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Millie Fraser’s story

Schoolgirl Millie Fraser, mum Kim and her colleague Megan Needham, have been selling bee pin badges to raise money for the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.

Millie, 14, thought up the idea while she was on her way to school, and with the help of her mum and Megan, it quickly took off and became the Bee Strong, Bee Manchester appeal.

E Petch printers in Stalybridge, where Millie’s dad Steven is graphic designer, donated all the packaging and artwork, while HPC laser in Elland produced the bees, with perspex donated by Perspex Distribution Ltd. KYD Products meanwhile, supplied pin backs.

They started out with a tiny batch of just 35 pins, made on Kim’s kitchen table in Mossley, which all immediately sold out.

As word about the bees spread, they were soon inundated with orders, and saw family, friends and volunteers rally around to help put the pins together by hand, to keep up with the incredible demand.

They created their biggest batch to date at a bee-making session at Woolyknit, Diggle, while students at Rishworth School, where Kim and Megan work, also helped out.

Now businesses and organisations the length and breadth of Greater Manchester have stepped up with offers to distribute the pins, which cost £5 each, with all proceeds going to the appeal.

Organisations including mountain rescue teams, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and Greater Manchester Police have also been wearing the bees.

Kim says she has been overwhelmed by the reaction to the pins, and the generosity of all involved.

She said: “Everyone we spoke to wanted to do something to help, but didn’t know what to do. We couldn’t have imagined that all this would happen from an idea thought up on the way to school.”

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Manchester Emergency Fund

Manchester Emergency Fund