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6th Jul, 2022

Virtual balloon race set to give two Midlands charities a lift

A BALLOON race is set to give two Midlands charities a lift.

Members of the Rotary Club of Knowle and Dorridge and the Rotary Club of Redditch Kingfisher are inviting people to compete in a virtual balloon race for a host of prizes including £500 for the winner.

For £3 per ticket, competitors can design their own balloon to get it race-ready for 12pm on Christmas day before tracking it on its seven-day journey from Santa’s Village in Lapland.

The proceeds will be divided between Molly Olly’s Wishes in Warwick and the Public Access Defibrillator Project, to fund more community defibrillators and CPR training in Redditch.

Molly Olly’s Wishes was established in 2011 following the death of Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw’s eight-year-old daughter Molly from a rare kidney cancer.

The Warwick charity supports children with terminal illnesses and their families, as well as granting wishes and donating therapeutic toys and books.

Part of the funding raised to date has enabled the first Molly Olly consultant in paediatric medicine at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Rachel Ollerenshaw said: “Molly Olly’s, like so many other charities have found the period since March very tough as many of our key events have been cancelled and we have seen a reduction in donations as a result. This is at a time when we have also seen an increase in demand for our services.

“In October we had a 30 per cent increase in requests for wishes and we distributed over 800 Olly’s and books to hospitals and individuals.

“The virtual balloon race is a really simple and fun, low cost idea that anyone can take part in. Maybe people could give instead of Christmas cards or perhaps it could be a stocking filler, or just fun for the family on Christmas Day to take part in.

“We are extremely grateful to Rotary Club of Knowle and Dorridge and the Rotary Club of Redditch Kingfisher for their support in organising.”

Kingfisher Rotary has got behind the cause to expand the number of public access defibrillators in Redditch to ensure that life-saving equipment gets into as many local community spaces as possible. There are 3,400 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests each year in the West Midlands, from which only one in eight people survive.

Colin Winstone, president of Rotary Club of Knowle and Dorridge, added: “It’s vital we continue to raise money for our charities – and the virtual balloon race means that we can reach out far and wide to help us raise money.

“It’s all online, but it’s lots of fun, it’s totally environmentally friendly and it appeals to adults and kids alike – we’re really hoping people will enter into the Christmas spirit and help us raise money for such worthwhile causes. It’s our first go at this, but we hope it will be real success.”

Visit www.tinyurl.com/ChristmasBalloon for more details on the event.

And visit www.mollyolly.co.uk for more information on Molly Olly’s Wishes.

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