By Diana Fawcett, Chief Officer, Victim Support
Like many, I found watching the BBC One documentary last week Manchester Bomb: Our story extremely moving. The bravery of the young people who took part in the documentary, sharing their experiences, was very powerful. It helps us all better understand what they have been through and the importance of having the right help and support in place for them.
Last year Victim Support had contact with 1,400 people impacted by the terrorist attacks, offering information and specialist support. Some of the people who contacted us following the Manchester Arena attack were friends and families of those at the concert that night. It’s too easy to overlook the need for support for friends and families – as Amelia, one of the survivors featured in the documentary put said, “It’s like a ricochet effect on the families.”
Many of the friends and families who have called Victim Support are seeking information and advice on how best to support their loved ones. Everyone is different and there are a range of complex physical, emotional and financial needs that result from such a horrific experience. But with individualised specialist support, we can help people and their families to move forward.
Some of the survivors shown in the documentary were expressing their frustration that they couldn’t just ‘get over it’. The impact of a terrorist attack can be life-changing – one year on Victim Support are still supporting around 100 survivors of the Manchester attack, and we’ll continue to do so as long as they need our help.
We know that anniversaries, birthdays and other occasions can be an especially difficult time, so we have staff available in Manchester City Centre this week and our free confidential 24/7 Supportline has additional staff ready to take calls.
We hope that if people are struggling, regardless of whether they have sought support before, they get in touch with Victim Support.
If you or someone you know needs help, contact our free Supportline on 08 08 16 89 111. You can also get help via our website.