first part of the 2020 pandemic. As part of a team of ‘essential workers’ from their church, Manchester Vineyard, and working in tandem with Manchester City Council they sourced, procured, packed and delivered food parcels to people in difficulty in the Ardwick, Longsight and Gorton areas of the city. As they do not have their own premises they borrowed a community centre and a church hall from where they supplied packages of food sufficient for three days to families and individuals. The operation continued until the situation eased (or so it was thought), supplying over 1,100 packages totalling more than 26,000 meals.

Poverty, particularly child poverty is a huge problem in the city, so the church has undertaken a project, ‘422 Manchester’, to renovate the redundant Longsight Youth Centre as a community resource for the area. With the support of many local organisations, training establishments, companies and national funding agencies, plus many hours of labour given by volunteers, the project is continuing at pace with the hope of opening the first facilities (Covid restrictions allowing) within the next few weeks. Meanwhile the church continues to provide essential support to families and children’s centres.