Charity floats fantastic fundraising idea

Will your balloon go furthest?Will your balloon go furthest?
Will your balloon go furthest?
Ettrickbridge and Dryden Riding for the Disabled group has floated a fantastic fundraising plan by hosting a virtual balloon race.

It’s all eco-friendly and takes place inside a computer simulation, but makes use of the weather patterns of the race day to work out where your virtual balloon will end up.

Participants can change the balloon’s parameters, make it bigger, smaller, with different thicknesses of latex, shapes and helium content.

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It’s worth taking note that the virtual lift-off will be from St Petersburg, Russia, at noon on May 1 when deciding on your balloon styles.

Kathie Marshall, chairperson of the group, said: “We are a charity and usually have plenty of opportunities to fundraise, but like so many charities we have been unable to do this during the pandemic.

"We obviously contribute to the wellbeing of the ponies and horses we use in our sessions, hence the reason for this virtual seven-day balloon race.

"We want as many people as possible to join in the fun by taking part.

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There are some great prizes up for grabs, with £500 for first place an Apple iPad for second and 10 £10 book tokens for the next 10 fastest.

"You can track your balloon on google maps using satellites 24/7. The race is a simulation, but is influenced by information from real weather satellites in real-time."

People also have the opportunity to buy balloons as fun gifts for family and friends.

To find out how to sign up, buy or gift a balloon, and to change its parameters, visit the race page on

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