The brother of a teenager killed in the Manchester Arena attack has spoken of her family’s “defiance” as the first anniversary of the tragedy approaches.
Nell Jones, 14, from Middlewich in Cheshire, was among the 22 people killed when terrorist Salman Abedi detonated a bomb after an Ariana Grande concert on May 22 last year.
In the 12 months that followed the attack, her family set up a foundation in her name with the aim of spreading love, rather than hate.
Her brother Sam, 30, said the decision to set up the Remembering Nell Foundation, which will support children’s charities in the North West, was made by the family before Christmas.
He said: “It just seemed we needed to do something for Nell, we couldn’t just let her pass into memory.”
This year the charity is supporting the Wingate Centre, for disabled children, Cheshire Autism and the Wood Street Mission, a Manchester-based children’s charity.
The Remembering Nell Foundation has been developed to honour Nell Jones, who tragically lost her life in the Manchester Arena attack. It aims to improve the lives and wellbeing of young people by supporting children's charities across the North West. #rememberingnell pic.twitter.com/q6VO0sHVJQ— The Remembering Nell Foundation (@RememberingNell) April 2, 2018
“We can’t change what happened and there is evil in the world, there is no doubt in that, but there is also great love in the world and great people,” Mr Jones said.
“There are more good people in this world than there are bad people and we can’t let the people who want to destroy our way of life destroy it.
“Defiance is quite a strong word but that is a definite element. We want to spread love around the world.”
Congratulations to Nell's brother Joe, who completed the #GreatManchesterRun Half Marathon this morning in 1 hour 50 minutes! Joe was running for The Remembering Nell Foundation: https://t.co/OMn2cJGPuw pic.twitter.com/TXPKEZsYwM— The Remembering Nell Foundation (@RememberingNell) May 20, 2018
Mr Jones said the work of the foundation would be a fitting tribute to his younger sister.
He said: “Nell and love go hand-in-hand. She was such a caring person, she wouldn’t want anybody to be picked on or be unkind, so we want to try and spread her beautiful message to everyone.”
Each year the foundation will support different charities, chosen to reflect causes Nell would have cared about.
Wow!! We are truly honoured to be one of @RememberingNell's chosen charities for 2018. A huge thank you to everyone involved, from everyone here @WingateCentre. Watch this space for more details on our new after-school 'All Stars Sports Club', supported by Nell's Foundation...! https://t.co/ahElxGPuks— The Wingate Centre (@WingateCentre) May 3, 2018
Mr Jones said: “It will be a real range of things. Anything Nell would have appreciated.
“There are all sorts of different people in the world and all sorts of different problems.”
As well as the foundation, a Garden of Memories for Nell has been built at her school in Holmes Chapel.
Thanking the community for their support at the opening of the garden, Mr Jones said: “The last 12 months have been incredibly difficult but being able to come and see this tangible piece of affection has really helped to carry us through.”
He added: “This garden proves that out of great tragedy can come a beautiful creation and I’m sure everybody here will agree this is a fitting tribute to a beautiful sister and a beautiful person.”