Free beds and rides home - how Manchester opened its heart to fleeing fans

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By Chris Harris
Free beds and rides home - how Manchester opened its heart to fleeing fans

Free shelter, lifts and other acts of kindness offered after the deadly concert bombing ‘evoke the spirit of Manchester’, it’s been claimed.

Prime Minister Theresa May said the city showed the best of humanity after the “senseless slaughter” of the bombing.

Mancunians offered free beds for the night – as well as cups of tea and phone chargers – to people stranded after the attack.

They used the hashtag #RoomForManchester on Twitter to get publicity for their offers, which were retweeted thousands of times by others wanting to help.

Taxi drivers offered free rides to help get people home or take worried family to hospitals in their desperate search for news of their loved ones.

It wasn’t just individuals – nearby hotels helped to shelter dozens of teenage girls who had fled the arena in the blast’s aftermath.

Paula Robinson, 48, was at the train station near the venue when she felt the explosion.

“We ran out,” she told Reuters. “It was literally seconds after the explosion. I got the teens to run with me.”

Robinson took dozens of teenage girls to the nearby Holiday Inn Express hotel and tweeted out her phone number to worried parents telling them to meet her there. She said her phone had not stopped ringing since her tweet.

“Parents were frantic running about trying to get to their children,” she said. “There were lots of children at Holiday Inn.”

May praised Mancunians’ efforts saying the “countless acts of kindness” had brought people closer together.

She said: “The cowardice of the attacker met the bravery of the emergency services and the people of Manchester.

“The attempt to divide us met countless acts of kindness that brought people closer together.

“The images we hold in our minds should not be of senseless slaughter but of the ordinary men and women who put concerns about their own safety aside and rushed to help.

“Of the men and women of the emergency services who worked tirelessly to bring comfort, to help and to save lives.

“Of the messages of solidarity and hope of all those who opened their homes who opened their homes to the victims.

“For they are the images that embody the spirit of Manchester and the spirit of Britain, a spirit that through years of conflict and terrorism has never been broken and will never be broken.

The tweets that evoke the “spirit of Manchester”