NCS fundraisers let it go for Hinchingbrooke Hospital

Youngsters completing their National Citizen Service organised a balloon release to raise awareness

Youngsters completing their National Citizen Service organised a balloon release to raise awareness for the Holly Ward at Hinchingbrooke Hospital - Credit: Archant

Dozens of balloons have been released to support the Holly Ward at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

Youngsters completing their National Citizen Service organised the poignant fundraiser after getting the idea that they wanted to raise awareness of the work the ward carries out to help thousands of children each year.

The 16-24 year olds felt compelled to make a difference to raise the profile of the unit and eventually raise money.

The project started after the school leavers had to decide on an organisation that they wanted to help throughout the course of their NCS.

Zoe Helme, 16, is one the youngsters which has been involved with the project, who said: “We all decided that we wanted to raise money for the ward and the Dreamdrops charity that runs alongside the unit.”

The group of around 20 teenagers came up with the balloon release idea after a number of the Swavesey Village College pupils had organised a similar event at the school for a teacher.

Fifteen-year-old Hannah Gingell said: “We knew how it would work and when we told everyone else they said “lets do it.”

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The young fundraisers then took their message to Hinchingbrooke Hospital to get the nurses and children on the ward involved.

“We spent the morning with the children in the ward asking them to sign a tag that would go onto the balloon before we went outside to let them go,” said Zoe.

More than 50 balloons of an array of colours were then released into the clear blue sky from the hospital’s sensory garden.

Chloe Dimmick, 16, was one of those who were lucky enough to be involved, she said: “We each had a handful as there were children that could come out with us to release the balloons.”

The group now hope that the balloons and tags will now be found to inspire people to donate on Dreamdrops fundraising page

The youngsters efforts don’t stop there as they hope that they can start a new social media craze as they want people to draw a face on a balloon and take a selfie with it using hashtag #LetItGo4HW.

“We hope that it will spur more people on to donate and do it just like the ice bucket challenge,” added Zoe.