I didn’t write about the horrific attack on the Manchester Arena at the time. I tried, on numerous occasions, but everything I put down on paper seemed desperately inadequate, blurred further by a myriad of emotions that fluctuated between anger, despair, defiance and sorrow.
This was my city. My streets. My community. It felt personal.
But over the following days and weeks, one emotion proved stronger than all before it. Pride.
Pride in the people and our amazing emergency services. Pride in seeing the unbridled joy on the faces of all those children at the One Love concert. Pride in my boys entire school singing and dancing in the park the day after the attack and the dozens of people queuing up along our high street to get their bee tattoos in honour of the victims.
THIS was my city. My streets. My community. This made me feel pride like never before.
But as we go about our daily lives, it’s easy to take this community spirit for granted. Too often we forget that communities don’t just exist, they’re built. That the very fabric of any good society is held together by those who work tirelessly and selflessly to make it so.
I’m blessed to live in Urmston, a town where a sense of community lies at its very heart.
There’s the fabulous Women’s Institute who yarn bomb our town centre and the many Friends of the Park groups that protect our green spaces. All those who give up their time to run our many playgroups and the amazing volunteers at the Toy House offering toy loans and support.