Hartlepool will come together to pay tribute to the victims of the Manchester terror attack.
The community is set to unite in love and solidarity with the people of the city in wake of Monday’s bombing at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena.
A candlelit vigil has been organised by dad-of-three Ashley Foster, from Hartlepool, who was moved by the stories after the horrific incident.
It will be held at Jackson’s Landing, at Hartlepool Marina, from 8.30pm tonight and will see the town come together to pay their resects to the 22 people who were killed in the attack.
Five people from the North East were among those who died.
They were Hartlepool born Jane Tweddle-Taylor, 51; Chloe Rutherford, 17, and boyfriend Liam Curry, 19, from South Shields, and Philip Tron, 32, and his partner’s daughter Courtney Boyle, 19, from Gateshead.
Mr Foster, 37, from the Marina, said: “The weekend before my daughter said that she would have loved to have gone to the concert in Manchester and then this attack happened – I just thought that could have been me and my daughter had we gone.
“Then I started hearing people’s stories from the night and they were so heart-wrenching that I decided to organise a vigil for the victims.
“I just started messaging people on Facebook to spread the word and a lot of local companies have been brilliant in providing support.”
Mr Foster, who is dad to two daughters aged 15 and nine and has an 11-year-old son, works at Workplace Solutions Power Station in Hartlepool.
Alongside his job, he organised the event, which will feature musical performances and speeches by those affected by the attack.
Local singer Leoni McCarrick is expected to perform a song and vicar Rosalyn Hall will take to the stage before those gathered take part in a minute’s silence.
Radio Hartlepool presenter Jason Anderson is also expected to tell those gathered of his experience at the arena on the night of the attack.
Mr Foster hopes the town will come along and show their support.
He added: “It is just to show our support and let people know that we are thinking of them.
“Music brings people together and that is what we hope to do.
“We can’t let these people win.
“We are asking people to bring candles and floral tributes with them.”