School unites to deal with aftermath of bombing tragedy

Madison Holmes (right) and her friend Megan Griffiths, collect chocolate and sweets for their fund raising stall for victims of the Manchester bomb attack.
Madison Holmes (right) and her friend Megan Griffiths, collect chocolate and sweets for their fund raising stall for victims of the Manchester bomb attack.

A teenager, who was at the Manchester Arena during the horrific bomb attack, has held a fund raising sale at her school to help the victims.

Madison Holmes, a student at Padiham's Shuttleworth Community College, drafted in her friend Megan Griffiths to help with a chocolate and sweet sale at break and lunch-time.

Liberty Heap, a talented cricketer who collected 200 at a match for the victims of the Manchester Arena bomb attack.

Liberty Heap, a talented cricketer who collected 200 at a match for the victims of the Manchester Arena bomb attack.

Family and friends donated to the stall and Madison also used her own money to set up the stall.

Speaking about the night when 22 people died after a suicide bomber entered the arena, Madison said: "It was a traumatic experience being at the concert, it was scary.

“I was still inside the arena when we heard a bang and then everyone was running and we just got to the nearest exit.

“I got separated from my friend and then it was hard finding our lift. I rang my mum but we still didn't know what had happened.

“We didn’t really know until I got home around midnight the extent of it and it was really shocking to be involved."

Madison was one of four pupils from the college along with a teacher's daughter who were at the arena on the night.

Another student, Liberty Heap took it on herself to organise a collection at the recent Lowerhouse v Burnley Lancashire League cricket match.

A keen cricketer who plays for Lancashire, said: “I just wanted to do something. I saw how devastating it was for the people affected by it and I just wanted to do my bit to help.”

Liberty’s bucket collection raised £200 which she will send to the Red Cross.

The college itself has united in coping with the aftermath of the incident.

Assemblies promoting peace and tolerance have taken place and students have talked about national pride and how important it is to stand together and have respect for people.

Each pupil was given a picture of a bee, the symbol of strength for Manchester, and asked to write down their feelings about the attack.