THE FAMILIES of those who died during the Manchester Arena terror attack will be among those to benefit from a release of £3m from the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.
In line with previous cash allocations, the payments to bereaved families are gifts made without any stipulations.
The charity, set up in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena attack, is the channel for the generous outpouring of public fundraising and has raised more than £21m, with nearly £20m of that having now been allocated in less than 12 months.
The new release of money will also see funding for nationwide psychological support groups, which will be influenced by a successful model used in Norway following the Anders Breivik terror attack of 2011.
Emergency Fund trustees have formally set aside funding for the groups and, with the guidance of clinicians, are now contacting partners and voluntary sector organisations to help design and run the project.
The support groups will involve organised collective gatherings with health professionals, giving people the opportunity to share their experiences with others, in a safe environment to aid their recovery.
Councillor Sue Murphy, chair of the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, said: “The public have shown amazing generosity in raising this money to help victims of the attack.
“No one could have foreseen the outpouring of emotion that has led to £21m being raised, with money still coming in to the Fund.
“As the Fund has grown, Trustees believe it is only right that bereaved families receive more money to help them through the trauma they are suffering without their loved ones.
“The Trustees’ role is to channel the money raised to those who need it most. Clinicians who are treating those affected and experts from similar funds are advising in the difficult decision-making process.
“We are acutely aware of the psychological trauma survivors are suffering and we have already made almost £3m of payments to help victims who were in the foyer at the time of the attack.
“We are also keen to help as many people as possible who were there on the night and therefore will be funding nationwide psychological support groups.
“Doctors tell us that support groups will help people who have experienced unthinkable things and may feel alone, particularly those outside Manchester.
“Feedback from gatherings involving survivors over the past year has shown that people feel they have benefited from sharing their experiences with others who understand what they are going through.”
The Fund Trustees are planning for the support groups to be offered nationwide, reflecting the wide geography of those who attended the Ariana Grande concert.
This will therefore allow as many people as possible to be given access to this collective support.
For further information about the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, please visit the website: www.manchesteremergencyfund.com