Tats the Way to Do it: The Manchester Working Bee


In the name of charity, many people wear wristbands, bracelets, run a marathon or take part in fundraising events. However, tattoos can be a fantastic way to raise awareness and money for disastrous events which have sadly happened. We’ve seen a huge surge in this as a gesture of defiance for the Manchester Arena bombings that took place at the Ariana Grande concert last month, with thousands of people getting a tattoo as a symbol of unity.

So how can tattoos be a tool for charities and raising money?


What Does It Symbolise?

The symbol of the working bee represents the city’s hard-working past during the industrial revolution. It is also a part of the city’s coat of arms which was given to the city in 1842. The story behind it dates to the 1800s when Manchester was filled with textile mills. These mills were commonly described as ‘hives of activity’ with the workers being called the bees. ‘Busy Bee’ is also a term which is mainly associated with hard work and industriousness. Not only this but beekeeping also takes place on the rooftop of the Printworks, producing local honey for the city.

The bee can be seen through the streets of the bustling city, on the sides of buildings, on mosaic flooring, bins and in other places such as the face of the clock of the Palace Hotel. Next time you’re out in the city full of culture, vibrancy and personality, see how many you can spot!


So, How Can Tattoos Raise Awareness and Money?

In total, the Manchester Evening News have raised a whopping £2,528,037 (as it stands) and the Just Giving page for the Tattoo Appeal is currently at the sum of £544,419.

People are heading to tattoo parlours all over the country to get the infamous bee as a piece of art on their skin. By the tattoo shops giving all proceeds to the charity, tattoo artists are donating their time, their skills and essentially their wages as a lasting symbol of the courage, defiance and strength that Manchester holds. The artists were committing a full day of inking the bees or are continuously bee’ing busy with the tats.  With an overwhelming response, people even at the age of 70 and up are going to their local tattoo artist to get the bee-autiful inking. Sacred Art Tattoo Manager Vent Brewer summed up why this is happening:

"I think people just don't know what to do, and they want to do something, they want to give, but they don't know where to give, and they don't know who to give to." “I think it’s easy to feel detached with something like this and I think that's why some people actively pursue ways of making a contribution."


By taking part and giving the small amount of £50 to get a tattoo the sum really adds up, and the evidence is in the current standing total.  A tattoo is an everlasting symbol that shows the resilience and pride of the city, with the desire to come together.

If you’re thinking of taking part in a similar project in the future, or have a charity you would love to support and raise funds for, this could be a wonderful way to do so!

If you would like any information on our tattoo supplies and how we can help your tattoo studio, feel free to get in touch, to find out more about what we can offer tattoo artists.