For the last five years BAPIA, the Balloon and Party Industry Alliance, have called for its members to assist them with creating the balloon décor for the grand Christmas parties at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).
GOSH is a children’s hospital located in the Bloomsbury area of London, and was founded in 1852. It was the first hospital in England providing in-patient beds specifically for children, initially opening with just 10 beds. Now the hospital not only looks after hundreds of sick children but also helps to accommodate their family whilst they are being treated.
Over one week in December, those children, together with their families, will go to one of several Christmas parties hosted at the nearby Royal National Hotel. The Galleon Rooms, in which the parties are hosted, are over 700 square metres and it all has to be decorated in just one day.
VIP Balloon Artist, Samuel Stamp-Dod, wanted to be part of that team and put his name forward as soon as applications were opened back in August. As this is a much sort-after event, only members of BAPIA were able to apply and, of the hundreds of members, in October Samuel was chosen to be part of the 25 strong crew.
As the room was so big, three industry leaders led different aspects of the décor design; Sue Bowler led a team creating an arch of candy balloons, Chris Horne created some icy blue and silver themed ceiling designs for around the dance floor and Dr Bob created sculptures of Santa, snowmen and giant gifts to be suspended over the guest’s tables.
The volunteer crew, who came from all over the UK, were free to move from one designer to another throughout the day and helped inflate, attach, create and install the designs around the room.
As there would be several children attending the parties who have allergies to latex, no traditional balloons could be used – only foil ones. This gave the designers a challenge, as often, even if you cannot see them, latex balloons are used as fixing points and to fill in spaces within designs.
Over the next few days we will be showing you the three designs in detail, going through how the designs were made and, maybe, even inspiring you to challenge us to create something different for your event, whether it be a Christmas party, a wedding or any other occasion. To read how we dressed the dance floor ceiling, read part two of our blog.
If you would like VIP Balloons to create something special for you, please contact us.