Nearly one third of young survivors of Manchester Arena have received no professional support since attack
22nd May 2023
The Bee The Difference report is a unique research project designed by and for young Manchester survivors in collaboration with UK disaster response charity, the National Emergencies Trust, and researchers at Lancaster University.
More than 200 young survivors took part in the Bee The Difference research, all of whom were under 18 at the time of the attack. They share experiences of the support they have received since it happened to identify what help will be most beneficial to future young survivors of terror.
Three quarters (75%) of children and young people affected by the 2017 Manchester Arena attack were psychologically injured by what happened to them, but more than one in four (29%) have never received any professional support in the six years since. Four in ten (40%) of these say it was never offered to them.
The Bee The Difference report proposes six ways that individuals and institutions across the UK could improve outcomes for future young survivors of terror:
- Bee visible - Ensure support is visible and readily available the onus is not on survivors to find it
- Bee compassionate - Listen to, validate and take proactive steps to accommodate young survivors’ new needs
- Bee experienced - Make sure that specialised trauma support is accessible and readily available, wherever survivors are based
- Bee flexible - Empower young survivors to choose the right support for them
- Bee patient - Remember that recovery isn’t linear and can take time
- Bee proactive - Act on young survivors’ experiences to turn their challenges into future change
The UK Government is expected to finalise the draft of a ‘Survivor’s Charter’ in the next few weeks that would guarantee key rights for survivors of terror attacks and is expected to include a guaranteed timeline for mental health support for victims of attacks.
Bee The Difference’s Lead Researcher, Dr Cath Hill, is a Lecturer in Social Work at Lancaster University, co-founder of the support group, Manchester Survivors’ Choir and a member of the National Emergencies Trust’s Survivors Forum.
Dr Hill said: “The findings show that the simple act of validating young people’s views can make a huge difference to their wellbeing, and is something all adults in positions of care could be more mindful of should the worst happen again. Equally, introducing the option of an official survivor status for children’s school or college records could prevent them from having to relive their trauma time and again. I hope individuals and organisations reflect on the findings and think about how they could create change. The Government’s commitment to a Survivor’s charter - if implemented quickly - could really help to speed up access to mental health services, including for young survivors.”
To download a copy of the Bee The Difference report or visit the National Emergencies Trust’s website: www.nationalemergenciestrust.org.uk/beethedifference
For more information, please contact Dr Cath Hill: email@example.com