24th July 2020

Virtual balloon race to raise funds for St Richard’s

St Richard’s Hospice is inviting local people to support its care this summer by sponsoring a balloon to take part in a virtual race across the Sahara Desert.

The virtual balloon race is a new online fundraising activity for the charity, which cares for patients with a serious progressive illness and their loved ones. As it is a virtual competition, there is no impact on the environment or risk to wildlife.

Bought for £3 each, the balloons will battle against real-life weather conditions so those taking part are being encouraged to think about the best shape, size and composition needed to win. They can also customise their balloon with their name, a message or colourful design.

The race, run by Eco Racing, will last seven days, with the winning balloon being the one that has flown the furthest from the launch point at Timbuktu. Those taking part can track their balloon’s flight path via Google satellite and maps while the race is running. Prizes up for grabs include £500 for the winner, an Apple iPad for second place, and £10 book tokens for the first 10 runners up.

Kelly Johns, St Richard’s Hospice Fundraiser, said: “We know the summer holidays might not be quite be the same for many families this year so we thought this would be a bit of fun for those staying home as you track your balloon across the Sahara for a week.

“One of the best parts about this virtual balloon race is it’s 100% eco-friendly too – no plastic balloons littering the oceans and no birds harmed during the race. Plus, there are some fantastic prizes up for grabs!

“And a balloon race isn’t just for kids. It’s a great way for local businesses still working from home to create some fun and healthy competition for their teams. You could even offer a prize for the balloon that travels the furthest from your organisation to make it really competitive. Or for the best designed balloon.

“Or, as a wellbeing exercise, you might want to buy balloons for every member of the team? You can gift balloons to other people, so they can then design their own.”

More details about the virtual balloon race are available on the St Richard’s Hospice website at: https://www.strichards.org.uk/event/summer-holiday-virtual-balloon-race/

The balloons will be released at 12 noon on Saturday 8th August and race until Friday 14th August 2020. Entries close at 11am on Saturday 8th August 2020.

St Richard’s Hospice cares for adults with a serious progressive illness, improving their quality of life from diagnosis, during treatment and to their last days. It also supports their loved ones.

Each year the hospice team supports more than 3,400 patients, family members and bereaved people in Worcestershire.

St Richard’s is an independent charity and relies on donations and gifts in Wills for the majority of its income with 22% funded by the NHS.