A VOLUNTEER who bought a balloon for her grandson she was desperately missing during lockdown has won the top prize of £500 in St Luke's Hospice's first virtual balloon race.

Northwich gran Jan Boyd has given the winnings to four-year-old Daniel O'Riordan who named the balloon Flounder after the character in The Little mermaid film. It travelled the furthest distance in the race ending up north of Greenland.

Jan, who volunteers in the Day Hospice in Winsford and with St Luke's befriending service, said: "The balloon was in the lead on the last day but then it popped. However even a popped balloon can be a winner as Daniel’s was the furthest from its starting point at Westminster Abbey.

"Daniel was excited to hear how his balloon was progressing and when he was told he had won, he was over the moon. He has chosen some books from the Little Mermaid film and will save the rest of the £500 in his savings account."

Winsford Guardian:

Four-year-old Daniel O'Riordan is thrilled that his balloon named Flounder after the character in the Little Mermaid film won the race

St Luke’s next virtual balloon race has a Harry Potter theme with balloons setting off from Hogwarts on Friday, July 3. Balloons cost £3.

READ > Property of the week: Four bedroom barn conversion with breathtaking views of Cheshire countryside

You can choose the shape, weight, colour and design of your balloon and track it over seven days, so it's great fun for children. Once your virtual balloon takes off, it will travel just like a real balloon scientifically affected by the weather conditions.

You can follow your own balloon and see where it is in the race at any time. It's a great geography lesson for the younger ones whilst home schooling. You can purchase as many balloons as you wish and they can all be different to increase your chances of winning the prizes. In addition to the main national race prizes there will be a prize for the first St Luke's balloon wherever it finished in the race.

To be in with a chance to win £500 visit ecoracing.co/user/page/308