Support from artists, footballers and the public in Manchester, the UK and around the world has continued to bolster the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, which has reached £5.65 million in just five days.
More than 80 runners are also taking part today in the Great Manchester Run, including Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, in aid of the fundraising campaign which is being led by Manchester City Council in partnership with the British Red Cross.
Donations to the appeal also include a pair of shoes signed by Chelsea and Arsenal Football Club players at last night’s FA Cup Final, which will be auctioned or raffled to raise funds.
Musicians Justin Timberlake and Tim Burgess of the Charlatans, and the actor Martin Freeman, have also lent their support to the appeal in aid of survivors.
One particularly popular way of raising cash has been to get a tattoo of the Manchester worker bee, a symbol of the city’s hard-working history during the Industrial Revolution. Tattoo artists in Manchester and around the country are doing the tattoos for free if people make a £50 donation to the fund.
Calum O’Connell, 26, a business systems analyst who was born and still lives in Sale Moor, Manchester, will be overcoming his intense fear of needles today by getting the bee tattoo on his arm to raise funds for the appeal in the hope of making life a little easier for the families affected.
“I can see the Manchester Arena from my desk at work so it was jarring to think I was just steps away from where 22 people lost their lives the night before.
“This tattoo will remind me that this happened in my city and impacted 100s of Manchester families. I hope the money I raise makes things a little bit easier for them.”
A new charity is now being set up by Manchester City Council and partners to urgently distribute the funds, which will support people who have been injured or bereaved by the attack. The donations will help alleviate suffering and ensure that victims and their families do not face short-term financial difficulties.
The Charity Commission is encouraging those wishing to support the victims of this week’s terrorist attack in Manchester to donate to a genuine charitable appeal. It is also recommending people who want to donate do so via the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.
To donate, please go to www.redcross.org.uk/manchester or call 0300 456 4999