The team at Costa Coffee in Victoria Station came together to do some incredibly heart-warming activities to fundraise for the Manchester Memorial Fund.
At We Love MCR Charity we are the current custodians of the Manchester Memorial Fund. The Fund was created to guarantee the upkeep and maintenance of the soon to be built ‘Glade Of Light’ memorial, in Cathedral Gardens, to honour the lives of the victims of the 2017 Arena attack. The attack was one of the darkest days in our city’s history, and we have been privileged to be entrusted with the Fund since the Emergency Fund for those affected closed. While it is under our care, we are responsible for facilitating all the donations raised by incredible acts of kindness from people fundraising for the memorial.
So when we were approached by the team at the Costa Coffee in Victoria Station we were overwhelmed at the wonderful events they’d done to honour the memory of the victims, spread positivity as we love to do here in Manchester, and also raise money for the Memorial Fund. Some fantastic artwork was painted on their windows by local Mancunian artists (see photos and links to their work below), staff all got involved and they encouraged members of the public to engage in creative displays of remembrance. We could not be more appreciative of the fantastic efforts done by the team at Victoria Costa for giving us all hope and pride in the belief we live in a city that focusses on the love and warmth we have for each other, and not hate and division.
Aiden Lucas, team leader at the Costa, wrote a summary of the events that him and his brilliant colleagues had put together:
“On 22nd May it was the 4th anniversary since the atrocity at Manchester Arena, a step away from our Manchester Victoria Train Station Store. As such, the team at the store felt obliged to honour the lives of the victims and show their families and friends they are not alone in this and the lives lost have not been forgotten. We invited two amazing artists – Myro and Jen, who used the space on our store window, as well as space around the store to paint messages and create a memorial where people pay their respect to the victims.
The team supported the WE LOVE MCR Charity which is raising money to create ‘The Glade of Light’ – a living garden space with a white stone ring ‘halo’ at its heart bearing the names of the victims of the attack. Manchester bee T-Shirts and masks were worn over the three days.
The team organised activities such as painting a pebble, guess the bee-ins jar, colouring of pictures where people can leave a message for the victims. The store received an immense support from Northern Rail staff as well as station staff who supported the team throughout the three days. A lot of appreciation was received both online and instore from barristers of the victims as well as their family and friends. The family members of the deceased Olivia Campbell-Hardy left cupcakes and treats for the team to show their gratefulness for the cause we supported.
To help raise funds, we had the author Elton Darlo donate his book ‘22 Arena Innocents – A Manchester artist’s tribute‘ and the team managed to raise over £250 pounds in the 3 days the Community Project was carried out.
Everything created was then left by the team around the memorial of the victims which is on Victoria Station Concourse on Sunday evening.”
We give huge thanks to Aiden, all Costa staff, Myro, Jen, Elton, and all the Northern Rail and Victoria Station staff for their inspirational efforts over recent weeks. Read more about the Manchester Memorial Fund on its page here: https://www.welovemcrcharity.org/what-we-do/manchester-memorial-fund/