Manchester

Memorial garden for Manchester bomb victim Nell Jones opens

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Media captionMemorial garden for Manchester bomb victim Nell Jones opens

A memorial garden for a schoolgirl killed in the Manchester Arena attack was a "fitting tribute to a beautiful person", her brother has said.

The Garden of Memories was built at Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School in Cheshire in tribute to 14-year-old pupil Nell Jones.

She was one of 22 people who died in the attack on 22 May last year.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham opened the garden saying "Nell will always be a part of Manchester".

Image copyright Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School
Image caption Nell Jones would have been "overjoyed" by the memorial, said her brother
Image caption Sam Jones said the memorial was a "fitting tribute" to his "beautiful" sister

He placed a stone decorated with a bee, the symbol of Manchester, in a river of pebbles designed to allow people to leave their memories of Nell.

Sam Jones said his sister would have been "astounded" and "overjoyed" by the memorial.

He 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."

The 30-year-old said the garden "proves that out of great tragedy can come a beautiful creation".

The school choir, which Nell had been a member of, sang You Raise Me Up and Hallelujah as the garden was officially opened.

Image caption Andy Burnham said the garden was proof that "good things can come out of terrible events"

Freya Lewis, 15, who was injured in the attack after the Ariana Grande concert, was among those of Nell's friends who helped with the design.

Mr Burnham said he was there to represent everybody in Greater Manchester "who are still in recovery from what happened".

"But we were, as you saw, a place that came together and sent a message that in the end nothing will divide us. We will always be there for each other and in being here today I wanted to say to Nell's family we will always be there for you."

Image caption The garden is for everyone, says the school's executive headteacher

He added: "Good things can come out of terrible events and this garden of remembrance for Nell is the tangible proof of that."

The school's executive headteacher Mr Denis Oliver said the garden was "inspired by the loving memory of Nell Jones, but a garden for everyone".

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