Families who visit Hope House Children’s Hospice in Oswestry have been celebrating in true summer style after Virgin Balloon Flights raised almost £8,000 for the charity.

Staff from the Telford-based balloon rides company organised a major charity raffle, did a parachute jump, ran a half marathon and stayed schtum for a sponsored silence to raise the funds earlier this year.

The total of £7,811, collected as part of Virgin Unite’s ‘Changing the Course’ campaign, will pay for a whole year of fun trips and excursions for terminally ill children who visit the hospice.

The children, families and Hope House staff visited Virgin Balloon Flights’ offices at Stafford Park this afternoon (August 2) to receive the bumper cheque and meet the fundraisers.

Free ‘99’ cones were given out by the team in the Virgin ‘Summer of Love’ ice cream van, which is touring the country visiting all the Virgin Group businesses.

Kirsty Mills, Virgin Balloon Flights’ business champion, said: “We’re delighted to have raised this money for Hope House Children’s Hospice as it’s an incredible charity and we were all truly touched by the work they do. We would like to thank all of our staff, customers and partner businesses for their help and generosity.”

Kelly Goodall, Area Fundraiser for Hope House, said: “Our thanks go out to everyone at Virgin Balloon Flights for the incredible amount they’ve raised which will make a real difference for the children who come to Hope Hope. It has been fantastic to work with such a tremendous national brand which does so much good work in the local community.”