ARTISTS from Salford and across Greater Manchester are being invited to paint bees on rocks to create a tribute on the anniversary of the Manchester Arena terror attack.
People can paint their own bee designs on rocks and leave them in the city centre as part of a memorial.
The event was set up by Nikki Lunn, aged 28, from Green Lane, Stockport, who wanted to find a way to commemorate the anniversary of the attack on the 22 May 2017.
The single mum said: “The bombing last year affected me a lot. Not only because it’s so close to home, but also because the Arena is attached to Victoria Station, which I use regularly to go to work.
“I’d been thinking for a while how I could do something to pay tribute to all the people who died, were injured and or were affected emotionally in the attack.”
Miss Lunn came up with the idea for the #LoveMCRBees project following a surge in the rock painting trend in Manchester.
As a member of the rock painting groups Stockport rocks and Heaton Rocks, she then created the event and started to get other crafters on board.
She added: “Initially I asked on my local rock groups if anyone would like to join in with me.
“I wasn’t expecting many people to say yes. But now I have over 30 groups UK wide wanting to be involved.”
The bee symbol has taken on a powerful meaning as a symbol of unity following the tragic events on 22 May.
The main memorial will be made up of 22 rocks placed on a wall outside the arena, to reflect the date of the attack as well as the number of people who lost their lives.
People can also place rocks outside Manchester Town Hall or in St Ann’s Square, which became a place of reflection following the Manchester Arena terror attack in May last year.
Organisers are also hoping to place the rocks inside Victoria Station and are awaiting on Northern Rail’s consent to do so.
After the bee rocks have been placed around the city centre, people can then take them home as a remembrance gift.
Miss Lunn will be in the city centre on the day wearing her #LoveMCRBees hoody and showing people where to leave their rocks.
Those who want to take place in the #LoveMCRBees event but can’t get to the city centre are encouraged to create bee rock memorials in local parks or in their local towns.
— Nikki Lunn (@ikkin101) April 25, 2018
The rocks craze was established in Manchester around six months ago when parents wanted to introduce their children to a new, healthy hobby.
The craze involves decorating pebbles and hiding them for others to find.
Children can then either take the rocks home and replace them with their own creations, or hide them again.
Facebook groups have been set up across for areas across Greater Manchester for people to share photos of their rocks and to give clues about where they have been hidden.
Some of the local rock painting groups involved in the event include Salford Rocks, Calderdale Rocks, Rammy Rocks and Love on the Rocks.
Local group Calderdale Rocks are creating painted bee rocks in memory of the Manchester terror attack. If you would like to take part, paint a bee on a small stone with the hashtag #lovemcr and drop it off at our resident record shop @loafersvinyl 📸: Diane Wells pic.twitter.com/wNC3Mov83H
— The Piece Hall (@ThePieceHall) April 12, 2018
To get involved with the #LoveMCRBees event, painted rocks can be posted directly to Miss Lunn’s home or to a collection point.
These are 77 Green Lane, Heaton Moor, Stockport, SK4 3LH or Swinton Pet Supplies, Kiosk 6, The Parade, Swinton Square, M27 4BH,
All rocks need to be sent by the 19th May.