Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has been confirmed as the 2017 awardee of the Doubleday award, in recognition for his work in the wake of the Manchester Arena bombing that took place just five months ago.
The attack of May 2017 resulted in the death of twenty-three people, including ten people under the age of twenty, and two-hundred and fifty wounded after a suicide bomber detonated their device in the Manchester Arena, towards the end of a concert by pop star Ariana Grande.
On the morning following the attack, Andy Burnham, who only became Mayor of Greater Manchester some weeks earlier, gave a statement depicting the attack as “an evil act”, and continued to praise the response of Manchester residents, ending his statement saying that “it will be [the] spirit of Manchester that will prevail and hold us together.”
The Doubleday Fund, which runs the award, was established by the Doubleday family after their son Edwin tragically died before his final examinations in 2000. The fund’s focus is on medical evaluation, and its support of the Doubleday Centre for Patient Experience permits further interaction between students and the public in the training of future doctors.
The award, running since 2002, is granted to any individual who is seen to have significantly contributed to society, and former winners have included Rabbi Julia Neuberger, former director of the Kings Fund, as well as former Chief Medical Officer Sir Kenneth Calman.
The award will be presented to the Mayor by John Doubleday before the Mayor gives his Doubleday lecture at the University of Manchester this month. In his lecture, Andy Burnham is anticipated to focus mainly on issues concerning extremism, alongside discussing ideas on political participation and the impact of possible increased devolution.
Reflecting on the Mayor’s contribution, Director of the Doubleday centre, Dr Robina Shah, commented on Mr Burnham’s receipt of the award, saying that: “Andy Burnham showed great leadership for our community in the wake of the tragic events.”
She added that his “support for the victims, the families, the emergency services, and local people who did so much to help those affected is praiseworthy, and we are delighted to be able to recognise his important contribution.”