dpm is a Birmingham-based freelancer with experience of arts and lifestyle features.
The sky's the limit with this online competition
People in Birmingham and beyond can join an online balloon race to celebrate St Valentine's Day. Run by Birmingham's John Taylor Hospice, the virtual balloon race aims to be a fun activity this February - while also raising money for the hospice's much-needed specialist care.
The balloons, which can be bought on the hospice website, will take to the online skies on Valentine's Day and whichever balloon travels the furthest by the seven-day finishing line is the winner.
Hospice Community and Events Fundraising Manager Charlie Pette explains how the event works. "The race sets off on 14 February at 12pm from the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The balloons are completely customisable and will battle against real-life weather conditions over seven days. You'll even be able to follow your balloon's progress in real-time on Google Maps to see how far it goes!"
Each balloon in John Taylor Hospice's eco-friendly online race costs £3 and winners will receive top prizes including £500 cash and an Apple iPad.
Charlie adds: "For £3, which is about the price of a Valentine's card, you can purchase your special someone a novel gift that's also meaningful, as the proceeds are benefitting local people. We really hope that kind-hearted Brummies share the love by helping our new fundraising idea to take off. We're hoping to raise £3,000 to fund vital services at the hospice and in the local community."