Wigan schoolgirl Lydia buzzing with award

Lydia Melling
Lydia Melling
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A schoolgirl who created a real money-spinner to help those affected by the Manchester Arena bombing has been recognised for her efforts.

Lydia Melling, 13, has received an award from Wigan Council in recognition of fund-raising for charity after selling thousands of keyrings featuring the worker bee.

Lydia collects the award from the Mayor and Mayoress of Wigan, with parents Sarah and Chris and sister Beth, 11

Lydia collects the award from the Mayor and Mayoress of Wigan, with parents Sarah and Chris and sister Beth, 11

She visited Wigan Town Hall with her family to collect the certificate from the Mayor and Mayoress of Wigan, Coun Bill Clarke and his wife Joan.

Her proud mum Sarah Melling, from Haigh, said: “Lydia is just amazed. It was very good to be recognised. I think it’s a very nice honour.”

James Winterbottom, director of children’s services at Wigan Council, said: “It was a privilege to see Lydia being presented with the award from the mayor for the amazing support she gave to the victims of the Manchester terror attack. We are extremely proud of her and all of the work that she put into making the keyrings.

“They have been so well received by people across the borough.”

Lydia had already received an award from Counter-Terrorism Policing North West and the Jemma-Louise Roberts Memorial Award from Standish High School to mark her achievements.

She was just metres away when the bomb exploded at the Ariana Grande concert, but fortunately escaped unhurt, along with Mrs Melling.

Afterwards, Lydia teamed up with art teacher Joanne Della Cerra to raise money for the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund by making keyrings to sell.

The fund-raiser snowballed, with thousands being sold in just a few months.

So far, more than £10,000 has been raised. That includes £1,400 from keyrings sold through Wigan Council.

Mrs Melling said: “We only thought it was going to be a few keyrings around school and it’s ended up with thousands worldwide. They have gone all over - America, Canada, Philippines, Australia, they are literally everywhere.”

The keyrings are no longer in production, so people are being urged to buy those that remain before it is too late and help a good cause.

Costing £1, they are still available to buy from Wigan Athletic, Santander in Wigan, Tesco in Wigan and Standish Chemist.

Mrs Melling said: “Considering it was only going to be 100 or so, I think she has done quite well.

“But without the support and help of the school and Mrs Della Cerra, we couldn’t have done this.

“It was all their idea to get her on board to help.”