As I write this, it’s one week after the horrific events of the Manchester Bomb on 22nd of May. I know that for the families of those killed or maimed the horror will just be sinking in; life will never be the same. My heart goes out to them and I hope that they find the strength to carry on and find comfort.
For the rest of us it’s quite striking that there has been an ‘explosion’ of kindness and compassion. People seem determined not to let events divide communities and seem to be making more effort to enjoy and embrace each other’s cultures.
Funds are being raised in all sorts of ways to help support the families of the victims. Food packages, clothes and toiletries have been delivered to help families stay together with injured victims in the hospitals.
The Manchester Bee is becoming a famous symbol of support and togetherness, badges, stickers and even tattoos (!) are on sale to raise funds.
A local supermarket even brought a present of food and drink (non-alcoholic!) to our local ambulance stations the day after. Good for morale, not so good for my waistline. Local businesses are also offering free refreshment for on-duty emergency staff.
I did a job in the city centre the day after and was talking to one of the armed police officers there. He said that lots of people were coming up to him and his colleagues and rather than feeling intimidated they were grateful that they felt protected. Children were buying sweets and drinks for the policemen and posing for photographs with them.
We ambulance staff are noticeably more supportive of each other at the moment. It has always been the sort of job where we look out for each other, but even more so at the moment. The occasional on-station sniping and squabbling is absent for the time being, it would be nice if it stays like this. The staff who didn’t get involved with the incident are ‘keeping an eye on’ the staff who did attend and we are ready to support them if any of them need support in the coming months. Even our managers are being nice to us!
I hope that this kindness and compassion helps to give the victims and their families some strength and comfort. Once again, my thoughts and best wishes go to them.