The city of Manchester rallied to help victims of yesterday's arena bombing in a show of community Mayor Andy Burnham said demonstrated "the true spirit of our city in the face of such devastating tragedy".
Good Samaritan Paula Robinson, 48, was hailed as the "Angel of Manchester" after shepherding dozens of terrified children to safety in the aftermath of the attack.
Robinson had not been at the concert, but was walking out of Victoria Station with her husband when hordes of confused and traumatised youngsters began pouring from the venue.
She gathered a crowd of about 50 girls and led them to safety at a nearby Premier Inn before sharing her number on social media to let worried parents know that their daughters were safe.
Robinson and her husband stayed with the youngsters until all had been collected by parents or family members.
"Parents were frantic, running about trying to get to their children," she told Reuters. "There were lots and lots of children.
"It was literally seconds after the explosion I got the teens to run with me."
On a Facebook post that was circulated on the site and Twitter, Robinson wrote: "We have
got about 50 kids with us waiting to be picked up, they are safe we will look after them."
"We have taken as many kids as we can we will keep them safe and stay with them."
The Premier Inn at Manchester Piccadilly confirmed it had opened conference rooms to accommodate people affected by the blast.
Wellwishers took to social media to commend Robinson's actions. "Get her a cuppa, a hug and a knighthood," said Joe Brennan. Others hailed her as a "shining light in the darkness".
A homeless man who has slept rough in Manchester for a year cradled a dying woman in his arms after rushing to help victims.
Chris Parker, 33, who regularly begs inside the foyer of the arena at the end of concerts was knocked to the floor with the force of the explosion.
Parker described how he helped a girl who had lost her legs in the blast, before helping a dying woman who had suffered serious leg and head injuries.
"Everyone was piling out, all happy and everything else. As people were coming out of the glass doors I heard a bang and within a split second I saw a white flash, then smoke and then I heard screaming," he said.
"It knocked me to the floor and then I got up and instead of running away my gut instinct was to run back and try and help. There was people lying on the floor everywhere.
"I saw a little girl. She had no legs. I wrapped her in one of the merchandise T-shirts and I said 'where is your mum and daddy?' She said 'my dad is at work, my mum is up there'."
He said he thought the child's mother had died from her injuries.
Parker said he also tended to a woman in her 60s who suffered serious leg and head injuries.
He said: "She passed away in my arms. She was in her 60s and said she had been with her family. I haven't stopped crying.
"There were nuts and bolts all over the floor. People had holes in their backs. It's the screams I can't get over. I don't think anything has sunk in yet. It's just shock."
Stephen Jones, 35, a former bricklayer who was also sleeping rough when the blast went off, also rushed to help.
"We were having to pull nails and bits of glass out of their arms and faces," he said.
"I wouldn't have been able to live with myself if I'd just walked away."
As news of the attack spread, and train stations were closed, locals began offering spare rooms on social media under the hashtag #RoomforManchester.
Rebecca Topham tweeted: "I have a sofa, floor, blankets and tea 5 minutes from the arena for anyone in need." Hundreds of others offered spare beds, settees, phone charging points, food, and lifts home.
Cafes provided free drinks for emergency services, people brought tea to the police at the cordon and hotels invited youngsters inside while they waited for their parents.
Members of the public arrived with shopping bags of food at the nearby Etihad Stadium where victims were invited to shelter before they were reunited with family members.
Taxi drivers in the city centre turned off their meters and offered free rides to help victims get home.
Mayor Burnham praised the efforts of the community, saying that their efforts demonstrated "the true spirit of our city in the face of such devastating tragedy".
"They responded in the best possible way with generosity, with kindness, that was humbling," he added.
"In this darkest hour - every single person in greater Manchester will be proud that people responded in that particular way and I'd like to thank them for doing that."
Councillor Bev Craig said: "Mancunians opening their homes to those stranded, and businesses offering free rides. This is the Manchester I love."
Last night locals continued to offer spare rooms for family members visiting victims in hospital.
Mother-of-three Kim Dick cradled a 14-year-old bombing victim for an hour while her husband Phil helped move the injured using a merchandise table as a makeshift stretcher.
The Dicks were waiting in the foyer of Manchester Arena to pick up their granddaughter, Sasha, 15, and daughter Tamla, 17 when they were blown into the air as the suicide bomber detonated his device just yards away.
As Phil Dick searched the bodies to see if the two young girls were there, Kim Dick rescued a badly injured 14-year-old.
Kim Dick, 54, from Idle, Bradford, said: "There was a massive blast and when we got up there was a little girl, she was 14. Her long blonde hair was shrivelled up, singed, a plastic bag had melted in her hair.
"Her eyes were staring up and I lifted her up and her little arms were broken. She had shrapnel in both her legs, her shoulder and her face.
"We made makeshift compressions to press on her wounds on her legs and shoulder. She asked me if she was going to be okay and I said you are, your dad is coming. Her eyes were staring ahead.
"There was another girl 15 she was crying and had been hit in the leg. There was an Asian girl called Aaliyah. She was 15 years old. I said for her to sit down, I just wanted to hug her but I couldn't leave the other girl."
Phil Dick and the police used the table that was selling Ariana Grande merchandise as a makeshift stretcher to help move the wounded.
The 14-year-old, who has not been named, survived the attack, and the couple received a text from her sister thanking them for staying with her until paramedics arrived.
Queues formed outside blood donation centres in Manchester after the NHS put out an emergency call for new supplies of O negative blood as they treated dozens of victims.
Give Blood NHS was eventually forced to stop registering people because it was so overwhelmed by donors that it filled its banks to capacity.
Mike Stredder, director of blood donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: "We are responding to last night's events in Manchester. Our thoughts are with the people affected.
"We do have all the blood required for hospital patients at the present time, however we are always keen to encourage new donors to register and existing donors to book an appointment.
"If you have an appointment to give blood in the next few days, please do your best to keep it, particularly if you are blood group O negative."
The RMT also suspended a planned strike next week on Merseyrail, Northern Rail and Southern Rail.
Fundraising sites to help the victims of the attack had already reached £250,000 by yesterday afternoon.
Muslims rally to help
British Muslims condemned the attack as "horrific" and "criminal" and claimed that those responsible would "face the full weight of justice both in this life and the next".
Harun Khan, the secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Great Britain said: "I urge all those in the region and around the country to pull together to support those affected.
"May the perpetrators face the full weight of justice both in this life and the next."
Flowers had been laid outside the arena with messages that read: "It was a monster not a Muslim."
Sameer Arshad, of Street Cars Manchester, said: "We had a lot of terrified parents ringing up, and a lot of terrified people ringing up and everyone was trying to get safe, so I reached out to our drivers and said 'these people need us' and they said they were willing to do whatever it takes to get people home safely.
"That's when we decided to give anyone who was stranded in Manchester a free taxi to wherever they need to get to, and their families. You can either pull away or pull together and at times like this you need to pull together."
Muslim Youth UK said: "We stand together as a united nation. Ahmadiyya Muslims extend our deepest condolences to the victims of this barbaric act in Manchester."
Rafiq Hayat, the national president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, said: "Never can such attacks be justified in any shape or form. May God comfort the bereaved and those affected in any way."