The woman who made it her mission to protect the children of the Manchester Arena attack

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Kayleigh Dray
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The barbaric and deadly attack on Manchester Arena last night (22 May) was a stark reminder of how evil and base human beings can be in order to further their selfish agendas.

In the midst of the chaos, however, many people came together and demonstrated strength, unity and kindness in the face of cowardice and cruelty.

Among them was Paula Robinson, who has been praised on social media for making it her mission to protect the children caught up in the blast.

Shortly after the explosion at 10.35pm, Robinson penned a Facebook post revealing that she had led a group of about 50 children – all of whom had either attended the concert without parents or guardians, or become separated from their loved ones during the panic – to safety.

As it was late, she took them to a nearby hotel.

“Please re-post for any parents with children at M.E.N,” she wrote. “We have taken as many kids as can to [the] Holiday Inn.

“We will keep them safe and stay with them.”

Robinson later added: “We have got about 50 kids with us waiting to be picked up.”

Again, she stressed that all of the children in her care “are safe” and that she “will look after them” for as long as they need her to.

Robinson has since been praised on Twitter for her selfless act of kindness.

“Can we please give praise to this lady Paula Robinson who is looking after missing children,” wrote one social media user.

“When evil strikes, the people hit back.”

And Robinson is not the only person doing her best to help those caught up in the attack: social media has been flooded with extraordinary tales of ordinary people doing everything they can for others.

The local Holiday Inn has been offering rooms and shelter to people, while others have been offering rooms, cups of tea, phone chargers, lifts, or just hugs on social media, using the hashtag #RoomForManchester.

Taxi drivers, meanwhile, have been giving people free lifts home, in order to reunite them all the quicker with their loved ones.

Health workers, similarly, have flocked to Manchester to support local hospitals treating the wounded.

Stuart Hosking-Durn, an emergency preparedness, resilience and response professional with UHMB, offered his help on Twitter.

“Do you need extra hands?” he wrote. “We have staff in Manchester, have ID, and can attend.”

GP Faizan Awan added: “If you need any help doing clinical work either on wards or minors, let me know. Can be with you in 10 minutes.”

And Kirsty Withers, a Theatre Clinical Manager, also offered her assistance.

“We are visiting for a health conference from Morecambe Bay Trust tomorrow,” she shared. “Three Theatre ODPs available if needed.”

At least 22 people (including children and teenage girls) were killed in the blast, and over 50 people injured. 

Mike Stredder, director of blood donation at NHSBT, said: "We are responding to last night's events in Manchester.

“Our thoughts are with the people affected by this tragic incident.

“We do have all the blood required for hospital patients at the present time. 

“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.”

If you are concerned about loved ones caught up in the incident in Manchester, the emergency number to call is 0161 856 9400.

Images: Rex Features


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.