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08/06/2017 - 15:07

Manchester Bee-comes one

When I read about the evacuation of Manchester Arena, where I used to work, on the Monday night I instantly felt one thing, useless.


I had to turn off my phone before I found out something that would keep me up all night and when I woke up I didn’t want to look because I knew what I would see littered all over my Facebook news feed.


Even though, deep down I knew, it didn’t stop the shock and the tears. It was so close to home. That’s what we all kept saying.


After checking all my family and friends were okay I just wanted to find a way to help. I wished I was a police officer or charity worker so I could go and help the survivors, or a paramedic to help the victims. 


I did everything I could on social media to offer help – food, bed for the night, transport. The following day I was about to go and give blood when I saw the queues of people and realised they didn’t need me! This city was rushing to its own aid and it gave me a warm feeling amongst all the sadness.


I couldn’t shake that useless feeling for days after what happened, and then I heard about the tattoo appeal.


Tattoo artists all over Manchester were offering their time and ink to do Manchester Bee tattoos – the symbol of Manchester - for £50 with every penny going to the Emergency Fund for the survivors and victims of the attack. It was perfect!



After ringing round more than a dozen tattoo parlours and being told it was just walk-in appointments, I finally found somewhere that said they’d be able to ink me – Timeless Tattoos in Chadderton.


It just goes to show how much of an impact one person’s idea can spiral into a viral social media campaign. What’s struck me most about this horrific attack is how Manchester has demonstrated that is such a solid community of friendly and loving people who have shown solidarity.


Not only have I got the permanent reminder, so has my mum, brother, sister-in-law, best friend and even my anti-tattoo dad! I’ve even heard that my mum’s friend in Spain and cousin in Australia are joining the cause.


Now I have my bee tattoo I can look at it and remember the people who passed away, remember my city and know I helped in some way, however small. And seeing as it’s permanently inked onto my skin, literally no-one can take that away from me.


Abigail Fraser-Kelly