Schoolgirl’s keyrings help arena bombing appeal

Lydia Melling (centre) with mum Sarah and art teacher Joanne Della Cerra
Lydia Melling (centre) with mum Sarah and art teacher Joanne Della Cerra

A schoolgirl who survived the Manchester Arena terror attack is helping to make a difference for those affected.

Lydia Melling, 13, and her mum Sarah were just metres away when the bomb exploded at the Ariana Grande concert, but fortunately they both escaped unhurt.

Lydia is over the moon. It’s doing her good and it’s helping towards her feeling she is giving something back and doing some good

Sarah Melling

Now, Standish High School pupil Lydia has teamed up with art teacher Joanne Della Cerra to raise money for the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.

They made keyrings featuring a bee, along with technician Mike Mickenzie, and decided to sell them for £1.

The keyrings have proved to be extremely popular, with around 2,000 now sold.

That includes 400 bought by Greater Manchester Police and 500 ordered by Wigan Council.

Mrs Della Cerra said: “I’m amazed. We are absolutely overwhelmed. I never thought that we would do this. We thought we would sell a few to the kids, but everyone is buying them.”

There have been so many orders that they are struggling to make enough keyrings to meet demand.

Mrs Melling has now met with Atlas Plastics And Fabrication Ltd in Leigh, who have agreed to help produce them.

Lydia won the school’s Jemma-Louise Roberts Memorial Award for her efforts.

Mrs Melling, from Haigh, said: “Lydia is over the moon. It’s doing her good and it’s helping towards her feeling she is giving something back and doing some good.”

Keyrings are available to buy via the school.