How has Manchester united in the face of terror?

Her Campus Nottingham take a glimpse into Manchester’s amazing response to last Monday night's terror attack.

Last Tuesday, the world woke up to the unthinkable news that overnight a terror attack targeting an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena had left 22 people dead and numerous others injured. In true Mancunian style, however, we didn’t let anything beat or divide us as the city pulled together to help those in need however they could. So many amazing deeds have been done over the last week that it would be impossible to list them all, but here are just some of the moments which replaced my heartbreak with pride and love for our wonderful city.

1. In the immediate aftermath of the attack, local residents offered rooms and lifts home for those concert goers suck in the city overnight. Meanwhile, taxi drivers offered free lifts to those in need.

2. The next morning, the emergency services appealed to the Manchester public to donate blood for 59 concert goers injured in hospital. Special donation centres were opened and the response was so overwhelming that it was asked that only those with appointments arrived to donate as the blood banks had been filled.

3. On Tuesday evening, thousands gathered in Albert Square in an act of defiance and memory demonstrating that “love is always stronger than hate,” to quote the city’s bishop.  The highlight of the evening, in addition to the coming together of different faiths and walks of life, was a poem read and written by Tony Walsh. The concluding lines read:

And it’s hard times again in these streets of our city

But we won’t take defeat and we don’t want your pity

Because this is the place where we stand strong together with a smile on our face,

Mancunians forever.

And you can watch the rest of Walsh’s rousing words here.

4. Meanwhile, a fundraising appeal was slowly gathering pace to support those affected by Monday’s attack. The ‘We Love Manchester Emergency Fund’ raised over £2 million in its first 24 hours, and hit a staggering £5 million on Friday. This figure will no doubt keep climbing with Liam Gallagher announcing his first ever solo gig in Manchester, with all profits going to the appeal, and the Co-operative donating all money from their cut flower sales around the city. Should you wish to donate, you can do so via this link.

5. In an effort to raise money for the fund, Sam Barber, a tattoo artist from Staley-Bridge, offered to give people bee tattoos for £50 with all the money being donated. The ‘worker bee’ has long been a symbol of Manchester’s industrious past and has gained new meaning in light of Monday’s events as other tattoo artists offered their services, meaning hundreds of proud Mancunians are now branded with the symbol of unity.

6. Monday night was undoubtedly a night when ordinary people became heroes alongside our amazing emergency services. But one man’s story stood out: Steven Jones. A rough sleeper, Jones claims he’s ‘not a hero’ but when he heard the bomb blast he rushed to the scene to help the injured, despite the danger he could have been putting himself in. His efforts that night have been recognised by the West Ham co-chairman and his son, who have offered to pay Steven’s rent for the next six months, help that Steven told ITV News would help him get ‘back on the straight and narrow.’

7. Meanwhile, a second rough sleeper Chris Parker was present at the scene and got knocked over by the blast, but quickly composed himself to help the injured. Speaking since, he has described how he held a woman in his arms as she passed away and reassured a young girl with serious injuries. A Gofundme page has raised over £50,000 for Chris. More importantly, his mother, who was unaware that her heroic son was homeless, has reached out and appealed for him to get back in touch with her. The stories of these two men demonstrate the love and progression that Manchester has embraced following an incident that aimed to divide us.

8. It was decided that, on Thursday, a national minute’s silence would be held at 11 o’clock in memory of those who died on Monday night. A vigil was held in Saint Anne’s Square where people observed the silence as a community. At the end of the silence those gathered gently started the sing a spontaneous rendition of 'Don’t Look Back in Anger.' The Oasis hit that has never seemed more poignant than in those minutes following the silence, as the crowd slowly increased in volume, encouraged by one man to ‘sing up, Manchester.’ The song perfectly encapsulates Manchester’s decision to react not with hatred but with love and this touching moment can be watched below.

These are just a few of the heart-warming outcomes from what was a heartbreaking night. The efforts of ordinary people and the emergency services, and the bravery of those present, are staggering and has made me and so many others so proud of the city we grew up in, know and love.

I would like to dedicate this article to those who lost their lives on Monday, who will never be forgotten and the 59 injured who everyone in Manchester, and indeed the country, continues to pray for.

Edited by Jenine Tudtud