A TRAFFORD company has given a welcome boost to one of the charities raising money for victims of the Manchester attack.

The Bee Strong Bee Manchester campaign produces bee shaped badges, which has so far raised more than £15,000.

Trafford Park based contractor Russells Construction has constructed a series of signs on the hoardings at the site of its large renovation project on Brown Street in the city centre, to promote the campaign. The badges are available for a suggested donation of £5 per badge, with all profits going to the Red Cross.

The idea of making and selling the badges came from 14-year-old Millie Fraser, a pupil at Rishworth School near Halifax, with the support of her parents Kim and Steve. They were designed by Kim’s colleague Megan Needham, and are being put together by teachers, dinner ladies and pupils after school, and by friends and family members at the Frasers’ Manchester home on the kitchen table.

Simon Bower, father of another pupil at Rishworth School, Emma Bower, and site manager for Russells on their Manchester project, had the idea to advertise the charity at the site.

Simon said: “This project is right in the middle of the city centre and there must be thousands of people passing the site every week, I thought why not use the hoardings to advertise the charity. The MD agreed straight away and suggested some other ways the company could help, so hopefully the hoarding will just be the start of it.”

The hoarding signs were designed by Millie Fraser's father Steve, a designer at EPetch Printers, and have been installed around the site. An even bigger banner will soon be added on the building itself. The Frasers and Bowers have visited to see the designs for themselves.

Millie said: “This is amazing, these posters will really help get the campaign noticed even more and we can’t believe there will be an even bigger banner in a few weeks. We’ve been overwhelmed by the response of people to the badges, but not surprised. Everyone we meet wants to wear one and donate to the fund, everyone really wants to do their bit to help.”

Kim added: “We’re so grateful to Simon and his company for coming up with this advertising idea, it’s brilliant. We’ve had a lot of support from businesses large and small, donating services or helping to sell the badges. The police force, ambulance services, and nurses can also be found wearing the bees. Support for those affected can be seen as far afield as Australia and the Grand Canyon with people sporting our badges, and we are hoping this publicity will encourage others to get involved too.

"In particular we are desperate for yellow Perspex and badge fastenings. We would love to see the badges stocked in shops, cafes and businesses right across the city centre and as far afield as we can, so if you run one and want to take a box to sell, please, please do get in touch."

More than 7,000 badges have so far been made, and the demand is still growing. The list of places where the badges can be bought, including shops, gyms and office receptions across the North, is available on the Bee Strong Bee Manchester Facebook page and website: www.beestrongbeemanchester.co.uk

Russells Construction will also be selling the badges at its head office in Trafford Park, and bosses have promised to double whatever staff raise by buying a badge. The Bee Strong Bee Manchester bee badges will also be available to buy at the Russell Homes sales and marketing suites at Greenbooth Village in Norden Rochdale and Saltersford Gardens in Holmes Chapel, which is set to launch this summer.