Public raise over £50k in just one day for two rough sleepers who rushed to help Manchester attack victims
KINDHEARTED fundraisers for two homeless heroes who ran to the aid of those injured in the Manchester terror bomb raised more than £50,000 yesterday.
And the huge outpouring of support following the atrocious attack raised over £1.5 million for the 22 dead and 59 wounded victims and their families.
Stephen Jones, 35, was sleeping in a doorway near the Manchester Arena concert venue on Monday night when he heard a huge bang, which he initially thought was a firework.
“I then realised what was happening and saw children coming out, screaming and covered in blood,” said Mr Jones.
“We were having to pull nails and bits of glass out of their arms and faces,” he said. “We haven’t slept most of the night because of what we’ve seen.”
Mr Jones, a former bricklayer who has been sleeping rough for more than a year, added: “I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if I’d just walked away.
“Just because I’m homeless, it doesn’t mean I haven’t got a heart.
“There’s a lot of good people in Manchester who help us out and we need to give back too.”
Two separate Just Giving fundraisers had raised a total of £56,446 for Mr Jones at the time the Star went to press to help get him off the streets.
Mr Jones’s brave actions were so inspiring that West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan and his son offered to pay rent on a house for him for the next six months to “help him get on his feet.”
A GoFundMe page was also set up for rough sleeper Chris Parker, 33, who also rushed to the aid of injured victims.
Mr Parker had been in the foyer of the arena when the explosion went off which knocked him to the floor.
But instead of running away he told reporters that it was his “gut instinct” to go back and help.
He said he has not been able to stop crying after cradling a 60-year-old woman who passed away in his arms.
The identities of the 22 people killed in the attack, carried out by suicide bomber Salman Abedi, are being revealed slowly.
They include a Polish couple there to collect their daughters, venue PR manager Martyn Hett and an off-duty police officer.
The first victims named were eight-year-old Saffie Roussos and 18-year-old Georgina Callander.
Police are investigating a “network” believed to be involved and have arrested four men in south Manchester.
Troops were sent to guard major London landmarks yesterday and Britain’s terror threat was raised to “critical.”
Jeremy Corbyn also suspended Labour’s general election campaigning until today.
He said: “The British people are united in their resolve that terror will not prevail. Resuming democratic debate and campaigning is an essential mark of the country’s determination to defend our democracy and the unity that the terrorists have sought to attack.”
Isis has claimed it was responsible for the attack.