Share

Charities in Twitter storm over balloon releases

copyright Helen Warren
News

Charities in Twitter storm over balloon releases3

IT | Kirsty Weakley | 24 May 2012

Charities are being urged to abandon balloon releases in a Twitter a campaign.

The hashtag #balloonrelease is being used by individual campaigners to pressure charities mentioning up-coming balloon releases into rethinking their plans.

It is being led by Andy Mabbett, who is a trustee and webmaster of West Midland Bird Club who says the action harms wildlife. Individuals participating in the action tweet organisations, including charities planning a balloon release, that “even biodegradable ones harm wildlife”.

Nat Bocking, a community development researcher at Suffolk Acre tweeted: “Charities must lead the way on stopping #balloonrelease each one undermines education about (the) environment.”

He told civilsociety.co.uk that the reason he was calling on charities to speak out was that many of them include having a balloon release in fundraising ideas pack. He added that people and organisations are reluctant to come out against balloon releases: “No one wants to stand up and be called the bad guy and they fear a media backlash from the likes of the Daily Mail.”

The RSPCA has said it will not endorse balloon releases.

One of the charities singled out in the last week was Pancreatic Cancer Action whose supporters released balloons in memory of people who have died from the disease.

A spokeswoman said: “It is not something we have organised but it was a very small number, less than 50, of biodegradable balloons”.

She added that although the organisation did not have a policy specifically on balloon releases, “we are aware of the issue and will be looking at it”.

The campaign caught the eye of NCVO head of policy, research and foresight, Karl Wilding who tweeted: “To be honest I didn’t realise charities still released balloons as a way of awareness and fundraising. Anachronism surely?”

 

Nat Bocking
29 Jan 2013

Michael, your assertions about harmless fragments have been thoroughly discredited. Most balloons do not break up as you say. The breakdown of the balloons in the environment takes years. Unfortunately, the evidence from the press cuttings I have of balloon releases shows that the vast majority of them still have ribbons and plastic attached. The industry is shockingly lax at advising its clients. The argument of the other poster: why not bother with something else, is so specious as to not be worth a response.

Michael
http://floatingcreations.co.uk
28 Jan 2013

A biodegradable latex ballon, filled with helium will rise to an altitude of around 5 miles before the latex become brittle due to the cold temperature at which point it explodes in to small pieces about the size of a penny.

These tiny pieces of latex, which will have been spread out over a very wide area (due to the balloon drifting while rising to the altitude of 5 miles), will then biodegrade very quickly.

Such small pieces of latex can easily pass through the digestive system of an animal.

The only real danger to wildlife and the environment is when ribbon or plastic clips are attached to the balloons.

N/a
n/a
27 Jun 2012

With regards to your article on the Twitter Storm over Balloon Releases, i believe it is VERY unfair how hard working companies & organisations are being pressured into stopping balloon released.

I feel Andy Mabbetts comments on twitter are unfair & unnecessary.

I do understand his concerns as well as other peoples, but why Balloon Releases? Careless drivers kill wildlife every day, planes kill wildlife, litter kills wildlife, so why is he showing such concern on Balloon Releases only?

We are doing our up most best to raise money for Charity's as well as other organisations, and we are continually being bombarded by tweets & pictures from the selected individuals getting us to stop this activity.

I think this is an battle they wont win, i hope organisations will continue doing Balloon Releases as they are becoming even more popular. They are something different, and exciting for the community.

These opinions & views are my own!

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Free eNews

Wellcome Trust rejects call to make 'grand gesture' over fossil fuel investments

30 Mar 2015

The Wellcome Trust’s director has defended the charity’s investments in fossil fuel firms, arguing...

NCVO and Third Sector Research Centre to create a data bank of 10,000 charities

26 Mar 2015

NCVO and the Third Sector Research Centre are to create a data resource to track ten years of voluntary...

Navca restructures and makes redundancies to ensure it is sustainable

26 Mar 2015

The National Council for Voluntary Action will make four redundancies as part of a three-year plan to...

Children’s cancer charity told by Commission to appoint more trustees

30 Mar 2015

The Charity Commission has given a charity where one of the founding trustees was accused of using funds...

Commission opens inquiry into learning disability charity accused of 'repeatedly defaulting' on its accounts

30 Mar 2015

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into a Sheffield-based charity that was previously...

Aid charity founder and former chief executive denies fraud charges

30 Mar 2015

Tom Henderson, the founder and former chief executive of ShelterBox, and his son have both denied charges...

Social media 'slacktivism' encourages people to donate, finds JustGiving report

18 Mar 2015

People who share a fundraising page on social media are four times more likely to donate than those who...

Samaritans closes Twitter monitoring app permanently

11 Mar 2015

Samaritans has confirmed that it has permanently closed its app that was designed to monitor people’s...

Daniel Phelan dies, aged 58

13 Feb 2015

Daniel Phelan, owner and editor-in-chief of Civil Society Media, passed away on Wednesday following a...

Join the discussion

Twitter button

@CSFundraising