The families of Westoe Travel apprentice Chloe Rutherford and her boyfriend Liam Curry who died in last year’s Manchester terrorist bombing have received special recognition in the Pride of the North East Awards.

The award was handed out to their parents for the Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust established in memory of the couple who were killed when a suicide bomber targeted the Ariana Grande concert last May.

The families were determined to achieve something positive in the memory of the teenage sweethearts from South Shields and set up the trust to help aspiring performers and young sports men and women achieve their dreams.

They have already raised more than £20,000 and enlisted the backing of celebrities including Newcastle United and Sunderland AFC managers Rafa Benitez and Chris Coleman and rapper Stormzy, who have showed their support by wearing the Trust’s blue and pink wristbands.

Bursaries are currently open to anyone living in the north-east, with plans to extend the scheme nationally.

Westoe Travel owner Graeme Brett said after the north-east of England presentation: “This is such a great honour to the families and so well deserved.

“They are dedicating all of their time to the Trust as they want to help other young people achieve their potential that Chloe and Liam were denied.”

Chloe’s father Mark Rutherford said: “We want to help people achieve their goals, to fulfil their dreams. That was something that was taken away from Chloe and Liam.

“Chloe loved to sing and play piano, she also wrote songs and enjoyed getting involved with everything backstage. Liam was a huge cricket fan and player. He had just passed his coaching badges and was teaching young kids.

“There are so many talented people out there that can’t afford to go any further.

“It would be amazing a few years down the line to see someone at the Olympics or in the West End, doing what they love because of Chloe and Liam.”