Sunderland primary school’s sky high fundraiser

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A Sunderland primary school’s fundraising efforts are all up in the air.

St Cuthbert’s in Grindon held a massive sponsored balloon race, with more than 1,200 balloons sold.

And they're off...

And they're off...

The launch was the brainchild of teacher Suzanne Robbins, who is in charge of fundraising for the school.

“We are doing it to buy equipment for the children,” said Suzanne.

“The money is coming directly into the school to fund things that we need.”

Suzanne has organised successful balloon launches at previous schools but has been delighted by the response this time.

There is a prize for the child whose balloon goes the furthest and then we get in touch with the person who has sent it back and we send them information about the school and some gifts.

Suzanne Robbins

“The response from parents has been fantastic and as a Catholic school, we have also had great support from the parish,” she said.

“I have done it at other schools I have been in - we work with a company called Balloon Talk from Knaresborough and all the balloons are biodegradable.

“Each person pays £2 for a balloon and each balloon has a ticket bearing the child’s name and address.

“When someone finds the balloon, they send it back with details of where they found it.

Up, up and away

Up, up and away

“There is a prize for the child whose balloon goes the furthest and then we get in touch with the person who has sent it back and we send them information about the school and some gifts.

“We have previously had balloons returned from as far afield as Germany, France, Italy and Norway.”

Suzanne believes releasing the balloons close to Valentine’s Day has made the event a particular success.

“The reason we decided to do it at Valentine’s is that they are all red balloons, so people could release them for their loved ones,” she said.

“It seems to have created an awful lot of interest because of that - we have got a lot of balloons that are being released in memory of people who are not with us any more.”