Founder & C.E.O.

Matthew grew up in Rusholme, Manchester; a deprived inner city area that experienced high levels of gun and gang related crime. He grew up the second eldest of four brothers and following the lead of his elder brother, Matthew became involved in criminal activity from a young age, quickly resulting in a string of juvenile offences against him and earning himself a reputation amongst his peers. Despite being offered an opportunity to become a professional basketball player, Matthew maintained his criminal path becoming embroiled and leading a gang and serving a number of jail sentences for drug related crimes. During his last sentence, Matthew discovered that his eldest brother had been killed in a gang and crime related incident, this was the turning point in his life and since 2011, Matthew has used his pain and loss to drive him forward in turning his life around. After gaining qualifications, voluntary and formal work experience Matthew decided to form his own business which would allow him to assist young people in recognising the consequences of their lifestyle choices, create awareness of gang crimes and educate on preventative measures.

Founded 2016

1 Message Ltd was formed in 2016. The founder, Matthew Norford, has used his experiences and passion for helping children and young people to create a service that successfully delivers its message to hundreds of young people across the greater Manchester area.

1 Message offers 1-1 mentoring services for young people who are at risk of, or engaged in anti-social and criminal activity, particularly in relation to gang related crimes. We also work within primary and high schools offering workshops, motivational talks and education around crime and the consequences of our actions. We are currently working on community detachment projects to tackle youth crime and are also in the process of developing further projects to engage young people in alternative activities.

Matthew's Qualifications

  • Level 1 computer literacy and IT
  • Level 1 English language
  • Level 1 Numeracy
  • Level 1 Life Skills
  • Level 1 & 2 Mentoring
  • Child Protection / Safeguarding NSPCC course
  • Level 3 Football examinations

Our Vision

The fundamental aims of 1 message are to encourage, engage and empower young people to take responsibility for their lives in a productive way. We offer alternative education of the consequences of criminal engagement and encourage different pathways through providing them with informed choices.

Our Mission

Matthew use’s his own experiences to promote the notion that a criminal lifestyle is not a viable choice and highlight the impact that these ill-thought choices can have on a young person’s future.

It is through honesty, experience and genuine passion that we hope to inspire change.