Tattoo artists in Manchester have launched an appeal to raise money for the victims and families devastated by the Ariane Grande concert terror attack of Monday 22 May.

They are offering people £50 tattoos of a bee, a symbol of Manchester. The 'busy bee' represents the city's hard-working past, best exemplified during the Industrial Revolution. In the 19th Century, Manchester's texture mills were described as "buzzing hives of activity" with the industrious workers compared to bees.

Sam Barber, a tattoo artist based in Stalybridge, started the appeal – and quickly artists from all over the world offered their services.

Inspired by Barber's campaign, the Sacred Heart tattoo parlour in Chorlton, the area in southern Manchester where the alleged bomber lived, will open its doors this Sunday (28 May) to decorate customers with 'busy bees'.

"The response has been overwhelming," Vent Brewer, the manager of Sacred Heart, told Manchester Evening News. "I'd like to see a load of people outside the studio on Sunday morning feeling as though they're part of something. 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."

He said that a wide range of people had shown interest in the appeal. "We've had people from all ages – from young people to those who are like 70 or 80 years old. We've had people from all walks of life inquiring."

He added that the overwhelming response really highlighted Mancunians' "resilience and desire to come together".