Emergency fund for Manchester bombing victims becomes a charity

The We Love Manchester Emergency Fund has raised more than £5.57m since the suicide bombing at Manchester Arena last week

A new charity has been set up to help distribute more than £5.5m to people affected by last week’s terrorist attack in Manchester.

The We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, which has raised more than £5.57m since the attack, will become a charity to ensure that funds can be distributed effectively to those injured and bereaved by the bombing at Manchester Arena last week, in which 22 people were killed.

The emergency fund was set up by Manchester City Council and the British Red Cross, and has merged into another JustGiving campaign set up by the Manchester Evening News.

Since the attack, the campaigns have raised approaching £3m between them on JustGiving, with further funds coming from donations by the city’s two Premier League football clubs, musicians, newspaper campaigns and public donations.

The new charity was established on the basis of advice from the Charity Commission. A spokeswoman for Manchester City Council said the charity was set up to provide a mechanism for distributing the funds to the right people.

She said that an existing charity called We Love Manchester was not a suitable way to do this because it was set up specifically to support people from the city, but a number of people affected by the attack were from further afield.

The new charity is already making early payments to people in need, particularly bereaved families.

The trustees for the new charity include Ian Hopkins, chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, Rob Irvine, editor-in-chief of the Manchester Evening News, and Joanne Roney, chief executive of Manchester City Council.

Other trustees include Sir Howard Bernstein, former chief executive of Manchester City Council, Sue Murphy, deputy leader of the council, Liz Treacy and Carol Culley, a lawyer and treasurer for the council respectively, Rachel Downey, project director at the development company Manchester Life, and Jon Rouse, chief officer of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership.

A spokesman for the Charity Commission said: "We are providing additional help to ensure the charity can be entered on the register as soon as possible.

"The registration of this new charity will provide further public assurance that public donations are held safely by a registered charity and accounted for on the register of charities."

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