Fiona’s balloons banish Keynsham’s Monday blues

PEOPLE in Keynsham town centre were given a reason to be cheerful on Blue Monday – when they were handed free balloons.

Fiona Bell raised plenty of smiles with the give-away in High Street and Temple Street.

To bring some light relief to January 15 – which has been dubbed ‘the most depressing day of the year’ – she handed out 35 balloons in the sunshine.

“I ran out of time to give away more – but have money donated for some more, so will find another day to cheer people up,” Fiona said.

“I had to take five home because the balloons had danced about in the wind so much their strings were all knotted up, and I couldn’t release them until I got home. Then I re-stringed them and gave them to small children in Saltford.”

Her main takers were parents out with their small children.

“A couple of people asked if they could have one for their grandchild/small person at home.”

Fiona was inspired by a news item about a man giving away free balloons in Edinburgh.

“I have tried the balloon give-away before – in Bath on Random Acts of Kindness Day.

“It is such an antidote to feeling blue – nearly everyone smiles at you when you walk along a street holding a fistful of balloons!”

Fiona’s balloon trail also took in the Ashton Way and Tesco car parks, as well as the library and town council offices, where she called in to share what she was up to.

Among the traders she met on the day was Cat Midgeley, who runs Temple Street Canteen and Savour – one of her staff donated funds for the balloons. Another donation came from Chris Bollom, owner of Simply Carpets, who was the first person to support Fiona’s idea.

“The Buyology staff were really helpful making up the balloon bundles – and helped me when the first lot got tangled.”

Fiona volunteers for a number of local good causes, including Keynsham Community Fridge and Saltford Community Coffee Club.

As she has still has some donated funds to spend, she is looking forward to future balloon give-aways.

“Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17 or World Kindness Day on November 13 would be good candidates.”