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Manchester attack: how you can help

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A suicide bomber killed 22 people, including children, and injured 116 more in Manchester on Monday night (22 May).

The explosion in the foyer of Manchester Arena, as people were filing out at the end of an Ariana Grande concert, is the worst attack in the UK since the 7/7 London bombings in 2005, in which 52 people died.

Working through the flood of information and emotional appeals for missing persons in the immediate aftermath, and the heartbreaking stories that follow later, the urge to help in some way is a natural impulse, but it can be confusing to know what will actually make a difference.

Below, we’ve listed the ways you can support the victims, survivors and investigation.

Anyone in need of information or searching for loved ones can call the police emergency hotline: 0161 856 9400 or 0161 856 9900


Upload your footage for the police

Police have made a public appeal for video and images from witnesses in Manchester. Anyone filming or taking pictures in and around the arena, at the end of the concert or during the aftermath, can upload them here:

ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk/CSIPS_Public/upload/choose

Anyone with any other relevant information about the attack or who has witnessed anything suspicious should call the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321, or 999.


Donating blood

With dozens of people receiving treatment for life-threatening injuries and shrapnel-like wounds in hospitals across the city, donated blood is a practical way to provide support and centres in Manchester were quickly overwhelmed with would-be donors.

While NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) had “all the blood required” for the patients in the city, it is still vital that new donors sign up to the service. NHSBT encourages would-be donors to schedule an appointment with your local blood centre – not to turn up at centres in Manchester without one.

Donors with existing appointments are strongly encouraged to keep them.

NHSBT said in a statement: “We are always keen to encourage new donors to register and existing donors to book an appointment which can be done at blood.co.uk or by calling 0300 123 23 23.

“If you have an appointment to give blood in the next few days, please do your best to keep it, particularly if you are blood group O negative.”

In recent years, there’s been a 30% drop in new donors globally, yet in the UK alone on any given day the service needs 6,000 donations and it’s important that reserves are in place for large-scale incidents.

The phone lines have been busy in the days following the attack, so do persevere or go online.

Visit blood.co.uk to find details of your nearest centres.


Donating money

Online scams inevitably do pop up at times like this, so check and double-check before giving money to charity pages and crowdfunding websites.

Stick to official, verifiable avenues. Regional newspaper Manchester Evening News has set up a JustGiving page, smashing through its £5,000 target in under an hour and now gunning for £2 million after money continued to pour in:

justgiving.com/crowdfunding/westandtogethermanchester

This account has joined forces with the British Red Cross’ We Love Manchester emergency fund in partnership with Manchester City Council.


Don’t share unconfirmed images or names

When attacks like this happen, the shock and horror combined with the sheer volume of information on social media can make it difficult to separate fact from genuine or malicious rumour.

Shared widely, misinformation can spread fear and confusion, and even compromise ongoing investigations. Following the attack in Manchester, police have requested that people refrain from sharing unconfirmed details that may surface online.

Chief constable Ian Hopkins of Greater Manchester Police said: “The attacker, I can confirm, died at the arena. We believe the attacker was carrying an improvised explosive device which he detonated causing this atrocity.

“We would ask people not to speculate on his details or to share names. There is a complex and wide-ranging investigation underway. Our priority is to work with the National Counter Terrorist Policing Network and UK intelligence services to establish more details about the individual who carried out this attack.”

While the attacker has now been officially identified, other unconfirmed details surface constantly.

Similarly, check the source before sharing links to stories or donations pages about reported victims, as scammers can quickly take advantage of these situations to prey on people’s generosity.

Anyone in need of information or searching for loved ones can call the police emergency hotline: 0161 856 9400 or 0161 856 9900

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