Manchester

Manchester attack: Olivia Campbell-Hardy's funeral held

Charlotte Campbell and Paul Hodgson, the mother and stepfather of Olivia Campbell-Hardy Image copyright PA
Image caption Charlotte Campbell and Paul Hodgson, the mother and stepfather of Olivia Campbell-Hardy

Hundreds of mourners dressed in blue - the favourite colour of Manchester attack victim Olivia Campbell-Hardy - have gathered to celebrate her life.

Olivia, 15, was among 22 people who died in the suicide bombing at Manchester Arena on 22 May.

The funeral, at the Parish Church of St Anne in Tottington, near Bury, was "a celebration of her life".

Her mother Charlotte Campbell said they wanted "to give her the best send-off anyone can give her".

Image caption The coffin was pale blue - Olivia's favourite colour

Ms Campbell said Olivia was a precious, gorgeous girl who had told her she was having "an amazing time" at the Ariana Grande concert.

Speaking ahead of the funeral, Ms Campbell said: "We are not calling it a funeral, we know we've got the official bit to do but afterwards we're calling it her party.

"She was 15... she was full of life and we want to give her the 16th, the 20th the prom, everything she's going to miss now.

"That's what getting us through as we want to give her the best send-off anyone can give her."


By Kaleigh Watterson, BBC News, in Tottington

On a warm and sunny day in a small village near Bury, hundreds of mourners - the majority teenagers - gathered to say their goodbyes to Olivia.

Music, a significant part of Olivia's life, featured throughout the service with recordings of her singing as well as a hymn sung by her school choir.

The first hymn, The Lord of the Dance, reflected her love of performing. Her cremation, a private event, also had recordings of her singing to There You'll Be and All Of Me.

The vicar reflected on his memories of the schoolgirl - including how he remembered her yawning during an RE lesson taking place in this same church where her life was celebrated.

"Remember all that was good, fun, dare I say mischievous, loveable and kind about Olivia," he said.

Love was one of the key themes for the readings and hymns chosen for the service.

The reading from 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13 featured the line "love never ends", and for those gathered today remembering Olivia this will be the case.


Hundreds of people lined the streets as the hearse arrived at the church, carrying the pale-blue coffin.

Mourners spilled out into the grounds of the packed church, many of whom were fellow students from Tottington High School, closed for the day as a mark of respect.

The school's choir sang I, The Lord of Sea and Sky at the beginning of the service after a prayer by the Reverend Hugh Bearn.

Image caption Mourners spilled out into the grounds of the packed church

Olivia's family has set up a charitable trust to enable young people to take part in the performing arts - her "passion".

The schoolgirl loved music and had previously auditioned for Britain's Got Talent in Manchester, singing her favourite song All Of Me by John Legend.

A recording of her singing the song was played at the end of a private cremation.

Image caption The funeral, at the Parish Church of St Anne in Tottington, was "a celebration" of Olivia's life

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