Facing the fear and returning to Manchester

Image source, Marie Rushworth
Image caption,
Marie and Mya Rushworth at One Love Manchester

Marie Rushworth and her 11-year-old daughter Mya returned to Manchester to attend the One Love benefit concert.

They witnessed the tragic events at the Manchester Arena two weeks ago, and while Marie initially didn't want to go back to Manchester, that changed when the charity concert was announced.

Speaking to the BBC ahead of the concert, she said: "I have very mixed emotions and fear at travelling to Manchester again after such a tragedy, but my daughter and I feel it is the right thing to do.

"We should be free to go where we want when we want and not live in fear of what might happen.

"It is for a good cause, the concert is showing respect to the people who lost their lives and the families that are suffering."

"I read some victim's families aren't happy with it - I can understand that - but I think everyone will be there for the right reason."

Frightening and tragic

On the night of 22 May, Marie and Mya had taken the train from their home in Leyland, Lancashire, to Manchester Victoria.

Thanks to Marie's oldest daughter Shelly insisting on driving them home after the concert they left early and in the opposite direction to where the blast happened.

"We had just exited the Arena when we heard the explosion, then silence, then screaming, and people running in our direction," Marie said.

"Mya and I ran to avoid the stampede. It was an extremely frightening and tragic end to an evening that should have been full of happiness and singing."

Image source, Maire Rushworth
Image caption,
Mya and Marie together on 22 May concert before the attack happened

Facing the Fear

Despite last-minute nerves, Marie and Mya made it to One Love Manchester and did not regret it.

"We are so pleased that we went. We were very nervous before and whilst going into the grounds but the security checks and police presence was reassuring.

"Everyone was upbeat. The performances were fantastic, they have done themselves and the families that have lost loved ones and those injured proud.

"Mya was upset and worried when it was time to leave as she was worried that something would happen.

"It's sad but that is reality and the times we are living in but we can't let the terrorists control us no matter how much they try.

"It showed Mya how many people have been affected by the tragedy and who have all shown solidarity in going to the concert and facing the fear.

"The whole night was special for the youngsters as well as the parents, my highlight being Take That and Mya's being Ariana and Justin Bieber.

"I'm happy to say that Mya has said she would go to future concerts.

"In our life we've had tragedies ourselves and one thing we always keep saying is onwards and upwards."

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