A young Chesterfield woman who was caught up in the Manchester Arena terror attack is raising funds for a charity which offers vital support to victims affected by such events.
Mandy Ward, 23, of Thornbridge Crescent, attended the Ariana Grande concert with her mum and was just yards away from the foyer when the bomb was detonated.
Thankfully, the pair were not physically injured, but like thousands of others who attended, they were left with psychological scars.
Now, ahead of the first anniversary of the attack this Tuesday, Mandy is keen to support and raise funds for the Survivors Assistance Network (SAN), which offered her emotional and practical support for free.
She said: “Close to the event, the Manchester Emergency Fund was set up, raising just over £21million. This has been allocated to the bereaved families of the 22 people that were killed at the event, as well as the 250-plus people that were injured or directly in the foyer. The remaining 13,500-plus people at this event have received little help from this fund or overall.
“Many of those who were psychologically affected by this event have been almost let down by the current system due to long waiting lists for counselling of up to six to 12 months. This is when I found out about the Survivors Assistance Network which provides free practical and emotional support to people affected by a terrorist incident.”
Recalling what happened that night, she said: “The worst part of the whole experience was seeing those who were younger being terrified and not knowing what to do, as well as not knowing if there would be another bomb, a shooting, or even a car into the massive crowd outside.”
She added: “I was helped by SAN to discuss and rationalise what I had been through and the time they offered me was invaluable.
“I have set up this page as a thank you for their support, and to hopefully ensure the day is as positive as it can be.”