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‘Courageous’ Bryony overcomes Manchester attack horror to help others

Best of South Tyneside Award nominee Bryony Murtaugh, 10
Best of South Tyneside Award nominee Bryony Murtaugh, 10

A proud mum has nominated her ‘total superstar’ daughter for a courage award after she fought back from the horror of the Manchester terror attack.

South Shields youngster Bryony Murtaugh was today hailed as an ‘amazing’ 10-year-old who put the bombing at the Ariana Grande concert behind her to fundraise for worthy South Tyneside causes.

Best of South Tyneside Award nominee Bryony Murtaugh, 10 with mother Cheryl McDonald

Best of South Tyneside Award nominee Bryony Murtaugh, 10 with mother Cheryl McDonald

The tragedy that night left a deep effect on Bryony but it didn’t stop her from supporting others.

Mum Cheryl McDonald told how her daughter fought back.

“In my eyes, she is a total superstar,” said Cheryl who is one of the people who set up the charity cause Community Corner.

It’s one of the charities that Bryony has supported. She also backs the Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust, which was created as a lasting legacy to Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry, who were killed in the Manchester Arena terror attack.

We are so proud of her and in my eyes she is so so courageous and amazing

Cheryl McDonald

Cheryl added: “Bryony has been deeply affected by what happened that night. She hides it very well and has been so brave.”

The Manchester attack left Bryony with anxiety, stress and suffering from nightmares.

But Cheryl added: “She is a strong supporter of The Together Forever Trust and has formed a strong bond and friendship with the mams of Chloe & Liam who tragically lost their lives. Caroline and Lisa have been an amazing support and bought Bryony a special bracelet which she hasnt taken off once.

“Bryony raises money for our Community Corner every Saturday whilst she is off school by volunteering her time. She has also done draws to help raise funds for Chloe and Liam’s Trust.

Best of South Tyneside Award nominee Bryony Murtaugh, 10

Best of South Tyneside Award nominee Bryony Murtaugh, 10

“Bryony has stuck in at school, worked her socks off and finished year 5 with a mastery level in every subject and 100% attendance for the whole academic year.”

Cheryl recalled the drama which unfolded in May last year.

She was there with Bryony and said: “We left the arena to be told there had been a bomb attack. We were terrified and so frightened but ran into an office which was thankfully still open until we could get back to our hotel. Once we arrived at the hotel, I was finding out facts via social media and the news about what had happened and Bryony was my absolute rock throughout this time.

“We are so proud of her and in my eyes she is so so courageous and amazing.”

A second nomination for Bryony said she was “a totally selfless beautiful little girl” with “a beautiful kind heart and a special soul.”

Bryony herself said: “I like to help out at Community Corner because of the fundraising that they do for the community, and I sometimes help out with the Together Forever because I was caught in the Manchester bombing attack and it relates to me, so I like to help them.”

How you can nominate

Is there a role model, a carer, or a child, who you think shows incredible courage? Do you want to honour a community stalwart who goes the extra mile to help others without asking for acknowledgement?

Is there a child of achievement who has gone that extra length to achieve their targets?

Or is there a young stage star who would deserve to win the Young Performer of the Year category?

We are calling on you to put forward nominations for everything from sports team of the year to entrepreneur of the year, and community group to fundraiser.

This year, the grand finale will be held at the Roker Hotel, where we will be revealing the winners on Wednesday, September 19.

Ray Spencer from the Customs House will be the compere for what promises to be a fantastic occasion.

The Best of South Tyneside awards, this year, have the backing of Barbour; Harlow Printing Limited; JML; BT South Tyneside; Northumbrian Water, UTS Engineering Ltd, Warmseal and South Tyneside College. To nominate, please send us the full name, phone number and email address, of the person you wish to nominate and the category you want to nominate them for, along with a brief description of why they are worthy of an award.

And if you are submitting an entry in the Young Performer category, send us a video of them performing.

•Send your entries by email to: lynn.wild@jpress.co.uk or posted to: Lynn Wild, Alexander House, Second Floor, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland, DH4 5RA.

Our categories

Role Model

Neighbour of the Year

Greener South Tyneside

Child of Achievement

Fundraiser of the Year

Entrepreneur of the Year

Carer of the Year

Sporting Excellence

Sports Team of the Year/Young Sportsperson of the Year

Community Champion

Student of the Year.

Community Group

Volunteer of the Year

Child of Courage

Young Performer of the Year

Lifetime Contribution