The We Love MCR Emergency fund, set up to distribute money raised for those affected by the terror bomb attack on Ariana Grande concert goers at the Manchester Arena in May 2017, has issued a final call for donations ahead of its 31st January deadline.
People who still have money to donate to the fund – which has raised a staggering £21.5 million – are urged to contact [email protected] as soon as possible.
Almost all of the money so far donated by members of the public and various organisations has now been distributed to survivors of the attack and bereaved families. Over the coming months trustees are taking advice from medical professionals about how the remaining funds of approximately £750,000 can best be distributed.
The majority of the fund was distributed as cash gifts to help the bereaved and injured, including approximately £3.4 million given to those suffering psychological injury, and trustees also allocated money to deliver nation-wide psychological support groups, run by specialists.
For anyone looking for an alternative charity to make donations to, trustees suggest either the UK Solidarity British Red Cross Fund, that supports victims of terror, or alternatively, the Manchester Memorials Fund, set up to develop a memorial in memory of the victims of the Arena attack.
Edith Conn OBE, Chair of the trustee board, said: “As trustees, our guiding principle throughout has been to help as many people as possible, but especially those who are most in need. The amazing generosity of the public has enabled so many people to receive help.
“The fund, by its very nature, was always intended as a time limited charity, as an urgent response to people’s immediate needs. We can’t thank people enough for their overwhelming support for the Emergency Fund but, with the majority of the money distributed, the time is now right to scale back our work.
“If there are any outstanding donations we are asking people to bank them as soon as possible, this will help the charity make crucial decisions about how to allocate the remaining funds.”
The bomb killed 22 people – ten under the age of 20 – and left up to 800 suffering from physical injury or psychological trauma.
Among the injured were members of the Hatfield family, who thanked donors for their generosity as they fought to recover.
Neal Hatfield, his wife Sarah and daughters Kelsey, Isobel, Gracey and Layla remain affected by what they saw in the aftermath of the Ariana Grande concert, but they are fighting back with the help of those who donated to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.
The attack happened just as the four girls entered the Manchester Arena foyer, where Neal and Sarah waited to collect them after the show.
Neal said: “We were all injured both physically and mentally by what happened. But I cannot stress how grateful we are for the help we have received. I wish I could shake everyone’s hands. The money has helped get people like us back on our feet and made things easier while our heads were not in the right place.
“We are so grateful not just for the money, but for all the work going on behind the scenes to help people. I don’t think everyone realises how much pressure the emergency services, Manchester City Council, the Fund Trustees and all the volunteers who helped, have been under.
“We still have a long way to go in our recovery and there is not a day goes by when we don’t think about the 22 people who passed away.
“It has been very hard for all involved and for our family there has been many ups and downs, but in a couple of weeks we are going on holiday and this would not have been possible without the Fund. Thanks for all the support you have given my family.”
Donations to the fund came from all over the world.
You can donate to the We Love MCR Emergency Fund until 31st January 2019.