Highlands & Islands

Eilidh MacLeod: Major fundraising begins for trust

Eilidh MacLeod Image copyright Eilidh MacLeod Family
Image caption Eilidh MacLeod was among the 22 people killed in a bombing two years ago

A major fundraising effort has begun for a charity set up in memory of a victim of the Manchester Arena attack in 2017.

Eilidh MacLeod, 14, was one of the 22 people killed by a bomb on 22 May.

The fundraising drive includes volunteers taking part in Sunday's Great Manchester Run and next weekend's Edinburgh Marathon.

The Eilidh Macleod Memorial Trust will use donations to fund music tuition for young people and a memorial to Eilidh.

The teenager played bagpipes with Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band and was passionate about music.

Image caption Eilidh's cousin Alex White will be running at the Great Manchester Run

The attack at the arena came as fans were leaving an Ariana Grande pop concert.

Eilidh's friend Laura MacIntyre, also from Barra, survived but was badly injured.

Alex White, a 15-year-old cousin of Eilidh's living in Cheshire, will be among those taking part in the Great Manchester Run.

He told BBC Scotland: "I feel that I want to give something back to her for everything she's given to me. I miss her every single day.

"I feel that this is one time in the year I get to give something back to her and I get to be there with her."

Image caption Suzanne White says the fundraising effort will recognise all those affected by the events of 22 May 2017

Alex's mother, Suzanne White, who will also be running, said: "Physically it is going to be a challenge. It is also going to be quite an emotional challenge as well.

"This will be the first fundraising event that we have really done since we started the charity up.

"It's not just for Eilidh, it's for each one of the victims and all the people who were impacted."

Iagan Macneil, of the Eilidh Macleod Memorial Trust, said the runners' involvement in the Great Manchester Run would help to recognise the link Eilidh's family now had with the city.

He said: "It is really important to take to the streets of Manchester in solidarity with the city, but also to remember Eilidh.

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Media captionPlaying the bagpipes gave Eilidh Macleod the "confidence that no other pastime could"

"Eilidh went to Manchester very innocently, but sadly never came home and we want to make sure that legacy of Eilidh's continues, and that link with Manchester continues."

Mr Macneil, who is from Barra and lives in Edinburgh, added: "One thing we are determined to do is change the future and make a positive difference for other young people through music education.

"We cannot change the past, but we can certainly do our very best to change the future."

Image copyright Andy Burnham
Image caption Andy Burnham ran the Boston Marathon in aid of charities set up following the Manchester Arena attack

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, ran the Boston Marathon in April in aid of Eilidh's trust and others set up in memory of victims of 2017's attack.

He said: "To be running for a charity set up by families, including Eilidh's, was just an enormous privilege. I felt humbled doing it.

"It is about turning what happened into a positive in whatever way that we can."

Image copyright Eilidh MacLeod Family
Image caption Eilidh was passionate about music and played in her local pipe band

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