Manchester bomb survivor Martin Hibbert finalist for Pride of Britain Regional Fundraiser of Year

Video report by Granada Reports journalist Zoe Muldoon

It's that time of year again where we celebrate those from our communities who have given their time to raise thousands of pounds to help others.

We've been searching for the Granada Reports Pride of Britain Regional Fundraiser of the Year and have whittled it down to four outstanding finalists.

Martin Hibbert, from Bolton, was just metres away from the bomb that killed 22 people in the terror attack at Manchester Arena in May 2017.

He had been at the Ariana Grande concert with his daughter Eve, then aged 14.

Martin Hibbert and his daughter Eve, who was 14 at the time of the attack in May 2017

Eve sustained a "significant" brain injury and Martin suffered a severed spinal cord from shrapnel from the bomb, which left him paralysed from the waist down.

Martin spent six months in hospital and was told he would never walk again, but after meeting a support officer from charity Spinal Injuries Association, he was determined to keep going and turn an appalling act of terror into a force for good. 

Earlier this year he reached the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in a specially-adapted wheelchair to raise money for charity and to help "move mountains" for other disabled people.

(Left) Martin the day before his challenge. (Right) Martin holds a United flag at the summit of Kilimanjaro. Credit: Martin Hibbert

Due to the altitude, Martin and his support team spent less than half an hour at the summit of Kilimanjaro - just enough time for him to scatter his mother's ashes.

Throughout the momentous challenge, he said his mum, Janice, who died in October 2021, was his inspiration.

The 45-year-old hopes to raise £1 million to fund the Spinal Injuries Association, who support thousands of people across the country.

So far, Martin's Mountain Challenge has raised over £800,000.

But as well as raising the life-changing money, Martin hopes to change perceptions of people with disabilities.

He said: "I was the second paraplegic to do it, everybody is climbing their own mountain in some way shape or form.

"Hopefully climbing Kilimanjaro will make people embrace disability and celebrate disability."

Martin says winning a Pride of Britain award would be "for everyone". Credit: ITV News

On being a finalist for Granada Reports' Pride of Britain Regional Fundraiser of the Year, Martin said that he and his wife Gabby cried when they heard the news.

He said: "This award, if I did win it, wouldn't just be for me.

"It would be for the surgeon who operated on me that night for fourteen hours, it would be for everybody who has made me who I am to be able to sit here today."

"To think I could be a Pride of Britain winner...things like that don't happen to people like me."

What is Pride of Britain?

Pride of Britain Awards celebrate the achievements of truly remarkable people who make our world a better place.

Nominated by the public, the winners are from all walks of life, of all ages, and from all over the country. Their achievements are awe-inspiring and a lesson to us all. They say they are ordinary people, but their acts are truly extraordinary.

Since the first Pride of Britain in 1999, royalty, prime ministers, and hundreds of leading figures from showbiz, sport, politics and the arts have all taken part.

Hosted by Carol Vorderman, the Awards attract an audience of around five million viewers every year in a primetime slot on ITV - making it the highest rated awards show of its kind on British television.