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Air engineer Andy turns creative to help victims of Manchester atrocity

When Petty Officer Andy Rigby turned on the TV on May 23 and learned of the horrors of the terrorist attack at Manchester attack, he felt compelled to help.

The 38-year-old avionics expert, who looks after the Navy's new Wildcat helicopters at 825 Naval Air Squadron in Yeovilton, is using his art/craftwork hobby to raise money for the families of those affected by the atrocity.

Away from work at the Somerset air station, the senior rating has been exploring his creative side - which may become a career when he eventually leaves the RN.

The horror of what happened at Manchester Arena prompted thousands of people in the city and beyond to do something positive.

In Andy's case, that meant an original piece of art - 22 fabric-covered wooden hearts rising above a house with the inscription 'Their adventures shall not be forgotten.'

I have tried to make the piece itself very special and have done this by creating 22 unique and individual hearts each representing a life lost on the tragic day,

Petty Officer Andy Rigby

He is selling prints of the work - and hopes to find a way to donate copies to the families of the 22 people killed - before eventually auctioning the original art work, with all profits going the fund set up in the wake of the attack.

"I have tried to make the piece itself very special and have done this by creating 22 unique and individual hearts each representing a life lost on the tragic day," Andy explains.

"The house represents the home and families they were sadly taken from and the bees are the symbol for Manchester."

After 21 years in the Senior Service, Andy has one eye on his life after the RN. His work has been displayed two years running at the Royal Bath and West Show's art exhibition.

"I've been approached several times by companies saying they like my work but I haven't the time with my Navy life to commit. It's something I would pursue once I have left the Services," he says

You can see other examples of Andy's artwork - and order prints of the Manchester piece - via his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Andy-Rigby-Driftwood-Designs-277801792351279/ with £5.90 from every £17 print sold going to the fund for the victims of the Manchester attack.

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