'She lit up our lives': Nell Jones remembered at Manchester Arena Inquiry

Nell Jones has been remembered by her family at the Manchester Arena Inquiry. Credit: Family Photo

Nell Jones has been remembered by her family as the 'pen portraits' of the victims of the Manchester Arena attack resumed at the inquiry into the bombing.

Nell was from Holmes Chapel in Cheshire and was 14 when she was killed leaving the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena in May 2017.

Sam Jones led the tribute to his little sister on the family's behalf at Manchester Magistrates Court, with messages included from Nell's teachers and friends.

Nell was described as being a kind and thoughtful person who enjoyed dancing, musical theatre and someone who would "protect her friends to the hilt".

Her parents said that she loved school and "soaked up everything that was taught like a sponge."

She was also a member of the Knutsford Young Farmers and her family said that she loved to be around people and part of a group.

  • Sam Jones read's a tribute on behalf of his mum and dad

Sam Jones said: "As a family, we miss her so much. She lit up our days with her youthful energy and her passion for life. Every day was an adventure for Nell and we were all carried along with her.

"The thought of the years ahead without her in our lives is truly unbearable and I have no words to describe the pain and grief we feel each day.

"But those 14 wonderful years we shared together and the memories we made were truly special.

"We love Nell with all of our hearts and we always will."

  • Tribute from Nell's friend Olivia, read by Sam Jones

Nell's friends Olivia and Alex also paid tribute to her in the pen portrait.

Olivia wrote that Nell was the "best friend anyone could wish for" and that they had so many plans for the future.

She added: "If I searched the world over I would never find a friend as loyal, caring, funny and as full of life as Nell was.

"She was one in a million and she will live in my heart forever."

Alex said in a statement that the loss of Nell has been the "biggest heartache" she'd ever experienced and that she sees gaps in her life where Nell should be.

She added: "A friendship with Nell meant so much. She was vibrant, outgoing and always there for everyone else."

Nell's teacher's also paid tribute to her in the pen portrait read by her brother.

Her primary school teacher, Mrs Bevington, said that Nell was a "perfect primary pupil" who had a "fabulous smile and infectious giggle" who was keen to learn new things.

Nell's form teacher said that he is sad when he thinks of how she would now have been enjoying her A-levels and he often wonders what she might have gone on to achieve in life.

Her English teacher said that she was very good at writing stories, but that she remembers her for her "wicked sense of humour" and "big heart".

The pen portrait ended with a slide show of pictures of Nell being shown over the song "Our love will grow" by the Showmen - which the court was told was one of Nell's favourites.

The Chairman to the inquiry, Sir John Saunders thanked the family for their tribute and said that his overwhelming impression from the portrait was "what a waste".

You can read all of the pen portraits heard by the inquiry so far here.