Manchester charity to give £250,000 to each bomb victim family
We Love Manchester fund has raised about £17m in public donations following atrocity
Charlotte Campbell, mother of Manchester Arena attack victim Olivia Campbell, and stepfather Paul Hodgson, in St Ann’s Square, Manchester on May 25th, 2017. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters
The families of the 22 people killed in the Manchester Arena bomb will each receive £250,000 (€275,000) from money donated by members of the public.
Those families include a 12-year-old girl and her 20-year-old sister, who lost both parents in the attack. Patrycia and Alex Klis will receive £500,000 between them after their mother and father died while waiting to collect them from the Ariana Grande concert on May 22nd.
The day after the bomb, Alex posted an appeal on Facebook for information about her parents, including a selfie they had taken in Manchester hours before their death.
The 57 people who spent seven or more nights in the hospital as a result of their injuries have so far received £60,000 each from the We Love Manchester fund, which is expected to reach somewhere between £16 million and £17 million.
Eleven people are still in hospital following the Arena attack, according to Sue Murphy, chair of the fund and deputy leader of Manchester city council. The fund has yet to decide whether those injured should receive more money to cope with life-changing injuries, she said.
A further 96 people who spent between one night and seven days in hospital have so far been given £3,500 each, but some are likely to receive more if they have to take time off work for their injuries. “There are some grey areas,” said Ms Murphy, “for example, people who were quickly discharged from hospital but have since had to return for further operations”.
A total of £250,000 will be given to the next of kin of each of the 22 victims, as identified by the coroner when he opened the inquests in June. They have already received the first £70,000 and should get the balance in the coming weeks, said Ms Murphy.
The recipients can spend the money however they see fit, but the trustees are encouraging them to seek financial advice. “The money is given as a gift so it’s up to them what they do with it,” said Ms Murphy.
Any payments from the We Love Manchester fund are separate from compensation from the government’s Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. Ms Murphy said the department for work and pensions had assured her that anyone in receipt of money from the Manchester fund would not have their benefits cut.
The final fund total will not be confirmed until all of the pledged money comes in, including £2 million raised via text donations from the One Love concert, when Grande returned to Manchester less than two weeks after the attack.