Bee keyrings made in Wigan raise £12k for charity

Deputy headteacher Lindsey Barker, art teacher Joanne Della Cerra, pupil Lydia Melling, 14, and senior deputy headteacher Jonathan Miller
Deputy headteacher Lindsey Barker, art teacher Joanne Della Cerra, pupil Lydia Melling, 14, and senior deputy headteacher Jonathan Miller
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A school fund-raiser which turned into a mammoth operation has raised more than £12,000 for the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing.

Thousands of Wiganers now have yellow keyrings featuring the Manchester worker bee after an initiative which started at Standish High School.

Read more: Schoolgirl’s keyrings help arena bombing appeal

Year nine pupil Lydia Melling, 14, wanted to do something to help after she and her mother Sarah were just metres away when the bomb exploded at the Ariana Grande concert in May.

Fortunately they both escaped unhurt, but former pupil Lucy Jarvis and a member of staff were injured.

Lydia teamed up with art teacher Joanne Della Cerra to raise money for the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, which was set up to help those affected by the bombing.

They decided to make and sell keyrings to raise a few hundred pounds.

But the idea snowballed and they managed to sell 10,000 keyrings in total.

Mrs Della Cerra said: “We are thrilled, we are absolutely over the moon.”

A total of 5,284 keyrings were made in school, with many pupils getting involved with the project.

Mrs Della Cerra said: “It was a school project. We couldn’t have done it without the technician in technology and the other teaching staff.

“We had to have a big factory set-up where the kids were making the keyrings. It was a huge effort.”

The rest were produced by Atlas Plastics And Fabrication Ltd in Leigh.

They have been sold through the school and by many local businesses and organisations.

Santander bank in Bolton sold 1,500 keyrings and matched the money raised pound for pound, while Wigan Council sold 1,385.

The counter terrorism unit in Manchester bought 1,000 key rings

A total of £12,697.81 has been raised for the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.

Everyone involved with the project was delighted that it had proved to be so successful.

Lydia, who lives in Haigh, said: “It was a good thing coming from a bad thing.”

Mrs Della Cerra said: “I think it was because you could put yourself in that position, it could quite easily have been you. It could have been any one of us, a friend, a family member, your own child.”

The final keyrings have now been sold and the money can be used to make a difference to the victims.

Lydia won the school’s Jemma-Louise Roberts Memorial Award for her efforts, along with accolades from Wigan Council and Counter-Terrorism Policing North West.

Read more: Wigan schoolgirl Lydia buzzing with award