The city of Manchester has been at the centre of the news throughout the past week and has seen a true united feeling amidst all the grief and pain.

One of Britain's biggest and brightest cities came under attack on Monday evening when a suicide bombing occured in the foyer of the Manchester Arena, moments after the end of a concert by the American singer Ariana Grande. 22 people were killed and 116 left injured - many with life-changing complications.

Amidst the understandable shock, sadness and hurt has come a spirit of unity and defiance. Acts of heroism have been reported, donations made in the aftermath to the victims' families and even football came together to put a smile on the face of a city shaken but not to be dictated by this cruel act of terror.

The incident

It was meant to be an enjoyable Monday evening. Many youngsters and families were enjoying a concert at the Manchester Arena by the popular American signer Ariana Grande.

Many people will have visited the arena for concerts from musicians, performances by comedians and magic acts over the years. Opened in July 1995, Manchester Arena is one of the biggest concert venues in the UK. It is a venue where I myself had been to as recently as March 2017 to enjoy a performance by the Kaiser Chiefs. Up to 21,000 concert-goers attended the Grande show on Monday night. It was part of her 2017 "Dangerous Woman" tour.

It finished at 10.30pm. Less than 30 seconds after the singer had left the stage following her final encore, a big explosion was heard inside the arena.

At first, no-one seemed to know what had actually happened. Then, panic set in as people ran and jumped out of their seats towards the nearest exits, fleeing in sheer fear.

The emergency services were quickly on the scene, and there have been many stories over the week of their heroic acts to save the lives of many and treat the injured.

As the first news reports emerged late on Monday evening, it became clear that this was a very serious incident. Greater Manchester police declared the incident as a terrorist attack. The final death toll means this is the biggest act of terrorism on the UK since the 7/7 London bombings in 2005.

A 22-year-old British citizen was quickly identified as the perpetrator.

The individual had been suspected of working with a network, and since Tuesday 14 people have been arrested by police in a series of raids across the city.

The victims have ranged in ages. The youngest was just eight - Saffie Rose Roussos. The oldest was 51-year-old Jane Tweddle-Taylor from Blackpool who had gone to collect a youngster from the concert. Others among the casualties included an off-duty police officer, a couple who were born in Poland, a PR manager, and Coronation Street superfan who has been interviewed before on a BBC daytime programme about his passion for the Weatherfield soap opera.

Sticking together

It was a night of carnage and chaos. People were meant to be leaving the arena smiling, dancing into the warm evening air.

Instead, they were crying and looking dazed. The city immediately showed its community spirit. The hashtag #WeStandTogether has been a regular trending topic on Twitter.

With Manchester Victoria train station closed immediately after the attack, many concert-goers who had escaped were left stranded and with no way of getting home. Taxi companies across the city offered free transport. Hotels nearby took in people for the night. The Holiday Inn hotel nearby the arena became a residence for children to go and meet up with parents that had been split up in the aftermath of the attack.

As daybreak rose, some who had not heard the news late on Monday night were shocked by what they were seeing as the images and amateur video footage played out on the breakfast TV news.

Campaigning in the General Election was immediately halted by all political parties. Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn were in regular contact throughout as political policies were put on hold to put national security at the forefront of the headlines.

On Tuesday, Manchester Evening News set-up a JustGiving page to raise money for the injured and the families who have seen lost ones tragically taken away in a despicable act. Over £1.8million has been raised so far. Vigils were held up and down the country for the victims with a huge mural of flowers and balloons in the city's St Ann's Square.

On Wednesday evening, Manchester United beat Ajax 2-0 in the UEFA Europa League final in Stockholm. There was a poignant atmosphere inside the stadium in a game that was far more than just a major European trophy up for grabs.

This was the opportunity to put a smile back on the faces of a devastated city. Afterwards, United's rivals - Manchester City posted a picture on Twitter with the simple words #ACityUnited which was retweeted over 100,000 times. It was a classy touch at a period where football rivalry is placed completely in the shade.

What happens now?

On Tuesday evening, the Prime Minister surprised many by raising the terror threat from severe level to the highest terrorism risk of critical. It is the first time since 2007 that Britain is at this level, and came after lengthy meetings with security forces and Greater Manchester chief constable Ian Hopkins.

A devastated Ariana Grande postponed the rest of her UK tour dates, including two planned performances at London's O2 Arena.

She flew back to the US but on Friday, posted a heartfelt letter on Twitter, revealing she will return to Manchester later this year to hold a benefit gig for the families. She wrote: "I don't want to go the rest of the year without being able to see and hold and uplift my fans the same way they continue to uplift me."

It has been a week with emotions ranging from remorse and shock to unity and determination. This incident will not be forgotten and it will be incredibly difficult for the families affected to return to any kind of normality in the near future.

A defiance has been seen though throughout the week within the city. Manchester has been attacked before. In 1996, an IRA bomb destroyed the Arndale shopping centre.

No-one died that day and the city rebuilt and looks better than ever before. Residents will not let this incident change their lives. They won't let the evil win and be sent into hiding.

The British public has shown a generous support throughout. Our hearts are with Manchester and especially, those affected. This great city, a city where I've visited before and really enjoyed visiting has shown its communal spirit to the world. #WeStandTogether.

To donate to the Manchester Evening News JustGiving page in partnership with the British Red Cross, visit the website: