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Council backs Lydia’s beautiful bee tribute

A school girl’s creative way to support the victims of the Manchester terror attack has been backed by her local council.

Lydia Melling, aged 13, from Standish High School was at the Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena when the bomb attack happened in May.

Lydia and her mum Sarah were within metres of the explosion but thankfully escaped injury.

In the weeks following the attack Lydia wanted to do something to support the families of the victims and with the help of her art teacher Joanne Della Cerra created a unique keyring featuring the bee – the symbol of Manchester.

Lydia is now selling the keyrings for £1 a time with the proceeds going to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.

In recognition of her enterprising achievements Lydia won her school’s annual Jemma-Louise Roberts Memorial Award.

The award is named after Jemma-Louise who attended Standish High School and died of sepsis aged 13 in 2014.

Jemma-Louise’s mum Diane presented the award to Lydia and was so impressed she contacted Wigan Council to ask them to support the fundraising drive.

Diane said: “I just thought it was an amazing thing for Lydia to do.

“When I heard her story at the presentation I was in tears.

“It’s great the council is supporting Lydia by selling the keyrings. If people see them on sale I hope they are able to support Lydia and the Manchester bomb victims.

“It is wonderful that an award in Jemma-Louise’s name is recognising the achievements of other young people.”

Councillor Jenny Bullen, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “We are constantly overwhelmed by the talent and generosity of the young people in our borough.

“Lydia’s desire to help those affected by this terrible event is so moving and when Diane contacted us we were very happy to help.

“It’s fitting that Lydia was recognised with the Jemma-Louise Roberts Award and we are so grateful to Diane for bringing it to our attention.”

The keyrings are on sale at Wigan Town Hall, Wigan Life Centre, Wigan Leisure Centre and libraries and leisure centres throughout the borough.

The keyrings have been so popular that the council is ordering more from Lydia.

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