Manchester Academy students have been busy making origami paper roses to commemorate the victims of last May's MEN Arena terrorist attack.
Former Manchester Academy student Mohamed ‘Max’ Maxamed came up with the idea, teaming up with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation’s Youth Leaders Programme to organise it.
Commenting on the project, Mohamed said: “I came up with the idea to make roses on red paper, where the names of all 22 victims are written. It was great to get the backing from the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, who helped me fund the project and get it off the ground.”
“It was quite nostalgic to come back to Manchester Academy to do the project here, as I left in 2015 so it was like coming back home seeing the students getting involved making the roses. Everyone has been fantastic and has really got behind the project.
Miss Knanom, RE Coordinator at Manchester Academy, supervised different classes from Years 7, 8 and 9 who took part throughout the day.
She said: “All the students who took part worked very hard – I’m very proud of all of them. They made a total of 163 roses, which is well over the 100 we were expecting, so that was a brilliant effort.”
The project is one of Manchester Academy’s ‘Education with Character’ initiatives, which aims to develop students’ learning beyond the classroom.
Year 9 student Bronwyn said: “I felt proud to know I have done something to remember what happened on 22 May last year.”
Year 9 student Tamim said: “It’s a great idea, and I’m really glad I took part. It helped me to remember the people who passed away, as their names are all written inside the roses we made.”
Year 7 student Hannah said: “Having roses as a lasting memorial is a great way to remember the victims who died and respect what their families went through.”
Nikki Carlin, Programme Coordinator at the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, explained their 'Youth Leaders Programme' offers support to young people aged 14-25 to design, fundraise and deliver their own sports, arts or media projects.
Nikki said: “Max had an idea for a project that was very meaningful to him and it was a pleasure to work with him to help his idea come to life. At the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, we were very proud to see Max return to his old school to lead his project and become a role model to the younger students. “We would like to thank all the staff and students who took part at Manchester Academy."
The roses made will be given out to the public by volunteers as part of the vigil in Manchester on the anniversary of the attack on May 22.