Is this Manchester or Barcelona?

This is probably something most of us have asked ourselves following the number of consecutive hot days we have been gifted with recently. And while there are endless ways one can choose to spend this warm Bank Holiday Monday, there’s no better way to kick-start the celebrations than with this week’s good news.

Because Mondays don’t have to be blue.

Ed Sheeran loves Manchester

International superstar Ed Sheeran wore an I Love MCR T-shirt to show his solidarity with Manchester during his concert at the Etihad Stadium.

Sheeran chose the iconic shirt to commemorate the first anniversary of the terror attack that killed 22 people attending an Ariana Grande concert.

His gesture was one of a long line of tributes that have been taking place this month to remember those who died on May 22 last year, and support those who survived as well as their families.

Sheeran wore the T-shirt during the encore of his performance, which is part of a nationwide tour. He has shown his support for the city in the past, too.

Within days of last year’s attack he  appeared in a promotional video for the British Red Cross, urging the public to donate to the We Love Manchester emergency fund, which was set up to support survivors and their families.

Sheeran is midway through a nationwide UK stadium tour will and after Manchester he will be heading to Glasgow, Newcastle, Wembley and Cardiff.

Bees love Manchester

The week in good news: sharing the MCR love, bees in trees and an inclusive festival I Love Manchester

A colony of bees set up home in one of Manchester’s Trees of Hope, as reported by the Manchester Evening News.

Mancunians have described this as a poignant symbol in light of the anniversary, as the worker bee became a symbol of unity and defiance in the wake of the terror attack, with hundreds choosing to get the bee tattoo.

28 Japanese maple trees have been planted across the city in tribute to the victims of the Manchester Arena attack. People have been writing touching notes of remembrance and hanging them in the trees to show their support.

To protect the bees, and the public, the maple has had to be cordoned off by the council.
The Trees of Hope trail lines a route from Manchester Victoria railway station to St Ann’s Square. The council said the trees were intended to give people who want to share messages of tribute, solidarity and love a focal point ahead of the anniversary.

At the end of the event, every single message will be preserved and kept – alongside tributes left last year – in an archive of the city’s response to the attack. The trees themselves will remain in the city centre.

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A festival for everyone

The week in good news: sharing the MCR love, bees in trees and an inclusive festival I Love Manchester

Freelance photographer Carla Speight has been working at festivals all over the country for years.

But with her youngest son having sensory processing disorder, a condition that causes distress in noisy, busy environments, Carla has found herself struggling to find a festival she can attend with her children.

“There was no chill out place for him at all,” she said. “As a mum I’d be really stressed out about that because I know there will only be a matter of time until he’ll become overwhelmed which then puts pressure on me with my eldest son who wants to stay because he can cope with it better.”

Thinking of all the families that might be going through the same thing, Carla is bringing all her experience – and the facilities she has been hoping to find at other festivals – to her home town of Urmston with Festival 41.

The festival’s ethos is inclusion, Carla explains, as she wants it to be available for everyone. Wheelchair access will not be a challenge.

Festival 41 will also have an area for assistance dogs on site, another way of making sure everyone feels included.

“We want to show people that this whole festival is about community – and community goes beyond able-bodied people.

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Do you know a story that would deserve a place in our good-news round up? Whether it is a grand gesture or simple acts of kindness happening in your local community, we’d love to hear from you!

Get in touch by emailing ana@ilovemanchester.com

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