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Today, as I am sure many of you know, there was a ‘act of terroism’ in the Manchester Arena last night, shortly after the Ariana Grande concert. There are fatalities, people were injured and there are still people missing. This isn’t about who, or reasons why, but the aftermath. I watched the news from about 23:00 yesterday until about 2 this morning and was devastated. Living along the South coast, I wasn’t sure what I could do.
Then I saw #roomformanchester rising massively on Twitter. Hundreds of people tweeting out that they were there to help. Rooms, travel, food, cups of tea and even something so simple as the phones and Wi-Fi we use everyday were being offered to complete strangers who needed it. My heart soared. I knew this would happen. The Great British public is renowned for this.
Britain has always been a country that rallies around its defenseless. There is a running joke here that a good cup of tea will help solve the worst of your problems. Tea was certainly being brought out in spades, with restaurants and hotels opening up their doors to shelter those affected. We have a sense of pride that goes back to the first world war and beyond, showing that we will pick each other up and bestow strength on others.
Social media continued to play a massive role last night. Pictures going up of people missing, quickly reuniting families and friends, and setting a level of calm efficiency we are known and loved for.
One person who I would love to name is Paula Robinson. Paula and her husband felt the blast from the explosion and managed to calm and save 50 children and get them to a nearby hotel, even putting her phone number online for worried parents.
Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram had been awash with these stories. Stories of hope… of that ‘everyone all in together’ mentality.
The Emergency Services and Public Support
Then there are the NHS. These tireless heroes have rushed to aid those in need, bringing with them hope, care and support. These people prove to the world daily how great our healthcare service is. Many of who risked lives to help. The police service, tactical agents, various teams drafted in with taxis and any transport they could to be present on the scene with speed, reassurance and were fearless.
People of all walks of life stopped and helped yesterday. They providing taxis, food, even right up here with surgeons working long into the night, and that is what gives hope. We are all human. We all needed a little slice of hope, and we all needed each other.
And this is not just related to Manchester. London had the same. People were donating blood for days after the Westminster incident, Birmingham also, in fact, even when the entire country was targeted, British people had the heart and soul to take care of their own. This is not a new thing. It just passes from generation to generation.
A Salute to Everyday Heroes
I want this article to be about those people… the people rushing in to stop the stampedes, to save the abandoned children, the journalists on site giving out information to the masses. The people who jump in at the deep end to assist when needed, to give hope in a catastrophic situation.
I want the power of support, love and the Great British public to go viral. I want it known that we stick together in horrific events like this.
Getting the kettle on means so much more than milk and two sugars, it’s a way of life. Our life. And In that, and our actions, I think we are victorious.