The trust set up in memory of Westoe Travel apprentice Chloe Rutherford and partner Liam Curry, who were killed in the Manchester Arena bombing last year, has raised more than £225,000 in its first year, it has been revealed.
The Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust was founded shortly after the atrocity and distributes funds among the South Shields community to support young people like Chloe and Liam and help them to achieve their potential.
To date, some 25 youngsters have received grants from the trust to allow them to attend music and theatre schools, or take part in training and competitions to get better at their chosen sport.
Events held over the past year to support the trust include charity sports matches, a special concert by X-Factor winner Joe McElderry and a special day of remembrance during which schools and businesses in South Shields were encouraged to wear pink and blue in memory of Chloe and Liam.
The trust has also received high profile support from the likes of Ed Sheeran, who wore one of the trust’s t-shirts at a gig in Newcastle and met with members of Chloe and Liam’s families, and Simon Cowell, who wore one of the trust’s wristbands during the latest series of X-Factor.
Trustee and treasurer Graeme Brett, owner and director of Westoe Travel and recently crowned Manager of the Year the the TTG Travel Awards, said the entire South Shields community had got behind the trust with some “amazing initiatives” to raise funds.
He also hailed Chloe and Liam’s “inspirational” families and thanked them for their incredible determination to ensure their loved ones legacies had a positive impact on the community they called home.
Brett, meanwhile, has asked family and friends to mark his 60th birthday on October 9 with a donation to the trust instead of buying him “socks or smelly stuff”.