The mother of one of the Manchester bombing victims has spoken for the first time since it was confirmed that her daughter was one of the 22 who died following the explosion.
Olivia Campbell’s mother Charlotte appeared on Good Morning Britain today with her boyfriend Paul to talk about their terrible loss and how they have made a joyous life decision as a special tribute to their little girl.
Though clearly distraught and emotional, Charlotte appeared strong defiant and told Eamonn Holmes and Charlotte Hawkins that she didn’t want people to forget her daughter or think she was a victim.
“I want my daughter to carry on living and not be forgotten,” she said.
“I want her memory to be kept alive.”
Speaking about what her 15-year-old was like before she lost her life in the explosion at Manchester Arena, she explained that Olivia was a talented and lovable young woman.
“She was probably the cheekiest, funniest girl you would ever meet. She was always singing and dancing,” Charlotte reminisced.
“I don’t want her to be a victim of this. To sit there and be quiet would make her a victim.”
Olivia’s stepdad Paul added that he hoped that in some way Olivia would be seen as the “face of Manchester”, and be seen as a symbol of hope and solidarity to those who need it most.
“We need someone and why not have a young lady, a 15-year-old, who was tragically taken through this, to stand up and say to people: ‘We’re going to stick together. We are Manchester. We are Britain.’
After a clip of Olivia singing John Legend’s All Of Me was played on the show, Eamonn surprised Charlotte and Paul with a pre-recorded clip of the man himself paying tribute to their daughter.
“I want to thank you for playing the song and let you know that I was so moved by your daughter’s performance of the song,” he said.
“And I want to send you as much love as I can send you from far away, and as much sympathy and condolences I can send you.
“I know it won’t make up for the loss that you’re feeling right now but any love that we can send you we want to send you right now and wish you all the best. Take care.”
Meanwhile, Charlottte explained that although it has been a tough time of her of late she has stayed so strong because there has been so much for her to do.
“We’re coping by keeping busy, keeping our girl there,” she said. “I have been told that my fall will come after everything’s done, the funeral, because I’m being a mum, I’m being practical.
“I want my daughter to carry on living. I never want her to be forgotten by anybody.
“If anyone had ever met her, they wouldn’t have forgotten her anyway – she wouldn’t have let them. I just want her to keep on, I want her memory to be kept alive.
She also went onto say that Olivia’s funeral would be a celebration and admitted that she will grant her daughter’s wish and finally wed Paul.
“It will not be a mourning. I’m going to give my daughter the best send-off I can,” she said. “I’m never going to be able to give her a 16th, an 18th, a 21st, so I’m going to put all that into her… she wouldn’t have wanted us sat around mourning, she’d have wanted us to be out enjoying it and celebrating it.
“She wanted us to get married. We always fought her against it for years. We’ve now said in her memory we will now go and get married.’